We’ve all got stuff.
George Carlin used to have a routine about stuff. (Although he used a different word.)
We fill our place with stuff. Then we need to get a bigger space so we can get more stuff.
As a ventriloquist, chances are you have stuff too. I do.
Maybe it is the puppet you loved. Unfortunately, you could never create a character for it. So that puppet sits in a trunk, or on a shelf, unused.
I have a bunch of unused puppets. I love them, the look, the feel, the fact they are unique. But I don’t use them. I don’t have space when I fly to shows for another puppet. They won’t all fit in the car.
Why do I still have them? Great question.
Because I imagine that one day, I will have the perfect character. Or need that particular puppet for a custom program.
But chances of that happening when I don’t play with them each day, are small.
I also have magic tricks. I used to do magic full time. I had a bunch of tricks. Over the years I got rid of my backups. I still have the originals used in the show. I imagined giving them to my son. He isn’t interested in magic though.
A few years ago, I had to clean out my parent’s house. It made me realize the sentimentality we give to objects. The same objects that no one else cares about. And turnabout on the old saying: One man’s treasure is another man’s trash.
I want to downsize myself. It isn’t easy. But what to do with those puppets you love and don’t use? Or that magic sitting on your shelf or in a drawer.
Some people want to donate figures to Vent Haven Museum. That way, in theory, they will live on and people will know you as the ventriloquist who donated the puppet. The museum can’t display all of the figures though. Unless you have a truly unique or historic figure, it may not stay on display.
One good thing about donating to the museum. It is considered a tax write-off.
Maybe you prefer to sell them. Everyone could use some extra cash. There are several options:
Ventriloquist Central’s Marketplace
The same is true with magic tricks. It takes a bit of time to photograph and describe them. But if you need the cash, it is definitely an option.
You could also give them away.
A couple of years ago, a young man saw me perform at a fair. He loved my act and wanted to bring me to his elementary school. To raise the funds, he started a GoFundMe campaign. I donated a sizeable chunk because I was so flattered and impressed by what this young man was doing.
During this time, he was also trying to learn ventriloquism.
I had an Axtell Vern Puppet. Never used it. After the show, I presented the puppet to this young man. His classmates and the school staff give him a huge ovation for his efforts.
He loved the puppet – and I loved the fact I could inspire him.
So what to do with your stuff? It is up to you. But make sure you do something. After all – why let it become someone elses’ trash?