I received an email a few weeks ago with a question many new vents (and even some older) have asked.
What type of figure should I use?.
Should I use the (insert type of puppet/figure) I already have? Or should I get a (insert famous puppet) type character like (insert famous ventriloquist)?
What do you advise?
I’ve said this before and will continue to say it:
It is NOT the puppet! IT IS what you do with it!
You may find the coolest puppet on the planet, but that puppet will not make you a star. It is nothing more than a really cool puppet.
Don’t believe me? Set it in the corner and look at it every day for a year. It won’t do anything.
If it does, get out of the house and call an exorcist.
A puppet doesn’t write jokes or automatically start saying funny things.
There is no short cut to success.
You’ve got to develop a character.
It needs to be in contrast with your own personality on-stage.
Contrast helps to create comedy.
You need to be able to imagine that character’s voice in your head. You must KNOW what it would say or do in any given situation.
Plus you need to spin that to create something that people will laugh about.
Then you need to find the figure or puppet that will allow you to bring that character to life.
Not too long ago, a “professional ventriloquist” saw a figure for sale on a FaceBook group.
This ventriloquist was lamenting he was broke and had no shows only a week before. But he saw this figure and posted he was interested in buying it.
The figure wasn’t going to make him money. He’d need shows to do that.
Did he think having the figure would get him more shows?
He knows better.
Adding another character to your show for your own enjoyment is different than thinking a particular type of character can make you a star.
Ronn Lucas takes off one of his socks and entertains an audience for 10 to 15 minutes. It is magical. And it is the result of hundreds of hours of practice. No doubt followed by hundreds of performances that allowed the routine and character to be refined.
Remember that most ventriloquists go through a large number of characters before finding one that clicks with themselves and audiences. There are very few (and I mean VERY FEW) instances of a puppet/routine that works the first time out.
Please, don’t take advice on the style puppet you should have.
It needs to be your own decision based on what you create.
I hope that helps,