A is for the Southwest Ventriloquist Club. (WHAT?) Well, Eddie Siller is based in Arizona … A can also be for audience – without them you have no show.
B is for Breathing. Deep breathing is important to create clear speech for your characters.
C is for Conversation. Ventriloquists create the illusion of life in part through a believable conversation. If it doesn’t sound natural, you miss the mark and are just a person reciting a script with a puppet.
D is for Detweiler. We miss Clinton everyday. D is also for Darci Lynn who is bringing ventriloquism to the next generation. Finally D is for Dunham, who continues to keep ventriloquism in front of the masses.
E is for Edgar Bergen. Never heard of him? I find it surprising but some ventriloquists haven’t. His characterizations deserve to be studied.
F is for Fator. Terry is one of the best in the business.
G is for Gottle O’ Geer. If you say it this way, you need to work on your B’s.
H is for Haven. The Vent Haven Museum is the only museum dedicated to this art.
I is for Bob Isaacson. A great ventriloquist who is truly missed. R.I.P. Bob.
J is for Jay Johnson. His talent is unmatched.
K is for Kevin Johnson. Have you seen his Godzilla Theatre?
L is for listening. Record your practices and listen to your speech to see where you need to improve.
M is for McCarthy. Charlie McCarthy was once as famous as Mickey Mouse and even inspired Disney’s merchandising!
N is for Nina Conti. She continues to help keep ventriloquism in the public view.
O is for ovation. The reward for those thousands of hours of practice.
P is for Practice: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”
Q is for Quality. Working hard to improve your act and making sure your act is top notch.
R is for Rehearsal. Don’t skimp on this important ingredient.
S is for Showmanship. Showmanship is the secret ingredient that turns a good act into a great act.
T is for Talent – Ventriloquism is an art and a skill, but just doing it doesn’t mean you have talent.
U is for under-rated talent. Ventriloquism is a tough thing to learn if you want to do it correctly. A lot of people and other entertainers look down on ventriloquists because so few actually take the time to master the art. When you do master it – you really stand out in the world of entertainment.
V is for Ventriloquist. Learn the skill, otherwise there is nothing wrong with being a puppeteer.
W is for watch. Watch the masters, watch the beginners, watch technique and be honest with yourself as to what is good and what is bad. You can learn from everyone, even if it is what not to do.
X is for X-rated. You don’t need to be dirty to be a success. Clean comedy is hard to do but offers you more chances to work and earn a living. And before you remind me of Jeff’s success – I’m not knocking foul language – there are audiences and venues for that. I’m just making a point that some entertainers learn too late. Clean comedy offers more opportunities to work and hone your skills, especially when getting a start.
Y is for you. You are the only one who can make the magic happen for you. You will get out of this only in relation to what you put into learning. Be open to the lessons of others.
Z is for Zerdin. Paul Zerdin is a highly skilled ventriloquist from the U.K. and a previous winner of America’s Got Talent.
Z is also for ZZzzzzzzzzz – if you went to sleep reading this I can’t blame you.