We all need guidance, especially when we are trying to master something new. To learn something is to understand the complexities of what makes it work. That’s why it so vitally important to get the proper training from an EXPERT in the field. That’s today’s topic…what to look for in a good mentor.
A mentor can be anyone, but usually people seek out someone who has the knowledge and experience to teach it a positive way. Often we see people who only have a very limited knowledge in ventriloquism try to teach it to someone else. When that happens bad habits creep in or the novice vent doesn’t get the building blocks necessary to carry him or herself to the top, the top being what they want to achieve with their vent work.
The FIRST thing to look for in a great mentor is if the mentor was successful in the field of ventriloquism. Does this mentor have the background to be able to teach vent? Look to see what and where the mentor has been doing. Have they written books on the subject? Have they taught or lectured on the various aspects of ventriloquism? Have you watched any videos or seen them perform live, even in small segments?
Look to see if the vent mentor has taught others and what have others had to say about the teachings of this person. Was it a valuable resource for the student or a waste of time and money? A new vent muct choose wisely when it comes to this area.
It is also advisable to see if this would-be mentor has published articles in trade publications so you can see what their philosophy is when it comes to performing. You certainly don’t want to work with someone who’s methods make you feel uncomfortable. It would be a constant internal battle for the novice vent to try and adhere to something against the grain.
You might also look to see if the mentor has a field of specialty in ventriloquism. If you are a children’s performer it might be advisable to work with a mentor who has lots of experience in this area. Likewise for those who aspire to do shows primarily for adult audiences or family style. Find the right fit is the key here.
The Maher Team of Tom Crowl, Ken Groves, and Mark Wade have the kind of experience that we have talked about. Check out the Maher site and drop each one (or the one you think would work) and see if one of this team would take you on as a special mentoring student. Why learn things the incorrect way when you could be well on your way to doing vent the BEST way! Three pro vents are waiting to hear from you!
To contact Mark Wade: firstname.lastname@example.org