Everyone is busy. It can be hard to carve out time to play. Ventriloquism should be fun and playful. You are more likely to do things you enjoy than something that frustrates you.
It is important to understand the difference between practice and rehearsal. Practice is when you work on parts of your act. Rehearsal is when you put all the parts together and work on your show.
With that in mind, you can practice anywhere. Practice lip control or your scripts when driving. Do your ABC’s in the shower. Have a few minutes, grab a puppet and practice your manipulation skills. You can even practice keeping the puppet moving and “alive” while you watch TV.
The more you practice, the better you should become. But that isn’t always the case. You have to pay attention to what is working. That is why I encourage students to video record their practices when possible. Then watch the recording.
When you look in a mirror, you miss the big picture. You may be focused on one area of the skill. When you have video, you can watch it over and over. This lets you isolate the skills and see how you are doing. You can study everything as compared to just one thing.
Chances are, if you watch the video several times, you will find things you don’t like. Then practice those skills and try again. It is important you don’t try to reinvent the wheel each time too. Record the same thing you had before. That way you will notice any improvements right away! It reinforces the work you are putting in and that part of your act will be so much better!
So take a few minutes several times a day. Practice and have fun. Your audiences will appreciate the effort and reward you with their applause.