As you try to get established as a Vent in your part of
the Country, you already know most of the basics for
performing. You know that you have to have the skills of
Ventriloquism fairly well polished, but getting your first
several bookings can be a real obstacle. The “business”
side of the art can be a real tripping hazard if you don’t
take the time and effort to market yourself and your skills.
Once you begin to get known, getting more bookings becomes
much easier because every show that you do can also become
a reference to point at. This is another reason that you
cannot afford to leave less than a good taste in EVERY
customer’s mouth. But getting those first bookings can be
a real traumatic experience. Fortunately there is not a
single “right way” to go about it. You must be prepared to
try whatever works for you. Be ready to be flexible. If
you try one thing and it does not work, be prepared to try
something different. If that does not work, switch off to
yet another avenue of effort. Do NOT get discouraged.
Keep trying. You will eventually find one or more things
that do work for you.
Here are just a couple of things to try.
We have tried to figure out why some of our customers are such fun to deal with while others are . . .not so much.
We have concluded that it boils down to the way folks conduct themselves. Some of our friends just let you know kind of what they want and they sit back and have the “surprise me” attitude about the results. These are the folks that are almost always the happiest with the product that they get.
They know that by giving as much space as possible to the Maker, the Maker has more room to run with no ideas and concepts. For a true artist, this lets their wild imaginations run free and they can be at their most creative. Good for the Maker. . .Good for the customer.
Stop for a minute and think about some of the best Ventriloquists you have ever seen. Then think about the ones that you remember that seemed the most “lifeless” and were just a puppet with a moving mouth. Even though the ventriloquist was good and had not lip movement, if the rest of the puppet just “sat there” without moving, the act was at best only half as good as it could have been.
If the puppet is talking and telling the audience that he/she has a bad head cold and then raises his hand to rub his/her nose that is great effect for those watching. A female puppet can run her hand through her hair to show that she is (or at least thinks herself) good looking and trying to get attention.
In a children’s show, a puppet can (with posable fingers) reach up and pick his (we know that a girl would not do this) nose while clearing his throat. The possibilities are almost endless. Nothing will get a laugh from young kids like seeing someone pick their nose. It is juvenile, but it is effective for a good laugh.
Although we can never get enough pictures back from you good folks, now and then we get some that are a bit unusual. Some for the pictures themselves, and some for the circumstances surrounding the pictures.
A while back we got to be friends with a gentleman named Steven van der Vyver. As we began to get to know him we found out that his idol as a youngster was Percy Sledge (a very famous musician some years ago for you who might be a bit young).
We want to suggest a way for find some new ideas this week. We are not suggesting that you steal material from anyone, but now and then you want to find little ways to get new ideas to use in your show.
We have an idea for you that is very enjoyable. Simply take some time and go to Youtube. Don’t search for a particular ventriloquist. Rather just search “ventriloquists” and begin watching as many videos as you have time for. Take some notes if you spot a new technique that you can use in your act.