I was going through some archives and found this great article by one of our regular contributors, ventriloquist Bob Abdou (AKA Mr. Puppet).
It’s such a good article, I thought I would share it with you again:
Talent by Ventriloquist Bob Abdou
I love teaching ventriloquism to the next generation of inspiring vents. My 17 years of experience of listening, learning, quitting, crying, sweating, quitting, laughing, smiling, borrowing, quitting and finally winning has molded me to be who I am today…
broke, bald and hungry. Ok, I’m not broke or hungry, but my point is you want to get anywhere in a career you must pay your dues. I look back to see what I have accomplished to where I am today and I see the same pattern in all performers. I have come to realize that to get on top of your game there are 4 lessons to live by ( in this order).
This is the lesson I teach
1)Play 2) Imitate 3) talent 4) timing
Let me explain each one, in the style of the Beatles
When the Beatles first began, ( sorry to say this ) but they were terrible, they couldn’t perform for anyone, that is why the 4 lads entertained themselves on stage, They laughed, smiled, made rude remarks to the audience. Once the audience saw that they were having fun, so did the audience. The important word is “Play”. You must learn to play on stage, with your props, with the audience, with other performers and most importantly “Yourself”. Once you are comfortable in your own skin, it’s time to take it to the next level
If you listened to the early songs of the Beatles, they sang other people’s songs. They were not the song writers they later became. They imitated everyone that was successful around them. When a performer starts out, they will follow in the footsteps of those who inspire them to do what they do. Do you do a Kermit act??? Do you do Senor Wences hand act?? The joke books from Maher studios, written by Bill Boley and others were made for a reason. You got a dummy, You have a desire to perform but have no act, so buy a book. I still do the Bill Boley routine with my bird puppet, not only as a tribute to Bill but the act works!!!!
Ok, this takes time. George Burns once said about talent that you either got it or you don’t. If you got it or want it, you must pay your dues to achieve it. What does it take to get talent. It is like trying to explain true love, you just know it. Here are some clues to show if you got talent. Nobody gets out of their seats when you perform. Nobody looks at their watch when you perform. Your 30 minute show turns into a 45 minute show because the audience is laughing soooooo much. The Beatles knew they had talent when they were approached by big wigs in the biz. When others approach you after a show to say how wonderful and funny you are, they you got it.
The joke goes, what does it take to tell a great joke….timing!! I remember when I was in my 20’s and I had to make dinner for myself. I made spaghetti. I never cooked spaghetti before but I know how it is done. I boiled the water and put the spaghetti in the pot. I did not know how long so I took it out and poured sauce on it and ate it. After a few bites I thought to myself…I didn’t think spaghetti was supposed to be crunchy!! Duh, I did not cook it enough. The point is Timing!! The Beatles got their Break long before Ed Sullivan but doing his show just made them even more desirable. Terry Fator’s time finally came for him and I say good for him,
he deserves it cause his win is a win for all of us. Meghan Miller’s timing will come and others will follow.
With this new buzz about ventriloquism that will sweep America, ventriloquists now have to follow in Terry’s footsteps and do a good performance, no…….do a GREAT performance. By doing this it will make us all feel like a million bucks too!!!
Also, don’t forget, Bob will be one of the performers at the Ventriloquist Central Birthday Bash. You won’t want to miss it.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger
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