It's Only A Puppet

From John Byrd

Recently, I have tried being proactive with kids. I start by asking if they know what a ventriloquist is. I explain that a ventriloquist has three jobs. 1. Talk without moving his lips, 2. Make the puppet seem like he is alive, 3. Be funny and entertaining. I also tell them that they are an audience and an audience has some jobs also. 1. Laugh when something is funny, 2. Clap when I bring out a puppet and when I put the puppet away, 3. Pretend the puppet is real and enjoy the show, 4. Do not talk to others during the show because they may not hear something funny.

Sometimes kids still interrupt and say "that's not a real bird, that's a puppet." Then I can gently remind them that we talked about puppets and that my job is to make them seem real and their job is to pretend that they are real and to enjoy the show.

That process has worked well for me so far.
John Byrd, Ventriloquist

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