First show - any advice?

Comment: I am new to ventriloquism and am looking forward to performing. I am also a bit apprehensive. I am performing this tonight at a variety show. I am a Toastmaster and did a speech with my Ventriloquist Dummy, the response was great. Bruce

* * * * * *
From Clinton: First shows are always exciting but can be intimidating because confidence comes through experience. But I've learned that the audience response to a first effort is almost always more positive and enthusiastic than the apprehensive performer expects. You were wise to join Toastmasters. I've heard nothing but positive comments from ventriloquists who took advantage of what Toastmasters offers. And now I will ask your fellow blog readers if they have any tips, suggestions or advice for you, and others in similar circumstances. mahertalk@aol.com


  1. Anonymous2/05/2010

    Dear Bruce, If you are a Toastmaster and have completed the first 10 speaches you are way ahead of the game! Obviously, the use of props points to your use of. Doctor Moody, your companion figure.
    If you have good material, and can add lib, you will be well accepted. Folks really like to be entertained, so they will be on your side. When you are working with your figure, engage it as you would a real person, look at it, have it look at you when it speaks, and look away when appropriate toward the audience and use your own facial expressions and his, were possible, to show various emotions. Practice in front of a mirror and then video yourself. If you make a mistake that is obvious, have your figure chide you for it. You will not only get laughs but you will get some sympathy. A great way to practice ad lib's is to have a conversation with your figure when you are driving, [ sans the figure of course ] or any time or place you can. You can even audio tape these conversations and they will help you come up with ideas, timing. Comments about road conditions, things you see, or anything that pops into your minds, will aid you in practicing a natural flow to your conversations with him. Good luck and welcome to the club. Joe, "Capt. Joe" Radle. P.S. I also have a doctor Moody figure and I have a lot of fun with him and his nurse, Agatha. They can work together or alone as I wish. JBR :o)

  2. Anonymous2/07/2010

    Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it ! Well I did the show last Friday and did receive god feedback. But from my own observations I "choked". I guess I thought this because I went away from my intended script on lost my way. Anyway it was a great learning opportunity and will give me motivation to push on.
    Thanks again for your encouragement.

  3. If I had a dollar for every time I strayed from the planned script I could purchase a Selberg figure! However, some of the best material comes from such unplanned happenings, so don't fear them. Learn from them (as you did) and when such events work out to be better than what was planned, embrace the experience.

  4. Anonymous2/11/2010

    Dear Bruce, reading your own comments on the performance I have these added comments to make.
    Don't be afraid to use a cheat strip or progress card kept in your sight only, like lying flat on the puppet stand, or just hung behind it, or pinned to the back of the puppet out of audience sight. Simple one word progressions will help to keep you on track at a glance; Example: Trip here, elevator, lost way, bathroom, nurse station, patient remarked, lost shoe, water bottle, buy me lunch, Say good bye, etc. If this runs verticle it will be easier to keep track of. I often use this aid to keep me on point, especially where jumping ahead by accident might negate a section of the bit I think is important. If you do miss something, just continue if that section won't make or break the bit. Just roll with the flow. You can even have your puppet remind you that you forgot something. There's many ways around lost ways.

    Best Regards Joe Radle aka "Capt. Joe "