How would you answer this?

From Blog Reader: "I have a big dilemma. I crave involvement with vent and wish to start a part-time vent career using the skills I have leaned through the Maher Course. But I have absolutely no support from my wife. She thinks vent is silly and childish, and there must be something wrong with me for liking it so much. My wife acts as though my entire existence should be spent working, either at the office or at home. What is wrong with having a hobby so long as it does not take priority over the important things? Do you have any advice on such an issue?" WL


  1. wow, your question reminded me of my now ex wife!! Please I am not saying the 'd' word here but I will tell you my ex HATED puppets and vent. My first vent convention in '93 I bought a puppet and I called her at home and told her I bought a silly puppet to practice with. Her response was ok you buy a puppet I can buy something. When I got home from the convention my home had all new furniture cost me over $3000. My ex used to put carrot sticks and jelly beans in my dummy's head, oh she was cruel. My advise here is take it slow. think of it like swallowing an ice cube. If you try and swallow it solid, you will choke, but let it melt in your mouth and then it is easier to swallow. Your wife only knows you as a vent. Let her see that BIG money can be made, Let her see smiles and laughter from children, Let her see adults forget about the worries of the world and see them laughing in your show. Support is very crucial. You will also need therapy, make sure you have a friend to call or meet for coffee. Doing vent alone with no friends or support will only make it tougher for you and your wife will only see you and not the wonderful support you can receive. If you want to call me, check out my website www.mrpuppet.com If there is anyone that had no support while doing vent early in my career it's ME!!!

    side note: My currant and only wife now is the best support I could ask for.

  2. Scott Brekken brekkeb7/22/2011

    My wife thought that keeping my juro Jerry Mahoney in his tux was dumb and was happy when I sold it. She thought it was dumb when I bought a mike brose kit and made a copy of Mortimer snerd for myself. But after we sat down and watched a jeff Dunham video and she actually laughed! I over heard her telling her mom what a great job I did on Mortimer. Some people just don't get it that vent is COMEDY!

  3. Anonymous7/22/2011

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy ... and Jill a dull girl!

  4. Anonymous7/22/2011

    Marry your Dummy !

  5. Dear Blog Reader; What you're experiencing with your wife is the 1st stage that every ventriloquist has to go through with their family in 1 way or another. You ask any 1 of us and the stories will be similar about family members however if you make it big in the business, watch them come to you thinking you're the best. I think this happens because people think entertainment can't be a regular job however in today's economy, how can you say that your full time job's secure? My thoughts to you is go for it. If the family doesn't come around, like my brother, sister and Mom, and doing vent makes your feel great making people laugh, DO IT.

  6. Anonymous7/22/2011

    What's wrong with being silly and childish. Always follow your heart. Life's too short not to. If you start making decent money with ventriloquism your wife's attitude will totally change. There are several silly ventriloquist making millions. Maybe you could do the same. My father acted the same way. Though when he was in one of my audiences he was my biggest fan.

    Even if you only do it for fun your spouse should support you. I'm sure that you would do the same.

  7. Hello WL, write and study a nice funny dialogue for you and the figure, that suites on a family-party. Everybody will be astonished and pleased and make compliments to you ... and your wife! She'll be proud. That's the best 'coming-out'!

  8. Anonymous7/22/2011

    I agree with Bob. Tell her how you can eventually make MONEY,doing birthday parties, festivals, fairs, schools, etc {you don't HAVE to end up in vegas}, & you may just see a change. "MONEY. The root of all women!" {well, except Mrs. D & the scant few others of her ilk, like my lady friend, i'm sure} Bill Smith

  9. Your wife's take on things is common these days because there is a lack of education about the history of ventriloquism (and similarly cartoon animation.) Both art forms used to be intended for adults but have come to be only associated with kid-stuff. Nowadays, most people only know of ventriloquism by way of the toy versions of what were serious, adult entertainment acts. (for the most part--Winchell started that way but transitioned into a kid-friendly act later.)

    (Come to think of it, I experience the same reaction to playing the ukulele--an instrument a lot of people think of as a toy because it is small and cute.)

    You can try to convey the serious aspects of ventriloquism: that it's actually a difficult skill to master--the only children that can do it got there by exhibiting an adult-like work ethic to developing the ability--but mostly you just have to take it seriously yourself. Work on your skills, build an act and go do shows. I recommend looking into retirement facilities and libraries. (build a kid and/or seniors act accordingly, of course.) Senior centers are especially great because they tend to schedule events for afternoons or early evenings. (A plus in my experience as my wife gets grumpy about too many late night shows.) They often have entertainment budgets. (let's face it, people take something you're getting paid for more seriously.) And performing for senior audiences is just especially gratifying. They are always really appreciative. (work in some old tunes from their era and they're in your pocket.)

  10. Anonymous7/22/2011

    I'm laughing so hard at all the replies above.
    I told my kids (all adults now) that i was thinking of getting a vent and they looked at me and told me that they used to think that I was normal and now they think that I am stranger than Mom.

    As soon as I heard that, I ordered my vent and it is being shipped today. Haven't told my wife yet so I have no advice to give except...do what makes you happy and if your wife doesn't like it....well, you still have a good friend to be with, your vent.

  11. Anonymous7/22/2011

    I think Bob Abdou said it best, but I'd just like to mention that there is more here than simply your wife thinking your interest in vent is silly and childish. You could still pursue vent but also pursue opening the bridges of dialogue and communication and understanding and affirmation with your wife. When one spouse can't be supportive of the deep interests (obviously if you've completed the Maher course and you are still interested in vent your interest is not a passing fad) the other, then the relationship you two share needs to be evaluated and you both need to evaluate how you can be more supportive of the other and if either one of you continues to be so unsupportive then is that really healthy?

    I think not.

  12. Work hard to make your act strong... then earn a lot and be FAMOUS then your wife will see the light :)


  13. Anonymous7/23/2011

    Try Prayer?

    John D. Magician

  14. Anonymous7/23/2011

    My first wife didn't know I was a vent as I had been away from it for a while. When my passion for vent re-awakened and I brought my figure
    home from my old room at my parent's house there was fireworks!
    Instead of "You're really good at that", I got yelled at. It turned out that
    years ago she got frightened watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The Glass Eye"
    on television. As much as I tried to sooth her fears, the marriage ended
    a few years later. My second, and "for the rest of my life" wife is my biggest vent cheerleader. She is behind me being a vent 200%.
    Life is sweet!!

    Tom Farrell

  15. Hi, as a kid of 12, who finally got my first vent, nothing fancy, a pull string on the neck, but it was mine, and I fell in love with Venting before I knew what a Ventriloquist was, I had a lot of greaf from other kids and adults, who said I was a sissy, because I played with Dolls, It went on for about a year, Even though I was not formally trained, I was actually getting good until, a I took it to school, and The teacher took it away from me for playing with it in class, I lost my friend and never got him back, But, last september when my son said he saw Jeff Dunham and wanted to become a Ventololgitist, I knew what he ment and I got him a string Dunny. to play with, as well as bought a case of the President Bush soft figures, and sold a few on E-bay, but, my son was taken from me as well as my Daughter, Who are being abused and I can not help them, the crooked courts, no wonder thre Anthony case went sour, I have always wanted to become a Ventriloquest, but now I have a house full of Dummies and no kids to play with them, I have been practising, in hopes to make money to save my children who are in danger and the courts are covering up the truth. If I ever see my son and Daughter again, I will be proud to see them Vent with the Dummies, even if they are Just Dolls, Incourage your children and other members of your family to become a ventriloquist, It isn't babish or stupid to Vent, it is cool, Just watch Jeff Dunham, Mark Wade, and other great Vents that are a part of Mr. D.'s blog, I have learnt so much on here, and the people are great. i hope to raise money to rescue my kids before it is too late, please pray for Pauline and Nathan's safety before it is too late.

  16. Tiffany Cox7/25/2011

    First of all, so sorry to hear about Pauline and Nathan. You and they are in my thoughts.

    Back to my answer to the question: There's some great advice here! (except for marrying your figure. LOL!) I just wanted to add that, often, work is what you do and hobbies are who you are. This is more noticeable when you've retired due to age, health, or, hopefully, your hobby making enough money. Also, vent and puppetry are frequently seen as "kid stuff" -- but never forget that both can be elevated to art.

    If the above ideas don't work and she still doesn't support your hobby -- and, by extension, who you are -- you're going to need outside support (like those of us here at Mr. D's blog!) and/or counseling. You deserve to do what you love... even if it never makes a dime.

    Personally, I don't mind being called silly. Some of us see it as a compliment! But I'd be pretty upset if my husband thought there was something wrong with me for playing with puppets. I'd be afraid of starting to believe him.

  17. Anonymous7/26/2011

    So glad I got into vent. Since my job was relocated offshore, my hobby is becoming a new way to help pay the bills. And, after his initial shock, my husband is most supportive... At least I won't be bored in my forced retirement...lol.