11/9/11

That Ugly Word!

By Howard Olson

I first learned the true meaning of this word many years ago.  The Great Lester, the world's greatest ventriloquist, was appearing at a high class restaurant in New York City.  I lost no time in securing a reservation.  After the show I went upstairs to his dressing room to renew an old friendship.

As I approached the door I heard his voice ...he was doing diaphragm exercises and running through the alphabet in his vent voice.  I knocked and was invited in with typical Lester greeting.  After giving him the congratulations he deserved, I asked him why he was doing basic exercises.

He told me that the minute he gave up these exercises he would no longer be considered the top man in his profession.  He said the secret of his success was keeping in top shape at all times.  I asked him if this meant practice.

"That is an ugly word, isn't it?" he asked.  "Practice."  He said the word without a sign of lip movement or muscle quiver.

Needless to say, I changed my mind about that ugly word on the spot.  It was the turning point of my career.  I give it credit for helping me get top billing.  The top money I received made that word turn from ugly to BEAUTIFUL!
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Condensed from an article by the same title from The Ventriloquist Treasury of Ideas, published by Maher Ventriloquist Studios 1974.  A copy of this out of print 64 page book is for sale now at eBay auction:  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290630355009

1 comment:

  1. This truly made me think :-) PRACTICE!

    ReplyDelete