Ventriloquism Tips For Kids Entertainers
Great to be here on Kids Entertainer Hub. I’m a ventriloquist who specializes in children’s entertaining. It doesn’t matter what our chosen skill is, be it balloon twisting or facepainting or juggling we all have that common ground of entertaining children. There is so much value in what you will find written here for all kids performers. This 12 part series covers …
This 12 part series covers:
1. Three-Step Rule Important for Vent Staging
2. Pre-School Show Set Up
3. Easy Carrying Cases For Vents
4. Using Banners and Signs
5. The Corporate Kidshow
6. Be Careful With Your Scripts!
7. Full Body or 1/2 Body Puppets?
8. The Library Show
9. Costuming For The Show
10. Audience Volunteers
11. How To Attract New Customers
12. Stage or Floor Set-Up? How To Adapt
Let’s get into it right now with my…
Three-Step Rule Important for Vent Staging
One of the most important aspects for doing a ventriloquist show for kids is getting the equipment “blocked” or set correctly. That means knowing where every piece of equipment goes, where each puppet is located, even down to how the puppet is placed in a suitcase or trunk. Timing with kids is everything and I want to explore this with you in this first column.
I have seen well-intentioned performers lose their kidshow audience by simply having their props placed too far away from themselves. The vent says “I have to get my little friend” and then walks several feet away to get him. This leaves a gaping hole in the show, an awkward “stage wait” that is a vacuum. If I have learned anything about kids at shows it is that they hate a vacuum, or dead spot. That’s when the kids will lose their focus on you and the show and start getting noisy or into trouble. Believe me, you don’t want to get kids on this path because it is hard to bring them back.
I use what I call the “3-Step Rule”. I have a side stand with my suitcase, and on my other side I have a table with either props or a vent related item. The microphone goes in the center of my performing area and I then put each of these items exactly three steps to either the left or right of me. I keep the equipment tight by me so as to narrow the visual focus of the audience on me at all times. I can got to my left, one-two-three steps, pick up a puppet, and then go one-two- three steps back to the center to my microphone. I can cover with applause my steps over to the trunk and back again so the audience is engaged in doing something while I am retrieving my character. Same thing goes for picking up an object on my side table, I cover it in three steps.
This has worked well for me for a long time and hopefully for you too! Next installment we talk about HOW TO SET UP A PRE-SCHOOL SHOW where I can save you a lot of time with some simple tips.