One of the biggest questions when starting out as an entertainer is "How do I get my start?". Which is a very important question. I mean after all, you've already worn out your welcome with your family and your friends. If they hear another ventriloquist routine in their lives it will be too soon! And are they really an "unbiased" group anyway? I know that my parents always thought I was funny (at least that's what they told me). My friends could be more brutal than productive. So where to perform, where to perform.
First of all, your best critic is yourself (actually, I think the saying goes is your worst critic is yourself) but that is because you want to be perfect. So, if you have a camcorder and some time, record your routine and watch it. As a matter of fact, I would demand that you do this, before you ever go public. Watch everything about your show and if you feel confident with it. Now is the time to "get your start".
Now if you have an "R" rated routine do not follow these instructions. I have no advice for you other than hitting the amateur nights at the local comedy clubs. Believe me, if you stink you'll know if and if your a hit you'll know it as well. But for the majority of you, open up your phone book and check these resources, Nursing Homes, Homes for the Elderly, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs and your local libraries. Now these, for the most part, are not going to be paying shows. Nursing Homes and Homes for the elderly are on tight budgets and won't pay much but they do give you a lot of experience and the folks there love it. Libraries will pay good but if your just starting out you don't want to charge too much, just explain your situation to them and ask them if you can do a short routine and then have a story time with the children. Note about libraries, keep religion out of your routine, they frown on this and my never invite you back!
These are just a few places that love new entertainment and gives you the practice and the experience to start performing at larger venues and making the big bucks! Until next time.