When talking about ventriloquism, how unique does an act have to be. I mean, do we really have to be that unique to make sure that we get bookings? Do we have to do something that no other ventriloquist is doing? Let me give you a few examples: Terry Fator does impressions, Jim Barber does the Barber and Seville where "He" is the dummy. If we are not this creative, should we hang up our figures and go buy some Tenyo products and convert to magic (I didn't just say that did I?).
I know that we have to be creative, heaven knows if you are a good ventriloquist you already are, somewhat, creative. I am not knocking any of the unique ventriloquists out there. I think their acts are great. What I am saying though is that if you have a good routine, and it is just a dialogue between you and your figure, that's O.K.. In all reality, what is Jeff Dunham's show. A dialogue with Peanut, Jose, Walter and whatever other figures he uses for that show. Mind you, it is some very creative dialogue, but it is dialogue none the less. So this takes us to a whole different idea of unique.
A jalapeno on a stick. Unique? You betcha. How about a woozle? Again, an astounding YES! And can anybody say that Walter is not unique? Absolutely not. This is just one of the things that has made Jeff so popular. His characters are unique. So, being unique does not necessarily mean that your whole vent routine is unique. Maybe it's just your characters that are unique. And, to be quite honest with you, I have seen people take Axtell puppets and make them unique. Mind you, this may be a little more difficult to do, being that there are so many ventriloquist that have the same puppet. But with a little creativity, you can make it unique.
I'll tell you one thing I like about Jeff's characters. Sweet Daddy Dee, he started out with a Selberg figure, then designed his own around that character. The same with Melvin, the superhero. He started out with an Oddballs and Orphens figure, came up with the routine, then designed his own figure. As creative and talented as Jeff is, he has that luxury. Unfortunately, many of us aren't as talented. So, can we still make the characters unique? Let me just close with this question. If Jeff was still using the Selberg and Kristin Peterson character, would they be unique? And the answer is ..................................................................... YES! So get working on making your characters unique. More later.