LEARN WHAT NOT TO DO !
You can learn a lot by watching all kinds of performances, whether it be vent, magic, or some other variety arts. Many useful tips and tricks can be learned by observing the stagecraft of others, including what you should NOT do on stage.
I never try to belittle another’s performance or even make suggestions unless I am asked. I feel a performer should discover what works by actually doing live performances and then doing a self examination as to the results. A good performer knows when the show went well or needs some work. Often we are our hardest and strictest critics. But you CAN learn something from every act you watch, and that will help lead to growth.
My wife is a keen observer and, as a professional clown and magician, went to many conventions. She watched diligently and took mental notes of various performers, and now does this as she watches vent acts. Without being over critical or judgmental she knows when something can be improved upon ..and she also knows when something is just short of spectacular. We often review acts that we have seen (just between us) and we both learn from watching the rank amateur to the seasoned pro. Some have great stage presence and their acts flow effortlessly, while other seem to struggle with themselves onstage.
Never think you are above learning from watching all levels of performers. Sometimes you can get a gem that you can keep for your own act. Even learning what NOT to do can help you be a better you!
Just because you get paid for a show does not mean your learning days are over, that you have “arrived”. Classroom time is everyday and with every performance you watch, whether it’s life or on television. Be a sponge for learning and move forward to being a better ventriloquist.
Mark Wade is considered to be “America’s Foremost Children’s Ventriloquist” and is an international author, lecturer, and performer. You can reach him at: email@example.com