Ventriloquist shows have risen in popularity thanks to a couple of very prominent entertainers.
Jeff Dunham draws huge ratings on Comedy Central. His act is listed as the top grossing touring comedian by Forbes Magazine. One of his tours even made the Guiness Book of World Records for most tickets sold.
Ventriloquist Terry Fator won America’s Got Talent. He ended up signing the largest contract ever offered to a reality TV show contest winner. Now Terry headlines his own show, in his own theater, in Las Vegas.
Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin of the UK followed Terry’s feat by winning America’s Got Talent in 2015.
Ventriloquist Nina Conti has exploded on social media for her stage performances using the Human Puppet mask. (Little known fact – when Nina wanted to purchase a mask, she contacted Tom for information.)
While some may not realize it, ventriloquist shows have been around much longer than today’s current crop of stars.
Edgar Bergen became famous for his radio show, which made him one of the biggest stars of his day. Ventriloquist Paul Winchell had his own television program and voiced many popular cartoon characters. Ventriloquist Senor Wences was so popular on the Ed Sullivan Show that they named a street in New York after him. Ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson made the Nestle’ Chocolate jingle famous. Shari Lewis entertained and educated children for generations with her puppet Lamb Chop.
If you have an audience of mixed age ranges, few things will appeal to them like a ventriloquist show. Although it may not be the first form of entertainment people think about, it will be remembered!
Tom works with you to personalize his ventriloquist show to your event’s theme, message and audience. From a full show to a quick laugh break or even as emcee – he helps you create a atmosphere of hilarity.
To learn more about a ventriloquist show and how Tom can help you create an amazing entertainment experience, contact our office today.
Are you looking for Ventriloquists? No two ventriloquist acts are the same. For example, you may want a ventriloquist who works corporate events such as conference dinners. That is not the ventriloquist you would hire for a child’s birthday party.
Some ventriloquists have no problem working outdoors in a fair or festival environment. Others prefer indoor venues with staging, lights and curtains.
There are hundreds of ventriloquists at various skill levels. How can you tell which is right for you?
Here are some ventriloquist booking tips to help:
1. Find a ventriloquist who specializes in the type of event you are hosting.
2. Make sure the ventriloquist fits the show you envision. Do you want to hire a ventriloquist like Jeff Dunham? Jeff keeps audiences in hysterics, but is edgier and not always clean. Do you need a squeaky clean comedy ventriloquist show? Perhaps something PG-13.
3. Find out if the ventriloquist has experience entertaining your type of audience. How often do they perform for executives of a company at corporate events? Or do they mostly work six year old birthday parties? You want to make certain they can entertain your guests.
4. Watch video of their act. Does it engage you? Does it make you laugh? Don’t just settle for the laugh tracks on the video. They can be added. Or the audience may have been laughing at how bad the ventriloquist was. If the video doesn’t make you laugh, or you have questions about it, ask to see more.
5. Get references. If you aren’t comfortable, check them! Previous clients will give you insights from the event planner’s point of view.
6. Find out what the ventriloquist needs for the show. Do they carry all props? What about sound equipment? What do you need to provide? That may add to your budget. Never hire a ventriloquist without knowing these things upfront.
7. Discuss the event. Know what time the ventriloquist will arrive to set up and sound check. Find out their policy if your event runs long and they must start late. Will they be flexible, or headed out the door for another show?
8. Ask about their cancellation policy, their postponement policy and their travel requirements if any.
9. Request a contract. Get everything in writing.
10. Understand that not all ventriloquists are the same. Each handles their business and performance in different ways. If one ventriloquist is not right for your event, that doesn’t mean you should give up. A reputable ventriloquist will tell you if they are not right for your event. They will also offer suggestions to help you hire a ventriloquist that is.
When you want to book ventriloquists
for corporate events, conventions, awards banquets,
meetings, seminars, or a college, contact our office.
Tom is recognized as one of the top professional corporate comedy ventriloquists in the business. He works with you to create event entertainment that will generate raving reviews.
Want to hire a professional ventriloquist today? Start the conversation now. Ventriloquism is an extremely popular form of comedy entertainment. Make sure you plan early to hire a ventriloquist that will make your event memorable!
When hosting your next event in Maryland, don’t chance the entertainment. You need more than a ventriloquist. You need an act:
that will keep your audience laughing,
generate positive comments from guests
and make you look brilliant for hiring the right entertainer.
As popular as ventriloquists are, there are very few good ventriloquist acts. Most ventriloquists are part time performers with little experience. A ventriloquist with joke book comedy and limited skills can be excruciating for audiences.
The difference a professional ventriloquist makes …
Maryland ventriloquist Tom Crowl is a full time professional ventriloquist. Based in Westminster, Maryland, Crowl travels nationally & internationally entertaining audiences. A touring ventriloquist comedian, Tom has headlined corporate events across the United States. His ventriloquist show has also been featured at resorts and on cruise ships.
Crowl is recognized as a leader in the world of ventriloquism. In 2012, Tom launched the first on-line virtual ventriloquism course. Today, his course helps thousands of students across the globe learn the art of ventriloquism.
With thousands of performances under his belt, Tom brings experience to your event. Your audience and event is the only thing that matters. He understands how to connect with diverse audiences of different age ranges and occupations.
When you talk, the first thing Tom does is ask about your event. He wants to be sure the entertainment is a good mix for your needs. Otherwise your entertainment budget is blown and no one benefits.
If you are looking for a Maryland ventriloquist in:
It may seem like you just celebrated the holidays. Isn’t it a bit early to start thinking about next year? It is never too early. The best Christmas party entertainment usually gets booked well in advance. That isn’t to say you can’t find a great act at the last minute, but why add the stress to your holiday event planning?
This year host a show that highlights your company and guests. Clean comedy for corporate Christmas parties, clubs, and private holiday events. Tom keeps your audience laughing no matter if it is adult, family or focused on the kids.
A fun show that could be one of your best Christmas party ideas ever! Ideal for company employee parties and celebrating families.
Tom presents a ventriloquist show jam-packed with fun and entertainment for the whole family. If you enjoy laugh out loud comedy ventriloquism, this show is a must-see!
Crowl’s ventriloquist Christmas show has performed at major corporate parties across the United States. Toyota, Pepsi, Oxy Permain, & Hutchinson Mayrath are just a few of the companies to enjoy Crowl’s humor.
“From top management down, it has been said this is one of the best Christmas parties that we’ve had. Thank you, thank you Tom for the wonderful time!”
– Shanna B. Oxy Permian, Midland, TX
Today companies want to celebrate the holidays without offending a diverse workforce. Crowl’s show is funny, focused & pokes fun at the season while keeping sensitivities in mind.
Try something different this coming holiday season. Talk to Tom about his ventriloquist Christmas show today. Dates go fast, so plan early to ensure availability.
Corporate entertainment with an emphasis on personalized comedy.
The first ventriloquist book I remember reading was Ventriloquism For Beginners by Douglas Holden. The subject was fascinating, unfortunately the explanation was confusing.
Teaching someone how to speak using the written word is not easy. We speak sounds, not letters. Still, books are a traditional method for teaching the art.
In putting this article together, I found several sites offering free book downloads. Others offering free ventriloquist book pdfs. I did not check any further than opening the page. None of the sites looked trustworthy of a download. That can be a sure way to pick up a computer virus.
If you want to be a ventriloquist, my online ventriloquist training is still the way to go. I teach you start to finish in virtual lessons. You can interact and ask questions in the online forum. You’ll make friends with others on the same path as you.
Can’t afford the online course? Ventriloquist books are a good alternative. Below is a list of books you may want to consider.
Ventriloquist Course Books: The Maher Course Of Ventriloquism
Lesson 1 – Introduction to Ventriloquism, Speech Production, and A Word to Pre-Teen Students.
This is a great introduction to the skill of ventriloquism. Lesson one goes into the details of how speech is created. I found it fascinating. The first time I read this, I had never really considered what goes into creating the words we say. I did it, just never thought about it. This lesson makes you think about the mechanics behind your ability which comes in handy over the entire course.
Lesson 2 – The Ventriloquist Voice, Voice Throwing, Breathing and Breath Control, and The Ventriloquist Mouth Position.
What is the ventriloquist voice? Is it a funny voice for your puppet? (No… it isn’t.) Can you really throw your voice? And what is all of this nonsense about breathing and breath control. You can already do that can’t you? You breathe, so why learn this stuff? It is important. Don’t just jump ahead to the Ventriloquist Mouth position. You need to know this stuff if you want to be a ventriloquist.
Lesson 3 – More on the Ventriloquist Mouth Position and the Ventriloquial Voice, The Ventril-o-aid and its use, and Resonant Sounds.
Lesson three takes you deeper into the ventriloquist mouth position and creation of your ventriloquial voice. You’ll discover the Ventril-o-aid to help you develop steady lips that don’t move when you talk. Plus you’ll learn about resonant sounds and how they help to carry your voice further so the audience can understand what your puppet is saying.
Lesson 4 – Secret of the Ventriloquist Voice, Voice Placement, The Breath Streams and Voice “Throwing”, plus Practice Suggestions and Tips.
Lesson 5– Ventriloquist Figures and Puppets, “Hard” Puppets vs. “Soft” Puppets, Novelty Puppets, Selecting a Figure or Puppet.
Lesson 6– Mouth Synchronization, Tips For Practicing Daily, and Naming Your Puppet.
Lesson 7– Manipulation of the Ventriloquist Figure, Real-Life Actions, Taking Advantage of Mistakes, plus Practice Tips and Secrets.
Lesson 8– Making the Most of Eye Movement, Pantomime Practice, “Rule-of-Three”, and Positions for Performance.
Lesson 9– Daily Practice Secrets and Suggestions, The “Magical” Word, Dealing With “Pucker” Words, Moods and More, and Pre-Show Preparation.
Lesson 10– Letters W, H, and Wh, Care of the Ventriloquist Figure, and the Slam-Bang Close.
Lesson 11 – Labial Preparation, Substitute and Alternate Letters, “Focus on F”, and “Visit with V”.
Lesson 12 – “Bothersome Labial B”, “Pesky Labial P”, plus Variations and Tips.
Lesson 13 – Technique vs. Entertainment Skills, The Success of Simplicity, Dangers of Comparison and Imitation, and Tips for Practice.
Lesson 14 – The Importance of an Act, Gestures for Greatest Impact, Pantomime Practice, Practice Dialogue, and Tips For Practice.
Lesson 15 – Banquet Performing, Involving the Audience in the Show, Reacting to the Unexpected, Mannerisms, Movement, and Courtesy.
Lesson 16 – Developing a Character, Straight Man & Comedian, Put Downs and Insults, and Effective Joke Telling.
Lesson 17 – Writing and Rewriting Jokes, Adding Punch to the Punch Line, Ventriloquist Comedy Storytelling, and Situation Comedy.
Lesson 18 – The Value of Visual Humor, Remarks to Cover Unexpected Events, Proper and Consistent Phrasing, and Encores.
Lesson 19 – Writing Effective Routines, Polishing and Perfecting Dialogues, Getting the Most From Dialogue Delivery, and Professional Pointers.
Lesson 20 – Creating Original Comedy, Impromptu Ventriloquist Shows, Movements for Misdirection, and Wardrobe.
Lesson 21 – Always Give a Good Performance, Audience Participation, Performing With Multiple figures, and Robotics.
Lesson 22 – Overcoming Stage Fright, Confidence Building, Theatrical Sense and Timing, and Dialogue Memorization.
Lesson 23 – Introduction to Distant Ventriloquism, Voice Throwing, The Muffled Voice, and Distant Voice Illusion.
Lesson 24 – The Far Distant Voice, Variations For Use of the Far Distant Voice, Practice Pointers, and Summary of Rules for the Distant Voice.
Lesson 25 – Closeup Use of the Far Distant Voice, Polyphony and Imitations, Length of An Act, and Adding Song to the Show.
Lesson 26 – Audience Types (an Overview), Children’s Audiences, and Twenty Suggestions for Making the Most o a Performance for Children.
Lesson 27 – School and Library Shows, Senior Adult Shows, Church Opportunities, Family Shows, Civic, Club, and Corporate Shows.
Lesson 28 – Television for the Ventriloquist, Take Your Hobby to Work, Making Your Hobby Pay, and How Much to Charge.
Lesson 29 – Amateur, Semi-Professional, and Professional Performing. Dare to Dream!
Lesson 30 – Entrance, Bow and Exit. Audience Warm-up. Atmosphere, Poise, Showmanship, and Applause. Gospel Ventriloquism.
These ventriloquist books are a great place to start. Remember you get what you pay for. Free instruction is usually worth almost nothing. Ventriloquism is not an easy art. It is more than just playing with a puppet. Investing in your education can shorten years off your learning curve.
Not sure you want to spend money to learn? Remember that according to Forbes magazine, Jeff Dunham earns over 20 million dollars a year. So does ventriloquist Terry Fator. Ventriloquists at the low end earn $250 for a single show at a birthday party. Some earn as much as $25,000 a night performing for companies. The cost of a ventriloquist course is extremely low compared to the potential returns – if you practice.
I’m a ventriloquist, so I don’t need to call my pals, they’re just an arms length away. One of them, Dangerous, has been talking nonstop about helping people with their New Year’s resolutions. Because this is a lofty goal (and because my hand needs a rest,) I’ve agreed to share his advice.
Tips From A Ventriloquist Dummy …
From Dangerous, in his own words:
Get Out of Your Box
Routines are great, they help all of us get through a day. But dare to do something different, whether it’s a small thing like trying out that shortcut to work that you’ve been told about or making the career change that you’ve been thinking about forever.
Share the Applause
I’m an entertainer, and OK, I’ll say it, I was sure I was the best part of the show. But then the others I work with told me to go ahead and do the show by myself if I was so great. Hey, I’ve got pride, but I had to admit in front of everyone that I needed a hand. Spare yourself the grief. Be part of the team.
Get On Stage
Are you safely making your way through life, never stepping up to be a leader or striving to reach a hard to attain goal? Dare to be a standout. Write a column for a newspaper or blog, join a theater group, run for a political office or lead a civic group. Put yourself “out there,” and vow to shrug off discouragement and criticism from family, friends, and strangers.
Don’t Let Others Do Your Talking
Sure, it’s great to go with the flow, and do your best to get along with everyone. But don’t always let your opinion take a back seat to everyone else’s opinion. Let yourself be heard.
And if you’re used to saying “yes” when you want to say “no,” take a deep breath, steel yourself against repercussions, and say “no” to the next unwanted request. Don’t allow people to take advantage of you.
Just Do It
Don’t stare at the hottie in the first row, practice my routine every day, yeah, yeah, I know what I’m supposed to do. But I don’t do it. I’m working on it, though. And you should, too. Do those things you know you should be doing, and ask for help if you can’t keep on track alone.
Don’t “Boo” The Performers
We don’t get any hecklers, we put on a great show. But I know, the next day there’s one person saying he’s seen better, can do it better himself, you know the type. To this person, I say, “put up or shut up.” I mean, really, can he do what I do? And to you, I say, “Don’t be this person!” Appreciate the efforts of others, use or enjoy what they have to offer, and then say, “Thank you.”
This is Tom signing off. I hope Dangerous’ advice helps you. We both wish you a Happy New Year.