Just a note that I gave some of my DVD's to One Way Street to offer at their booth at Vent Haven. There are some GREAT skits (if I do say so myself) for some Axtell puppets: the kangaroo, orangutan, lion, and dolphin. Plus a magic trick or three. It is essentially 30 minutes of my birthday party but done just for the camera.
Some of the greatest ventriloquists were actually great at something else, but used ventriloquism to portray their talent:
Example: Terry Fator was a great impersonator. He also happened to do ventriloquism so his manager suggested that he combine them. The rest is history in the making!
Jeff Dunham is a great comedian. Perhaps I should say, "comedy writer". He is able to write and deliver the material through his puppets. If someone else wrote for him he wouldn't be where he is today.
Edgar Bergen was a great comedian and writer. He was on radio for 21 years and was rated number one for 19 of those years! Those were the days before reruns!
Randall McGee is a great storyteller. He is just as comfortable dressed as Hans Christian Andersen as he is performing as a ventriloquist. His excellent ventriloquism just gives him another way to tell stories.
If I had to classify myself I would say that I'm a teacher at heart. (Although I don't like the job of teaching.) Nearly everything I do teaches as much as it entertains. To me ventriloquism is just another way to teach. (Probably my favorite way!)