YOU are the most important part of the show, so the best way to improve the show is to improve yourself.
Elvis Presley was know for his karate moves on stage.
Football players have practiced ballet to make them more versatile on the field.
You may find something that you can study which will make you a better ventriloquist or make for a better, well rounded show.
Study the ecology.
Study the Bible or your religion more.
Take up an instrument.
Learn new songs.
Read a book you normally wouldn't read. Like mysteries? Try a non-fiction. Like non-fiction? Try a mystery!
Go to the library and browse through magazines you've never picked up before.
Don't like teen music? Watch a few videos on cable.
This type of activity will broaden your understanding of other people and their tastes and possibly give you new ideas for your show!
If you do magic, try to make improvements to the magic tricks that you do. Make them yours. I have so much fun doing that.
Sweet and Sour
December 14 2009, 10:00 PM
I still encourage you to venture outside of your area of expertise. If you like garlic you don't add more garlic, you find things that it goes with well. A violin by itself is good, and a great violinist is even better, but if you add other instruments around it in contrast it really stands out.
I can imagine David Copperfield studying acting.
There is a singing magician who performs in Las Vegas. He studied under Siegfried and Roy, but he never try to outmagic them. He pushed the fact that he sings while doing magic.
Check the interent for a Toastmasters club that meets in a city near you, or someone from the National Speakers Association. Check out prop books from the library and study setmaking or prop making.
The thought here is that you can grow in your main area by growing outside of your main area.
I'd love to hear of things people do to grow that have nothing to do with magic or ventriloquism, and yet somehow add to their show.
December 15 2009, 4:27 AM
I think this is the reason why I added ventriloquism to my magic show. Did I need too? No. I have plenty of magic tricks, but it makes me pretty unique. Especially having Taco my hands free puppet, doing magic tricks and not me.
More and more I'm adding magic that Taco can do.
I known a great magician for many years. My only complaint about him though is he does almost exactly the same show that he did 26 years ago.
December 15 2009, 6:46 AM
I've thought about eliminating magic from my shows before and just do puppets and ventriloquism, but I also like the mix. The magician, who never changes his show, would find excited customers if they got a flyer in the mail announcing an "all new show" for 2010, with an exciting theme. We mentioned in the past that a magician learns 200 tricks in order to put together a show of 10 or 12 tricks, but he could easily get a second show out of those 200.
Outside the box
December 15 2009, 11:13 AM
I am a big fan of old comedy movies - back to and including the silent era. Besides having a good laugh, I have learned a lot from them about characters, comedy teamwork, timing etc.
December 15 2009, 5:19 PM
I studied a wee bit of pantomime and find it useful. Essentially you IMITATE and EXAGGERATE.
I was once asked to "do something" while eating at a restaurant. So I used the forks and a couple of potato halves to do a little "dance" as I saw Charlie Chaplin do in the silent movie about the Gold Rush. GREAT movie!
Vent and Magic show
December 17 2009, 7:26 AM
Tony, I'm like you...I am a ventriloquist, who uses MAGIC in my shows. I, too, have thought about trying to do away with magic, because I'm supposed to be a 'ventriloquist'. BUT...I LIKE my magic tricks and I think they enhance my show, giving the audience something they weren't really expecting! What do people think about this? In my marketing materials, I do say I use magic tricks and balloons (not in my show, but I do them). BUT, I am a ventriloquist FIRST!!