Quirks and Perks to being a self-employed ventriloquist

The new year has landed and brought that annual time for reflection on the year past and the year ahead. So, it’s time to scoop up all of my 2018 receipts. As I was looking through them, I got to thinking about all the people, places and projects of 2018. I realized that what I do professionally is pretty quirky. It just is. Who else buys googly eyes in bulk or a bird puppet bow tie in pink and black? Who else special orders a talking vent mask from England?

My friend Jeny Cassady is a talented performer/puppeteer/educator and is the director and co-creator of my newest show A Birdy Told Me So. Jeny also makes me laugh my head off. Yesterday I saw her post on Facebook and I immediately thought, “Hey! Maybe I’m not the only one?”

“Please note that I am self employed.

So if you see me on my own talking to myself please do not disturb…

I am having a staff meeting.”

Seriously though, please check out her work…she’s amazing! www.jenycassady.com

A perk to being a ventriloquist is the way you can walk down the street with your sparkly puppet case and be asked what the case is for and what (or who) is inside. Maybe it’s what it feels like to walk a dog where everybody wants to get to know your dog. I’m also excited to get invitations to fun parties and events if “I’d bring my puppets”. 

Mindy the Mermaid, Jeny Cassady, Me

Being a puppet person has brought me into the orbit of the Vancouver International Puppet Festival – a wonderful zany group of talented puppeteers, puppet makers and such. www.vipuppetfest.com

One of our fellow puppet people is Dusty Hagerud who my puppets love to visit whenever they need to “have some work done.” Dusty also built my latest puppet Mindy the Mermaid who I am excited to introduce to the world. How cool is that!? Check out Dusty at: www.colorsoundlab.com

Now this brings me to the some more quirks. We live in a place that has the North Pole in a corner of a room. As I look around our living room I see Ozzie and Archie, two vintage vent figures sitting in a chair. I heard that ventriloquist Edgar Bergen gave his vent figure Charlie McCarthy his own room and furniture, so I think this may be a ‘thing’ with vents. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about the rocket ship in the living room that was built for Rocket Magrau: Space Bird! – a multi-media show that ran in the HR MacMillan Space Centre Planetarium.

2019 is about new things, new starts and having time to do what you love to do outside of work too. I feel grateful for my family and friends. I’m also grateful for my neighbours who hear different voices and sounds coming out of our place when I’m rehearsing. When your neighbour tells you that the delivery man was laughing outside our front door listening to the voices coming from your place you could get embarrassed but instead I laugh and realize that this business is full of quirks and perks and that’s okay. Don’t get me started on finding other puppet enthusiasts who want to talk shop with puppet and ventriloquist gadgets. I LOVE talking shop!

Happy New Year everyone!

What is unique and interesting about your job or schooling? Add it in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash