Walking briskly through the attendees at the ventriloquist convention, phillip and his camera captured numerous once in a lifetime moments of adults and kids performing with their “dummies.” Never meeting a stranger, he greeted attendees at convention 2007 with enthusiasm. It’s easy to understand Phillip’s expertise with the camera; he’s a professional wildlife photographer for a South Carolina magazine.
Curious about his participation in ConVENTion 2007, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about this photographer and his connection with ventriloquism. As we spoke on the telephone one evening, he told me about his own “dummy” named “Hog-Eye Jones,” an army guy named after his dad because of a unique ability Phillip’s father possessed to see hogs where no one else could. As he recounted the details of the story, I knew this story completed another important connection in the world of understanding ventriloquism, ventriloquists, and their “dummies.”
1. What is one thing every Photographer and Ventriloquist must do? First you must practice. Next, you must practice. Finally, you must practice, again, and again.
2. What is one thing every Ventriloquist must avoid? Not practicing.
I recommend the following rules which have helped me:
(1) Avoid memorizing; and
(2) avoid getting lazy.
3. Is this Ventriloquism stuff something that is here to stay? Yes always.
4. Can someone work successfully as a Ventriloquist successfully if they are in a crowded niche? Yes, be different and keep current with the times.
5. What has Ventriloquism done for you? It has allowed me to make people laugh everywhere.
6. What trends to you currently see in Ventriloquism? Three trends I have observed are: styles in clothes, hair, and different performance backgrounds.
7. What was your first job(s)? Vent Haven contest; National Guard Christmas party, and an Eastern Star Banquet.