Creating Your Trademark

Creating Your Trademark

For years, people would ask me, do you know that ventriloquist on TV with the purple puppet?

It wasn’t, do you know Jeff Dunham. No one could even remember his name. And he was pretty famous.

Now, you say his name and a large portion of the crowd shake their head with familiarity. This is because Jeff has created a trademark.

People don’t grab a soda. They buy a Coke. Or a Pepsi, a Mountain Dew, a Sprite or Dr. Pepper. (We could keep going … )

You don’t grab fast food. You get McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, White Castle, or Dominos.

You need to blow your nose? You probably use a Kleenex instead of a tissue. That is one brand that almost lost control of their name because it became so synonymous with the product.
Entertainers also have brands. You’ve got Madonna, Cher and Jlo. There are thousands of examples.

When you have a brand, you become a known commodity. People are familiar with you, and they tend to do business with brands they know and trust.

You don’t need a global brand. You can create a brand in your area.

A problem is, most people have no idea how to create a brand.

Some don’t even know what it is.

How did Jeff become memorable?

Simple – he was unique and different.

His name became well known because of a comedy bit he did with his character Peanut. Do you remember:

Jeff – fa – fa … DUN HAM dot Com!

A lot of people do. That was years back, and people still refer to it. It branded Jeff’s name and made him memorable.

This was followed up with Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

Again, different and memorable. Plus it helped that Jeff gave Achmed a catchphrase.

“I Keel You” was everywhere. And it made Jeff an international star.

Other ventriloquists have also achieved fame with trademarks. Who do you think of when you read or hear:

N – E – S – T – L – E – S, Nestles’ makes the very best …

You better have said Jimmy Nelson. If not, you have two options – turn in your vent card or go study your ventriloquism history.

Does anyone remember the cover band AC-DShee? No, but the band AC/DC has a following.

You can’t achieve anything by copying others.

If you want to be a ventriloquist – you need to become an entertainer. Audiences want to be entertained. And entertainers are creative people.

There is only one you. So be you. And be the best and most creative you that you can be.

Being different makes you memorable. Hopefully in a good way.

Becoming memorable builds your brand.

Use your creativity and find a way to stand apart from the crowd.

It isn’t easy, so get to work!

What Attracted You To Ventriloquism? – IVS Radio Episode

This podcast is an I.V.S. Member exclusive. Today, Ken Groves and I discuss what drew us to the art of ventriloquism. While we discovered it in different ways, there was one aspect that was the same. Today, we discuss how we were pulled in and our thoughts behind the art as a tool for comedy.

What Attracted You To Ventriloquism

by Maher I.V.S. Radio

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Ventriloquism – A Self Taught Art?

Ventriloquism – A Self Taught Art?

I’ve heard it said that ventriloquism is a self taught art.


Can you just sit in front of a mirror, practice and become a ventriloquist?

You mean there is no need for a course? No need for a book?

Sure, there are plenty of free online ventriloquism lessons.

Can you learn it all from one free source? Or even several free sources?

And if you do need a book or a course, can one really provide all the information you will need to be self-taught?

People have told me, Jeff Dunham was self-taught. He used the Jimmy Nelson album.

But Jeff also attended the Vent Haven ConVENTion. He learned first hand from the likes of Jimmy and other famous ventriloquists of the day.

Terry Fator was self taught. Yes, but even Terry had mentors in the world of ventriloquism. Plus he had coaches who worked with him on audience eye-contact and staging. (This is included in his interview at: Discussions On Showmanship.)

Darci Lynne was self taught according to America’s Got Talent. While Darci did learn the basics on her own, she also received coaching from both Gary Owen and Terry Fator.

So in reality, ventriloquism is NOT a self taught art.

While you can learn the basics from free tutorials, or books, videos or courses, it requires help if you want to perfect your technique.

I’m not talking about just lip control or labials either.

There is so much more to the art than just talking without moving your lips.

Each year, the Vent Haven ConVENTion gets approximately 100 first time attendees. Many of these folks have never hung out with other ventriloquists.

The conVENTion is an eye-opener. They quickly discover there are all levels of ventriloquists.

From the beginner who doesn’t even understand the basics to the pro who’s puppet comes to life.

Many discover they are not as good as they thought. Others discover they are higher on the scale than they imagined. Although they still have a way to go.

The problem with self-taught is, the student doesn’t know what they don’t know.

The student doesn’t know what to look for. They can’t see or hear themself as an audience does.

And before anyone cries, “what about video?” some people don’t know how to watch the performance to pick up on tiny things that can make major improvements.

All the knowledge in the world will not help if you do not put it into practice. Lots of practice.

Oh, and you have to practice too. Did I mention you have to practice?

See the pattern?

Practice is something you must do. No one can help you there.

But becoming a self-taught ventriloquist is closing yourself off to the infinite knowledge of those who went before you.

Don't learn in a vacuum

Don’t learn in a vacuum.

Quotes & Tips From Around The Web That Apply To This Subject:

One of the biggest frustrations I find working in the field of art is that everyone’s an expert.

Practice Your Art Everyday In Some Way

Find Teachers/Mentors/Study Programs To Help You Master Your Skills