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How to write scripts for your puppet shows

Do you write your own scripts?

  • Yes, I write my own scripts

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • No, I usually buy one or get some from a friend or internet

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2

Jungle Joe

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In a ventriloquist act, a comedian uses a puppet, often referred to as a ventriloquist dummy, as a prop to perform a routine. Ventriloquism is all about creating an illusion, the more powerful the illusion, the better the show. A talented ventriloquist is able to control his lips while he talks to create the illusion that the sound is actually coming from the puppet's mouth. Typically a ventriloquist act is a solo act, so you need a lot of planning and practice before you go out on stage, because there won't be other performers for you to depend on. The script for your puppet show or ventriloquist act is going to play a vital role in making your performance a success.
Create a name and character for your ventriloquist dummy. Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen became famous for his dummy, "Charlie McCarthy". Similarly, Nina Conti, another ventriloquist is well known for her shows involving a monkey puppet. In many ventriloquist acts, the relationship between comedian and dummy is somewhat adversarial, allowing for some jokes made by the dummy at the ventriloquist's expense.
Before writing a script go into a brainstorming spree and write down as many ideas as you can. Think of real life scenarios, think of a conflict that your character might face. If you choose to acknowledge that the dummy is not real, you could write some story lines that involve him not being able to do or experience things like a human. For example, it might be hard for the dummy to take out a bank loan without a Social Security number. Other conflicts might be arguments between you and the dummy, or issues with interactions between the dummy and his "friends."

You can also use an existing story as the model for your act. Puppet shows have long been used to illustrate concepts and moral lessons to the viewer. Here are a few resources that you can use while writing a ventriloquist script for your puppet show.

Fables:

Fables are stories that teach a lesson and have a moral at the end. These short stories are very popular among kids and have a history of being told through many generations. Fables often include a talking animal or a fantasy character. Fables are especially great for turning your ordinary puppet into a heroic icon from the fable and use it to teach your audience a valuable lesson. Try one of Aesop’s famous fables, they have some of the best stories in this medium.
Fairy tales:

Speaking of fantasy characters, fairy tales are another great genre to base your script around. Fairy tale worlds created around your puppet involve tons of imagination and are especially great for child audiences. Try one of the many popular fairy tales from kid’s books. These familiar stories are tales that kids have probably heard through books or even movies. Selecting a story that matches the puppets that you already have on hand in recommended.
Movies and Plays:

Lastly, you can always use a famous play or a movie as inspiration for creating a script for your puppet show. It doesn’t matter if you are going to perform for kids or grown ups, appropriate movies and plays can provide great inspiration for a script.
Write dialogue that encourages interaction between you and the puppet, and the puppet with the audience. You want the crowd to feel engaged in the act, not simply like they are watching a play. Some playful ribbing of the audience might be a good topic for an act, but keep the humor catered appropriately to the audience.

Article as published on Allpro puppets blog.
 
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