Well. This is what it feels like at night to someone who hasn’t seen ventriloquists for the last three-plus years.
I was a night owl for a long time before I ever saw a Ventriloquist puppet on TV, and I still remember the first time I ever saw one. On a trip to San Francisco my first major ventriloquist show was in 1988. There were only a couple of people there (a couple really), and the show was held in one of those old buildings that is just like what you remember the first time you went to Disneyland. The auditorium was filled with thousands of people. There was little to no seating, and the doors to the theatre were locked. We were in a little stage area with the ceiling that is high enough to fit the puppets, and the ceiling that can also be used as a stage. It’s like a small theater from the ’80s, except a lot more airy and comfy.
And then things got really scary for me at that show as we started rehearsing for the show. One guy came out and started talking. He was holding a big microphone that he was speaking through, and the audience was standing and just listening. It wasn’t long before people started getting antsy. They started to wonder when the puppet was going to come out of that big wooden box that’s going to take the place of all the chairs and stand-up, and all the rest of the seating. And then there were people screaming, “The monkey’s coming out!” And that was when I saw the first ventriloquist puppet at the back of the stage. After I heard what I thought was the little monkey come out, I was really scared. I was really terrified. I’m pretty sure I jumped out of the place. But I was the last person in the room. The crowd dispersed and I left.
The first ventriloquist puppet is a small brown one. You can see it in a close-up of the back of the auditorium. This puppet looks to be an average-sized monkey. The only other time I saw a ventriloquist puppet was when I went to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 2007, which I think was more of a big tent. There were thousands of people there, and I was the only one still going when they finished rehearsing my scene with a ventriloquist puppet.
What the heck happened after that? There were