This is a controversial question because it is difficult to measure the actual difference between paid ventriloquists and non-ventriloquist performances. However, this report from the New York State Council on the Arts estimates the wage for a ventriloquist to be $13 an hour — $15,080 a year. For comparison, the average New York State wage is $23,750 a year.
The National Federation of the Blind defines a ventriloquist as someone who produces an act that, like a live performance, requires a specific reaction and response from the audience. An act may entail a range of techniques, including miming (the act of imagining things with your fingers and toes, for example), walking, and talking while making audible sounds.
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding this issue in some areas of the country, some localities have separate codes for “vocal” and “dance” artists, and there are a number of different types of paid visualists that are considered “tactical.”
Do companies pay a living wage?
To be clear, we do not endorse the idea of having a living wage and paying a living wage. The best way to ensure a well-paid employee is more able to offer a good product or service is to develop a relationship with that individual. Companies should support those individuals who are willing to go the extra mile to provide quality goods and services.
For that reason, we believe that a minimum wage should be set high enough to allow that individual to make a living. We believe that companies should set the rate higher to provide the necessary benefits in order to give all employees a fair shot to achieve their goals. It is important to note, however, that the lower the level of employment, the less the impact of the minimum wage on pay for those who are working full-time.
What about benefits?
To most people, working a full-time job, like that of a ventriloquist, represents a long-term commitment to a profession. This type of employment is not just a job that pays income to an employee, it is one that provides benefits to the worker, such as vacation days, health insurance, sick leave, training, etc.
A company may require its staff members to accept a benefit package to get by, and when a ventriloquist’s compensation is significantly lower than the average, that benefits package is going to be substantially more expensive for these employees
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