Always Talk to
Your Audience, Not at Them
career I have written plays, musical comedies, and
books. I have performed in movies, TV, live theatre,
done thousands of sideshow Ballys (each one in itself is
a performance). My rule to make an act or any of the
above, or a political speech, a speech at a banquet, or
a lecture: talk to your audience, not at them. Speak
distinctly, use a correct vocabulary, but one that is
tailored to your audience in terms they will comprehend
what is being said,, and certainly sound sincere.
Even when you're talking re: on a light hearted subject
such as a girl show or if it is something you can put
drama into, such as creating sympathy for a sideshow
performer with a
deformity, the content must be believable even if it is a
If it is a ventriloquist with A DUMMY THE VENT SHOULDN'T
JUST HAVE THE DUMMY SPEAKING WORDS. THE VENT NEEDS TO
BRING THE FIGURE TO LIFE. THIS SOUNDS CORNY, BUT IF YOU
CAN CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT THE FIGURE IS ANOTHER PERSON
SPEAKING TO YOU, EVEN MOMENTARILY YOU CAN CONVINCE
YOURSELF THAT IT IS A REAL LIVE PERSON THEN
AUTOMATICALLY YOU ARE CONVINCING THE AUDIENCE OF THE
IT IS DIFFICULT FOR A PERSON DOING SAY, TEN SHOWS A DAY
OR FORTY BALLYS A DAY TO NOT FALL INTO COMPLACENCY, DUE
TO BOREDOM, TIRED-NESS, OR DISTRACTION, AND BEGIN TO
SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD, OR END UP TALKING AT THE
AUDIENCE IN A SING SONG VOICE.
Mainly as you perform, listen to yourself. A lot of
people talk without hearing what they are saying or more
importantly, how they are saying it.
Enough from this old man.
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