Diana Rockwell: Ventriloquist

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ROCKWELL'S BLOG


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Five ways your vent act can bring you closer to your goals

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on September 18, 2015 at 12:15 AM

 

As a heavily passionate vent, I am always looking for new ways to bring out the best of my technique. I set my standards very high and have never met a vent challenge I wouldn’t take. What I wish to share with any potential ventriloquist are these tactics that have indeed made me stronger in my technique.

 

Shutting out: What I recommend all vents to do is own a video recording device of some kind. Apple MacBooks are a vent’s best friend as far as I’m concerned. Take advantage of the best possible technology when it comes to a tactic that I like to call shutting out. By this, I mean to zoom in on your lips while being recorded. Once you have your video ready to go, be sure to place an index card over the side the screen your vent figure is on and just watch your every move. This is how you can track any lip slip ups as well as any moments of bad posture on your part. By the shutting the dummy completely out, you can track every little mistake you make.

Muting: Alongside shutting out, re-watch your video, but this time turn the volume completely down. With this you can capture the movements of both you and your dummy. Ask yourself “am I convinced that there are two people on stage or does it look like a guy with a doll.” By not being able to hear what is said, you can put your focus entirely on how well polished the overall movement is.

Blindfolding: This is especially a good task for manipulation practice. Whenever I am wanting to better my movement skills, I simply place a night time eye mask over my face right after I hit the record button. What I really like about this trick is the fact that you don’t get as distracted by the puppet on stage. You have to make keen eye contact with your audience from time to time. I can’t stand it when vents are eyeing their puppets throughout the entire performance. If that is a bad habit for you, this will help.

Scoring: In case you haven’t done anything like this, keep a daily score log with you at all times. Rate yourselves on a scale of 1 to 10 on these categories:

Lip Control:

Manipulation:

Timing:

Enunciation:

Posture:

Splitting:

Score: /60

By keeping a score log, you can pinpoint the areas in which improvement is most needed. Use this for every video you record. Base it on a score out of 60 points total. Then each month, I would suggest creating your monthly review and base it on a percentage value.

 Art History: Right now you’re probably thinking, wait-what? But hear me out- art history is a subject in which all performers and visual artists should obtain a working knowledge of. You’ll notice that the key to keeping fine art alive for many years is to avoid the obvious. Art history teaches us to break the ice and be innovative. How else would we have gone from Michaelangelo to Jackson Pollock over the many years? Don’t ever let anyone trap you in a box with closed minded ideas. If you have other skills and traits that you can incorporate into your vent act, then by all means do it! Take for instance Senor Wences; he was a juggler, a plate spinner, a caricature artist and brought all of those traits into his act. Many widely recognize him as a Surrealist.

 

I hope that these five steps can inspire you, motivate you, and challenge you. I love this art form and I’d do anything for it. Later catz!

-Rockwell

2015 Clinton Detweiler Scholarship

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on June 15, 2015 at 11:50 AM

I am pleased to announce that I am one of the winners of this year's Clinton Detweiler Scholarship presented by AGT winner, Terry Fator. This is truly an honor and I am just beyond blessed.

LEE'S SUMMIT'S GOT TALENT

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on April 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM

It is official! I made the cut and will be competing in the Lee's Summit's Got Talent finale on June 13, 2015. Also, the following new dates have been booked:

May 24, two shows at Jellystone Campgrounds, Lawrence, KS

June 19, two shows at Kids R Kids, Olathe, KS

Weekly Celebrations #5

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on April 13, 2015 at 2:55 PM
  • The Lobby performing for the Variety Show @ the Midland on 4/11 went SUPER well. Got lots of laughs from people that walked by.
  • Posted 90's Promo Video
  • Arranged an audition for Silver Dollar City in December
  • Emailed multiple comedy agencies via Gig Salad
  • Added the "Make A Donation Button" to the site
  • The Facebook page has finally earned over 1,000 likes
  • Received a 20 dollar tip + 5 star review on Fiverr
  • The audition rehearsing for Lee's Summit's Got Talent is going super well (lines are memorized, costumes are picked out, and lip control is on target_

Weekly Celebrations #4

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on April 6, 2015 at 5:15 PM

This past week in my world of vent:

  • Set up an audition with Lee's Summit's Got Talent for 4/23/15
  • Sent out postcards to Branson Missouri Schools
  • Facebook fan page is now 4 likes away from hitting 1,000 (so close)
  • Recieved a delightful thank you card from Children's Mercy hospital
  • Got asked to set up a booth at the National PTA meeting during late June in Charlotte, NC.'
  • Sold my first Fiverr eCard
  • Set up a Twitter account
  • Sent my resume to Silver Dollar City/ Showboat in Branson

Weekly Celebrations #3

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on March 29, 2015 at 9:55 PM

Updates in my world of vent for the week:

  • Facebook fan page is now at 968 likes (Just 32 away from 1,000)
  • Two ads for Fiverr eCards are up and running: Yodeling Snail-O-Grams (all occasions) and Birthday eCards @ http://www.fiverr.com/rockwellvent . Next up: VentriloRaps (for all occasions), Eggstra Special Easter Greetings, Valen-Heart-O-Grams, Ghoul-O-Grams, and Yuletide Blessings.
  • Master email list for comedy agents has been put in place
  • Postcards for PTA offices have been sent to all 50 states
  • TSGA Career Day presentation went well.
  • Physical fliers have been designed and printed
  • Applied for two cruise ship entertainment jobs
  • 90's web series promo video has been written and will be recorded next week.

Weekly Celebrations #2

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on March 21, 2015 at 1:30 AM

This week in my world of vent:

 

  • The facebook page has reached 20,034 people since March 5, 2015
  • The website has a brand new layout
  • Jellystone Camp Resorts is printing an ad about me in their franchise newsletter for the month of March.
  • The Alumni Luncheon was a SUCCESS! Bishop Ward High School's main facebook page made a shout out to me as well. This was also Zander's debut of the hip hop track in front of a live audience.
  • All the merchandise needed to record my upcoming web series has arrived and shooting will take place soon.
  • The Kansas Statewide Performer directory is publishing my information on their site.
  • Animated logos for my Fiverr.com eCards have been made and recording the actual promo videos will begin next week.
  • The Gig Salad site is now at 92% complete
  • And lastly, my current vent student is still rocking at it!

Lots of big improvements since the prior week. I am pushing and striving everyday to reach further and further for my dream. 

Later catz!

-Rockwell

 

Weekly Celebrations #1

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on March 11, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Things to celebrate in my world of vent for the week:

 

  • I completed a promo video to send libraries
  • I ordered postcards to send schools for marketing
  • I made the alternates list for the Senior Open mic at this year's VHC
  • facebook.com/rockwellvent has reached over 700 likes, going on 800
  • The hip hop video has reached 10,000 views
  • Rehearsal is going very well for the alumni luncheon at my school
  • My current vent student is coming along well with pronouncing trouble consonants.
  • I have officially become a member of the Missouri Library Association and sent in a proposal for getting ventriloquism into more library settings.

 

Alumni! Alumni! Alumni!

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on March 6, 2015 at 1:05 PM

I am pleased to annonce that I have been invited to return to my high school and perform at the alumni lunch at Bishop Ward High School, March 18, 2015, 11 AM.

I loved my ten year reunion and I know I will love this too.

What better act for a high school then with my teen dummy Zander? 8)

Ventriloquism And Hip Hop!

Posted by thisisrockwelltv on March 4, 2015 at 12:05 AM

I am combining ventriloquism and hip hop. My goal is to write my own songs and take ventriloquism to levels it never has been. My latest video can be seen in the videos section of the site! Enjoy!


In other news, The Barnes And Noble Valentine's Day Story Time with arts and crafts was a tremendous success. The Children's Mercy show went well too. 


Next up? TSGA! That's right! I will be giving a lecture and an improvised performance on March 27th at Turner Sixth Grade Academy! I am amazingly stoked for this one! 


April 11th will be The big Variety show at The Midland! Again, STOKED! 


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