The picture you see on the left is the newest addition to my ventriloquist act. His name is Ruben Nathaniel Young. I'll explain why I picked that name for him later in this post.
One of the personal goals I set for myself for 2009 was to purchase an actual ventriloquist figure and start using it in my act. What I mean by "actual" is a figure with a moving mouth and eyes you operate using controls on a stick from the back inside the hollow body and a head that's not really connected to the body so it can turn 360 degrees.
After making that one of my 2009 goals I did some research and decided on the one I wanted to buy based on the style, look and price. Luckily the one I thought I could afford without remortgaging the house made by a figure maker named Clinton Detweiler.
Mr. Detweiler is the man whose blog about ventriloquism I read on a daily basis. He's a very famous and popular man in the world of ventriloquism. Mainly because he sold a ventriloquism correspondence course for many years. However he is also a skilled figure maker.
I started saving my spare change at the start of the year with the hope of having enough saved by August to order my new figure in time for my birthday in September. Well as it turned out I had enough by the end of June. I decided not to wait until my birthday and ordered it then. That way I would be able to work with my new figure, get comfortable operating his controls, and incorporate him into my act while I was off of work for surgery. I got him about 2 weeks before the operation.
I haven't really done any work with him yet because I've been trying to create a name and a personality for him. That's always the first thing you do with a new puppet. I've decided on the name Ruben Nathaniel Young. The reason for the name is that I want him to be a reminder that one of the reasons for getting weight loss surgery was so that I would be in better physical condition to do a better job as a ventriloquist.
Now the official name of the type of surgery I had is a "Roux-en-Y" gastric by pass (RNY for short). That's why my new vent figure's name has the initials RNY.
I plan on using him as the main character in my future shows. I will still use Calvin (the cloth puppet) as part of my act as well. Many of the children I've performed for at church and the library know Calvin and like him very much. Calvin will always be special to me because he was the first "star" of my act.
But once I get used to working with my new "official" vent figure, Ruben, he will be the "star" of the show.