Probably just a few hours. To become a ventriloquist, you have to figure out if you’re going to get paid and where the ventriloquist’s character will appear in the upcoming sketch in front of the TV. That’s not a job for a first year college student.
The only way you’ll see any of this on TV is if your local CBS affiliate puts out a pilot for your city of interest on primetime cable. This shows up on your local news, on the show where the local guy’s mom dies, on the news from your hometown, on a couple of websites.
And then suddenly, maybe within two weeks of the initial pilot, a whole bunch of people in your area will want to do something fun with the TV they’ve tuned in to. Not many people are going to be into just a typical ventriloquist act on the couch, but if you’re the sort of viewer that likes the idea of ventriloquism that’s still fun in the context of a movie or a television show, then you might jump at the chance to audition in your hometown because the next sketch will be on TV in your area.
Ventriloquism shows are a huge revenue source for local television stations. The problem is, TV viewers aren’t always paying.
I grew up in a small town and never paid for a regular cable TV subscription. But when it came to my local comedy show, I couldn’t afford the monthly fee to get on, even though I thought I could. So I just ended up not buying anything, even though I liked the show. For the first few seasons, it was hard to pay for the show, but eventually I did, partly because everyone else in town had figured out how to use the show’s $0.20/megabyte internet connection and partly because I was the only one who actually paid for the premium service.
I remember my buddy and I doing a standup set for two guys who were just starting out. My friend’s dad walked in, so he was a fan of our material. He ended up making some funny comments and we laughed as he played along. When it was time to do our sketch, we weren’t getting paid.
But luckily for me, my friend and I were local television guys and luckily for the guys who started the show, they didn’t have anywhere else to go. Even though they were a bit nervous as to how to start a show that wasn’t even
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