the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts
As a young boy growing up in Nebraska, I wrote a letter to Santa and received my Jerry Mahoney ventriloquist puppet. I watched the television shows of the fifties and saw Edger Bergen with Charlie McCarthy, Paul Winchell with Jerry Mahoney, Sheri Lewis with Lamb Chop, and many other popular ventriloquists on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Life moved on and I got involved in my high tech career and music. I was always impressed with any ventriloquist on TV and loved the puppet on “SOAP” with the young Billy Crystal. Whenever the ventriloquist Jeff Dunham came to the Boston area, I took my son to every performance.
After my youngest son entered college, I had the time to evaluate my life and decide what I really wanted to do. The goal of making more and more money did not seem all that important any more. I bought a Jerry Mahoney replica puppet on eBay and began taking Jerry to OPEN MIC comedy clubs in the Boston area. My first performance was terrible, but I received encouragement to keep trying. One comedy professional counseled me with very kind words. “Some people start out in comedy and do a pretty good job, but they never improve. Others are terrible at first but continue to improve and a few become very good.” I am trying to put myself in that second category and I have a tape of my first performance for reference.
I now understand that if I keep practicing and performing in front of live audiences, I will gradually and slowly improve. Practicing all day in front of a mirror will never teach you what comedy is all about. You need a live audience for feedback to determine what works. Also, comedy is so subjective. What is funny to one person may be offensive to another.
As quoted on the front page of a local Boston area newspaper: “Kevin plays piano with his left hand, bass drum with his right foot, hi-hat with his left foot, and helps his puppets sing or speak with his right hand.” See YouTube video: http://youtu.be/CUp8rEh4j4A
Recent performances included MGM Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Boston's Ritz-Carlton, The Comedy Studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts and several Jewish Hanukkah, Purim, and Purim events. When the Rabbi from Boston first contacted me about performing on the last day of Hanukkah, I asked him if he was sure that he wanted to hire a white Irish Catholic ventriloquist who was born in a very small town in Nebraska. As a sign of respect, we wore our yarmulkes for our first Boston area Jewish Chabad event. Since then, we have been performing for various Jewish events in the Boston area.
Every Christmas, we change into our red suits. With my shoulder length white hair and beard, I become Santa and Jerry is transformed into Santa's 40" wise-cracking elf. Doug the talking Dog dons a red scarf and Christmas is magic.
I know that I still have a lot to learn, but I’m having fun as a ventriloquist. Since I have not been able to find any other ventriloquists in the Boston area, I can claim to be Boston’s best (and only) ♫♬ ♫ventriloquist.
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Other recent performances included MGM Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Boston's Ritz-Carlton, The Comedy Studio, and live TV: http://youtu.be/oAWwZDbfvuQ
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Kevin Driscoll – DRISCOLL PRODUCTIONS – 22 Driscoll Drive – Framingham, MA 01701