Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This blog goes out to Matthew, my young friend, first row center of the audience tonight. For those of you who weren’t there, Matthew is eight years old and a ventriloquist. A good friend once told me, “I don’t have to see someone perform to know immediately if they are good.” Although I don’t think that is a rule every time, I know what he meant. Some times you just know, there is something that one artist senses about another. Matthew I felt that from you tonight. Thanks for coming to my show and thanks for staying around for the talk back. SQUEAKY enjoyed answering your question.

Here is my real advice to you, find your passion, learn all you can about it and follow where it leads. No matter what you end up doing your passion will make you a success.

There is only one secret to ventriloquism, or any other art. Practice. Fall in love with practice. If you are a performer fall in love with rehearsals. I promise you will spend more time rehearsing than you will performing, if you do it right. A person once asked a famous artist how long it took him to paint a picture. He said, “At least one hundred thousand strokes of the brush”. He counted every time he put a brush to canvas over his lifetime.

A shout out to Mr. S. Thank you for believing and thank you for the virtual hug. I am very blessed by your participation in this journey. It is an exciting ride and enjoyed more when shared with people like you.

And to Susan. You are an angel. The room lights up when you enter. The world is a better place because you are in it. Thank you for coming to my talk back. You have no idea how grateful we are to have your support.
As your were,


Charlie said...

alright. the first time i saw your show was about 3 weeks ago. last night was my second show cause i had to bring my brother & my friend. i was blown away all over again. so were they. touched. choked up. laughed our asses completely off our bodies. we are now assless. THANK YOU JAY!!! you rock.

Charlie said...

btw, the theater is perfect. it lends an intimacy that wraps your story-telling around the audience and takes them with you on your journey from texas to b'way. it was spiritual. the routine is tight. i felt it both times. we left feeling warmed. i'm blabbing about it everywhere. later.

the other one said...

After the talk back, a woman asked me what the title of the book was you gave Matthew and while you're at it, (in case anyone else asks) -the title of the book at the end of the show....

...and what was the monkey song last night? Ya know, I win once, all by myself and now I can't seem to get back on track.


Anonymous said...

What thought provoking insights into "our" arts. I preach the art of PRACTICE to my students and it sinks in with some and not so much with others. As we both know, it pays off in the long run, and 'YOU HAVE TO LOVE IT!" So, I printed those two paragraphs and will share them with all our voice students in the department...
and Carry On until next time.

Anonymous said...

Too -
The book I gave Matthew is a pamphlet I wrote called, "Finding your Inner Voice". It is simple instructions and a list of sources on ventriloquism.

The book in the show is called "Engastromeith" by Abby de la Chapelle.

The Darwin song was a tune I thought one of us would remember, but alas it is gone in the ether.

matthew wickline said...

This is Matthew's mom Kelly and I have to tell you that what you did for Matthew last night will probably stay with him for the rest of his life. Thank you so much for making a little boy so happy.

annie said...

jay, i saw the show 2nite and came home and told all my friends. you are the performer--and i am one of your theatre angels :) this show is a beautiful testimony to your spirit, jay--a tremendous achievement. it's a jewel in your crown, be proud! here's what i wrote to my NY-NJ-PA pals:

>>hi theatre friends:

you know, it's so rare to see a show that is so touching
and magical and real that you are genuinely moved to tears
by the genius, generosity, and genuine spirit of the performer...

so it is a real treat, actually--an honor--to say i saw
and heartily recommend it to you now.
(if his name rings a bell, jay was 1/2 the duo *chuck & bob* on tv's SOAP w/billy crystal & all in the 80s!)

i know there are a million shows out there--some with divas,
some with chorus lines :) *this* is a little show, looking for it's audience. i was so proud to be there tonight. jay johnson is a master of his craft, his ART,
and there is a real magic going on in the helen hayes theatre.
i just wanted to hug him and tell him i think the world of him,
and thank him for touching my heart!

this is not "a puppet show" (not that there's anything wrong with that!) jay's craft has ancient and magical rooots, and he is a storyteller as much as a performer. he'll tell you about growing up in texas with
imaginary friends, and his awe-some fascination and talent for ventriloquism will move you.
he talks of his mentor, and how the "secret" of his craft is passed down generation to generation...hearing his story, i felt like a trusted friend.
he is a remarkably talented and sincere man.

jay's show is "word of mouth" (hahaha, that's a ventriloquism joke!) i know the NY1 critics loved this, but others might inaccurately categorize
ventriloquism as a vaudeville act?
so let me tell you--THIS show is a master achievement--
a brilliant reflection of one man's expertise and life's adventures, now for a limited time available to you on broadway.
jay is a man who fully appreciates the joy of his life, and humbly wants to share it with you. this show is a blessing!

even if you can't make it to the show--go to the website, above, and read jay's blog and links. he totally *gets it*, the magic and beauty of theatre. he's one of us :)

if you have a chance, don't miss his show :)
and by all means--TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

xoxo, annie/nyc<<

jay, i share your joy, your spirit.
thank you, thank you, thank you for being so bold and generous.
much love to you & your family :) x

matthew wickline said...

hey jay its matthew thank you for the spalding eyes u gave me and for the book i read it every night and thank you for one of the greatest nights of my life i even use the tip you gave me about putting a rag over my ventriloquist dolls every night thank you so much!
my username is matthewwickline if you ever want to blog or whatever =)

matthew wickline said...

hey jay its matthew i just wanted to say thank you for one of the greatest nights of my life and to thank you for the spalding eyes and the book you gave me that i read every night and i also use one of your tips by putting a rag over my dolls faces at night so they dont lose their spirit so if you ever want to blog or comment my page my username is matthewwickline i got one when i saw yours well my mom set it up but thats ok
talk to you soon

Anonymous said...

Jay - this is Jim, Matthew's dad, we had a great time at your show and to say that you left a lasting impression with the two of us would be an understatement. Words cannot express my personal thanks to you for giving Matthew such a fantastic experience.
Jim Wickline