Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I have a rule about reading reviews of my performances.
I don't, if I can avoid it.
In the early days of my career I was just so excited that someone would write about my act that I was eager to see what they said. It seemed like part of the entertainer's romantic myth.  Waiting at Sardi's to see if your show is a hit.
For me stalking reviews was never satisfying and more often heart-breaking.  More importantly... the information pointed out in a review, good or bad, never helped me make better choices on stage.
At some point I realized I could save the energy spent listening to what someone else said about my show, and use the energy listening to my own heart.  It cancels regrets later, you never have to say to yourself, "What I wanted to do," or "What I should have done was..."  If you follow your heart you make the most satisfying decisions.
That said, this can not be considered a review. This is a note I received from Jimmy Nelson.  I did not ask his permission to publish it here on the blog.  I hope he doesn't mind but I want the world to know how much it means to me.   The way I figure it, if a ventriloquist gets a letter from the Dean of American Ventriloquists, and in my opinion the Dean of ALL Ventriloquists, it seems appropriate to share it.  So here goes:

Hello Jay.
Just a few thoughts about our recent get-together in Wilmington.
Jay, you never cease to amaze me with your many talents. I've always admired you for your obvious vent
talents...impeccable lip control, manipulation, etc. But to watch you work in three back to back performances of "The Two and Only" was a revelation. How you manage to keep all those voices sharp and clear, and your timing perfect, must hark back to your ten-plus shows a day at Six Flags!  And even then you weren't on stage for almost two hours continuously!  You are truly a Renaissance Man in the vent world!
I want to thank you for allowing Betty and me to participate in this special event.
The DVD will entertain audiences, but for me it will archive your talents for years to come.

Betty & I send our love to you and Sandi.

'Till we meet again,


I have written a pre-rebuttal right here in a previous blog on  Wednesday, January 26, 2011.  
To find favor with those of whom you favor is the most satisfying review an artist could receive. Thank you, Mr. Nelson.
As you were,
Jay (Officially Half-Nelson)


Tracy said...

must say, even though my knowledge of what it takes to achieve your art, I know from watching the performance, I couldn't agree more.

P. Grecian said...

Such high praise from Jimmy Nelson! Sweet. You deserve every bit of it. So sorry I couldn't be there for the live show, waiting, with bated breath for the DVD.