featured-hidden-talentsIssue 11

Hidden Talents: Michael Douglas With Malcom McDougall and Timex

PEOPLE NORMALLY KNOW ME AS…
The CEO of Advancing Vibrant Communities (AVC).

BUT WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW IS THAT I HAVE…
A career as a ventriloquist, stage performer and magician.

I GOT STARTED WITH MY HIDDEN TALENT WHEN…
I was six years old. I fell in love with the Winchell Mahoney hour, an hour long ventriloquist variety show that aired daily in Southern California. I watched it every day and told my mom I wanted to learn to do that. She bought me a figure and then I self taught the rest using books I found at the local library.

AND SOMEDAY I HOPE TO…
I don’t really have dreams of making this into anything more than it is. I know what I’m wired to do. I know my skill level and I’m very content to do this part time. Finding balance is a tough thing, but luckily I have a very understanding, patient and forgiving wife who has been supportive all along the way.

THE LAST BOOK I READ WAS…
To Transform a City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City by Eric Swanson.

I ALSO ENJOY…
Music; it is a big part of my life. I have played trumpet and French horn since fifth grade. I also do voiceover work and through AVC, I produce and host a podcast that’s been running since 1997. I also do a lot of emcee work for nonprofits in town.

WANT TO GET STARTED IN VENTRILOQUISM?
JUST START BY…
I’d suggest 3 steps: watch, pick apart and assess a good pro; get some type of instruction from a reasonable source; then, just learn to do the alphabet and the labials in front of the mirror. Practice until you can’t stand it anymore. There are a lot of good books on routines, but the biggest thing to do is to create a character. When I’m working with Malcolm, if I don’t believe he’s real, you’re not going to believe he’s real. If I don’t sell it, the audience isn’t going to be entertained.

If you have a hidden talent, submit to [email protected]

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