Los Angeles, CA – May 2011… When it comes to public speaking, most people have to be prodded to ‘open their mouths’ and speak up. For master ventriloquist Kevin Johnson, moving his mouth is effectively the kiss of death. After all, it’s the dummy that does all the talking. Right? The ability to project effectively and with a high level of speech intelligibility—without appearing to speak—is key to Johnson’s success. Night after night after night, he makes it all happen with the aid of his trusty E6 Directional Earset microphone from Countryman Associates.
Johnson’s talents are in constant demand. In addition to appearances on NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent and CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman, he regularly performs on cruise ships, for corporate events, as well as in casinos and various performing arts theaters. Presently, he’s working 7 nights per week—split between Anaheim, California’s Battle of the Dance dinner theater and the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido, CA. Travel is a big part of his business and through it all, his trusty E6 earset mic never lets him down.
“I first started working with the E6 when I performed daily at Legoland California back in 2007,” Johnson remarked. “My E6 goes everywhere I do. Although I keep my earset in its case, it still travels in my carry-on bag, which has been shoved in cargo holds of all types. This mic has been twisted and bent in so many shapes and handled by technicians of all skill levels and yet it still works like the day I bought it. In four years of use, I’ve only replaced the Snap-on cable once.”
In addition to its robust build quality, the E6’s sound quality and its practically invisible, comfortable design are vitally important factors in Johnson’s line of work. “The number one reason I prefer the Countryman E6 earset over anything else is its consistently high quality sound that is respected throughout the industry” he reports. “Everywhere I go, I hear technicians say, ‘Wow, that’s an E6. That’s an awesome microphone.’ I just smile and nod. Not only does the E6 sound better than any other wireless microphone I’ve used, it picks up my voice(s) with great clarity, which is critical to the success of my performance.”
“I love the E6 because of its non-obtrusive style,” he continued. “As a ventriloquist, I can’t hide behind a microphone. I need the audience to see that my mouth isn’t moving. In this regard, the E6 is the perfect tool for my craft. To achieve the highest level of invisibility, I use the 1mm, low-profile ‘Theatrical Wire’, which is the thinner option for the E6. With a small wire clip attached to the back of my collar and a tiny piece of clear tape behind my ear, I forget I’m even wearing the microphone. Equally significant, the microphone’s flexible earpiece is unbelievably comfortable and I’m certain its flexibility is yet another factor that results in the mic’s durability.”
The ability to easily adapt to a variety of wireless microphone systems is yet another factor that makes the Countryman E6 the ideal choice for Johnson. “I use a Shure wireless system when I travel,” he notes, “unless the house already uses Shure; then I plug right into their beltpack transmitter. I also carry a Sennheiser wireless transmitter connector that is easily interchangeable with the earset. This way, I’m covered.”
As he prepared for his next engagement, Johnson summarized his experience with his Countryman E6 while offering a pun as a parting thought. “For me, this is the perfect microphone,” Johnson said. “I’ve had the opportunity to use many different headsets, but when it comes to consistent sound quality, comfort, and reliability, nothing compares to Countryman. The Countryman E6 earset is the ‘Microphone for Dummies’. It’s so good that it speaks for itself, which is critical in my line of work.”
To learn more about Kevin Johnson, visit him online at www.kevinjohnson.tv.