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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ventriloquism is the art of making an inanimate object seem to come alive. For those on a budget who wish to learn the art of Vent, learning to speak without lip movement-
place your finger over your mouth like your trying to tell someone to sush. This will tell you when and if your lips move. recite the alphabet. Wait didn't you feel your lips move on some letters, yes you did, they were "b," "f," "m," "p," "q," "v," and "w" To assist you in preventing your lips from moving when saying words with these letters in them, you will have to substitue other letters. For "b," say "d" or "geh." For "f," say "th." For "m," say "n," "nah," or "neh." For "p," say "kl." For "q," say "koo." For "v," say "th." And for "w," say "ooh". This might seem funny to you when you first begin, because it just does, but by placing the emphasis, the stress on the words on the syllables that don't contain these letters, the words will begin to sound natural.
The tone of your voice should also be changed, does it change to fit the character or do you change the voice then get the character? That is up to you. My choice is to have the voice fit the character. A convincing "vent" voice must be very different from yours. Listen to yourself speak. Tape your voice, play it back, do you have a high pitched, low pitched, do you speak loudly or softly? Fast or slow? Work on making your characters voice contrast with your own. To change your voice, you must use different functions in you body. For example, notice that when you speak and pinch your nose, your voice changes.force air through your nose, not your mouth, or forcethe sound from deeper in your throat, or the diaphragm, pretend your gonna cough, your muscles tighten, now try to talk, you'll get a deeper raspier sound, depending on the sound and personality your trying to produce.
Is your character smart and witty, speak quickly, without stuttering. Is the character
unintelligent or slow, have him or her speak in a low, slow voice. The voice you select helps to amplify your characters personality and helps bring him or her to life.
Bring your new friend to life. Decide what kind of partner you want. You must always make sure that his or her personality is different from your own, to give the illusion that you are not the same person. If you are a kind, responsible person, make your partner a mischievous jokester. Just choose something that will contrast your personality.
Try to find a dummy that will fit that character. For example, if your imagined character is a young, energetic boy, don't pick a dummy that's an old man or a young lady. Make sure to pick the right partner for your needs.
Convince yourself that your partner is completely alive. Once you've done this, it will be easier to convince an audience. Try to make sure that, from the moment you pick him or her up (take him or her out of his case, bed, etc.) and grab the controls, he or she is totally alive. Have him or her tell you stories about what he or she has been up to, where he or she goes to school, etc. Even though you are technically making this up, it will help you believe that there is life in your partner.
Animate your partner properly. There are many different control, a good average one that is excellent for beginners is one with a moving head. The saying no string attached is very important here, they are toys.. you want one where you put your hand in the back, grab a stick attached to the head, or a soft puppet made of latex where your hand operates the head and mouth. When its your characters turn to talk be sure the mouth moves on each sylable ( Joey says'silly bull'). Keep your partner animated, that means moving, but becareful here to, you don't want the character moving needlesslyit looks silly, unless you want it to seem that way. Don't forget to keep him/her moving when you speak as well, its natural that when someone speaks and someone listens, they move. This will make the audience think that he or she is really listening. If he or she is young and energetic, have his or her head move quickly and shake while he or she is speaking. If he or she is an older person or a sleepy child, have his or her head move slowly and not very much. Be sure that the head isn't moving too much while he or she speaks, or this will distract the audience from the actual speech. Try to observe real people as they speak, and have your partner mimic those movements.
Have fun, a major factor in being a good ventriloquist is having passion.Practice..Practice.. practice the art. Practice every day and eventually you will be a fantastic ventriloquist. You don't just practice by sitting and speaking with your partner alone. Play games with your partner, watch TV with him or her, bring him or her to family get-togethers and have others meet him or her. Whether you are taking up ventriloquism for fun or for a career, make sure you are having fun with it. The illusion of life doesn't come easily, you must believe in your friend to bring him/her to life.

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