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Ventriloquist's Tips

Learn how to become a ventriloquist:

Here are some tips on how to do ventriloquism. Ventriloquism is the art of making a puppet look real by doing what they call, throwing your voice. You don't actually throw your voice. This is a term used a long time ago and it took me years to figure out that it is impossible to throw your voice. You simply change it so that it doesn't sound like your own.

There are different ways to change your voice.

You can make it higher like Mickey Mouse type voice. (This is called a falsetto voice)
You can make it lower like Santa Claus. (Ho, Ho, Ho)
It can be gravely like Oscar the Grouch. (Hey, who knocked on my can?)
Sweet and soft like Snow White.
Bumpkin, like Goofy.

The most important thing is to make it different than your own. This will make your puppet stand out on its own. You also need to give your puppet a character. All that means is if your puppet likes baseball or dancing, camping or anything that you like. This will give your audience a good idea of your puppets character. Once you have created a character you then need to make it come alive by movement. This is also called manipulation. Your puppet needs to move like it's real. A good way to do this is to practice in front of a mirror or video camera. Make sure that the puppet is constantly moving in a natural motion. If you are looking in one direction have the puppet look in another direction. Make it look quickly to one side and open and close the mouth even if it's not saying anything. Move its body and arms as a real person would.

Once you have a good voice and good manipulation then its time to try ventriloquism.

The most important thing about ventriloquism is to try not to move your lips. There are ways to practice this, in our alphabet there are letters that make your lips come together. These letters are B-F-M-P-V-W.

If you place a pencil in between your lips and say the alphabet, these letters will make your upper and lower lips come together. Just try it.

In ventriloquism we have a way to substitute different letters to sound like these letters.

For B use the letter D.
So instead of saying boy, you will say doy.
If you're saying this sentence in normal speed, it will pass for boy.
Ex: With a pencil between your lips say (He was a good doy.)

Now F will be substituted with TH.
So instead of saying (That's fun to do), you will say with the pencil between your lips (That's THun to do)

M will be replaced with N.
My dog is black. You will say, (NY dog is black). Make sure you say it in a normal speed.

P is replaced with T.
Will you play with me? (Will you Tlay with Ne)

V is replaced with TH.
Like when you say THE. "Victory is mine." (Thictory is Nine)

W in a word won't make your lips go together (ex: Will you go). But if you are talking and you need to say W you would say DudleYou. Like President Bush's middle initial is DudleYou. George DudleYou Bush.

Now you will need to practice this a lot to get it down, but those are the basic tricks of the trade. You can get a small hand held puppet for less than $10.00.

You will notice like any other hobby that you have done, if you truly enjoy it, it will become contagious. You will want to learn as much as you can. Believe me; since I've gotten into Ventriloquism, I have become a comedy writer, magician, and a puppet builder. Yes I have made most of my own puppets. This way I know what I'm looking for. But, most of all, I have met some of the nicest people in the U.S. and many other countries in the world. I've made new friends and yes, some of them famous.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ventriloquism. There is so much more to learn and I would love to help you in any way. A great web site to go to http://www.axtell.com. They make puppets but also have links to many different Ventriloquist and puppet makers. So, if you have access to a computer, please visit this site. We also have conventions that you can go to. I highly recommend them for learning more.

In closing, I would like to tell you that in the Pittsburgh area we are only have a few Ventriloquists. The market is wide open for new people. SO IF YOU LIKE TO LAUGH AND WATCH OTHERS LAUGH, JOIN ME IN THE WORLD OF VENTRILOQUISM.