Aspiring To Be A Ventriloquist?
If you’ve ever seen a ventriloquist in action, you know that when it’s done right, it’s
just about one of the coolest things out there. On the other hand, when ventriloquism is
not done properly, it ends up being just another lame act people wished they hadn’t paid
that much to see. With that being said, if you are one of the few out there dreaming of
making a name for yourself and becoming the next Jeff Dunham, you’re really going to want
to bring your “A” game if you want to impress the masses.
Ventriloquism is a fairly unsaturated market in the entertainment business, so if you are
able to master the craft and come up with a killer routine, you just might be well on your
way to becoming the next big shot ventriloquist. Sounds like a piece of cake right? Well
we don’t want you to get too ahead of yourself, but we do want you to wreck shop every
time you hit the stage so here are a few things to focus on that will help you nail your
act and secure your reputation as a credible ventriloquist.
Tip #1 – It’s all in the Lips
The coolest part of being a great ventriloquist is that ability to really fool people into
believing that you are not talking whatsoever. This is no simple task because you might
realize that when you speak, the letters “b,” “f,” “m,” “p,” “q,” “v,” and “w” all make
you lips move, which is the dead giveaway. The trick here is to find some substitution
letters or sounds that will help you to keep you from moving your lips while still
sounding natural. For “b,” say “d” or “geh.” For “f,” say “th.” For “m,” say “n,” “nah,”
or “neh.” For “p,” say “kl” or “t.” For “q,” say “koo.” For “v,” say “th.” And for “w,”
say “ooh”. Now at first, you might find that this sounds a bit ridiculous with the
substitutions, but all you have to do is learn to put the emphasis and stress on the
syllables that don’t have these letters and it will all start sounding more and more
Tip #2 – Get into Character
If you spend some time watching a successful ventriloquist such as Jeff Dunham, you will
notice that every one of their puppets has its own unique voice and personality. This is
key and will make it much more believable that there are in fact two individuals on stage.
If you want to be convincing, you really have to focus on creating a “vent” voice that
sounds totally different from your own. To do this, you will have to learn to utilize
different functions in your body than you would normally. A simple way would be to pinch
your nose when you talk, but since that doesn’t help the real factor, you’ll have to try
something a bit less noticeable like the following:
- Try forcing more air through your nose when you talk instead of through your mouth.
- Another great thing to try is to force the sound from deeper inside your throat, and even
more from the diaphragm. To make this happen, pretend like you are about to cough, or like
you are picking up something heavy. You should feel your stomach tightening. Now that your
stomach muscles are tight, use them to speak. This can help you to get a deeper, raspier
sound to your voice that could prove useful in creating the next character in your
Tip #3 – You’re a Ventriloquist. Have fun!
It is more real and enjoyable for the audience when you are just as convinced as they are
that your character is alive. The big factor here is passion. The more passion you have
and show, the more life you will be able to bring to your characters. The illusion of life
is not easy to come by, but it can be done if you practice constantly. Don’t just practice
speaking with your partner, play games with them, watch TV shows and even have other
people meet them. Just have a lot of fun as you go and you will see the improvement.
If you liked these tips and are serious about learning how to become the next great
ventriloquist, click here to check out this amazing lesson series by Tom Crowl. He’ll even
give you 5 lessons FREE!