The word ventriloquism comes from the Latin words venter meaning “belly or paunch,” and locutus meaning “to speak.” – in short, “speaking from the belly.”
Ventriloquism (quite a mouthful, eh?) is the art of making your voice appear to be coming from somewhere else – usually from a wooden dummy, a cloth puppet, and sometimes even from a suitcase or purse! That’s why it is thought of as “throwing your voice”.
“How difficult is it to throw your voice”, you ask? Extremely difficult in fact – and quite dangerous too!
The very first thing you need to do, even before you think about being a Ventriloquist, is to ask yourself if you are willing to undergo a risky form of surgery on your throat, called as “Ventriloplasty“. The risk here is that you could end up losing your voice altogether!
Alright, alright. Just kidding :D.
You don’t really need surgery – because you don’t really throw your voice.
Like the art of magic, Ventriloquism – a mouthful in the real sense too – is just an illusion caused when a dummy sitting on your lap moves its mouth open and close, in synchronization with the words being spoken; and of course, you are not moving your lips when speaking – so it has to be the dummy that’s speaking, right?
Just like a magician’s sleight of hands, a ventriloquist uses a dummy with an interesting character, timing and dummy-manipulation skills, and most importantly an entertaining script, to create the illusion that she is having a conversation with an actual dummy.
What you need to be a Ventriloquist
* A dummy or a puppet
* Voice-modulation skills
* Ability to talk without moving your lips
* Timing and Puppet-manipulation skills
* A good sense of humor
* A great script
Click here for Chapter 2: Puppets or Dummies?