Tuesday, 26 March 2013

How to become an awesome ventriloquist

Being a ventriloquist, today I am going to share some of the best tips I have learned so far. Ventriloquism is the art of making an inanimate object seem to come alive. This article provides tips and instructions for becoming a good ventriloquist.

 Learn to speak without moving your lips. 
 Hold a finger over your mouth as if trying to tell someone to be quiet. This will help prevent your lips from moving. Then, go through the alphabet. You'll notice that the letters "b," "f," "m," "p," "q," "v," and "w" will make your lips move. To say these without moving your lips, you must use substitutions. 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". You may think the new words with the substituted letters sound ridiculous, but if you learn to put the stress on the syllables that don't contain these letters, the words will begin to sound natural.

Change your voice.
 A convincing "vent" voice must be very different from yours. Try to listen to yourself speak. Do you speak loudly or softly? Fast or slow? Do you have a low voice or a high voice? Try to make your partner's voice different from yours in all or most of these categories. 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. One excellent way to help change your voice is to force air through your nose instead of your mouth when you speak. Another good way is to force the sound from deeper inside your throat, and also force the sound from the diaphragm. To force the sound, pretend you are about to cough. You'll notice that the muscles around your stomach will tighten. Now, using those muscles, try to speak. This will result in a deeper, raspier voice, which can also be handy, depending on what type of personality you want your partner to have.

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 schemes for dummies, but a good, average one that is excellent for beginners and even for advanced vents is one with a moving head. Be careful while purchasing your dummy that you don't buy one with a string on the neck to operate the mouth. Buy one where you put your hand in the back, grab a stick attached to the head, and push a trigger to move the mouth. This is key when animating your partner. When your partner speaks, make sure his or her mouth moves with every syllable that he or she speaks. Also, keep your partner moving, even when you are speaking. This will make the audience think that he or she is real. Also, be sure to remember the amount that he or she is moving. 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 with it. 
A big factor in being a good ventriloquist is having passion. You must always practice the art. Practicing every day will eventually make you a fantastic ventriloquist. You also don't have to practice only by sitting and speaking with your partner. 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, but you just have to believe in your friend to make him or her come alive.

Please give your valuable feedback in comments :)