Welcome to Learning Ventriloquism, on this website you will learn all the things you want to know about ventriloquism. Our website contains tutorials, guides and how-to’s. We also got a lot of other information like the history of ventriloquism and we got a ventriloquist store were you can buy supplies like dummies and masks.
Ventriloquism looks easy enough when you watch it on television or when you go to a show, but when you are doing it yourself you will find out how hard it is. However if you really want to become a ventriloquist then you can become one. This website contains all the information you need to know to become a ventriloquist, both for beginners as well as professionals. We got guides, instructions and other information about ventriloquism.
What is a ventriloquist and what does it mean?
A ventriloquy is someone who can talk without using his lips or mouth. This will trick your brain into believing the sounds is coming from another place or person. Many ventriloquists use a dummy (also known as puppet or doll) to perform their act. Most of the time the puppet sits or stands next to him so that the ventriloquist can look at the puppet and yet talk out of angle of his of her mouth. Some ventriloquists also use a mask instead of a dummy now a days, this is a mechanical mask where the mouth will be opened when a button is pressed. Another cool thing that some ventriloquists can do is throwing their voice. This can be used for example that someone is shouting from another room while in reality it is actually them shouting, this can give all kind of funny effects.
In the video below Nina Conti is picking an audience member to wear a ventriloquist mask. She is now trying to talk like he wants to dance. It is a very funny video and can be a good inspiration for your own show.
What does it take to learn ventriloquism?
It takes a lot of time, persistency and courage to become a ventriloquist.
Like any other skill you need to spend a lot of time doing it to become a good at it, and ventriloquism is not exception of this. You need to at least have a couple of months/years of experience before you can perform a good show, this all depends on how fast you can learn and adapt to your situation. You also need to be persistent when you want to become a professional ventriloquist, some of the top ventriloquists like Jeff Dunham and Nina Conti spended years training and perfecting their skills.
Of course because you perform in front of an audience you need to have a lot of courage and some people even say you need to have nerves of steel. Because many people will constantly look at your mouth and lips to see if you are talking and it takes some nerves to deal with all this. It takes a lot of practicing before you can successfully talk without using your lips. Of course it is always possible especially in the beginning to cover up the little mistakes with some humor. Another good thing to do is to swift the focus from you to the puppet, this way it doesn’t really matter if you make small mistakes because the eyes of the audience are on the puppet.
You can take a look at our learn ventriloquism category for all our instructions, guides and tips on how to become a succesful ventriloquist.
Problems you might face
If you decide to learn ventriloquism then be ready for a lot of criticism. Good critic as well as bad critic. And then I don’t mean only critic your show and performance but about the choice you made. Many people would disagree with your choice from day 1. This is because it is unusual in a conformist society to do something else then a normal job. However the better you get at it the more people will support you. For example Terry Fator practiced ventriloquism for over 20 years and won America Got Talent and the 1 million dollar award prize.
You will also get good critic like things to improve your show or performance, for example the way you stand, the way your lips move and how your puppet stands or sits. It is important to do something with this kind of critic to improve your show and your performance. Another thing you can do is ask some audience member after the show what they thought about the show, with this critic you can also improve your act and become better at what you do.
Another problem you will face is that when you don’t use your lips and mouth is that you can’t speak all the letters. These letters are: V, W, F, B, P, M. Of course there are some simple tricks for this. You can find the solutions for this here (scroll to the bottom).
One of the best tips we can give you is that you buy your ventriloquist dummies from a trusted source, many times we saw people getting scammed while they were buying some dummies. You can take a look at our shop if you want to make sure you get high quality ventriloquist items.
Many people ask me how to become creative when writing a script for a ventriloquist act. First of all it needs to be funny, this can be done by either covering serious subjects and giving it much irony and sarcasm or by making fun of yourself or other people/dummies. It is important that you make a conversation with your dummy and that he responds to your actions.
To give good variation to your show you can use multiple puppets at once, make sure to practice this first before doing this on stage. This will be lots of fun for the audience to watch when a discussion is happening between the 2 puppets.
Especially in the beginning it’s hard but don’t get discouraged when you don’t do it properly at the beginning. It takes a lot of practice before you can really talk without using your lips. Just keep going and going and eventually you will get the hang of it. Take a look at how to be a ventriloquist when you are a beginner.
Another important thing to do is to make a certain character arround a puppet, this will increase the popularity of the dummy and people might want to see your show because of this puppet. For example many people like Achmed the Dead Terrorist from Jeff Dunham and go especially to his show to see him. It is some kind of brand for your own show, and it will keep people interested in your show. You can create a background story about the puppet which interest a lot of people to increase popularity also.