- 1 Advise for Struggling Ventriloquists whose audience hates them
- 2 Why does the audience hate your performance?
- 3 How do you solve the problem?
- 4 Some ventriloquism facts to implement in your next performance
- 5 How to pronounce the most difficult letters of the alphabet by Terry Peterson
Advise for Struggling Ventriloquists whose audience hates them
Are you a ventriloquist who cannot seem to be able to work up a crowd? You and your dummy attract more ridicule than laughs from the audience.
What are ventriloquism facts? That is a very good question. This article shall go into great depths about some of the cold hard facts that every performer has to abide by.
Why does the audience hate your performance?
1. You can’t seem to keep your mouth closed
Beginner ventriloquists using a puppet’s struggle keeping the muscles of the lips and face immovable. When speaking to the dummy, the ventriloquist usually addresses his questions to them in the ordinary voice. When the dummy answers there should be no movement of the face and lips. The mouth should remain closed, and the lips parted just like an interested listener.
This ability to speak without moving the lips is the first thing to be accomplished, and although it may seem impossible at first, if the student is faithful in his practice it will not prove to be so difficult a matter after all.
2. You try to pronounce each word perfectly
Fine enunciation and perfect pronunciation are not expected from ventriloquists. As the performer you can break grammar rules. The dummy is not a human being. Therefore no one expects them to be educated.
In your questions, your grammar should be faultless. You may use ungrammatical expressions in the dialogues of your dummy. This is a part that Jeff Dunham used with the character Achmed. He could say things using Achmed as a mouthpiece that he could never do in the real world. Grammar rules were thrown out of the window, and the audience and the Internet loved him for it.
How do you solve the problem?
For your audience to buy into the illusion, the most important ventriloquist’s facts to keep in mind revolve around the illusion. The dummy needs to appear, sound and behave as if it was a being independent of you. We are built to detect deficiency so any laxity in this area means the public will spot you moving your lips.
Standing before a mirror, close the lips until they are one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch apart. While keeping the jaws rigid try to say the letters “A, E, I, O, U.” You will do this without difficulty. When you attempt “B” however, you will meet with difficulty; the same will be the case with “P.” Words in which these two letters occur must, therefore, be used as little as possible.
Some ventriloquism facts to implement in your next performance
There are some letters that are very problematic for many beginners. Here are a few and how to go about choosing alternatives that will better serve the illusion.
- “H“, “N“, “M“, can never be given perfectly without moving the upper lip. In such a case you need to substitute each letter with an equivalent. For instance, the word “amusing” would be pronounced as if spelled “and-using“. The “N” being reinforced by the “Y” gives a sound very close to the right one.
- Avoid the letters “P” and “B” as much as you can. When it is impossible to avoid such words, substitute some sound closely approximating that required. For instance, “There“, which can be pronounced without movement of the lips after a little practice, may be used in place of “B“; and “Fee” for “P“. A big piano” would be spoken “A vig piano“.
- “C” and “D” are easy, as are most words containing these letters.
- “F” makes a sound of the breath striking the teeth, but if slightly prolonged the difference is hardly noticeable.
- “G”, “I“, “K ” and “L” offer no difficulty, and “Q“, “R“, “S” and “T” give little trouble.
- “V” should be slightly prolonged as in the case of “F” and be well practiced.
- “W” is pronounced as “juggle-you“, while “X“, ” Y ” and “Z ” can be readily spoken.
How to pronounce the most difficult letters of the alphabet by Terry Peterson
This exercise should be gone through with over and over again before a mirror, until every letter can be pronounced, by these instructions, without movement of the lips. Watch yourself carefully, and should you detect any change at any time while asserting, stop at once and give extra attention to the letter until the movement is no longer perceptible.
In closing, there are other reasons an audience could turn against your performance. Ventriloquism facts are a dime a dozen. However, this is the most pertinent of all. The audience can endure a boring dialogue between you and the dummy. The former is regarded as a sin so take the time to practice and perfect it.