You can Be a Ventriloquist! Learn Ventriloquism - Start today
Ventriloquists are competing and winning contests all over the world like Darci Lynne, Terry Fator, and Paul Zerdin. Jeff Dunham plays to huge stadiums and has top rated TV Specials, Jay Johnson won a Tony Award for his Broadway show, and Ronn Lucas performs for presidents and royalty. David Strassman, Nina Conti, Dan Horn and many others are performing in sold out theaters, on cruise ships, in corporate shows and on variety shows. Full time and part time ventriloquists are also working locally doing birthday parties, charity events, churches, schools, day care and mall shows….
SO CAN YOU!
Limit your actual voice practice to short 5 minute sessions so you do not strain your throat.
On this special web page you will learn about the following techniques:
1. The Vent Alphabet
2. Creating the Illusion of life
3. Distant Voice Hints & Advanced Techniques
You can also watch our “Magic Moment” videos series at the bottom of the page
Learn to do Ventriloquism like these well known Ventriloquists:
Terry Fator • Darci Lynne • Paul Winchell • Jeff Dunham • Ronn Lucas • Jay Johnson • David Strassman • Jimmy Nelson • Edgar Bergen • Shari Lewis • Paul Zerdin • Jim Barber • Russo Lewis • Bill DeMar • Pete Michaels • Arthur Worsley • Taylor Mason • Nina Conti • Mark Wade • Willie Tyler • Steve Petra • and many more…
with Axtell’s“Ventrilo-Quick” T.M.
An On-Line reference guide to Learning Ventriloquism
The Vent Alaphabet
The EASY Sounds
These sounds you can already do without much lip or Jaw movement.
A ( ant – alien) C (cat – cedar) D (dog-dirty) E (easy – Eddie) G (go – goose) H (hat – hang) I (Indiana – idol) J (joke – jelly) K (Kate – Karate) L (like – Elsie) N (not – Nixon) O (orange – hoot) Q (queen – quiet) R (rain – ark) S (stay – ask) T (teach – tot) U (under – unicorn) X/Z – (x-ray -zoo)
The CHALLENGING Sounds (Labials)
Before we begin, let’s look at your tongue and 2 of it’s positions…
Top Touch normal position is where your tongue goes to make the normal sound of “D”. Do NOTuse this position when substituting the D sound for the B sound as in “DOY” for “BOY”. Do NOT use this position for substituting the N sound for an M like “Nonny” for “Mommy”. No matter how many times you try it will always sound like D N and T”. Instead use the position below:
Front Press / Pull Off substitution position is the proper position for substituting sounds listed below.
Note: Your tongue is substituting for one lip…and that the back of your upper teeth are like the other lip so the pressures used by the tongue is just a light touch. (Similar to your lips touching to say “Boy”)
Position 2 (pull off quickly when you substitute)
Animation of the Front Touch
Practice these sounds….
B (boy – bye – banana) Use the FRONT PRESS against upper front teeth loosely – pull back quickly as you say “d” but think “b” – get on to the vowel fast. Do not pronounce it as a “d”, or ……..your teeth will fall out!
Listen to the difference…
Vent Examples of “B” Sound
Example Phrase – “The Boy Likes Bananas”
(Click the following and wait to hear them!)
Use the Front Press it will sound like this, “the boy likes bananas”. Don’t say “The doy likes dananas”.
You see the Front Press is simulating the lips touching together. When you normally say BOY the air blows your lips apart….a “plosive” sound. So to continue the simulation your front press touch is the start of the B…but the pull off and OYE…is the polsive sound.
M (Mary – made – him) FRONT PRESS and Substitute the modified “N” sound. (Mad = Nad)
P (Peter – apple – top) FRONT PRESS and substitute the modified “T” sound. (Paste = Taste)
F sound (Frank – friend – Ralph) Hiss through your teeth like “th” in “thanks” (Friend = thriend)
V (Very – every) Substitute “Th” sound as in “there” (Valentine = Thalentine)
(Away – with – water ) Sub “oo” sound as in “hoot”. (Water = Ooater)
Practice lip control in all positions!
React to your audience and your puppet! Be skilled to speak in all 3 positions so you create true reactionary expressions to what is going on in the routine. Just like in real life. To find out what your reactions might be, have someone else read the puppets part so you can just do your own lines and react. Observe your reactions and write them down. Put those expressions into your role as ventriloquist and you will really raise your technical level.
Smile Position (careful not to over use this!)
Open Position. (Especially good in profile as you look at your puppet in shock. From the front tongue movement can be seen on some sounds.)
Did you learn anything? Drop us a note and tell us!
“I never realized ventriloquism had so many things to remember. I finally learned how to do the B’s. That has been my biggest problem and I knew it had something to do with where my tongue was.” Pam
I can’t believe how simple it was to completely correct my b and p sounds! That has to be the best ventriloquist tip I’ve ever had! I must be a real dummy for not realizing it on my own! Thanks again, Karen
I am beginning to learn ventriloquism and am really glad I found your page. Your explanation of the pronouncing the difficult letters is really great. I’ll be coming back for more. Jim
Steve, I recently ordered a puppet from your magazine and have always looked at the ventriloquism items but always thought it would be too hard to learn. This page was an excellent way to find out it wasn’t. Thanks for the lessons! jason
I have always been interested in ventriloquism. Your page is a very informative one. Now I can practice without making words sound funny. Thanks so much! Susan
This lesson although short, taught me what I have always wanted to know about the secrets of ventriloquism. I have always wanted to know how to do this since I was a little kid. Thanks a lot guys!!!!!!!!!!
This site was great. I have read books and articles about ventriloquism, and they all said: exchange b,p,m with d,t,n but they never said anything about the tongue position. I was very happy when I finally found out how to do it. Thank you! Jan-Fredrik Braseth
“Thank you! have been very curious throughout my teenage life as to whether i could throw my voice, and now thanks to this brilliantly concise webpage i am beginning to realise that with some practice maybe i can!! except for those darn b sounds!” Jo
The Illusion of Life
Learning Manipulation and Mis-direction
Direct your audience to believe that the voice is coming from the puppet. You do this by turning your head toward and looking at the source of the voice. When your puppet talks give him your attention – and when he talks to you – make sure he looks at you. This creates the illusion that the voice of your character is coming from the character. REACT with emotion when your puppet is talking. Use the most appropriate mouth position. Raise your eyebrows…React with your face. This will cause you to look less like the source of the voice and they will identify you as a bystander like themselves!
Practice the various mouth positions so you can do vent with many facial expressions. Your reactions are the key to keeping up the illusion.
Keep puppet moving as if it’s alive. Learn good puppetry manipulation skills.
When your audience reacts look at them with the puppet.
Add non-verbal communications with your puppet- nudging, clearing the throat, double take, dropped jaw, wiping mouth (drooling), etc.
When you speak to your puppet or your audience look at them. Show confidence and a willingness to connect with your audience.
Distant Voice and Advanced Techniques
Advanced Techniques such as…
“Throwing your voice” How to do a Distant voice, muffled voice, multiple voices, telephone voice, echo, baby cry, singing while drinking water, etc.
Developing Excellence with Puppet Manipulation
Putting your show together….
Writing your routines….
Marketing your show….
Earning a living doing parties, trade shows, stage shows etc….
….. a wealth of information is available to continue
learning and from a variety of instructors.
Many great Resource Books and Videos for You!
Axtell Expressions On-Line Catalog has books, audio and video tapes of Vent Instruction as well as learning many other aspects of performing such as marketing, creating a show, writing material etc. When you are ready to perform, we have some of the best puppets in the world used by THOUSANDS of ventriloquists!
Ever hear a Ventriloquist make a voice appear to be coming from somewhere very far away or inside a storage trunk? This technique is one that you will want to learn. Here is a quick start toward that goal….
Bend over with your arms out and pretend that you are lifting a VERY HEAVY rock. Grunt and strain quietly. Listen to your voice, very quiet and pushed back?? Now say “help me, help me” in that same voice. Eventually you’ll be able to do this without your body all bent over and just putting your throat into that tight position.
WARNING! You could strain your throat so make this very short practices. Don’t over do it.
Now this is what is called “throwing the voice” because it sounds distant. However it is coming from your throat so how does it appear to be coming from somewhere else? That’s misdirection! You intentionally look far off (or down at a trunk) as if you have heard it to. In the mind of the audience it now appears that the sound came from over there.
Ever notice that frogs or crickets are hard to locate visually even though you can hear them? Sounds and direction are not too easy for the mind to grasp, so this is easy to fool people with. Now obviously if they are within a few feet of you the illusion won’t work, unless you become a world-class vent…and there are a few out there!
I hope this helps whet your appetite for the wonderful world of Ventriloquism. Now buy books, videos, puppets and practice practice practice!!!
Many professional vents use our products exclusively. I don’t ask for that but take a look at these interviews! https://www.axtell.com/cust.html
Did you learn anything? Drop us a note and tell us!
There are various techniques to accomplish the sounds other than the ones shown above. Once you begin learning the basics there will be modifications you can learn that may be easier for you to execute.
Our hope is that we can increase the number of good ventriloquists in the world who not only are good students but also good teachers.
Check out the “Learn Ventriloquism” Online Course!
Axtell’s “Magic Moment” Series
Learn More at the Learning Center
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Questions? Comments? Email Steve Axtell