I got to thinking about functions in ventriloquist figures and what movements have been done and what has not been done. I have gone over and over this in my mind and I just can’t come up with anything that has not already been done.
Just looking at my own collection of figures I can list the following , side to side eyes, self centering eyes, up or down movement eyes, crossing eyes all of these being done with levers, all around pendulum weight eye movement by movement of the head, raising eyebrows, lowering eyebrows, lever operated also the same function with weight movement, winkers, blinkers lever operated, wiggling ears lever operated, upper lip movement lever operated, stick out tongue lever operated, open mouth and stick out tongue together same lever, whistling effect by lever, mouth movement by way of pneumatics allowing you distance from the figure, fright wig lever operated, light up nose, wiggling nose lever operated, spitter, smoker, smoke out of the ears, crying eyes, hand shaker, crossing knee, kicking leg, walking and hat lifter. Quite a selection of functions but I also know of a few more functions that are not in my collection.
Ray Guyll produced a figure that the upper lip will raise on one side or the other to give the Elvis Presley style look, and it can also smile by pulling upwards at the corners of the mouth. Very ingenious lifelike movement.
So after reading this list of functions can you come up with anything that has not been done? Most of these functions have all been done since the 1920’s so nothing is new. Something interesting to think about.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger
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