Weight Of Your Ventriloquist Figure

Much talk has taken place over the weight of ventriloquist figures and for the life of me I just don’t understand what the fuss is all about. I understand that it is great for a figure to be light weight for transportation purposes but does it really matter in performance.

Most ventriloquists of the “Golden Era” sat down and had the figure sitting on their knee or even stood with one foot on a chair and the figure on the knee. In either of these poses the weight of the figure is on the leg so the weight has no matter.

Some talk about the head being heavy but in just about all figures, that I know of, the head is either sitting on the shoulder board or sunk into the shoulder board with the ball and socket taking the head weight. In most English figures and early Maher and Lovik figures the head went through the body but they were made of paper mache and were not heavy and the body was still sitting on your knee.

The McElroy figure’s heads were made of plastic wood and filled with all the mechanics and did weigh a lot but they too were suspended in a cradle to alleviate the weight.

Today most ventriloquists use a stand for their figure to sit upon so again weight is not an issue.

I can only imagine if a figure is going to be used in walk around then the weight would be an issue, but in walk around why would you use a big full size figure? A small figure would work just fine and therefore the weight is a non issue.

Well this is just the thoughts of a ventriloquist figure collector and not a performer.

By the way if you talk that weight is a problem because of travel. It should not matter because a pro is going to use a case such as those made by Anvil and they do have weight on their own. They certainly will protect you buddy!!

 

Dan
www.ventriloquistcentral.com

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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 2011 by Dan Willinger

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3 Responses to Weight Of Your Ventriloquist Figure

  1. LeeDean says:

    I use a standing/walking figure so it carries its own weight.

  2. Dennis Meeks says:

    Hi Dan,
    As a clown, all I do is walk-around. even with a light figure about an hour of that and
    your arms are shaking and your back is ready to break and its look for a place to sit for
    a few minutes. The figures that I use are light weight! I would not even think of using my Lovik figure, his body is casg resin and his head is heavy wood. I don’t use him because of his weight. Sidney is just too heavy for walk-around. Sonny, an Anderson “head shell that I finished is a great little figure that I like a lot but also too heavy for walkaround. What a history that little guy has! He was the figure that I used at the ’83 ConVENTion primarily due to his anatomical features. Walk around with him much and it is back pain and shaking arms. My two Semok figures, SKIP and Scott are truly my walk around figures, they are light and have appeared at many Shrine Circus’ and the public loves to let their kids have a “one on one” with a doll that talks! I just wanted to chime in, weight does make a big difference to an aging ventriloquist that primarily does his performing. “up close and personal” with his figure in his arms.
    Den/Bubbles

  3. Philip Grecian says:

    Sylvia’s got the heaviest head of my bunch. She’s a 1970’s Lovik sold through Maher. Her head was heavy in the first place, but I added just a bit to it by converting her to a slot-jaw. I just worry about her pitching forward, should I let go of her for even a moment. I don’t do nearly as many vent shows as I used to, but one I’ve done for 41 years now at the neurological hospital involves walk-around and crouching down to make contact with the audience members. I could never do that with Sylvia. Initially I was doing it with Louie, a 1950’s ball and socket Jerry considerably changed, resculpted, rewigged, etc. A few years back a really wonderful Hartz came on the market that was almost identical to Louie. I bought him and added a wig. He’s heavier than the original figure, but not nearly as troublesome as Sylvia. Her weight, even before I modified her jaw, surprised me.

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