I know I have written about wigs for ventriloquist’s figures in the past but I keep getting asked what I use on my figures. The answer to that is that the best wigs I find at the local Salvation Army or Morgan Memorial store.
The wigs that are there are often good quality sometimes even human hair and if you are lucky they will be toupees which work very well with a little bit of fitting.
I also am a buyer of new wigs from Paula Young. There are a variety of styles and lengths available and they have some that are a mini petite size. The mini also has to be cut down but they do work well.
You also have some that use the fake fur which you can purchase in a multitude of colors, by the yard and cut very easily. Jo-Anne fabrics has a great selection. If you are doing an African American or Latino you can also purchase at Jo-Anne’s fake curly lambs wool. This replicates that type hair perfectly.
At the costume shops you can also still purchase braided hair and spirit gum (glue) to attach this hair. It is a bit time consuming but this can really make the hair on your figure look real.
If you have other suggestions, please share them with us.
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
NOTE: You may use this blog article provided you run it with the bio box intact. Please email a copy of your publication with the blog article in it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also hit the Halloween costume stores where I find a wide selection of wigs in child sizes. You have to be careful, because there are some pretty bad wigs available, but there are some pretty good ones, too.
As for the braided hair and spirit gum: That braided hair is actually wool, though we call it crepe hair. It’s finer than regular hair. The braid has to be unbraided, wetted and stretched to get the kink out. Hang it with a weight and walk away from it for awhile.
Then it has to be carefully separated and combed out.
Spirit gum is really for attaching hair and prostheses to actors’ faces, but it would work for this as well. You probably want to hunt down the matte finish, as regular spirit gum shines a bit.
Crepe hair is available through theatrical supply companies as is spirit gum(which is available at the Halloween stores in tinier bottles for higher prices). If you’re looking for a local supplier of spirit gum, check the barber shops. There’s usually one that deals in hairpieces, and spirit gum is used to attach them (as is toupee tape, but that wouldn’t be useful in this case). The toupee specialty barber shops also have other matte finish glues which, frankly, are almost always just refined spirit gum under different names, but that’s okay. Works just fine.