One of the things that a ventriloquist must learn when doing this art is how to manipulate the mouth so that it does not click when closing. I have been asked many times how this noise can be avoided and why builders don’t eliminate this.
The fact is that is not something that is easily eliminated. Sure you can ad a bumper inside to soften the sound but this will not eliminate the sound entirely. The simple solution is that you must practice to use the mouth so that it in fact does not click.
You have to at first, consciously remember how far you move the lever so as not to allow the noise. After a bit of practice it will become natural. Of course each figure will be different but I think you get the idea.
This is not the maker’s problem but the user’s and the user must learn this control.
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Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan 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. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2014 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst
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Hey Dan,I have to respectfully “Disagree”with this my friend,having owned many figures as well myself over the years there are some Figuremakers out there that can build figures with design and controls in such a way that there is “No” clicking sound when mouth is closed and I Don’t think this is something a Buyer/Vent should just have to deal with….as a matter of fact I currently have a Eddie figure for sale made by Mike Brose on VC Marketplace and the controls/mechanics are so smooth that there is ‘no clicking’…..and even if a Vent practices with his/her figure enough to try to eliminate the ‘clicking'(if there is one present) on there figure when mouth closes there are times and circumstances when your finger may slip on control lever for mouth during a Performance and you can’t avoid the Lever and mouth snapping back quickly and getting a loud “Click” thru the microphone….so once again imho I believe this is something that a Vent should not just have to “put up with”on a Vent figure.
Various figure makers, past & present have different spring tension on their figure’s jaw movement. Some are rather weak & others may be too strong. This makes for learning how to control the mouth movement with it’s particular “springing”, or have figure maker replace spring with one that has tension you prefer. Only my humble opinion.
Phil , I agree with both you and Dan. I have many variations of figures. The zauberklingl I own makes little to no noise but you can still hear the levers. A chuck jackson figure I have also makes little to no noise but again you still have to deal with learning how much force to use on the lever to avoid noise. Out of all the figures I’ve owned I imagine it’s impossible for them to be completely silent in opperation. So yes I agree some figures are very quiet but for any figure to operate without any notice of sound takes a skilled vent. After all many figures have springs and metal. ……..Nick.
Another method I used to use was to adjust the string control for the mouth so it would stop just short of the point where the mouth “clicks” shut, it’s tricky, and as time goes by, it has to be adjusted, but it makes it easier than trying to control it or worrying about slipping. Of course that method doesn’t help with a figure that has rod controls…..