Pitch Point On Ventriloquist Figures

To most folk who do ventriloquism the term pitch point doesn’t mean much. As matter of fact they more than likely don’t know what pitch point means. So I thought I would share this with you.

Pitch point refers to the mouth movement of the ventriloquist figure. When a figure builder makes his figure he or she must cut out the mouth from the head. After it is cut out walls must be made on the inside of the head and on the sides of the mouth that has been cut out. Then this new mouth palate must be fitted back into the head. This is where the pitch point comes into effect.

You know the maker has taken time to correctly do the geometry of the mouth movement when as the mouth opens two things happen. First you do not see the sides of the mouth palate when the mouth is opened. The second is that you do not see the front side point of the mouth being exposed. There is a lot of work and figuring that is involved with getting this right. That is the pitch point.

Frank Marshall was very aware of the pitch point and you almost never see the sides of the mouth or the front points exposed on his figures. On the opposite end most of Foy Brown’s figures show the sides and point. He did not take time to find the correct pitch point. One of the modern makers that didn’t really care about pitch point was Craig Lovik. They were terrible when it came to pitch point.

So take you figure, pull down on the mouth lever and take a look and see if yours has good pitch point. You may be surprised at what you see.


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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 2013 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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2 Responses to Pitch Point On Ventriloquist Figures

  1. LeeDean says:

    I remember on my Marshalls that the jaw pivot was placed about the center of an imaginary circle using the known arc of the slot of the slot jaw figure. Marshall used a small drawer or door hinge mounted on a wood bridge and placement was about top and back of the jaw to approximate the dead center of that circle to avoid the unwanted jutting in and out at top and bottom of the mouth in operation. I guess this is how it is in precision clockworks too http://www.toolingu.com/definition-560240-25496-pitch-point.html

  2. Ben says:

    Don’t forget Timothy Selberg. His work is incredible. Don’t ask me how he does it, I’m not a builder.

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