Ventriloquism and Magic


As an acute observer of ventriloquism I though I would throw out my thoughts on the mixing of magic and ventriloquism. Magic as it happens is very close to me. My son is a pro working magician and does table magic in restaurants. He has been doing this for the better part of 10 years. I actually got into the ventriloquism to keep from stepping in my son’s way in his quest to become a magician.

Magic is a great art and so is ventriloquism. When you perform ventriloquism you are actually doing magic. When you bring your figure to life and the figure is interacting with you and your mouth is not moving when the figures is, you have created a fantastic illusion. MAGIC!!

The question of should the two be mixed in an act is something that has been discussed for eons by everyone in both fields. My take is that they should be separate but there have been some that have incorporated both very well. One that comes to mind is the late Bob Jepson. He was a good ventriloquist that actually used his figure in a cutting in half illusion and his figure was talking while being sawed in half. I think he may have been one of the exceptions to my rule.

It think it is very hard to do magic while manipulating your ventriloquist figure. Most magic needs both of your hands to accomplish the trick. If you have to manipulate the figure as well as do the trick there has to be a point where the figure loses his persona to do the magic. My take is if you want to do magic, do magic and if you want to do ventriloquism, do ventriloquism.

Tom Crowl , who was a pro magician actually is a magician that changed venue and is now a full time ventriloquist. I think he will agree with me it is either one or the other.

If you really want to ad some magic to your ventriloquism act I suggest you look at this item below!!

The Mandarin head is great for a ventriloquist because not only is it a head in a box but you can actually perform a real card trick with him. Just picture this: You have a spectator select a card and remember it, Then you take the deck and put the selected card back in the deck and place the deck inside the box with the head. Close the door and ask the Mandarin if he has found the card. After a bit of ventriloquism banter you open the door and the selected card is in the mandarins mouth. The card is removed and shown to everyone to be the selected card. This is great visual magic and you incorporate the ventriloquism as well. Two illusions packed together.

Click here to see the Mandarin head

Just some thoughts from a vent collector.




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:

Copyright 2011 by Dan Willinger

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One Response to Ventriloquism and Magic

  1. Bob Conrad says:

    Hi Dan;
    I knew Bob Jepson, he was quite a guy, not only did he do Magic and Vent, he also performed as a Clown with his wife, Big Bob and Rosie, he also did balloons, and worked as an actor on several TV Soaps. He did it all.
    I do several school shows that incorporate both magic and ventriloquism in the same show. You are right that both magic and vent are illusions. I think they can compliment each other. I use many different performing skills in the same show, magic, puppets, ventriloquism, musical instruments, chalk-talk cartoons, it keeps things from becoming boring, there is always something new happening.

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