It seems to me that if you want to be a ventriloquist then you must be able to make your figure talk without moving your lips. At least that is the definition of a ventriloquist. Of course there is also polyphony which is the art of throwing your voice but I want to talk about ventriloquism.
There have been many discussions, for longer than all of us have been alive, about this subject but taking it to its purest form, for me, ventriloquism is making an inanimate object talk with the performer NOT moving his or her lips. I know everyone will jump and say but what about the control of the figures movement and the act that you do being funny etc etc.. I understand that but as I said in the purest sense of the term you just can’t move your lips or you are not a ventriloquist.
I have been to see ventriloquists live and the first thing you hear audience members say is “I can see his lips moving” which to them means he is not a good ventriloquist. Seems to me that the most important part of this art is lip control. Everything else is used as the misdirection to keep the lip control hidden. Now I can make the reference to those in the profession. Nina Conti, one of the best in the world of ventriloquism today, has again in my opinion, the best lip control. You never see her lips move. When you add her comedy and manipulation of her puppets, she is sublime.
Edgar Bergen was a master at timing and comedy and the movement of his figures giving them so much life that his faulty lip control is generally overlooked. I do believe that early in his career he had good control but having done radio broadcast for so many years I think you can say he lost control. He really didn’t have to practice any longer.
I know this will give many a lot to talk about but as I said, for me, lip control is what makes a ventriloquist. Everything else is secondary to the control of the lips!!
What are you thoughts???
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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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