I was asked what tips I could give someone just starting off in ventriloquism.
The first thing is practice the ventriloquist alphabet. It is important to be able to pronounce words and letters that cannot be pronounced properly with your mouth closed.
A,C,D,E,G,H,I,J,K,L,N,O,Q,R,S,T,U, X and Z are all letters that we can pronounce without moving our lips. The seven most difficult letters are B,F,M,V,W and Y.
If you try to pronounce these letters without moving your lips you'll have difficulty. That is why ventriloquists substitute a similar sound for these letters. Use "D" for "B". Use "Th" for "F". Use "N" for "M". Use "P" for "T" and "Th" for "V" and last but not least use "OI" for "W". You can use the same sound when you pronounce the letter "Y"
Example: Billy forgot my water. I asked him for it very nicely.
Using the ventriloquist substitutions: Dilly thorgot ny oater. I asked hin thery nicely.
At fist it will sound funny, but reposition your tongue against your teeth in different places with each sound and you will find the right position to make each letter sound almost exactly like the letter you are substituting for.
Always practice in front of a mirror so you can make sure you're not moving your lips.
After learning the new pronunciations, you should start practicing with your dummy.
When a person sits down, he is not motionless. He looks around, leans, turns his head, squirms in his seat and all kinds of other movements. If you disagree, next time your with your friends single one out and count how many times he moves a part of his body in one minute. You will be surprised how many times he does.
You want to mimick those same movments with your dummy. The more he moves around while he is on your lap or wherever you have him, the more he distracts the audience from you which aids in your performance.
Always practice in front of a mirror, You are your best audience and can critique yourself fairly. Like anything you want to get good at. It takes lots of practice. So get a mirror ready and start practicing!
Thank you for your question Linda. In answer to your other question, I make special order vent dolls to your specifications. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. My e-mal address is firstname.lastname@example.org .