Ventriloquism?

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Ventriloquism?

Postby Nick Jackson » 27 May 2013, 22:06

Just watching Nina Conti and Monkey and loving every second.
Can I learn ventriloquism or is it a question of talent and practice?
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby BookEmDanno » 28 May 2013, 12:56

The technique is a case of practice in my view.

The puppetry is something else.

Some famous vents were not technically perfect, Peter Brough and Edgar Bergen, come to mind but their acts and their figures were well known. Other vents were technically brilliant and had a good act. Ray Allan for example.

I found 'Ventriloquism for Beginners' or 'Ventriloquism for Boys and Grils' by Douglas Houlden very helpful. The two titles are substantially the same, so far as I know. There were some on Ebay the other day. Google Douglas Houlden and reference to his books is returned.
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby Nick Jackson » 28 May 2013, 14:27

Thanks for this, Chris.
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby Chris » 29 May 2013, 11:40

That wasn't from me Nick!
Although I too enjoy Nina. I don't think you should emulate her though, you haven't the tits for it. Nina has discovered, as did Terri Rogers, that a lady can get away with coarseness and vulgarity as long as she puts it in the mouth of the puppet and appears shocked herself.
By coincidence Nina was on Radio 4 last night - a show called something like "Surely Not Nina Conti on Radio" and produced by Bill Dare. This was a double coincidence in that the reply to your message mentioned Peter Brough and Edgar Bergen - both famous for ventriloquism on Radio.
Incidently I can't agree with BED about Peter Brough's technique. Of course it wasn't perfect, but no vent has perfect technique. Over the years Brough has unfairly been accused of poor technique. Certainly his technique was not appropriate for television or DVD close-up, but then this was not where he made his career. In radio lip control was not an issue, clarity of speech was the most important issue on a sound only medium and he would have been crazy to sacrifice that. The other area in which he worked was the variety theatre and this again requires a different technique to today's vents. In those days variety acts did not always use microphones and were taught to project their voices and so with a vent then the ability to be heard took precedence over lip control. Also slight lip moment was not as obvious from stage distance as it is on camera. Today's ventriloquists have the advantage of very sensitive microphones and there is no necessity to project the voice and they have developed extremely skilful techniques to take advantage of this.
But I saw Peter Brough on stage and heard him on radio. In neither case did I see his mouth move.
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby CvdC » 30 May 2013, 02:19

I think Nick could take the same steps Terri Rogers did to get the "tits for it", if he were serious enough.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby Professor Eek » 30 May 2013, 13:44

As a 'larger build' body type I already have the tits and am, in fact, considered to be one myself by a great many people.
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby Trevek » 31 May 2013, 08:54

I've often made a few boobs during a show.
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby Nick Jackson » 01 Jun 2013, 21:44

Chris wrote:That wasn't from me Nick!
Apologies – that's because the auto message always says a post is from you and I then didn't read properly.
Chris wrote:I too enjoy Nina.... you haven't the tits for it. Nina has discovered
Although my doctor did point out yesterday that I'm approaching a double D these days. :(
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby gaz » 20 Jun 2013, 18:54

I have worked with her several times, she told me she bought the Maher ventriloquist course from the States. She quite simply learnt from that.

I got the course myself after that - it is very good although, I have heard that Maher Studios are no longer in business." I taught myself the "distant" voice which has been quite useful.

Paul Zerdin is another very good vent and he learned from the Ray Allan book.

So there you go two top pros on top money taught themselves from books. :D
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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby gaz » 23 Jul 2013, 03:12

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Re: Ventriloquism?

Postby Chris » 23 Jul 2013, 09:13

If you've only just discovered the lovely Nina, Gaz, then there's hours more youtube videos to explore. Personally I think her main character Monk a little work of genius. Everything she does is just on the edge of being uncomfortable. I am not a partcular fan of the human-vent mask but she uses it better than most.
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