Ventriloquism.. doesn’t it sound like a scientific term?!
The other day I just stumbled upon this word after so many years and many memories came alive. I still remember the day when my dad took me to this stage show by a famous Ventriloquist!
I was fascinated looking at the little monkey held in his hand answer all his questions and do whatever he asked the monkey to do. The whole of the show he made us laugh at the funny tricks and actions. I was trying so hard to find out where the voice for the monkey from. Clearly, it was just a toy and no living wonder animal!
So, this time (though after ages:)) I did a little research to get all my questions answered!
Ventriloquism though now known more like a stage performing art, it started as a religious practice. The Ventriloquists were known to practice talking to the dead. It's a Latin word which means "speak from the stomach".They also had a name "Belly speaker", interesting isn't it !?
In the middle ages, it was considered a form of witchcraft. Later on, in the 18th century, it shed its mysterious veil and became a much interesting and engaging stage art.
These artists talk without moving their lips and throw out their voice in some way so that it appears as if the voice is coming from the dummy or the toy they have in their hand!
I know you must be now trying to talk without moving your lips now! :)Yup, I also tried...they say the trick is to keep the lips slightly apart all the time and maximum use only certain syllables which doesn't require much mouth movement! And of course, changing your voice which suits your dummy!
Talk about planning and practice! It's similar to magic where there are illusion and mystery.
Let's do a simple activity.. Sit down with your eyes closed in a room and ask someone to call you out. You can see that you are not always right in guessing the direction they are calling from. This is what the Vents make use of. We humans need some kind of visual cue too to exactly decide the sound source!
So there is some kind of science involved indeed! They also move their dummies and exact match to what they are talking and get us involved in their funny yet mesmerizing acts!
So with a lot of planning of script, practice, perseverance and of course awesome voice over, Ventriloquists never seize to entertain us!! Next time you get some free time you know what you have to do. Just stand in front of the mirror and start talking without moving your lips! Who knows this might be your next calling!