A Complete Guide to Ventriloquism: Principles, Practice and Performance
by Naveen Sridhar
Genre: Entertainment, Self-help
Format available for review: print
Yes, you can! With the help of this book, you can learn the right way to become a ventriloquist. You also learn to attend to the reality of stage and performance conditions. You get highly relevant information, which will contribute to a large extent, to your success. This book is one of its kind in being a course book and a source book at the same time. The first chapter gives an introduction to the role of ventriloquism as an acoustic illusion and its connections with other performing arts, mainly that of acting. This novel approach will be of interest even to seasoned ventriloquists, who will acquire a new insight regarding the expectation of the audience and the performer’s role. The next chapters open the door to the secrets of the art. The much neglected prerequisite for ventriloquism is breathing. The author clearly explains the proper technique to deepen the breath and develop respiratory stamina. Development of the ventriloquist voice is explicitly instructed. Producing a remote voice needed to “throw” the voice is another important feature elegantly covered in detail (with all its nuances) and the myth unmasked. All these items are assisted with diagrams and a number of simple but effective exercises, so that the reader may confidently develop the ability step by step. After the elaborate treatment of the basics for the technique, the next important phase of putting up an act is explained in equal detail. The choice of a dummy and the development of an impressionable personality as well as building an original dialog, even the use of accents and slang are subjects treated with significant depth. Direction on handling one’s dummy and a detailed, practical discussion on animation contribute to the treatment, making it highly practice-oriented. This superb dual survey of ventriloquism and the art of acting to build an act, along with other special features, makes the book stand out as unique among competing titles. Even the winning strategy in dealing with the organizer and the audience is explained with alacrity, with helpful checklists to improve one’s performance; this discussion throws light on the subjects of stage fear, charisma, imponderable aspects and how to handle challenging conditions. All this truly backstage knowledge laid out by a veteran will clear the way for any aspiring performer, who is bound to progress and excel.
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