Sunday, November 15, 2009

A gottle of geer!

S had bought herself a vent doll? Vent doll, apparently, is what those in the know call a ventriloquist's dummy. He's the real deal too with a square mouth, apple cheeks and a maniacally disturbing expression. Let's just say you wouldn't want to wake up in the night with him looking down at you!

This acquisition awakened in me a desire to learn the gentle art of ventriloquism. I've been looking at a book on magic which, three pages in, hits me with the revelation that the chief skill of ventriloquism is to avoid moving ones 'countenance'. Well glow me gown!

Still I am convinced that I could learn to do it, up to a point. I rather like the Shari Lewis and Lambchop style which involves gritting your teeth and speaking through them with a rictus grin on your face. The magic book says you do this to look as though you are enjoying/responding to what your puppet is saying.

The next step is speaking and this involves replacing some letters with others that sound vaguely like them, which is harder that it sound and more stupid. The book recommends copying the speech of 'uneducated people' or children as this will render your garbled speech more natural. Who doesn't know a child who asks for a 'gottle of geer' after all?

So to summarise, it really couldn't be easier; speak like someone very thick, grin a lot and keep your countenance still.

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