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How to Be a Ventriloquist

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ventriloquist on stage

If you enjoy entertaining people and making them laugh, love being on stage, and aren’t afraid to try new things, then perhaps ventriloquism is for you! Ventriloquists talk with their tongue without moving their mouth or face, while holding a dummy or puppet. Skilled ventriloquists can make it look like the dummy is talking, while the ventriloquist’s face doesn’t move. 

Today we’ll walk you through how to be a ventriloquist and how you can turn your hobby into a job, so you can do what you love all the time. Let’s get started.

Practice Ventriloquist Skills

Because ventriloquists have to talk without moving their mouth, you’ll have to practice your letters. Some letters you will have to pronounce differently, like “eth” instead of “F.” This will all come with time and practice. Because ventriloquists speak with a smile and their mouth slightly open, this is a good practice starting point for you. 

Professional ventriloquists recommend sitting in front of a mirror to practice and make sure you can’t see your tongue moving. You’ll also have to focus on not sounding muffled. If your words are hard to understand or sound like you’re mumbling, you’ll need to invest more time in practicing your letters and pronunciation. 

As a ventriloquist, your voice will be different from the voice you use for your dummy or puppet. For this reason, you’ll need to practice different voices, accents, and pitches so there is a clear distinction. There are also several resources and videos you can find on YouTube so you can learn new skills and master the art of ventriloquism. 

Find Your Dummy

The technical term for a ventriloquist dummy or puppet is a “ventriloquial figure.” Dummies can range anywhere from $50–$300. You’ll have to do some research on your part to see what type of ventriloquial figure you’d like because there are multiple different styles, looks, and clothing you can choose from. When you have picked out your dummy figure, practice with it to make sure you have perfected your act. 

There’s just one more step you need to complete before you start performing on stage!

Purchase Entertainers Insurance

Entertainers insurance is essential for any entertainer—ventriloquists included. Although you may not realize it, ventriloquists face a unique set of risks. If your business or its operations harm someone in the audience, you can be held liable for a lawsuit. If any of your equipment gets stolen or damaged, insurance may pay to replace it. For these reasons and many others, you’ll want to make sure you purchase insurance before you start performing. 

Insurance Canopy provides A+ rated insurance that is available at the affordable cost of $59 per show or $199 per year. Our policies include both general and professional liability insurance and are active immediately after purchasing it, because it’s a quote-free process. If you have questions about what’s included in our coverage, feel free to contact our licensed insurance agents or take a look at this blog for more information. 

Get as Much Experience as Possible

Once you’re insured, you’re ready to start sharing your talents on stage! This is where you’ll really start your career as a ventriloquist and you will see all your hours of practice pay off. You’ll want to perform at as many theaters, events, parties, and playhouses as possible. This will help get the word out about your business and your skills. With each performance, you add to your experience and portfolio, making you a better ventriloquist with each event. 

As with any new endeavor, you may not see the success you desire immediately, but as you stick with it and are determined to reach your goals, you will eventually get there. 

Love Your Job!

We hope the above steps on how to be a ventriloquist are helpful and will help you launch your career as a ventriloquist. Above all else, love your job! Remind yourself why you wanted to be a ventriloquist in the first place and everything else will fall into place. We wish you the best of luck!

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