If you did not catch last week’s episode of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, where 12-year-old Darci Lynne Farmer of Oklahoma City took the stage with her bunny puppet, Petunia, to perform a musical ventriloquism act then you missed out on a fantastic performance! She wowed the judges with her act and was even rewarded with a rare “golden buzzer,” which automatically advances her to the live rounds! During the introductions, one of Darci’s most heartwarming responses was when she explained why she chose to do a ventriloquism act; stating, “she really wanted to keep ventriloquism alive because it wasn’t common”. So, it the spirit of Darci’s performance we figured this would be a perfect time to talk more about this rare art form by learning more about it and hopefully get other kids excited about ventriloquism too!
Ventriloquism is the art of a performer “throwing” their voice so it sounds as if it is coming from somewhere else, usually from a puppet. Part of the illusion is making sure the audience cannot see your mouth or vocal cords move. The challenge is, certain letters like f, v, b, p, and m, can only be replaced with others that sound similar since it is impossible to say them without moving your lips. For example, an “F” sound may be replaced with a “TH” sound. This is a difficult skill to master and takes years to perfect. Once you do the next step is developing a working relationship with your “partner” A.K.A your puppet! It is not as easy as it looks. This takes a ton of coordination skills as you have to maintain both you and your puppet’s stage persona. Only the combination of all these skills will make your act memorable!
So, do you think you have what it takes to go into ventriloquism? We hope you do! Get a puppet, practice your skills at throwing your voice, come up with some clever material, and you will be well on your way! Who know perhaps one day you will end up on stage performing in front of a large Natl. TV audience! Lets keep this rare and unique art form alive! For more engaging arts articles please follow @joinartsii on Facebook.