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A Short Cut to Ventriloquism

Found -an old booklet A Short Cut to Ventriloquism (London: L. Davenport 1934) by one Maurice Hurling. Apparently  ventriloquism has had a slight revival due to reality TV talent shows. The book gives various exercises to improve  ventriloquial skills but starts with the basics which we post below. The two major problems are the 'plosives' that cause the lips to move (B M P V) and the awkward W. Also developing a second voice for the dummy/ figure is essential. Hurling recommends starting with a 'Cheeky Chappy' voice, he also notes that the ventriloquial smoker has an advantage because 'a cigarette placed between the lips will help to keep them perfectly still.'

Preliminary Exercise

Stand in front of a mirror, not too close, and let your lips be slightly apart.

Now try to say each letter of the alphabet without any movement of the lips. With very little practice you will soon find you can do this quite easily except for the letters B, M, P, V and W. 

For these: 
B is pronounced "ge"
M is pronounced "EMG"
P is pronounced "Key"
V is pronounced "VHEE" (breathe it)
W is pronounced "Duggle-you"

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