2/20/09

The magic of Ventriloquism

From David Markham:

First let me say I got the Custom Carrying Case I ordered, and it's a beauty! Thanks!
And now for an observation; last year I was doing a kids birthday party show with magic and vent. After the show I was approached by an adult who said, "So you're a ventriloquist, huh, 'cause we thought you had a little recorder in there." I don't exactly know where he meant, because I did several vent routines, including a distant voice bit,with "the rope and vase trick."
Then while performing outdoors at an amusement park kids would come by between shows and want to see something, so I'd pretend to catch an invisible leprechaun in my hat, and using a distant voice, I'd do a quick bit. It was at one of these impromptu shows that a young girl used her cell phone to call some of her other friends who were in the park, saying, "Come and see this guy who has something in his hat that can talk!"
I'm starting to wonder if we are now in an age where people are actually fooled by vent, at least to the degree they think some sophisticated device is being used?
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Comment: Some things never change. I think it's the simplicity of ventriloquism that makes the illusion possible in such a convincing manner. Maybe even more so in this hi-etch age in which we live. Ventriloquism is still "magic with the voice."

2 comments:

  1. I love the distant voice. When I'm not performing on stage and have friends with me, I love to do the distant voice that breaks my friends up and upsets the management and the tech support at my local Sprint store. I go in there while my friend pays her bill then I pick up one of the display models and dial the phone to someone long distance. These phones aren't hooked up for service but for me they are. I start talking on them with my distant voice responding. Management comes up to me and asks how I could be doing a call when they're not hooked up. I tell him I don't kow how I can do it because it's their phone. Then I really throw them for a loop. I get the person's name off their name tag and ask my friend on the other end of the phone to say "Hi!" to the person. This blows the management's mind because he then tells me that he thought I had a recording. My friend pays her bill then I hang up the cell phone and we exit. My friends and I go out in the mall and sit down on the benches and watch the going ons in the Sprint store. Management tries to make a call with no success. Then Tech support comes out and takes the phone apart. As soon as they replace the phone, I reenter the store and once again pick up the new phone and repeat. Only once did I tell a customer what I had done because she was going to buy the phone which the salesman said the demo didn't work until I picked it up. She cancelled the sale because the salesman lled to her. As she exited the store, I told her what I do for a living and she laughed hysterically and watched with me and my friends at the bench while the staff's trying to figure out how I was able to make a call. The lady didn't buy the phone because she said she changed her mind. I haven't been to that Sprint store in a few months since my friend cancelled her contract at the end of it's term. If you hate waiting in lines and there's a packed store that sells cell phones, this is a good past the time thing to do. I still don't know if the store ever figured out how I did it.

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  2. Interesting. I do a science school show in which I have a robot(a magic table of sorts, with light up eyes and mouth) during the show he speaks to me. I make the mouth light up as we talk. During the show he will say hello to volunteers. After a show I had a teacher ask me how the Robot was able to say the girl's name and how I programed him to do so. When I explained that it was ventriloquism she was dumb founded.

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