Puppet fear

Question: I find ventriloquism very fun, but the thing I fear most in kid's, is the fact that most seem to be fearful of the 'hard' dummy's that I use in my act. I think it would be best, just to make it seem as friendly as possible? Ty
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Answer: It is true that small children can become frightened when they see a 'hard' ventriloquist figure. After all, they have no understanding of ventriloquism, and it is unlikely they have ever seen a such a puppet before - yet they do know intuitively that the vent figure is not human. Then when the figure starts talking to them...if I were in their place, I think I would look for a place to hide, too.

Yes, you are correct - keep the figure as friendly as possible. Do not force the puppet onto the child. Allow plenty of space between puppet and child until you are sure there is acceptance.

Small children do not seem to have that same fear when facing a soft puppet. After all, the child probably has some cuddly soft toys of their own. So such a puppet brings familiarity. I would recommend that you keep both types of puppets on hand, and be ready to use the one most appropriate for the age of your audience. I kept a soft puppet packed right in the suitcase with my traditional dummy. I even switched characters during the show on occasion. Clinton


  1. That is the main reason I have gone with soft characters in my shows.

    I work mostly kids and families and the soft puppets get almost no fear reaction.

    I love hard figures and admire those who use them well, but just not for me or my audience.

  2. Anonymous7/05/2009

    We're all different. While I've also found children fearful of my hard vent, I decided to use my vent for a mostly adult audience.