Question of Sound

From David:

As someone who is slowly trying to learn ventriloquism, I'm beginning to see that it can be a much bigger investment than I ever imagined. I foolishly thought that with a couple of figures, I was all set, aside from constantly practicing and picking up some type of stand when I was finally ready to perform.

I now realize that if I start small, which seems the logical way to go, I could very well end up in activity or recreation centers or other venues without sound. The nebulous area seems to be an audience of between 50 and maybe 150 people; the last is too big for an unassisted voice to be heard easily, and the first is too small to probably have some kind of sound system.

So that makes me wonder at what point a beginning ventriloquist should start thinking about a portable sound system? And that seems to be the tip of the iceberg. You need stands to elevate the amplifiers, a microphone and stand and probably things I'm not even aware of.

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Answer From Mr. D: Your questions stem from very valid observations. So I have asked two hard working and very busy pros who do multiple weekly shows for their thoughts and advice. See the following posts by Mark Wade and Bob Abdou. Others will likely chime in with their comments. Ultimately, the final decision is yours, but I hope this helps.

1 comment:

  1. I like what Paul Stadelman had to say in his little book, TV Ticklers, critical of the falsetto vents and favoring those who learned to belt it out under the very worst of acoustic conditions. The only time he even mentioned a mike was in context with creating a vocal illusion where soft spoken figure said to be too far from mike, then spoke louder when figure moved closer in to it. He stressed that it was in closeup work that vent voice should be changed a little to avoid vent being the actual source of the sound. The Great Lester spoke so loud and clear at the 1955 Pittsburgh convention show, throwing his voice to the back row where even a whisper could be heard, and, as best I recall, no mike used. If I were still a working vent I would continue to tough it out, taking advantage where mike available, doing without it when not, and always remembering a vent is a belly talker. My father, a trial lawyer, told me to speak so that the person on the last row can hear you, and if you do that everyone else will.