The first ventriloquist book I remember reading was Ventriloquism For Beginners by Douglas Holden. The subject was fascinating, unfortunately the explanation was confusing.
Teaching someone how to speak using the written word is not easy. We speak sounds, not letters. Still, books are a traditional method for teaching the art.
In putting this article together, I found several sites offering free book downloads. Others offering free ventriloquist book pdfs. I did not check any further than opening the page. None of the sites looked trustworthy of a download. That can be a sure way to pick up a computer virus.
If you want to be a ventriloquist, my online ventriloquist training is still the way to go. I teach you start to finish in virtual lessons. You can interact and ask questions in the online forum. You'll make friends with others on the same path as you.
Can't afford the online course? Ventriloquist books are a good alternative. Below is a list of books you may want to consider.
Ventriloquist Course Books: The Maher Course Of Ventriloquism
Lesson 1 – Introduction to Ventriloquism, Speech Production, and A Word to Pre-Teen Students.
This is a great introduction to the skill of ventriloquism. Lesson one goes into the details of how speech is created. I found it fascinating. The first time I read this, I had never really considered what goes into creating the words we say. I did it, just never thought about it. This lesson makes you think about the mechanics behind your ability which comes in handy over the entire course.
Lesson 2 – The Ventriloquist Voice, Voice Throwing, Breathing and Breath Control, and The Ventriloquist Mouth Position.
What is the ventriloquist voice? Is it a funny voice for your puppet? (No… it isn't.) Can you really throw your voice? And what is all of this nonsense about breathing and breath control. You can already do that can't you? You breathe, so why learn this stuff? It is important. Don't just jump ahead to the Ventriloquist Mouth position. You need to know this stuff if you want to be a ventriloquist.
Lesson 3 – More on the Ventriloquist Mouth Position and the Ventriloquial Voice, The Ventril-o-aid and its use, and Resonant Sounds.
Lesson three takes you deeper into the ventriloquist mouth position and creation of your ventriloquial voice. You'll discover the Ventril-o-aid to help you develop steady lips that don't move when you talk. Plus you'll learn about resonant sounds and how they help to carry your voice further so the audience can understand what your puppet is saying.
Lesson 4 – Secret of the Ventriloquist Voice, Voice Placement, The Breath Streams and Voice “Throwing”, plus Practice Suggestions and Tips.
Lesson 5 – Ventriloquist Figures and Puppets, “Hard” Puppets vs. “Soft” Puppets, Novelty Puppets, Selecting a Figure or Puppet.
Lesson 6– Mouth Synchronization, Tips For Practicing Daily, and Naming Your Puppet.
Lesson 7– Manipulation of the Ventriloquist Figure, Real-Life Actions, Taking Advantage of Mistakes, plus Practice Tips and Secrets.
Lesson 8– Making the Most of Eye Movement, Pantomime Practice, “Rule-of-Three”, and Positions for Performance.
Lesson 9– Daily Practice Secrets and Suggestions, The “Magical” Word, Dealing With “Pucker” Words, Moods and More, and Pre-Show Preparation.
Lesson 10– Letters W, H, and Wh, Care of the Ventriloquist Figure, and the Slam-Bang Close.
Lesson 11 – Labial Preparation, Substitute and Alternate Letters, “Focus on F”, and “Visit with V”.
Lesson 12 – “Bothersome Labial B”, “Pesky Labial P”, plus Variations and Tips.
Lesson 13 – Technique vs. Entertainment Skills, The Success of Simplicity, Dangers of Comparison and Imitation, and Tips for Practice.
Lesson 14 – The Importance of an Act, Gestures for Greatest Impact, Pantomime Practice, Practice Dialogue, and Tips For Practice.
Lesson 15 – Banquet Performing, Involving the Audience in the Show, Reacting to the Unexpected, Mannerisms, Movement, and Courtesy.
Lesson 16 – Developing a Character, Straight Man & Comedian, Put Downs and Insults, and Effective Joke Telling.
Lesson 17 – Writing and Rewriting Jokes, Adding Punch to the Punch Line, Ventriloquist Comedy Storytelling, and Situation Comedy.
Lesson 18 – The Value of Visual Humor, Remarks to Cover Unexpected Events, Proper and Consistent Phrasing, and Encores.
Lesson 19 – Writing Effective Routines, Polishing and Perfecting Dialogues, Getting the Most From Dialogue Delivery, and Professional Pointers.
Lesson 20 – Creating Original Comedy, Impromptu Ventriloquist Shows, Movements for Misdirection, and Wardrobe.
Lesson 21 – Always Give a Good Performance, Audience Participation, Performing With Multiple figures, and Robotics.
Lesson 22 – Overcoming Stage Fright, Confidence Building, Theatrical Sense and Timing, and Dialogue Memorization.
Lesson 23 – Introduction to Distant Ventriloquism, Voice Throwing, The Muffled Voice, and Distant Voice Illusion.
Lesson 24 – The Far Distant Voice, Variations For Use of the Far Distant Voice, Practice Pointers, and Summary of Rules for the Distant Voice.
Lesson 25 – Closeup Use of the Far Distant Voice, Polyphony and Imitations, Length of An Act, and Adding Song to the Show.
Lesson 26 – Audience Types (an Overview), Children's Audiences, and Twenty Suggestions for Making the Most o a Performance for Children.
Lesson 27 – School and Library Shows, Senior Adult Shows, Church Opportunities, Family Shows, Civic, Club, and Corporate Shows.
Lesson 28 – Television for the Ventriloquist, Take Your Hobby to Work, Making Your Hobby Pay, and How Much to Charge.
Lesson 29 – Amateur, Semi-Professional, and Professional Performing. Dare to Dream!
Lesson 30 – Entrance, Bow and Exit. Audience Warm-up. Atmosphere, Poise, Showmanship, and Applause. Gospel Ventriloquism.
These ventriloquist books are a great place to start. Remember you get what you pay for. Free instruction is usually worth almost nothing. Ventriloquism is not an easy art. It is more than just playing with a puppet. Investing in your education can shorten years off your learning curve.
Not sure you want to spend money to learn? Remember that according to Forbes magazine, Jeff Dunham earns over 20 million dollars a year. So does ventriloquist Terry Fator. Ventriloquists at the low end earn $250 for a single show at a birthday party. Some earn as much as $25,000 a night performing for companies. The cost of a ventriloquist course is extremely low compared to the potential returns – if you practice.