What is a Ventriloquist?
A ventriloquist is someone who 'throws' his or her voice to make it sound like it's coming from somewhere else. This is done with minimal lip movement and also by altering the pitch of the voice so as to create a second 'personality'. This typically involves the use of a puppeteered dummy or doll, making the inanimate toy seem like it's coming to life. The most familiar type of ventriloquist is typically seen in a nightclub, sitting on a stool with his 'dummy'.
Today, a variety of different types of puppets are utilized, from the traditional wooden hard-headed knee figure to soft cloth or foam puppets, and can vary in size from twelve inches all the way up to human-size. The art of ventriloquism relies on the human ear not being very good at locating the source of a sound without visual cues. Therefore, the ventriloquist uses eye movement, gestures and conversation to direct attention to where the voice is supposed to be coming from.