PDF – How to Become a Ventriloquist by Edgar Bergen


One of America’s most successful ventriloquists teaches you everything he knows about the art form.


A star of stage, radio and screen, Edgar Bergen entertained audiences for over fifty years — with a little help from his cheeky wooden friend Charlie McCarthy. In How to Become a Ventriloquist, Bergen shares the secrets that made him such a success, and modern variety acts seeking to add another turn to their repertoires will surely find inspiration among these one hundred and thirty pages. Both “near” ventriloquism, using puppets, hand shadows and other on-stage characters, and its “distant” counterpart, in which a solo performer is apparently confronted by off-stage voices, are explained in full, with Bergen providing exercises and articulatory insights that ensure readers can master the art of throwing their voices. The author also describes how to make a doll-style puppet, before exploring simpler alternatives à la Jay Marshall’s beloved “Lefty,” shadowgraphs and card puppets, and providing sample dialogues that will be of interest to historians and performers alike. Bergen finishes with tips on distant ventriloquism and explains how to combine this technique with an on-stage puppet, again providing sample dialogue, much of which could still be used to generate surefire laughs among audiences of all ages.

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Edgar Bergen

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