Ventriloquism is an old form of entertainment that reached its peak in popularity during the vaudeville era of the 1920s and 1930s - prior to the invention of the television set. Today, ventriloquism continues to be a popular attraction at fairs, amusement parks and comedy clubs, as well as a hobby for many people. Ventriloquist dolls--often called "dummies"--can be expensive to purchase and range in price from £65.00 to £325.00. A more economical choice is to make their own ventriloquist doll. This also allows people to personalise the doll. There is a wealth of information available on the Internet to help people acquire the materials and knowledge needed to build their own ventriloquist doll.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Ventriloquist doll parts
- Builder's manual
- Internet search engine
There are a number of online stores that allow people to purchase the materials needed to build a ventriloquist doll, as well as instructions on how to assemble the various parts. Websites such as "Ventriloquist Marketplace" and "Puppets and Props" allow people to purchase both new and replacement parts for ventriloquist dolls. Available parts include everything from heads and eyes, to arms and moustaches. Be sure to compare prices and also check for any additional costs such as shipping, handling and taxes. If you're building your own ventriloquist doll for the first time, it is also advisable to purchase a manual or instructions on how to construct the doll. Note that there are some videos available on websites such as "YouTube" that explain doll assembly.
Once you have the parts and instructions, you will need to assemble the ventriloquist doll. Most of the "make your own" or "do it yourself" kits available come with all the parts and components needed to build the doll. Follow the instructions carefully. Also note that most of the doll parts are fabricated moulds that fit together without the need for tools. The few supplies you may need to construct a ventriloquist doll include glue, a small hammer, and a wrench to tighten any bolts or fasteners.
Lastly, you will need to customise the ventriloquist doll. Customisation is important as it helps to give the ventriloquist doll a "personality," and distinguish it from other dolls. This can be done with shirts, scarves, hats, earrings, moustaches or beards, or different coloured hair. You can buy items to customise your doll online, or construct things yourself at home using clothing materials such as cotton and felt to construct shirts and hats. Once the doll is built and customised, you are ready to perfect the art of "throwing your voice."
Tips and warnings
- Shop around and calculate costs carefully. It may be cheaper to buy a ventriloquist doll than to construct one on your own. Also, be sure that you are ordering online from a reputable company.
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- Check out websites such as "Ventriloquist Marketplace" and "Puppets and Props" allow people to purchase both new and replacement parts for ventriloquist dolls.
- Parts include everything from heads and eyes to arms and moustaches.
- Note that there are some videos available on websites such as "YouTube" that explain how to "make your own puppets."