Sit in front of a mirror and make a slight smile with your lips parted. Make your teeth lightly touch. Your tongue should have room to move. If you see your tongue moving in the mirror, then change your smile until the tongue is hidden. Your goal is to breathe easily and read aloud these 19 letters without moving your lips:
A, C, D, E, G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, Q, R, S, T, U, X, Z.
Practice the following sentences until they sound clear but your lips don’t move: “Hey, this rocks, dude! It is sooooo easy. Anything you can say, I can say, too!” If you sound muffled, try making your voice come from some higher place in your head as well as your mouth.
MOVE ON THE THE TRICKY LETTERS
There are seven trickier letters: B, F, M, P, V, W and Y.
These letters normally require you to move your lips. To say them without moving his face, the ventriloquist borrows from the easy alphabet, some other letters or combined sounds to “fake” the tricky letters. Use these substitutions:
B = D, F = “eth,” M = N, P = T, V = “thee,” W and Y = O+I
B = D
Instead of saying “The Bad Boy Buys a Basket” the ventriloquist says, “The Dad Doy Duys a Dasket.” Try this in the mirror. At first, this substitution won’t sound right; but with practice, D can be made to sound like B. [Hint: When your tongue rises to the top inside of your mouth to make D, let it stick to the roof of your mouth a little longer before releasing. Also, say D but think B.]
F = ETH
Instead of saying “Phil is a Frisky, Funny Fellow,” try saying, “Thil is a Thrisky, Thunny Thellow.” Say the “eth” sound but think F as you do it.
M = N
“Mary Mashes Many Mangos” becomes “Nary Nashes Nany Nangos.” Make the N vibrate against the roof of your mouth. Keep thinking M.
P = T
“Peter is a Practice Pilot” becomes “Teter is a Tractice Tilot.” Try holding the T a little longer, then release with a little puff of air behind it.
V = THEE
“Vinnie Very much Values Victory” becomes “Thinny Thery nuch Thalues Thictory.”
W AND Y = O+I
W and Y are treated alike. By quickly sliding the letters O and I together you can say “O-Aye” and it sounds like Why. Try putting a fast O to the front of the following: “Why Would Wally Walk?” You’ll be saying “O-Aye O-ould O-olly O-alk?” Now drop the O (or say it silently in your head), and you’ll be saying a clean W sound without using your lips.
In a short time, these substitutions become automatic. Practice for 15 to 20 minutes a day and in about a week you’ll see some serious results! Practice your ventriloquism with a relaxed puppet-like voice that is higher or lower than your own.
I am a father of 3 wonderful boys living in Southeast Kentucky. I enjoy Scouting where I am Brotherhood Member of the Order of the Arrow and Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 10. I love to camp and explore new places.