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Ventriloquism and Puppetry

Puppetry is one of the oldest art forms related to theater in the world. We have seen that there have been various different forms of puppetry in different cultures all over the world, each on putting their own spin on the art form and making it unique. Puppetry is still a popular form of entertainment for children and adults alike all around the world. One of those forms that has grown recently is ventriloquism. This is the art of using a puppet on the master’s lap and speaking as though you are the puppet and without moving your lips. It is a talent for sure!

A Difficult Art

Ventriloquism is an amazing art form that takes years of practice in order to master. This art was hugely popular in the last century. It was born sometimes during the jazz hype and the Golden Years and was a very popular attraction in the night clubs and bars. This art form is based on the capacity of making sounds without moving the lips. This is why it looked like magic for many viewers in the beginning. It was extremely interesting to see how a puppet that had movable jaws could seem alive and could supposedly talk. It was all about the skills of the master that was maneuvering the puppet.

The Differences

OKC youngster shows off ventriloquism

The resemblance between these two art forms led to a confusion between the two of them. Many people thought that whoever was a puppeteer could also be a ventriloquist. There were indeed some artists that could do both but in fact the two art forms were very different. There are also different locations where these art forms would take place. The puppets were used in theaters that were specially made for this art form and most of the artists here would specialize only in this field.

Ventriloquists were usually self-taught, and they would get their puppets from different producers than the puppeteers. They were also more famous than the puppeteers and they loved to be in the spotlight. The ventriloquists would usually perform in pubs or in comedy clubs because this was one of the main characteristics of this art form. The puppet show was also extremely fun, and it slowly evolved to be an art form designated for the children. This is why puppetry managed to survive even in our century. Ventriloquism on the other hand is much more underground nowadays and there are very few artists that really mastered this art.

Ventriloquism and puppetry can be considered cousins but definitely not brothers. The two art forms have as a common point the puppets. But even the puppets differ a lot. The ones used in ventriloquism are a bit larger and they have places where the artist would place its hands in order to control the overall movement of the puppet. In puppetry the technique is a bit different. The puppet is controlled using strings or sticks and there is usually a distance between the artist and the puppet.