How to Throw Your Voice

After succeeding in attaining the proficiency necessary to make the ventriloquial drone properly, it is essential, in order to proceed intelligently, to consider the effect produced upon sound by its transmission from a distance.

As we have already seen, ventriloquism is little more than the imitation of sounds, not as heard at their source but as they are finally sensed by the ear; and the more accurately one can analyze the characteristics of these auditory impressions the more nearly can he come to a correct reproduction.

In listening carefully to any sound coming from a remote point as it falls upon the ear, the student will notice at least six things:

That its strength is reduced   in inverse ratio to its distance;
That its pitch remains the same;
That its tonal quality is somewhat altered;
That its duration remains unaltered;
That   human speech proceeding from a place considerably removed from the auditor is obscured, especially in its consonant sounds;
That this obscurity increases with the increase in distance until the language   becomes unintelligible and the voice finally inaudible.

From a knowledge of these facts, the ventriloquist produces his effects by forming sounds that in faintness, body and tone closely approximate those which would actually come from the points to which, by word or gesture, he skilfully directs attention. As almost every sound with which the ear is familiar can be successfully imitated by the human voice, it follows that the success of the student's imitations will be limited only by his incapacity to fully determine the nature of the sounds he desires to reproduce, and lack of sufficient training. The first can, of course, be remedied by close observation and attention, and the second by perseverance and constant practice.

All seemingly distant voices are formed in the pharynx just above " Adam's apple, " and if you are able to make such sounds at this particular spot, which is the location of the subdued "cluck " heard in the act of swallowing, you will be able to ventriloquize when you have learned by practice to articulate distinctly.

After you have obtained the bee-drone, and can make the transition from the ventriloquial voice to the natural voice, and vice versa, while repeating the word " Ah," practice on the other vowel sounds, enunciating each one regularly and distinctly by itself, as: Ah-a-e-i-o-u. Then follow with the consonants, thus: dah, day, dee, die, doe, du; gah, gay, gee, gi, go, gu; ha, hay, hee, hi, ho, hu; jah, jay, jee, ji, jo, ju, and so on with the rest.

The principle is one used in the familiar do, re, mi, practice for beginners in singing, which enables the mind to be wholly concentrated upon the attainment of the proper tones before songs are attempted. By avoiding words at first, all the faculties are centred upon obtaining proper contrast, and the vocal cords learn their duties and acquire the necessary facility at quick change from one voice to the other before the attention is divided between the necessity of obtaining the right contrast and at the same time uttering words.