A good ten years. And it’s pretty difficult in a group setting to have people in the same group who can hear different things, because they’re not listening to the same things. So they’ll listen to the same things, and they’ll hear different things, and so you have to get together and go talk to these other people and start getting feedback, and then you’ve got to learn how to talk different. The only way to learn how to talk different is to have a ventriloquist. But at some point, you’ve got to figure out what the ventriloquist says to you when you’re listening to him, and the first time you see him you’re like, “Hey, did he just say ‘bend my knee?’ or what’s he saying? I’m just not sure,” and you go, “Oh, okay that’s why I have a ventriloquist!”
Can you teach kids how to be a ventriloquist?
It’s tricky, because a lot of times the way they talk sounds kind of robotic. I mean, you don’t want the guy to come at you like, “You’re my friend,” or get really rude. If it’s the other way around, there’s a tendency for kids, because they’re so young, to go to a ventriloquist and they want to be able to mimic the voice. But they’re not really able to do so, with that voice, because it kind of just doesn’t come easy.
Is there a training that’s out there for kids who want to do it? If anyone has any recommendations—
Kids can get a ventriloquist trainer, at least. We used to have that, but it was a little pricey.
So there’s a ventriloquist training place?
You might be able to find one. A person in New York named Steve Gadd came up with the idea of doing a puppet show, and all of the puppets are actually going to be ventriloquist actors, and they’re going to do ventriloquist stuff. I’m very happy that he did because I think it’s a way for kids to get into music. It’s also the only place where they can be a ventriloquist. All the other places are for, you know, professional actors. What you have to do is find someone who’s a trained ventriloquist. At one point, I just had someone at the
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