Talking 4 – 2: Ventriloquism For Kids Entertainers Part 1

Ventriloquist Tom Crowl with his duck puppet with the big orange beak telling how good ventriloquism is for any childrens entertainer act

Puppet And Vent Tips For Kids Entertainers

Welcome to “Talking 4 – 2” – my new video column here on the Kids Entertainer Hub. I’m Tom Crowl, a professional ventriloquist based in Baltimore, MD of the United States. I’m also the creator of the Learn Ventriloquism course. In “Talking 4-2” I’m going share secrets to help you make your kid shows incredible! LOOK a this line up ….


1. Creating the Illusion Your Puppet Is Real

2. Scary Puppets – What You Can Do To Reduce Tears and Increase Smiles

3. What’s Wrong With This Puppet? Can You Guess?

4. A surprise

5. An even bigger surprise

6. You got it, I’ve saved the biggest till last


I’m excited to be be here so let’s jump straight in to upgrading your children’s entertaining skills.

Ventriloquism is unlike any other variety art.

If you mess it up, people will know. But when you do it right, you’ve got something truly special that sets you apart from every other entertainer out there!

The problem is, you don’t often see good ventriloquists. That is because most performers who try to “pick up” the art, have no idea what a ventriloquist really does.

Successful ventriloquism means you have created the illusion of life. Even though you are “Talking 4-2”, the audience buys into the illusion that your puppet pal is real.

To create this illusion you need 4 things…

1. You’ve got to learn how to talk without moving your lips. And your face has to appear natural. You can’t clench your teeth, you can’t force a smile, your face must remain natural and able to react to what the puppet says.

2. You need  a different voice for your puppet. If the puppet’s vocals aren’t distinct and separate from your own, it confuses the audience.  I’ve seen “ventriloquists” who never change their voice, and their lips move so much, you can’t tell who is supposed to be talking.  Don’t be that ventriloquist!

3. The puppet needs to remain “alive” through manipulation. If it stops moving or becomes dead – the illusion is ruined. … and

4. You need to hold a believable conversation with the puppet. It can’t sound like a rehearsed script or a bunch of one-liner jokes. A believable conversation sucks people in and cements the illusion that puppet is real. Wow – all that sounds like it could be a lot of work. But actually it is more like play. If you like to play and challenge yourself to get better, ventriloquism is the skill that can do it. Plus it adds so much to your show, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

In future articles I’m going to share some tips on puppetry and ventriloquism that can make you a favorite with kids. These things will set you apart from the competition and give you a higher profile as a children’s entertainer. If you have any ventriloquism or puppetry questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know. I may even answer them right here on Talking 4-2!

The next video is titled Scary Puppets – What You Can Do To Reduce Tears and Increase Smiles. See you then.

  • Jeffrey Knight

    Thanks for sharing, Tom. Practice, practice, practice . . . and then practice some more.

  • I’m looking forward to your articles, Tom. Your advice is always rock-solid. You don’t shy away from the fact that it will take work, but give clear steps to improve and move forward. Thanks for being here!

  • Vent is on my to do list. I love Tom’s teaching style. This is what you need to do, this is how you do it, go do it again and again and it will work.

  • So much want to do this …..

  • Looking forward to learning more from Tom!