Throughout our lives we have heard the word “Manipulator” used in a less than complimentary way. “He is a manipulator” or “She is too manipulative”. The context of both of these phrases has almost always been negative. It was the implication that if you were/are a manipulator that you would use people by playing on their good will or sympathies to get just what you wanted. A manipulator does not care about the other person. Typically we think of a manipulator as being a shallow, uncaring person with no regard for anyone but themselves.
Stop right there.
Today we are going to talk about a good kind of manipulator. In the world of Ventriloquism, it is a compliment of the highest order to say that someone is a great manipulator. The difference is this. For a Vent to be a great manipulator, he/she is not using someone without feeling. A vent who is a great manipulator is merely showing a high level of acquired skill in his/her craft at being able to bring to the most life to their character. When the audience is completely absorbed in the life like way that you manipulate your figure/dummy/puppet, they will hang on each word that the puppet says. When you can achieve this level of audience involvement you have successfully pulled off a great performance and will undoubtedly be talked about long after you leave your performance. That is what we all find to be desirable. That is called “good marketing” and is a topic for another day.
From the time you appear on stage with your character, he/she/it must appear to be alive. Even when saying nothing, the character must be a study in constant movement. A sigh. . .A sniff. . .A deep breath. . .A scratch. Always something. If you come out on stage and all you use is mouth movement and a rotating neck, you will undoubtedly lull your audience right to sleep or worse yet, they will begin to heckle you. Not good.
I could go on and on, but I think that if, as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, then a video should be worth a fortune. There are many great manipulators out there so please take a few minutes and go on YouTube to watch some videos of the great manipulators.
Thats all for this week folks, we hope you both enjoyed it and at the same time learned a few little tricks to add to your “bag”
Steve and JET