I get this question a lot:
“How should I practice ventriloquism?”
It depends on what you want to practice.
Yes, but there are many different skills that make up the art of ventriloquism. It is best to break down the elements and improve each area. Then you will be ready to combine the skills and practice them together.
When you are starting, short practices multiple times a day are usually a good choice. You can practice deep breathing and tongue exercises almost anywhere. Lip control, letters, and words are best practiced in front of a mirror. The mirror helps you see if your technique is correct.
Short ventriloquism practices will keep you from straining your throat as you talk. You can slowly build your muscles and soon will have no trouble practicing ventriloquism for longer periods of time. I find the short practices to be so easy, they become habits. Even when practicing longer periods, or doing shows, I often find I am still practicing as I shower or drive.
Manipulation practice with your character works better in longer sessions. These don’t always have to be focused practices. Getting used to the character is important. You can practice ventriloquist figure/puppet manipulation while watching television or reading. Here, the goal is to keep your character from becoming lifeless, even for a second, when you are focused on something else.
Practicing your adlib and improvisational skills should be allotted an hour. It isn’t until you’ve exhausted the dialogs in your head that you really begin to become creative. Not everything you adlib will be show worthy, but that brain exercise is worthy of practice if you want to become a good ventriloquist.
So to answer the question – “What is the best way to practice ventriloquism?”
Start doing it – no excuses.