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Resource Rambo: How to throw your voice.

Resource Rambo: How to throw your voice.

It’s Wednesday, and I’m back to answer your toughest questions. I hope you came up with some good ones this week. So far, nobody can stump me.

Got a burning question? Do you need advice? Sound off in the comments!


As some of you know, I have been traveling for the past two weeks. As my wife and I were driving from San Francisco to Eugene, Oregon, she turned to me and asked the question I am posting today:

How does ventriloquism/throwing your voice work?

1. First you need to learn to breathe through your nostrils. Sounds obvious? It’s not that easy.

2. Deep and sustained breathing is vital to learning how to throw your voice, since you may have to talk for up to 90 seconds between breaths. Work on holding your breath for as long as you can for a set period each day, making it a routine and practicing it until your lung capacity increases.

3. Practice making a sound akin to a bee drone. Place your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth. Now, push the sound upward from your abdomen through your larynx towards the roof of your mouth. This technique produces an effect similar to a sounding board. If performed correctly, it can fool listeners into believing that the sound comes from a height or a distance. This is known as the “roof voice.”

4. Repeat the process without trying to force the sound to the top of your mouth. Instead, curl your tongue against the back of your teeth. This effect, the “level voice”, can make your voice sound level to you, though still at a distance to others.

5. Repeat the process again with your chin thrust forward and your larynx contracted as much as possible. This appears to move the bee drone sound to a lower physical level, near the floor. It’s called the “ground voice.”

6. Practice switching between these “voices”.

7. Once you have mastered the auditory effect, you must add the visual trick of looking in the direction you want your audience to believe the voice originated from.

The combination of visual and auditory cues will lead your audience to believe they are actually hearing you throw your voice.

Check out Ventriloquism in a Month for more tips on being the big hit at the bar mitzvah!


Do you have a question that needs to be answered? Sound off!

Leave a comment and I will answer your questions and requests for How-to’s.

If you desire anonymity, email me directly at resourcerambo at loveandtrash dot com.

25 Comments

  • Welcome back Resource Rambo!

    Jennybean416 sent in this question: How can I restore aged spots on an old mirror?

    • The best way to repair those spots on an old mirror is to have it re-silvered.

      For a quick fix, if you can get to the back side of the mirror, do so. Take flat aluminum foil and tape it, shiny side, to the mirror with clear tape where the silvering has worn through. This should do the trick.

  • Me, I want to know: can I travel to Cuba? North Korea? If so, how?

    • For traveling to Cuba, check this link out.

      You can travel to N. Korea as a tourist. It is recommended that you travel to N. Korea through China.

      Any time I want to travel to another country, I like to check the CIA World Fact Book. It contains great information. I have contributed several reports to this resource.

    • Wow… that Cuba stuff is sneaky and great! I’ve always wanted to go there. North Korea, that was more of a curious question.

      The CIA World Fact Book is really an excellent resource. I’ll be spending some time poking around in there.

      Thank you!

  • Parent related question: is sunscreen worth it? Are there any non-cancer inducing sunscreens that work?

    • As a proud Irish-American with sub-dermal implanted pigmented ink, I believe sunscreen IS worth it. I have been known to get a burn from watching a documentary on the Sun in HD.

      For non-toxic sunscreens, your best bet is to choose a zinc oxide sunscreen that is micronized with a larger particle size and contains no nanoparticles. Most zinc oxide sunscreens leave an opaque white residue on your skin. Many companies use nanoparticles to reduce this effect. There is growing concern about the toxicity of nanoparticles, which has initiated a world-wide effort to study the skin absorption and phototoxicity of nanoparticles of preparations used in sunscreens and cosmetics. At this time, the safety of nanoparticles has not been proven, so caution is prudent, especially when using these products on children.

    • Hooray for taking take of fair skin. I’m Native to hot sun from way back, and I still only use the zinc oxide formula. It’s usually the cheapest, you can see where it’s going, and it doesn’t go back as fast as the kind with a bunch of perfume and stuff in it.

      Are the colored ones for kids safe?

    • You should always check the label, but from what I can find, the tinted ones are safe for children.

  • How can I best maintain and keep a good sharp edge on my kitchen, utility, & stabby knives?

    • Treat them well, my friend.

      I sharpen my knives with a steel or hand held sharpener at least once a week. Be careful. You need to know if your blades are single or double beveled. This is an important fact to know when sharpening your blades.

      I use only plastic and bamboo cutting boards. Hardwoods and marble counters are a great way to dull your edge.

      In a pinch, you can use the bottom of a coffee mug as a sharpening stone.

    • I LOVE the mug trick! My friend didn’t believe me though and ran the blade across his hand while saying, “See? There’s no bloo– OH MY GOD, I’M BLEEEEEEEEDDDIIIIIINNNNGGGG!!!!”

      It works!

    • How can I tell if a blade is single or double beveled?
      What technique works best for each of these types?

    • Take a look at the edge of your blade. Single bevel edges are sharpened on one side and maintain a sharper edge than double bevel edges.

      Double bevel edges are sharpened on both sides. Most Western culinary knives are double bevel edges.

      The best way to sharpen a single bevel edge is with a flat stone. Any other way and you will risk dulling your blade.

      Sharpening double bevel edges can be accomplished with a sharpening steel or any number of knife sharpeners on the market. I have a sharpening stone for my single bevel edge knife. I use a Henckels hand held sharpener with a course stone rod and a fine stone rod. It also has scissor sharpener. I have been very happy with it.

      I hope this helps…

  • Last week, this would have been, how do I broker peace between two friends who aren’t speaking.

    Upon reflection, my question is now, how do you go on being friends with someone whose apology has not been accepted by a mutual friend?

    Hypothetically, of course.

    • I hate to answer a question with a question, but… Who am I kidding? I love answering a question with a question.

      Does the conflict between the two friends have anything to do with you? If not, why can’t you remain friends with both?

      I have always had a difficult time understanding why people feel the need to choose between friends. My relationship with one person has little to nothing to do with my relationship with another.

      Now, if you have a personal issue with one of the two parties concerning their actions or inactions, as a result of this problem between them, you might want to take it up with that person.

      Integrity is key. Be honest with your feelings about a person. Don’t allow someone else’s beliefs affect your own.

    • Hypothetically, of course.

    • This helps. It so hard to admit that I can’t control the way something said in good faith is taken.

      *Letting go*

  • The question about playing Switzerland in the world of battling friends brought me to thinking about integrity. That, in turn, took me to Socrates and his Test of Three.

    One day the great Greek philosopher Socrates (469 – 399 BC) came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

    “Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”

    “Three?”, exclaimed the student.

    “That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

    “Oh no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it.”

    “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

    “No, on the contrary…”

    “So,” Socrates interrupted, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

    The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

    Socrates continued. “You may still pass though, because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

    “Well it….no, not really…”

    “Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”

    The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

    • Good advice for a lot of situations.

  • This is a fantastic post about homeconstruction.I really enjoyed it and have subscribed to your site’sRSS feed.

    • That’s fantastic. Wait, home construction? Are you actually reading my posts? No matter, as long as you’ve enjoyed it. Have a great day!

  • Hey Resource Rambo,
    I’m a big fan of baking soda and vinegar. both for creating explosions and for cleaning. Is it possible to make these items “homegrown” style? I don’t even know what Baking Soda IS. Would it be too complex or requiring too much infrastructure for a body to make these items at home?

    • Vinegar is so easy to make, it is often made by accident. Baking soda, however, is not so easy. Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbinate or sodium hydrogen carbonate. It is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Though someone like my friends Julie or Thomas probably has the skills to make this homegrown, it would take some doing for people like you or me.

  • [...] Resource Rambo: How to throw your voice [...]

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