This dummy, when placed on the body of a person, and then brought to life in some way, will do any number of things to that person that are considered beyond the realm of human imagination. He may cause the listener to laugh, to scream, and even cause the audience to jump up and down in delight.
There is, however, a slight catch to the ventriloquist dummy, which I mention in this section: The name given by the ventriloquist to his dummy will vary from one company to another and each may adopt some variation of the proper word for these purposes. The commonest of these variations include:
VENTRILOQUISTS. –– There are at present four varieties of ventriloquist: The American, the British, the Frenchman, and the German. These various variations can be identified by this distinctive figure in the center of their show. The difference is in the shape of the cap, which differs by many inches.
The American Ventriloquist has a much thicker, longer figure on which he wears an orange cap, similar to a hat. The English Ventriloquist has the same long and broad hat; but the German Ventriloquist, the other of these, wears a short, thin cap with a black band over the top of it like a hat.
British and American Ventriloquists have no distinction of costume among them, except for the cap, which is black with white flowers. German Ventriloquists likewise wear black caps, but this one does not have the flowers in it, and has an upright, rather than a pointed base.
The French Ventriloquist, whose figure is quite distinct from the other two, consists of only a white hat, with which he stands with his shoulders high and his legs crossed, in the manner of a ventriloquist dummy (see fig. 29), in which position he is called a “torte de chasse.” He wears a long blue cape over this cape, which is black, with white flowers.
The Flemish “torte de chasse” is made of a simple white cap with a black band over it like a hat, the cap being very long and straight with three horizontal bands at its midpoint. There are in the French ventriloquist a multitude of different styles; one of which is termed the “pilade à peine du ventriloquer.”
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