The earliest known ventriloquist was Richard L. Schmitt, in 1906. Prior to this time, the ventriloquist was a member of the professional or theatrical audience, and had a “familiar” in the house. The ventriloquist was also called a “stylist” or “stage artist.”
During the 19th century the ventriloquist was usually an amateur, with the majority of his or her earnings being for their own education and enjoyment. Some artists started a successful career as a performer, such as Charles Brancaccio for example.
The ventriloquist’s “character,” which was their profession, was usually very simple and straight forward. Their characters did not “know” many of the skills of other performers or entertainers, they were usually simply doing the role of ventriloquist and performing it in “their own style,” with a “strange kind of wit” as their way of saying how they felt the audience of the audience.
How many people were there?
The number of people ventriloquists were is a matter of debate. Some estimates place the number as high as two million. There are a variety of reasons, such as whether it was a part of the church or a profession. In general, however, there was a definite lack of women in the business. The industry has changed over the years and there remains that today a few female ventriloquist performers are hired that have not yet been “married.”
What was the standard way for a person to be hired, who was the first “famous” ventriloquist?
The first “famous” ventriloquist is recorded in 1912. The most famous person may not be the one most who attended, but rather the person most often mentioned by others in conversation and who most frequently used the term “totally famous.”
Who was “C.A.”
The most famous character that is referenced in Ventriloquist Handbook is C.A. The main character of this character is C.A., born about 1850, the daughter of a successful farmer.
The role of C.A. was in the ventriloquist, and in the first part of the book, “How to Act a Ventriloquist” which was published in 1919. Another part of the book was published in 1942 as “The Ventriloquist Handbook.” Both published by Houghton Mifflin, Inc
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