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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » How Many Voices Do You Have? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I can do three main voices that are different enough from my own to be effective character voices. My dog Frank has a variation of the "goofy" voice, like Mortimer Snerd with a little less bumpkin and a little more breathiness. To me it sounds very doggy. I also do a voice for my hard figure Henry fairly similar to Jerry Mahoney. The third is a gravelly 'monster' voice for my character "The Evil Dr. Sketchy". I can do several accents fairly well, if I need to vary one of these voices to fit another character. I also have some voices I can do in a very limited way, but I find them too inconsistent, difficult to produce on cue, or just hard on my vocal chords, to put them in my regular bag of tricks.

How many distinctive voices do you guys have in your repertoire?
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
KeithS
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I find this topic interesting. I've written about this somewhere on these boards. When I am straight acting in character, when I can move my lips, I have a wide range of character voices I can do, including SOME accents. For some reason, however, when I am ventriloquizing, I am limited to about two, maybe three, voices (and no accents): a young boy/girl voice, an old person's voice, and perhaps a passable baby voice. That's it. That's probably why I really only want one strong character.

Thus, I find it disconcerting when a vent has many puppets in his/her act but can only do one or two voices. All the puppets end up sounding the same. I’d rather see a vent do one or two strong characters than having a lot of different looking puppets without distinct voices. Bergen, of course, was a master at character differentiation.
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Quote:
On 2013-08-27 20:03, KeithS wrote:
...That's probably why I really only want one strong character.

Thus, I find it disconcerting when a vent has many puppets in his/her act but can only do one or two voices. All the puppets end up sounding the same. I’d rather see a vent do one or two strong characters than having a lot of different looking puppets without distinct voices. Bergen, of course, was a master at character differentiation.


I feel the same way about that, voice differentiation is really important to me. I prefer a very small 'stable' of characters myself, with one as sort of the 'star'. And it's largely because a well defined character is the foundation I try to build my comedy and my act upon, and a strong character voice is a big part of that for me. I started with only one, Henry, but Frank the Wonder Dog sort of took over as star. I also have a silent rabbit in the hat puppet character who tends to steal the show. Plus, I gave them all an 'evil nemesis' character, because my two main shows are "The Evil Dr. Sketchy Stole My Library Card" and it's western variation "The Outlaw Doc Sketchy Stole My Squeaky Toy". One's a 'nutty professor' type show, one's a western show like I said, but both are well served by the presence of a funny bad guy, Dr. Sketchy, played by an Axtell MDB (with a drawing that looks strangely like me).

So, I'm really using all my good voices with this little crew. I can vary Henry's voice to be more Brooklyn (most often), or Texas or London (for my occasional 'Dickens Christmas' appearances). I actually ended up, like I said, with more characters than I intended when I started, because it served the act to develop them.

I love the possibilities that come from fully exploring one character, like Bergen did with Charlie for many years before introducing Mortimer. So that was my original intent, but the story that I tell with the act simply required more characters.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Aussie
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Australia
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Oh right. Sorry I thought you meant the ones in our head
Australia's Most Original Ventriloquist

http://www.ladymaceentertainment.com
robholland
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9 different voices for 9 characters Smile
MT
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I can only do one other than my own. I tried really hard to do more to no avail that's why thetes no point for me to have many puppets
TonyB2009
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At the moment, one. But I am working on a second.
TonyB2009
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At the moment, one. But I am working on a second.
Dickens & Dave
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I had four, I say "had" because one was a voice for a goof figure and I no longer own a goof figure. One of the voices I share with a couple figures, but I never use them together.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I have two figures, actually a figure and a soft puppet, who share basically the same voice, the Mahoney-esque cheeky boy voice I mentioned. I use it for Henry and with some slight variation with my soft puppet boy Ollie. But like you said, Dave, not in the same show.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Bob Baker
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I have 6 voices I use regularly and am working on two others for new characters I'm going to be using. As has been written extensively elsewhere, there are many aspects of the voice that can be varied to create different sounding ones. The pitch (high or low), speed, dialects and accents, smooth or gravelly, etc. I've also noticed that by "anchoring" the voice in different parts of the oral cavity (back of throat, middle of hard palate, behind teeth), it is possible to get even more variations.

When I was a kid I used to mimic all the cartoon voices I heard on TV, so I think that's how I learned to "do voices." Check out CD's by Pat Fraley if you want to learn to do cartoon voices which you can transfer to your characters.

Bob
Bob Baker
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I have 6 voices I use regularly and am working on two others for new characters I'm going to be using. As has been written extensively elsewhere, there are many aspects of the voice that can be varied to create different sounding ones. The pitch (high or low), speed, dialects and accents, smooth or gravelly, etc. I've also noticed that by "anchoring" the voice in different parts of the oral cavity (back of throat, middle of hard palate, behind teeth), it is possible to get even more variations.

When I was a kid I used to mimic all the cartoon voices I heard on TV, so I think that's how I learned to "do voices." Check out CD's by Pat Fraley if you want to learn to do cartoon voices which you can transfer to your characters.

Bob
Bob Baker
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1104 Posts

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I have 6 voices I use regularly and am working on two others for new characters I'm going to be using. As has been written extensively elsewhere, there are many aspects of the voice that can be varied to create different sounding ones. The pitch (high or low), speed, dialects and accents, smooth or gravelly, etc. I've also noticed that by "anchoring" the voice in different parts of the oral cavity (back of throat, middle of hard palate, behind teeth), it is possible to get even more variations.

When I was a kid I used to mimic all the cartoon voices I heard on TV, so I think that's how I learned to "do voices." Check out CD's by Pat Fraley if you want to learn to do cartoon voices which you can transfer to your characters.

Bob
Dickens & Dave
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Bob, could you say again how many voices do you have and how you do it? Smile
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Bob Baker
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No. Thrice suffices. Smile

I sent originally when the Café was down for maintenance. I didn't realize they save stuff and post it later.

Oops.

B
joeyvent
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Hiya all.
I am new here but wanted to chime in on this. I have a set few voices I can do but what I focus on aside from tone is the personality. I don't want to do lets say 3 voices and they all have the same speech patterns or speed. I really work hard on trying to mix it up so each are single and distinct.

Joe
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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I use about 6 voices for about 10 characters... I simply don't use characters with the same voice together in one act...


My main figure Nicolo
Old man
Bird
Baby and Granny use the same voice...
Monkey and Bum have the same voice...
Chicken, Dolphy and Pacman use the same voice...
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
http://wanlu.net/ventpuppets.html

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
manal
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York ,PA.
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Should I include in the count the voices I hear in my head?
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

www.jamesmanalli.com
damien666
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canada
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I have noticed more than how many voices I can do the number of voices I can no longer do..
Due to age, past illnesses that have affected my vocal chords, etc - I have noticed quite a loss in the amount of range I once had..
for instance - I used to be able to hit the high notes in doing voices.. But these days, my falsetto is non existant.. Anybody else encounter this?
I have certainly had to adapt with the evolution (or 'de-evolution' as the case my be) of my vocal/voice range..
Oh well, as long as I can make something rasp out some kind of joke without moving my lips - I'm still in the club, right?
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