Out of the mouths of… rabbits?
When ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and her rabbit puppet, Petunia, belted out the George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin song, “Summertime” from the opera “Porgy and Bess,” she won the hearts of the America’s Got Talent judges as well as millions of TV viewers.
After judge Mel B. slammed her hand on the golden button, 12-year-old Darci Lynne went straight on to the live show, and eventually became winner of the 2017 Season 12 America’s Got Talent Show.
Singing with Friends
Darci Lynne began singing at the age of six. “My mom [Misty Farmer] taught me how to sing,” she says. [She] put me in pageants when I was little to try and help me with my shyness. ” When she was nine years old, Darci Lynne met 18-year-old ventriloquist Laryssa Bonacquisti (Miss Louisiana) at a pageant. They became friends and spent time together that year as pageant winners, and Darci Lynne became fascinated with Laryssa’s ventriloquism skills. “I was so fascinated with the fact that she could sing and talk with her mouth closed,” says Darci Lynne. “I just had to learn how to do it. Laryssa was kind enough to give me tips and pointers on how to do some basic skills. I was so excited I would practice in my bathroom mirror until I thought I was good enough to show my parents. They were impressed, but didn’t give in to my requests for a puppet! After persistence, they finally surprised me with my first puppet on my 10th birthday.”
That puppet was Katie, a cowgirl with yellow yarn hair that Darci Lynne’s mother found on eBay. But Katie wasn’t an “only puppet” for long. She was joined by Okie, an Elvis-impersonating duck; Oscar the mouse; Petunia, the big-voiced bunny who helped Darci Lynne in her first AGT audition; and Edna Doorknocker, the elderly woman who carries a torch for Simon Cowell.
“Developing each character is very different. Some take me a long time to get the exact personality and voice that I like and others can even happen right when I pick them up for the first time,” explains Darci Lynne.”
More Than Puppets
What’s next for Darci Lynne? “I’m not really sure what is going to happen,” she admits. “I’m just really enjoying the moment and really love to make people happy. I hope to keep pursuing my dreams of being a professional ventriloquist, actor, recording artist and hopefully be on Broadway someday. But for now I will leave it up to God.”
Although ventriloquism and stage time has helped Darci Lynne with her shyness, she says she still struggles with it. Overall, I have evolved a lot, and I feel more comfortable around people.” She has some advice for her fans. “Dream big! I would love to let them know that I am truly thankful for their support and to try and come to a show on my tour! I would love to meet them.”
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