Talents come in all different shapes and sizes, and sometimes, like in Darci Farmer’s case, they come in all different voices.
As an 11-year-old ventriloquist and Deer Creek native, Darci has already accomplished a few things that rival what some adults can only dream of achieving. She’s won numerous pageants and talent competitions, met with and learned from world-famous ventriloquists and has performed on NBC’s Little Big Shots.
Her passion for ventriloquism was sparked from her passion for pageants.
“Three years ago, I went to a pageant, and I won the pageant with a girl,” Darci said. “She was 18-years-old, and she did ventriloquism for her talent. I watched her and I was like ‘oh my gosh, how does she do that? I want to do that!’”
In the following weeks, Darci spent countless hours learning the basics, gathering tips and tricks and practicing in front of a mirror, honing her ventriloquism skills. She then moved to her next obstacle: convincing her mom to get her a puppet. As a pageant contestant, Darci was already involved in a host of activities, so naturally, the addition of another hobby at the time seemed to be a bit too much for Misty Farmer, Darci’s mother.
However, after many coaxing attempts, on her tenth birthday, she received her first puppet, which she named Katy, and a ventriloquist act was born. As her knack for ventriloquism transformed into a snowball of success, Katy got a new look.
“This is Katy,” Darci explained, while showing off her prized puppet. “I first got a puppet – she was blonde with blue eyes. My mom surprised me with her for my tenth birthday. She got her off eBay. Then, when this got big, and I started doing more and more and it got serious, I got this puppet, which is the same name and the same character. She’s a yodeling cowgirl. We just changed her hair up a little bit. Now, she’s got red hair, blue eyes and a better outfit.”
Her passion for her characters is evident as she describes her puppets.
“This is Petunia,” Darci said, while introducing each of them. “She’s very shy sometimes. She likes to sing opera...This is my duck. His name is Okie. He is in love with my fox. He also impersonates Elvis Presley... And this is my fox. Her name is Scarlet. She’s a southern fox. She’s very sassy, and she doesn’t want anything to do with him. But she’s in love with my brothers.”
It might seem that, for an 11-year-old, performing a ventriloquism act for a large audience could be quite intimidating. Although she does get nervous before going out on stage, Darci loves to perform.
“I get really nervous, but once I get on stage, I’m just like ‘I got this. I’m not nervous anymore,’” Darci said. “I really like talking to my puppets, because it’s really cool, like there’s a real person there. I really like performing on a stage and making people happy.”
And that’s exactly what she’s done.
Darci recently appeared on an episode of the NBC show, Little Big Shots, where she performed her ventriloquist act with Katy by her side. After her performance, Darci spent time interacting with the show’s host, Steve Harvey, and they practiced a little ventriloquism together.
“There were no lines. They didn’t tell us to say anything. It was all improv and ad libs...” Darci said. “I performed, and it was so fun! Steve Harvey is awesome and so funny.”
Darci’s passion for ventriloquism and the hard work that she instills in everything she does has made a visible impact. Aside from performing on a nationally-broadcasted television show, Darci has had the opportunity to meet and interact with one of her favorite ventriloquists, Terry Fator, who became famous after winning America’s Got Talent. Additionally, Darci’s presence has been requested at this year’s Vent Haven ConVENTion, a renowned, annual ventriloquists convention.
“I get to take classes on lip control, and I get to learn how to create different voices for your puppets and manipulations,” Darci said. “They also have three night shows, and I get to be the first kid to do one of those.”
Darci’s sights are set on the present, but she’s already thinking toward the future.
“I really want to be on America’s Got Talent, and I want to have my own show somewhere like really cool – like Jeff Dunham, Gary Owen and Terry Fator. I also want to be on Broadway,” Darci said.
She’s also pursuing a host of other hobbies, including music, dance and theater.
What may seem like a hectic schedule for an 11-year-old serves as a dream-in-the-making for Darci. For those who interact with her, it’s clear that she’s got something special. Although she has tasted her first fifteen minutes of fame, Darci’s humility remains intact, and her passion and personality shine bright.
Big things do come in small packages, and the proof is in Darci Farmer.