Dummies are the tools Darci Lynne Farmer uses to get out of her shell and out of the classroom.
After winning a season of the reality competition TV show “America’s Got Talent” in 2017 as a shy then-12-year-old, Farmer has taken her ventriloquism act on the road, balancing life as an eighth grader with a career in showbiz playing rooms as lush and expansive as the Aronoff Center’s Procter & Gamble Hall.
It’s a lot for a person her age – and we haven’t even yet mentioned the potential anxiety brought about by making the transition to high school. Farmer recently called from her home in Oklahoma City after school to report how she’s handling it.
Question: Are you attending school full time?
Darci Answer: I try to. I’m gone a lot, usually on Fridays and Mondays, because that’s when I’m touring. I leave on Friday. I do a show on Saturday, a show on Sunday, and I come home Monday. So mostly I miss just those two days, but there’s also things in between, like trips to California.
Q: How are you doing in school?
A: I’m doing pretty good. I have all A's. It has been a challenge with traveling. But my teachers are so, so flexible.
Q: Are you looking forward to high school?
A: Eh, I’m kind of iffy. I mean, I’m looking forward to it, but also, I don’t know. It seems a little scary. But, yeah.
Q: Is it your desire to tour? Where do your parents factor in when it comes to either pushing you to work or sheltering you from certain aspects of show business?
A: My parents have kept me extremely grounded. A lot of things have kept me grounded. My church – going to public school has kept me grounded because I get to see my old friends and just remembering that I’m somewhat normal. But traveling-wise, it is a challenge. My parents, they had to quit their jobs, and they’re full-time working for the tour and me. It’s been a challenge, but it’s really fun.
Q: What will people see at this show?
A: The show is really, really fun. There’s lots of different kinds of music. Some of the songs everyone will know. You’ll sing along. You’ll laugh a lot. And it’s just a fun show. Definitely family-friendly. Just come on down and have a great time and relax.
Q: Has show-business success affected your shyness in either direction? Are you more comfortable in front of audiences now, or would you rather not deal with people the bigger you get?
A: I’ve definitely gotten more confident with who I am and just being me. I’m way less shy than I used to be. Being on stage and performing, doing my ventriloquism and singing has helped that 100 percent. There are times where I’m just like, oh, I don’t know if I like this. I’m a little too overwhelmed. But most of the time, I’m having so much fun. I love meeting new people, meeting new fans when they notice me in public. It was a change, but I’ve gotten used to it.
Q: You mention occasionally feeling overwhelmed and unsure if you like doing what you do. Is stopping an option?
A: There are times where I’m like, I don’t know if I want to do this. I’m a little overwhelmed. It’s a lot of work. But there are times where I step onto a stage and the crowd is just screaming so loud. Or I meet new kids who say that I’ve inspired them. Or I go to a hospital and visit the kids and make them smile. Those are the times where I realize, no, this is what I want to do. I enjoy it so much. I make people happy. I love what I do. The enjoyable parts of this career weigh out the negative parts of it.
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