Young Wonder

Her lips are sealed, yet her voice shines through. As a kid, Darci Lynne Farmer stole hearts on season 12 of “America’s Got Talent,” and now as a teenager her act has only blossomed, reaching more and more audiences with her incredible singing, hilarious comedy and unbelievable ventriloquism.

An Oklahoma native, Darci began participating in talent-based pageants at a young age, and picked up ventriloquism shortly after. She loved to sing, but she was afraid to perform in front of an audience. Her parents encouraged her to overcome her shyness by participating in the International Cinderella Scholarship Program where she was crowned International Mini Miss. At that pageant she also met International Teen titleholder, Laryssa Bonacquisti, a young ventriloquist who inspired her to try ventriloquism, and she began practicing the art.

“I started teaching myself ventriloquism around the age of 10,” Farmer said. “Either while looking in the mirror in my bathroom, or watching YouTube videos of other ventriloquists I looked up to.”

It’s not the easiest skill to pick up, but Farmer was ready for the challenge.

“Ventriloquism involves using your tongue a lot instead of your lips,” she said. “The hardest letters to pronounce are B, P and M. These were tricky because they require you to use your lips, so I had to figure out a way around that.”

Her very first puppet was a cowgirl named Katie.

“My very first puppet came from eBay,” Farmer said. “She was a cowgirl named Katie, but wasn’t necessarily a professional ‘ventriloquist’ puppet, so I ended up using prize money I won in a talent competition in my hometown to buy a new and improved Katie puppet.”

Her skills developed more and more, and in 2015, she won first place in both the junior division at Oklahoma’s Got Talent and Oklahoma Kids, and won Broadway, Specialty Acts, and overall Entertainer of the Year at American Kids in Branson, Missouri.

In March 2016, she made an appearance on “Little Big Shots,” performing “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” with Katie, and in July 2016, she became the first child ventriloquist to perform at an evening show in the 40-year history of the Vent Haven International Ventriloquists’ ConVENTion, where she opened for celebrity ventriloquists Kevin Johnson and Todd Oliver.

Then her real fame started after receiving the most votes for a final performance in the history of “America’s Got Talent,” being crowned the winner at 12 years old and earning a $1 million dollar prize and a headlining gig at Planet Hollywood.

“Winning AGT has given me so many opportunities to do things I’m passionate about, and gave me a platform to share my ventriloquism with the world,” Farmer said. “I’m so grateful for my journey on the show. My younger self would be in complete awe of the life I’m living right now!”

Farmer has been invited back on the show to perform every year after winning in 2017. She also was the runner-up of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” in 2019.

Farmer has grown up with the eyes of America on her, which can be difficult for a young performer.

“You know it’s been interesting being known and in the spotlight as a kid,” she said. “But my family and friends were a huge part of keeping me grounded. I believe I’ve done a great job of staying true to who I am and the things I believe in. I’m still trying to figure out this plan God has for me but I trust that I’m where I’m meant to be.”

Her talent is undeniable and her funny personality always wins over the crowd, but comedy was another aspect of her act that she had to study.

“I haven’t always done comedy,” Farmer said. “It was something new for me to learn and explore. Learning comedic timing was important for what I do, and I’ve improved a lot over the years. I’ve really enjoyed the experience of writing my own material.”

She has several “friends” she brings on stage with her, from Petunia, her diva-esque rabbit, a shy and soulful mouse Oscar, a sarcastic old lady Edna, and most recently she introduced Ivan, an Australian loverboy who raps and sings.

“Each puppet I have created came about differently,” Farmer said. “Some of them I’ve had to actually sit down and brainstorm the direction I wanted to go, but I’ve also had ideas for a new puppet come to me randomly. I think they all kind of breathe a little piece of me and my personality, but there are some things they can say that I would NEVER say!”

As Farmer grows up, so does her act. She constantly develops new and relevant material and hones her skills.

“My act has definitely grown up with me, and by grown up I mean improved,” she said. “I’ve been doing ventriloquism for seven years now and I’m still improving to this day.”

She’s bringing her latest tour, “My Lips Are Sealed (Except When They’re Not),” to Laughlin Saturday, Nov. 27 (7 p.m.) at the Edgewater’s E Center.

“My favorite thing about this new show is that it’s been my vision from the start,” Farmer said. “Now that I’m older, I’ve gotten the opportunity to be more involved in the development of my show. It’s been so enlightening to learn the ropes in this business, and to let my creative juices flow!”

Her goal from the beginning has been to shine a new light on ventriloquism, and with the success of her act she continues to inspire other young performers.

“The highlight of my career so far has been seeing how much impact I’ve had on younger kids,” Farmer said. “Boys and girls tell me all the time that I inspired them to try ventriloquism, or inspired them to try something new in general! It’s so motivating and it’s special to know people look up to me.”

Farmer is a special young lady and her talents have landed her on several talk shows, television specials and guest appearances. After winning AGT, she was a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” she appeared in a Jeff Dunham video and made a guest appearance in one of Terry Fator’s shows.

She’s performed at the Grand Ole Opry and has been a guest on the “Today” show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Food Network and more. She has appeared on Nickelodeon and has lent her voice on animated television shows. She also has hosted her very own Christmas special on NBC with several celebrity guest stars.

With her additional acting and musical skills, Farmer can take her career in any direction.

“I love what I do now, but I definitely want to try new things as I get older,” she said. “I’ve recently gotten into writing music and I have loved every minute of it! I’ve also started acting more as well. I kind of want to do it all!”