America’s Got Talent this year looks very promising so far. We’ve seen so many amazing talents through 11 seasons. It gets pretty hard for the contestants to come up with new mind-blowing performances, but they still manage to do so. Darci Lynne, a 12-year-old ventriloquist, wants to keep her unusual stagecraft alive. Performing “Summertime” with her puppet rabbit Petunia, Darci left everyone open-mouthed. Mel B was so impressed, she even hit a Golden Buzzer. Please, enjoy this talented performance and don’t forget to click LIKE and SHARE.
Ventriloquism has a dark history. The word “ventriloquism” is a blending of two Latin words: “Ventre” (the belly) and “Loqui” (to speak). Ventriloquists were originally known as “belly speakers.” The act was once a spiritual practice in various cultures in ancient times. The first mentions of “ventriloquism” dates all the way back to the 6th century B.C. That’s when Greeks built a temple at Delphi. The oracles spoke for Apollo through his priestess Pythia. She would talk while in trance with her mouth still, as words came from the sky or out of a sacred stone. The Greeks called it “gastromancy,” referring to the use of the diaphragm to project a voice without moving the lips.
During Medieval times, a ventriloquist was a person who could speak to the dead. They would go to the cemetery trying to connect to those who had past away. Any noises produced by the ventriloquist’s stomach were believed to be the voices of the dead, which were interpreted to those searching for answers.
In the late 18th century, ventriloquism lost all its mystical ties. It became one of the acts of traveling fairs in England alongside magicians, escape artists, and clowns. Back then ventriloquists used life-sized figures and distance voices. But the creepiness kept following the act. An immensely famous ventriloquist Jules Vernon, who performed with a whole family of life-sized dolls, went blind in the middle of a show in 1920, on Christmas day. He continued performing until he died at the age of 70, after being struck by a cab.
The Vaudeville acts of the1900s are what shaped ventriloquism as we know it today. The reason the puppets had such creepy faces is because they were designed for theater. Their heads had exaggerated features so those in the distant rows could still see their faces.