A documentary film about ventriloquists? How good can it be? Actually, it’s quite good. Not only that, it’s funny, inspiring, amusing, and I loved every minute of it!
Dumbstruck follows the journey of five ventriloquists – from amateurs to pros – as they set out to make a name and living while not moving their lips.
Chief among these performance artists is Terry Fator, winner of America’s Got Talent and current headliner in Las Vegas. Fator’s struggles to the top and ultimate fame and prestige in the ventriloquism community is a point of pride and inspiration for other who have followed his career and hope to one day achieve some semblance of fame as he has.
The other four profiled include a 13 year old boy – Dylan – whose father isn’t too keen on his choice of activity; a 6’5” woman – Wilma – whose family has disowned her due to her choice of profession; a young beauty queen – Kim – who desires a job on a cruise ship (a prestigious position for a ventriloquist); and Dan, a man struggling to juggle career and his home life as he travels the world as an entertainer on cruise ships and doing training seminars.
Each story showcases the struggles, heartaches, and successes that each performer comes across, while exemplifying that dedication to one’s art can eventually pay off. While not all ventriloquists will headline in Vegas like Fator, the film proves that if you work and earn your dues doing what you love you have the possibility to reach your dreams.
The film is bookended by footage of the VentHaven ConVENTion, where ventriloquists of all ages and skills sets come to be amongst who are of like mind and interest. This is where we meet many of the film’s subjects.
I really enjoyed Dumbstruck. If you’re an artist struggling and working hard to achieve your dreams this film is a definite source of inspiration. While you may want to act, write, dance, or sing instead of do ventriloquism, seeing these people fight their demons and do what they love is enough to make you keep at what you want to do in life.
Dumstruck opens in select cities this April. Click here for cities, dates, and showtimes, as well as bios on the film’s features ventriloquists.