Who is Terry Fator?
Terry Wayne Fator, born June 10, 1965 is a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian and singer from Dallas, Texas, USA.
I like Terry’s story and chose to publish it here on my Blog because it demonstrates what one can achieve with hard work, dedication and never giving up on your dream!
It also highlights the importance of being surrounded by the right people – friends and family members – who will support and encourage you when you need it the most.
Terry Fator got his first ventriloquism dummy when he was ten years old.
Throughout his childhood, he entertained family and friends with his ventriloquism and did impersonations of singers and actors.
His mother saved up her money for three years and bought him his first puppet when he was 18 years old.
Fator says he found he had the ability to impersonate singers by practicing ventriloquism while driving his car.
“One of the reasons I learned how to sing as a ventriloquist was because I like singing in the car,” Fator says. “I’d see other people singing in the car, and they looked goofy, so I’d do it without moving my lips.”
In May 2007, before appearing on America’s Got Talent, Fator was performing at a fair near Houston, Texas and the only spectator was a 12-year-old boy.
“Fairs would stick me on a little stage in the back of the fair and have me do three shows in the hottest part of the afternoon,” says Fator. “I had heat stroke a couple of times and almost passed out.”
He said, the lowest point of his career was when he appeared at a 1,000 seat theater and had only one paying customer show up.
Discouraged, Fator contemplated pursuing another career, but his family encouraged him to hang in there.
Earlier in his career he had been the lead singer in a band and often did impersonations of singers Garth Brooks, Etta James, James Taylor and Dean Martin while ventriloquism was just a comic side gig.
In 2005 he decided to join his two talents, ventriloquism and impersonations.
His new success stems from combining singing, impersonations and ventriloquism all together in one seamless act.
He said, “I had one of my characters sing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” and the audience went bananas.”
“Boy, that was where my life changed.”
After his initial success he totally revamped his act.
“It took me six months and I completely rewrote the show,” he says. “It was then that people really noticed and I started getting standing ovations at the end of every show.”
Terry then entered the America’s Got Talent competition with the hope that if he made it to the Top 20 the exposure might help his career and cause people to want to attend his shows.
Little did he realize what was in store for him.
On June 19, 2007, Terry made his first national appearance on America’s Got Talent and from the beginning he consistently wowed the judges advancing through each level, eventually winning first place in the competition!
On March 17, 2008, Terry appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show along with American Idol Judge, Simon Cowell who amazed Oprah by referring to Terry Fator as one of the “two most talented people on the planet.”
On May 13, 2008 it was announced that Fator had signed a five year, $100 million contract to perform nightly at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip. He replaced headliner Danny Gans and the theater was renamed the Terry Fator Theatre.
Reportedly, Fator’s deal is one of the largest entertainment deals in Las Vegas history.
Fator announced in July 2008 that he was at work on a book. “I never thought in my whole life I would write a whole book.
It’s called ‘Who’s the Dummy Now?’