The first ventriloquist I saw in a live performance was children's evangelist Mr. Joy Cummings and his little friend, WILLY. Working through Child Evangelism Fellowship, Mr. Cummings held a week-long children's crusade at our church. I begged my parents to invite Mr. Cummings and Willy to our house for dinner, and they did. I learned a lot from him, as I asked dozens of questions. Sometime later my parents took me to see another ventriloquist, Marcy Tigner, with "Little Marcy." I announced to my parents, "I want to be a ventriloquist!"
How I Got Started
For Christmas that year, I got my very own "dummy," a JURO Celebrity doll. (This is him, in the photo, years later in his "new and improved state" after I sent him to Maher Studios for plastic surgery and "dummy" enhancements. Ronnie says the actual procedures are classified information, however, so don't ask him what he had done.) Anyway, I gave my first performance for my fifth grade class. I was nervous, but Ronnie was smooth as a salesman, and my classmates cracked up laughing! That's all it took. I was hooked.
Kimn Swenson Gollnick & RONNIE SMITH
- Read more about Kimn's journey from ventriloquist to author.
- Visit Kimn's journalism project, "READ MY LIPS: VENTRILOQUISM"
- See Kimn & Ronnie on YouTube!
- See Ronnie playing a professor on YouTube!
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Last revised December 17, 2006
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