Things have sure changed for Terry Fator, winner of season 2 of America's Got Talent, in the past few years. The struggling ventriloquist went from playing fairs and schools to signing a multi-million dollar contract with the Mirage Hotel and Casino and performing in a theatre bearing his name.
His story is quite fascinating and I am glad I had the chance to talk to him about his incredible journey. Fator says that he "could not have been more stunned" when he won America's Got Talent. He says that he was convinced that he was not going to win and didn't think that America would vote a ventriloquist as the #1 act. He tried really hard to make his act appeal to the masses, though, by using songs that people really liked and by adding puppets that he thought people would find entertaining. He says he could never have prepared , however, for how he seemed to capture America's heart and is still amazed that people "really, really" enjoy his show. Enjoy they do! His show is sold out almost every night in Vegas.
The coolest thing about Terry Fator is that he truly seems grateful and thankful for his success. Don't think that success has come easy though. Fator spend twenty plus years working his act before he won the popular TV show contest and the hard work didn't stop when he won. In fact Fator says that if you think "that success is when you can start taking it easy, it's exactly the opposite. Success is when the work really starts." Being a self described workaholic, however, Fator seems to be handling that work load just fine.
Terry first started to sing when he was only 3 years old and started doing impressions at the age of 6. Then at the age of 10, he found a book on how to do ventriloquism. That's right. He taught himself from a book! That's when he got a puppet and started touring with a band for about 15 years. He broke out on his own in 2002 and started to focus on how to do a routine that people would really want to see. His repertoire has since expanded into impersonating country acts Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, and Big and Rich. He also throws in some Cher, Justin Timberlake, and Pussycat Dolls in his Vegas act.
Fator also believes in giving back. All of the proceeds from the merchandise he sells in Vegas goes to various charities that support our troops. Mainly those that help the wounded or help children that have lost a parent in combat. That is something that is very important to Fator. So important, that he also donates a portion of those proceeds when he heads out on the road. You can catch him on the road when he performs at the Allegan County Fair in Allegan, Michigan on September 17th.
America got it right. Terry Fator is living the American Dream and what a humble entertainer he is because of it all!