Local youth learns art of ventriloquism

Photo by Chad Koenen
Hadley Anderson displays her three dolls that she uses to perform her ventriloquist act at her rural Henning home. 

By Chad Koenen


Hadley Anderson, and her doll Darci, stood on the front yard of their rural Henning home last week and belted out a rendition of Alicia Keys’ hit “This Girl is on Fire.” Of course it was difficult to tell exactly who was doing the singing, as the daughter of Troy and Jessica Anderson never moved her lips, or her mouth during the entire song. 

As her doll moved its mouth throughout the song, Hadley threw her voice and provided a resource for Darci the doll to come to life. At just five-years-old, Hadley has already mastered the art of ventriloquism by watching her new idol Darci Lynne on TV. 

Hadley first became infatuated with ventriloquism when she started watching videos of Darci Lynne on America’s Got Talent. The now 17-year-old wowed judges with her ventriloquist act that featured a number of different colorful characters who made the judges and country laugh on a weekly basis. Hadley began watching Youtube videos about Lynne and started practicing the act of talking without moving her lips and mouth at home. 

“You could just see her mind going and she started doing it with her mouth,” said Jessica.

Wanting to encourage their daughter to mold her new passion, the Andersons purchased Hadley’s first doll with a moving mouth for Easter. Hadley knew just the perfect name for her new doll—Darci, after her favorite ventriloquist.

“I thought I could do it so my mom got me one for Easter,” said Hadley of Darci the doll. 

Since that time Hadley’s collection of dolls has grown to three. In addition to the blonde hair doll Darci are Oscar and Petunia. Each doll has its own personality and part in Hadley’s act. 

The new friends have quickly taken to one another as Hadley practices her new craft of ventriloquism on a routine basis. Jessica said her daughter even put on a show for children at her daycare a few times last summer, complete with tickets that the children could turn in for a seat to watch the group on stage. 

“I like doing it, because I like making people laugh,” said Hadley. 

Jessica has even posted a few videos of her daughter singing the ABCs and a few songs on social media at the request of some of her friends and former teachers who enjoy watching Hadley perform her routine. Jessica said people have said Hadley’s routine has brought a big smile to their face as she interacts and molds a skill that few people can master in their lifetime—much less a kindergartner at Henning School.