What If This 12-Year-Old Ventriloquist Had Never Practiced?

In 2017, 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer wowed the audience and the judges on America’s Got Talent. Before the 7-minute video was over I laughed, and I cried. Real tears. I am not kidding.

And then I thought…

What if Darci Lynne had never practiced ventriloquism on her own at home? What if she’d just waited until age 18, signed up for ventriloquism classes, and then expected those classes to give her everything she needed to perform like a superstar?

Would Darci Lynne have ever gotten anywhere?


Students age 15-26 need time to practice what they’re naturally good at.

I’m not just talking about sports and musical instrument practice.

I’m also talking about other kinds of talents and interests, like computer programming, communicating with special needs kids, leading others in work on big projects, building robots, and writing short stories.

Kids who end up succeeding in big ways often start developing their natural talents very early on.

Problem is, kids can’t start developing their natural talents very early on if they don’t know what they are.

This is why I’m adamant that I want students to take three specific strengths, personality, and interest assessments at age 15, or as soon as possible after that. I explain exactly how to get this done in chapter 13 of my book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.

If your son can zero in on what he is naturally good at and interested in as early as age 15, he can get a 6-year head start on:

  • Practicing those skills at home by himself
  • Job shadowing–where he learns by observing people who use those skills in the workplace
  • Reading books and articles on the topic
  • Volunteering to work alongside people who are using those skills in the community

If your daughter can do this, she’ll end up being a highly desirable college and grad school applicant, she’ll be an astoundingly strong candidate for college scholarships, and she’ll have more fun during the years of age 15 to age 22. Why? Because practicing what you are good at and naturally interested in is one of the happiest, most fulfilling things a person can do in life.

To get straight to 12-year-old ventriloquist Darci Lynne’s amazing performance on America’s Got Talent, fast forward 2 minutes and 30 seconds in the video below:

Remember, if your child’s area of talent and interest will eventually require the polish of a college education, it’s important for him or her to learn high-end college study skills very early on — preferably in middle school.

Sign up for my free Monday morning email updates on this website, and you’ll find out when I’m next teaching my one-evening class for students entitled THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades By Studying Less Than Most Other People. You can see 7 reasons why your middle schooler needs a class like this here. You can see parents and students raving about this class here. The class is available both live and online on two different dates each year.

There’s no part of parenting more important than setting your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into careers they love afterward, it takes only 7 hours to read my book:

You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently at bit.ly/easylaunchinstructions.

You can see more than 90 reviews of it on Amazon at:


(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. Space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.

Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12–22? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn right now.

What about you? How has identifying what you’re naturally good at and practicing that on your own helped you? What other career prep strategies have you found that really work? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

2 thoughts on “What If This 12-Year-Old Ventriloquist Had Never Practiced?

  1. Jeannie,

    I absolutely LOVE THIS!

    I was actually watching this little entrepreneur on the phone with my 6 year old daughter, she had never seen a ventriloquist. I never even thought about what an anomaly she is that she’s been practicing career skills at an early age.

    Your book is the best book about college scholarships – and the best guide on how to get through college without debt!

    This was fun Jeannie – thanks for writing.

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