Inspired by Ventriloquist Darci Lynne, 10-Year-Old Julia Sabatino Discovers Her Own Talent and Passion

By Julie Perine on February 24, 2018 via

Julia Sabatino was in awe when she turned on “America’s Got Talent” last summer and saw 12-year-old singing ventriloquist, Darci Lynne Farmer.
“She looked forward to watching it every time,” said Julia’s mother Katie. “She just fell in love with that show.”
It wasn’t just about entertainment. It was also about inspiration.
“I just really liked her and her puppets and I wanted to be like her,” Julia said. “She looked so talented. I wanted to do it, too.”
In September, Darci was named the show’s season 12 winner and awarded the grand prize of one million dollars. In December, Julia hit the jackpot, too, when Santa brought her very own ventriloquist doll, “Susie.”
“She put Susie on her hand and we were all in shock about what she could do,” Katie said. “It was a natural gift.”
Julia said she doesn’t even know where the skill came from.
“I just looked at Susie and I knew what her voice sounded like,” she said. “That was really the first time I ever tried it.”
Over the last few months, Julia has practiced throwing her voice. She and Susie have conversed, sung and entertained other members of the Sabatino household.
“After we come home from a hard day, the family gets together and Susie make us all laugh,” Katie said. “Then, we go to bed on that good note.”
Julia has not only become very good at her newfound talent, but she has also expanded her ventriloquism family – Susie’s little brother, Kenny; their friend Cheyenne and “Dr. Duty.”
Each has his or her own distinct voice and personality. Again, Julia said the voices just came to her.
“She does well with all of their voices,” Katie said. “But Susie is still the one that makes us all laugh so much. She just really brings life into her. It’s almost as if she’s a real person.”
A fourth grader at Simpson Elementary, Julia likes to read and write. She keeps a journal and does some drawing and coloring in her spare time. But all her interests have recently taken a back seat to ventriloquism.
“I’m always excited to get home so I can practice,” she said. “I watch the clock at school sometimes.”
Katie is in search of the right professional to work with Julia and hone her skills. Julia likes that idea. She has some other plans, too. She wants to take her talent on the road.
“She would like to maybe do some birthday parties,” Katie said. “She’s also trying to learn some bible songs and verses so maybe she could take Susie to Sunday School.”
The former Katie Anderson, a Bridgeport High School graduate. Katie Sabatino is thrilled to see her daughter nurturing a talent about which she is so passionate.
But it’s about more than a pastime; even more than a potential future career.
“Julia used to come to me crying; just pouring her heart out to me,” Katie said. “About everyone in our family is an athlete – into soccer, gymnastics and other sports. Julia isn’t into any of that. She was in kind of a depression. She said she needed to find her thing.”
With two older step-brothers and older sister, as well as her little twin sisters, she was having a difficult time finding her niche, Katie said. She was always big in the imagination department, but so very shy.
Since Susie and her friends have come into Julia’s life, she has made quite a turnaround. She’s gained confidence and self-esteem. She’s happy and more outgoing.  
“She can speak through these dolls,” Katie said. “Through these puppets, she lets out her emotions.”
Videos featuring Julia’s ventriloquism have been posted to social media sites and have gained plenty of attention. Those who knew Julia as a very little girl, including her teachers, have reached out to the family, sharing how happy they are to see her come out of her shell.
“It’s such a good feeling for me,” Katie said. “It kind of makes me tear up, thinking about it. I have a daughter who was so heartbroken for so long; just envious of her sister and brothers and cousins with their sports and then everything just came together.”
The Sabatino family includes 17-year-old Vince, 16-year-old Christian, 11-year-old Hallie, five-year-old twins Caroline and Audrey and, of course, Julia and her entourage of puppet friends.
See a video of one of Julia’s practice sessions below. Featuring her best puppet pal Susie, she performs “It's Raining Tacos.”

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