Terry Fator Profile
Terry Fator is a singer, comedian, ventriloquist and celebrity impressionist who burst onto the national scene after winning "America's Got Talent" in 2007 (despite the fact Winston said he won it for Terry). A native of Texas, Terry spent over 20 years on the road performing at everything from schools to county fairs before becoming a Vegas headliner.
Best known for his victory on "America's Got Talent," Terry Fator captured the hearts... and funny bones... of America in 2007 with his unique combination of celebrity impressions and unparalleled ventriloquism. Yet his rise from his time with an obscure cover band to his eponymous theatre at The Mirage Hotel & Casino was 32 years in the making.
Fator first discovered his knack for impressions at the age of six, when he began performing Bill Cosby comedy routines for his family and friends. A few years later, Fator found his true passion through the book Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit and quickly learned how to throw his voice, resulting in his first paying gig at the age of 12. Only one year later, Fator first meshed ventriloquism, puppetry and celebrity impressions resulting in a lion puppet, fittingly named Jackyl Mikeson, to sing "Rock With You" by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. As a kid, Fator worked long, hard hours for his family's cleaning business, during which he would practice his impressions.
As a young man, Fator sang lead vocals for Texas the Band, a group whose playlist ranged from Garth Brooks to Guns N' Roses. Honing his skills as an impressionist, Fator would sing each song just like the original artist. From there, Fator branched out to begin his solo career. What started as 30-minute gigs at county fairs led to school performances and eventually well - paying corporate events. A trip to Las Vegas in 2005 stoked Fator's desire to become a big-name entertainer and he left with visions of billboards and bright lights, all donning his name.
In the months leading up to Fator's win on "America's Got Talent," he suffered two potentially career-ending blows. Looking for luck, Fator returned to Las Vegas to play a convention, at which three top producers saw him perform. Longing for his big break, Fator was met with disappointment as each producer told him why he wasn't Las Vegas material. Returning to his reality of county fairs and outdoor stages, Fator hit an all-time low when one of his performances was moved to an indoor theater due to rain. Built for 1,000, Fator took the stage to find only one fan in the audience.
Unwilling to give up, Fator was persuaded to audition for "America's Got Talent" when he saw a ventriloquist from season one on the "The Late Show with David Letterman." During his audition, Fator stunned the judges with his puppet Emma Taylor and her impression of Etta James. The process of getting from the auditions to the first episode was incredibly challenging for Fator, but he made it and opened with the same showstopper that got him there, Emma Taylor doing "At Last."
Fator never truly believed he could win, rather he just kept hoping to make it through to one more episode. This mentality continued throughout the entire season, culminating in the final episode. A stunning Roy Orbison performance of "Crying," courtesy of Winston The Impersonating Turtle, led to an eruption of praise from the audience, the judges and America. His life would never be the same.
In one year, Fator went from small-town appearances to "The Today Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and, at long last, "The Late Show with David Letterman." Finally in 2008, his biggest dream was realized when he signed a multi-year contract to perform in his very own theater at the legendary Las Vegas resort, The Mirage.
In December 2008, Fator released "Who's the Dummy Now? ," a candid autobiography chronicling this story and his "overnight" success. Performing on the Las Vegas Strip has been a dream of Fator's for more than 12 years, a dream he never gave up on.
March 2014 marked Fator's five year anniversary as a successful headliner on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. From the anniversary emerged his newest character, the fabulously happy Berry Fabulous, a former lawyer turned entertainer. Berry joins a cast that includes Winston The Impersonating Turtle, cowboy Walter T. Airdale, Hyphen, Julius, Emma Taylor, Duggie Scott Walker, Vikki "The Cougar" and Wrex the crash test dummy. Each character allows Fator to sing a different genre in an unbelievable manner with performances ranging from Gnarls Barkley, Black Sabbath and Garth Brooks to Cher, Etta James and Guns N' Roses -- Terry Fator does it all without moving his lips.