Carla Kolbe - Twelve-year-old aspiring ventriloquist Jake LaMarca of Rotterdam shows a few tricks of the trade to Marion Balch of the STFSL last Thursday afternoon in Northville.
By Carla Kolbe
For the Express
NORTHVILLE - Jake LaMarca, a 12-year-old aspiring ventriloquist from Rotterdam entertained the seniors at the weekly Sacandaga Task Force for Senior Living (STFSL) luncheon last Thursday afternoon. With a natural wit, and a quick response, the young entertainer put on a show, made the audience laugh, sang and answered questions.
LaMarca also hosted a drawing for the seniors, and brought door prizes for every member of his audience. LaMarca plans and writes up his own program. His mom, Nancy LaMarca is his sounding board at home while he rehearses.
It all started by reading a book. LaMarca first learned about ventriloquism while reading a “Goosebumps” book, from the series written by R.L. Stine, geared for young readers. He became instantly intrigued and started researching the age-old form of entertainment. Influencing young LaMarca are entertainers Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell and Jimmy Nelson. For more than a year LaMarca searched for a dummy, finding most to be quite expensive, upward of $2,500. He found one online for $350 and begged his mom to get it for him.
This spring, Jake received his dummy, named Archie. Along with the dummy came a book with Seven Simple Steps to Ventriloquism. Mastering the steps, Jake would begin to perform. Previously, LaMarca would use a sock puppet and entertain his friends in the school yard.
“I made people laugh, they loved it,” said LaMarca.
LaMarca will be entering the eighth grade at Mohonasen Middle School this week. He is assisted in his performances by Archie (a dummy) and Herman (a puppet).
LaMarca performed at the Camp Lovejoy Family Fun Night and appeared at the James T. Cullen Memorial Golf Classic this summer.
The Northville seniors have invited LaMarca to return for a community talent showcase to be held at the the Northville First United Methodist Church, Sunday, Oct. 3, at 5 p.m.