This blog post was updated on October 16, 2018.
People may have first heard of Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator because of his win on “America’s Got Talent” in 2007. But this ventriloquist has been entertaining people for years. One Travel sat down and spoke to him.
Following Fator’s “Talent” win, the talented performer released Who’s the Dummy Now? an autobiography documenting his “overnight” success.
Then, in 2009, Fator signed on as a Strip headliner. Today, Fator, delights crowds regularly with his impressions and puppets.
This month marks Fator’s three year anniversary performing for crowds in Las Vegas at The Mirage.
One Travel: Where are you originally from?
Terry Fator: I’m proud to be from the state that is home to America’s team: Texas.
OT: Before you started your show, did you come to Vegas often? When you did visit, how has your impression of Vegas changed as you went from tourist to local?
Before I started my show, I didn’t really come to town that often. I was on the road working a couple hundred nights a year all over the country. But I’m proud to say the first time I came to Las Vegas I hit the blackjack tables and walked away with 50 large. Yep $50.
Now that I live and work here, I get to see a side of the town you don’t know about if you are just a visitor for a few days. This is a real community, with churches and schools and people who work hard. It’s a town just like any other. It just has a few more lights on at night.
OT: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not performing?
Filling out questionnaires! I love nothing more than spending time at home with my wife Taylor and our 3 dogs and going on long walks.
OT: Your show is in the Mirage. Do you have any favorite spots to visit at the hotel?
My favorite place would be the cashier in the casino to cash some winning chips. My least favorite is the ATM in the casino.
Although I have better odds there than playing the slots. In truth I love eating at Kokomos. Great food, great service.
OT: When you have people come to town, what’s the first thing you do with them? Is there any special place you take them?
First thing I do is take their money and put in a safe place so they can pick it up before they go home.
I really love taking people backstage at my show and then have them watch a performance.
As a performer doing five shows a week, 48 weeks a year, you always try to give your best every night because for a lot of people, it may be their first show or the only show that week or the only time they’re going to see you….but when you have friends in the audience you want to make it extra special for them.
OT: What’s one spot in town that truly symbolizes Las Vegas?
Any wedding chapel that has a flying Elvis.
OT: Do you have a special place you go to have creative sessions and come up with new characters for your show?
There’s really two. I like to work at home in the afternoon and then when I get to the show, run new ideas by everyone in the band room or in my dressing room.
OT: What’s your favorite local/neighborhood restaurant?
Anyplace showing the Cowboys Sunday afternoon when they’re winning
OT: Is there a place in town you go to unwind?
I would say I unwind by working out three hours a day but I would be off by about two hours and 30 minutes.
I like to unwind after a show by going home with Taylor and watching one of our favorite tv shows.
OT: I love Las Vegas because …
It’s where my wife and family and friends are, so it’s home.