Teenage singer, ventriloquist and Season 12 winner of “America’s Got Talent,” Darci Lynne, said school starts back up in her hometown of Oklahoma City in just a few days, but she’s not going.
Lynne, who performs Sunday night at the grandstand of the State Fair of West Virginia, in Fairlea, said she’s taking a break from public school.
“I’m going to try out home schooling this year and see how that goes,” Darci said.
After winning “America’s Got Talent” in 2017, Lynne was quickly swept up in a tide of personal appearances and performances. She went on tour, while continuing to attend middle school back home in Oklahoma.
“Last year, I was actually in public school,” the 14-year-old said. “Along with everything else, it was very stressful.”
People didn’t really treat her any differently, she said. Darci said after she won the television contest and starting appearing more in the public eye, there were a few stares at first and she had a couple of students from school ask her for autographs, but most everyone treated her the same as they always had.
“Most of the kids I went to middle school with have known me since elementary school,” she said.
With whatever attention that came with being on TV, she said her friends were mostly, “Oh, that’s just Darci.”
The teen didn’t mind the attention and sort of likes signing autographs.
“It doesn’t bother me when someone comes up,” she said.
Choosing home schooling will allow Darci more flexibility with her schedule, give her the chance to perform a little farther from home and not have to worry about getting back in time for a big math test.
“We’re going to try this and see how it goes,” she said.
Darci has adapted to touring. The breaks help and she said she didn’t feel like she had spent the entire time her friends had off for summer vacation, working.
“I took most of June off and stayed at home,” she said. “So, it’s been a pretty great summer for me. It’s been somewhat relaxing. That’s nice.”
The singer and ventriloquist probably could have gone somewhere for a few weeks, but she said after so much time on the road going everywhere, it was great to just go nowhere for a while.
Darci said she still practices her show, just not as much as she used to. The ventriloquism part, she said, she has down.
“I’ve been doing it for five years,” she said. “And I’m a good ad-libber.”
Sometimes people will yell things from the audience or ask questions of her puppet friends. Darci said she doesn’t have much trouble responding, but acknowledged that it’s a lot like how anyone else would respond.
“Sometimes, it’s funny and sometimes, it’s ... ehh,” she said.
No one else in her family does ventriloquism, though almost everyone has given it a try.
“It’s just me,” she said.
Beyond the tour and the next couple of months, Darci said she didn’t know what was going to happen. There were no big plans for television appearances or anything else — at least, none that she could mention.
“I know I’m touring through January,” she said. “I’m just taking this all step by step.”