DUMBSTRUCK is a funny, touching and richly human film about professional ventriloquists. The five featured personalities are a vivid and endearing ensemble attempting to achieve their dreams of making it in a form of entertainment too often disregarded and disrespected, and to the simultaneously exotic and familiar wonderland known as middle America.
If mom or dad ask what you want to be when you grow up, and you answer, 'a ventriloquist,' chances are they will a) question your sanity, b) have you locked up, c) be thrilled because they've just seen the delightful new documentary, DUMBSTRUCK.
The journey begins at the annual Vent Haven convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, ventriloquism capitol of the world (now you know where to take your next vacation). The film focuses on five 'vents', who are quirky enough to star in Christopher Guest's BEST IN SHOW. But they are real, and their stories are deeply human and universal:
Dylan, a shy 13-year-old who dreams of being a professional but whose dad prefers football; Kim, a former Miss Ohio beauty queen, who yearns to 'make it' on the cruise ship circuit; Dan, a successful cruise ship performer whose wife may divorce him when he comes ashore; Terry, who, after 22 years of struggle in Corsicana, Texas, finds himself on NBC's America's Got Talent with a chance to win $1 million; and Wilma -- all six-foot-five of her -- who brings her dummies to Walmart and 'entertains' in senior homes. With its heart firmly planted on its polyester sleeve, Dumbstruck takes the American dream sideways and never loses its way.
The film traverses the country from coast to coast, cruising the Mexican Riviera, Bahamas and Japan. We share in their successes and missteps, both on- and off-stage, as they strive in their own ways to achieve the American dream. The film is filled with music, laughter and a roller coaster of emotions, riding through the world of ventriloquism.
(use the buttons to start/stop Dumbstruck theme music)