What do you want to be when you grow up?
Never mind that.
Maybe we should all want to grow "down."
For instance: Wouldn't it be great to be Darci Lynne Farmer right about now?
Darci, a student in the Edmond Deer Creek school system, is a singing ventriloquist who pocketed a $1 million first prize for winning the most recent season of "America's Got Talent.”
Winning AGT gave her the exposure to schedule concerts all over the U.S., including a March 24 show at the Brady Theater, 105 W. M.B. Brady St.
And, as a freshly minted teen, she's got her whole life ahead of her.
You could say the world is her oyster, except, in her world, the food item of her choice can be found at Chipotle.
Darci turned 13 in October. She celebrated with a swimming party a couple of months earlier, when the weather was still swim-friendly.
During a recent phone interview to promote her upcoming appearance in Tulsa, Darci said she was excited to become a teenager. She feels a little older and wiser. And it's just cool to graduate to teen.
Birthday presents? Darci said she was "super excited" to get a new iPhone 8 because it replaced an older phone that had stopped working.
If Darci is like other teens, a mobile phone could be her prized possession. Is it? After a pause, she said, "No. There are better things that are my prize possessions — like food. And my dog.”
The question led to Darci talking about her love of a certain food chain. When mom asks, "Where are we eating?" Darci suggests Chipotle. (Hey Chipotle, here's a celebrity endorser for you, all ready to be enlisted.)
"We go there a lot," Darci said, adding that her mother is tired of Chipotle.
Darci also volunteered that she is a fangirl of the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” If she could choose to meet anyone in the world, it would be an actor from the show. Maybe Noah Schnapp. Or Millie Bobby Brown. Or Finn Wolfhard.
There are probably kids all over who would love to meet Darci, who is juggling normalcy and, you know, being famous. Her life is like “Hannah Montana,” minus the alias and the guy who sings “Achy Breaky Heart.”
Just like other teens, Darci wakes up grumpy (not a morning person), eats breakfast, brushes her teeth and grabs her backpack so she can join friends at school. She wants to be a sprinter for her school's track team, so she tried out Tuesday for a spot on the squad.
The unusual part of her routine includes media interviews (scheduled before or after school) and rehearsals. If you want to get better at anything, whether it's track or ventriloquism, you have to practice. Darci said she practices her act every week but not every day because she requires a break sometimes. She has a ventriloquism coach, Gary Owen, and she said it helps to practice ventriloquism in front of a mirror.
Darci, who has upcoming shows in Springfield, Missouri (sold out), Kansas City, Nashville, Cleveland, Detroit and Indianapolis, in addition to the Tulsa gig, was asked if she ever imagined that "this" would be her life.
"No way, Jose,” she said. "I was on AGT and I was like, 'Well, face it Darci, you are just going to probably get out on the first live round.'"
But she kept advancing and kept thinking she was going to get ousted all the way through to the finals.
"It was just crazy," she said. “Now I'm touring America, and it's, like, weird to me, but it's awesome.”
Darci said she has a busy schedule, but it isn't really work if you're having a good time.
"I just really like performing for different crowds and seeing different places," she said. "It's very fun because the band I'm traveling with, they are a family band. They are all family. It's a bunch of kids that are basically my age, and it’s really fun to perform and hang out with them.”
The show is called Darci Lynne and Friends, with special guest Pelican 212. She said the show will include songs she performed on TV, a lot of comedy and some original songs by the band. On top of everything else, she's even going to sing (gasp!) with her mouth open instead of closed. Of course, she'll be joined by her puppets — four now, but she said she's got a couple of new ones up her sleeve that will "come out" later.
What would you do if you won a million dollars before your 13th birthday? There are some of us who, if left to our own urges, would have blown it all at the toy store.
Darci didn't do that.
"But we just got a new dishwasher," she said. "I can't believe it. It's so nice.”
The old dishwasher was horrible and didn't clean all that great.
"My mom just needed a new one,"she said. "So my goal since I won was to get her a new dishwasher."
It comes in handy for those days when the family eats at home instead of Chipotle.