Elena Passarello

(or download the pdf)


This is the last essay I wrote for my book on voices in performance. It was a long, wordy,
heady project, and I knew I wanted the book to end on an airier, almost goofy, note.
I was also tired of my own voice on the page and hungry for a collaborator. So I read
a bunch of online personality tests and self-help-y, CODEPENDENT NO MORE-type books,
and I designed a pop psychology quiz to help sad ventriloquist dummies find their own voices.
Then I found T. Foley, an exciting video and performance artist living in Pittsburgh.
She uses her dummy (or "figure;" most vents balk at your calling their little friends "dummies") in these great
video shorts where Hector recites "men seeking women" ads from Craigslist. [Here] is a link to one of them.
They also have a hilarious live show involving Chatroulette: [here] is a photo, and a Twitter project,
AND they are planning to take their funky 21st-centruy vaudeville act on the road. So Hector is one busy doll.
It's amazing to me that, in the midst of his totally crazy life, he can still keep it so real.