Ventriloquist brings Audience to Life

Ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger performs with her puppet Samuel in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Friday night. Samuel is the first puppet she ever used.

Mary Ellen Greenburg

Ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger performs with her puppet Samuel in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Friday night. Samuel is the first puppet she ever used.

Chrissy Miller, News Editor

Ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger helped welcome in Family Weekend with her zany crew of puppets ranging in age, temperament and even species.

Trefzger involved all ages in her act by selecting audience members throughout the show to participate in her skits.

Dallas Lancenese, the university board comedy coordinator, said he was pleased with the amount of people who came to see the performance.

Lancenese said the crowds’ responses to her in the past made Trefzger an obvious choice for such an important weekend.

“We looked at her performances. We studied her,” Lancenese said. “She’s been here before, had great turnout before.”

When picking the act for Family Weekend, Lancenese said making sure the person selected had kid friendly material was top priority.

“She’s really good with catering to the children in the audience. She can make an act that fits their needs and what they will laugh at,” Lancenese said. “With Family Weekend being geared toward children and the families she’s the best bet.”

Seeing how involved Trefzger was able to get the audience was his favorite part of the night, Lancenese said.

“Anyone can just go on stage and make an act or anything, but when you actually bring the audience in it, it makes it feel more like, I guess, a community,” Lancenese said.

Lancenese said it was amazing to see Trefzger get children involved in her act.

“We are making Family Weekend about the children and the families so, the fact that she brought up some kids and they were able to have fun and do their thing and basically go along with whatever she was doing that’s really good,” Lancenese said.

Trefzger said she got her first puppet when she was nine and starting performing small shows in front of friends and family just a year later.

Performing for Eastern again was a great experience, Trefzgeer said, especially because she got to perform for an audience filled with families.

“I love being back and I love doing the family shows too just because they’re all ages. Hopefully there was something for everyone,” Trefzger said. “It’s fun and the audience was great, and they’re great volunteers, but that’s what makes the show too. It always makes it different for me.”

Trezfger said performing with Camelot, her camel puppet, is always fun, but she said she really has a soft spot for Chloe, her puppet who is a little girl.

“She’s actually one of my favorites because a lot of her material, they’re literally quotes from my kids,” Trezfger said. “A lot of the things that she has said, those are things that my kids have said. So, it’s fun to incorporate that into a show.”

The audience’s participation helped make the performance fun for her as well, Trezfger said.

“My volunteers were fantastic,” Trezfger said. “They were my superstars.”

Senior history major Tanner Skym said participating as an audience volunteer was a fun surprise for him because he performed his Elvis impersonation for Trezfger and the audience.

“I’m usually on stage a lot so it wasn’t like, ‘Oh god, I’m so scared to go on stage,’” Skym said. “At the same time, I wasn’t prepared to do Elvis, but it felt pretty nice to go on stage.”

Reflecting on the performance, Skym said it had many entertaining aspects which made it fun for him.

“It was very interesting. It gave me a different view on ventriloquists,” Skym said. “I had a good time.”

Skym said his favorite act of Trezfger’s involved Judd, an old man puppet. Judd spouted his views on relationships and marriage while bringing young and old alike into the conversation.

While his family was unable to come up for the weekend, Skym said being with his friends set the weekend off to a good start.

“Friends are always there for you,” Skym said. “My family is not here so they’re technically my family.”

Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]