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Willie Tyler • Interviews from the Inside

Where in the world am I today?: Cartagena, Colombia and on my way home.

I make no apologies for the fact that this segment was inspired by the interviews done on “Inside the Actors Studio.” Beyond just the biographical information that James Lipton provides on the show, he also managed to capture a snapshot of the artists on his show at a given point in their career. I wanted to do something similar on my Blog because I’m fortunate enough to run into some pretty amazing people in the industry and wanted to capture a little snapshot of who they are and what makes them tick. The interview is done in three segments – Stats, Hot 10 Questions, and what I call The Nugget, a choice bit of information that each performer has picked up along the way. (***If as a reader of the blog you have ideas for different stats or questions that you’d like included please do let me know***)

Today: Ventriloquist, Willie Tyler

Prologue: I first met Willie Tyler in January 2008 when we worked together on a two-week run aboard the Diamond Princess. His career has spanned over 50 years and he and his partner Lester have worked with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Pryor and Sammy Davis Jr. He is, with out a doubt, one of the classiest performers I’ve ever had the chance to work with.


Birthday: September 8, 1940
Place of Birth: Red Level, Alabama, USA
Started Performing/Working in the Industry: 1950, Detroit Michigan
Discipline: Ventriloquism
Website: http://www.willieandlester.com
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB6voBzbvsQ
Venues Worked: Cruise Ships, Theatres, Comedy Clubs, Vegas “The Sliver Circuit,” County/State Fairs, Film and Television

Hot 10 Questions

  1. What’s your favorite color? • Grey
  2. What’s your favorite food? • Spaghetti
  3. What makes you laugh? • People who are funny who don’t think they’re funny.
  4. Who would you consider your Role Model or Influence? •  Paul Winchell and Edgar Bergen
  5. What song puts a smile on your face? •  Smile – Charlie Chaplin
  6. Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had. • Newspaper Boy
  7. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • Astronaut
  8. What’s the best thing about being a performer? • The true enjoyment of being on stage
  9. What’s the hardest thing about being a performer? • Getting to the gigs, the travel
  10. Why do you keep performing? • It keeps me happy (and as an aside – The show must go on, well at least if you want to get paid)

The Nugget

Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.

“Today can be wonderful yesterdays once you reach tomorrow. That way you can enjoy looking back on it.”

–Willie Tyler, Ventriloquist


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