Breaking through the glass ceiling to voice her stagecraft

The art of ventriloquism is considered a bastion of men. But, Suma Rajkumaris an exception.  She has carved a niche for herself to give a voice to her stagecraft through her puppet ‘Ricky’.

A ventriloquist and magician, who is probably the second such artiste in the state, Suma is a multi-talented person, a poet, literary organiser, compere and yoga trainer.

Suma has many awards to her credit and is currently all set to host her 1,000th show. She has proved that it is time people change their perspective towards women ventriloquists.

A Kitturu Rani Chennamma state awardee, Suma said she started practising ventriloquism nine years ago and since then there has been no looking back. She attributes her success and popularity to her guru Jadugar Guruswamy, who taught her both ventriloquism and magic.

Suma says that whenever she is on stage, she instantly transforms into a total entertainer and makes it a point that her shows entertain the audience and end with a social message.

Talking about her puppet ‘Ricky’, she says, he is very mischievous on stage, cracks jokes and constantly interacts with the audience. “He is now a part of our family,” she says.

Suma said that she sticks to no particular format for her shows as her scripts have a refreshing spontaneity. Though she attributes her success to her mentor, Suma says, she has evolved her own style and her USP is her ability to bond with the audience.

While she intersperses her shows with a little bit of Hindi, Telugu and Tamil, her puppet Ricky speaks only Kannada.

Suma is a hit with the audiences, especially schoolchildren. Suma says that she makes it a point that her one-hour ‘humour show’ leaves the children relaxed and stress-free.

Having travelled across the state with her shows, Suma never forgets to mention the support extended by her family. She has been recognised for her achievements in ventriloquism and illusion and has been conferred with various awards, including Kadamba Seva Rathna, Mysore Nakshatra, Kayaka Ratna, Karnataka Bhushana and Visvesvaraya awards.

Suma is a yoga teacher and has also anchored many development, cultural, and literary events in Mysuru city. She is also a writer and has participated in many competitions. She has also conducted cookery shows and has participated on a few Kannada television shows.

Suma says her goal is to excel in all her fields of interest so that one day she bags
the prestigious Rajyotsava award.

Her International Women’s Day message is, “Women are multi-faceted and are at ease in multi-tasking. Women should shed their inhibitions and liberate for success in their chosen path. Every day is a women’s day.”
 

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