By likemindblog


Over the next few weeks, I will bring you the story of an extraordinary woman, who is healing herself through helping others.   She is a ventriloquist.  She makes puppets come alive.  It’s magical.  It is an honour and a privilege to introduce you to her.  Meet SUE VANDUYNHOVEN and her magical world!  This is her story:Sue at Port Burwell 4 (3)

If it’s any help for finding a connection between Ventriloquism & health, I have been told many times by people how much the magic & humour of what I do has given them peace & joy in their lives. I’ve often been told at shows, that they needed this laughter so much, & that it gave them a much needed emotional break from the hard times they were going through.

Also, what I consider to be the most important work in my life, is the work I do as volunteer work, one-on-one with seriously ill & hurt children & teenagers. I work with them with a puppet, improvising, talking with them, singing with them, making them & their families laugh, & giving them relief from the incredibly hard times they’re going through. It is my job with them, to remind them of who they are WITHOUT the illness or hurt. I remind these children who their souls are, & remind them to cherish themselves. I consider it the most important work that I do, & I have so many memories of truly magical moments that I will never forget.

1) When did your interest for puppets & ventriloqism begin?

I knew, from a very young age, that I was meant to be a Ventriloquist. I remember telling people so when I was 6 or 7 years old! And from a very young age, I loved making stuffed animals seem alive. It was irresistible magic to me!

2) Why did you choose this direction in particular?

I think part of the reason for the pull for me to the magic of Ventriloquism, was that my childhood was pretty traumatic. My parents were actually put on trial when I was in my 30’s. I think I was born to be a Ventriloquist, but I also think that I was pulled in this direction even more because I NEEDED Sue's Shows - Storybook Gardens 2007 16the magic of Ventriloquism when I was a child. Stuffed animals were the only thing that gave me unconditional love, so I think it increased my natural bent to the creative art of Ventriloquism. It was soothing because I was born to do it, & it was soothing because stuffed animals were my only comfort I was getting from a pretty terrifying childhood.

3) Who are you trying to reach through this form of art especially?

The short answer to this is everyone LOL I truly believe that life is problematic for many people, & I truly believe that the creative arts make life not only bearable, but magical. I perform for people of literally all ages, from Toddlers to Seniors, but I have a definite soft spot for people who need the magic even more. I do many, many price reduced shows for all ages of people with disabilities & developmental disabilities. I care deeply about my Senior’s shows, because I know how lonely so many of our Senior’s are, & how displaced they feel. When I can bring them magic & touch their souls & make them laugh, it is true joy to me. And of course, the work I was telling you about with the seriously ill children means the world to me. But in ALL of my shows, it delights me when I see people’s eyes light up, & the magic of what I do is reflected in them.

 4) What message are you trying to get across?

This one is hard to put into words. It’s not so much that I’m trying to get a message across (although, I do deliver strong messages in my Teasing & Bullying Shows & Literacy Workshops). It’s more that I’m trying to take people on a journey with me. I truly feel that when we do something creatively that we were meant to do, we literally tap into the Universe. It actually feels that way. When I’m performing & deep in my craft, suddenly I understand EVERYTHING. Everything in the world suddenly makes sense. As I said, it’s a hard thing to put into words. I get the same deep feeling when I’m drawing too. I’m a spiritual person, even though I have little respect for organized religion, & when I’m performing, or drawing, I feel like I’m tapping into the other side.. into what is beyond this world. It’s an incredible feeling, & from talking to other artists of all kinds, I think it is a feeling common to all creative artists. And the joy for me, with audiences, is to let them tap into the Universe WITH me.. to bring them along.. to give them that same access into the beyond.. to let them feel, for just a little while, the same oneness of all things that I feel. And that becomes especially important when I’m working with or performing for people who struggle in life or are ill. Letting them tap into the Universe with me brings them temporary peace.

 5)  From what I read I feel you are a healer and you must be an very good one because you’ve had tSue's Shows - Port Burwell Shows 12o heal yourself at the same time so your compassion and empathy towards others is highly developed.  How do people react?

I definitely feel that healing is being done when I perform & work with people, & it’s a source of incredible joy to me. I feel like the incredible healing journey that I’ve been on just about all my life, has enabled me to connect very deeply with children/people who are in distress. Not only do I graphically understand physical & emotional pain on a very personal level, but I also have acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (a wonderful gift from my childhood that never stops giving) (laughs). The hyper awareness that is a huge part of PTSD truly enables me to read people extremely well.. to be very aware immediately of who they ARE in their souls, the distress that they are feeling, & to respond to those feelings.  For example, I’ve found that I very often pick out the children who are in the most emotional distress at the Hospital before I’m even told how great their need is, & I instantly gravitate towards them, giving them as much time as I possibly can.

This hyper awareness of who their soul’s are, & the creativity of my craft that allows me to ‘tap into the Universe’, enables the next stage to happen. When I’m working with these children  who are so very ill, or with the developmentally or physically disabled, I feel as though there is a powerful healing process happening through me… literally through me… it feels as though the other side (spiritually) is using me as a gateway, a pathway, to reach the child or adult in need. It is a rushing, cleansing, purifying feeling fSue's Shows - Adult Audience laughingor me… a feeling too hard to put into words… but I feel the connection to the other side DEEPLY, & that I’m a conduit for the other side when I’m working with people in distress.

‘How do people react?’ Let me share a couple of the hundreds of memories I have of these times…

Stay tune for the continuation of this wonderful story next week…


We welcome your comments and thank you.  Please be sure to come back next week for this most enlightening story of a wonderful person!  Enjoy!

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Filed in: Health • Friday, April 8th, 2011


This is terrific…Taking in the pain and turning it into good is a remarkable feat in itself…going beyond to share the good with others is priceless. Thank you for sharing your story…looking forward to next week…

I went on the site and found the interview sounding so much like what I think of you. A wonderful person doing so much good through your shows. I was surprised and sorry to hear that you had such a hard childhood but you have used it to help so many others. Keep up the good work.

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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours