Sathyan Achath aka Sati Achath is a man of many talents. He learned the ropes of hand shadow puppeteering watching his father perform. Years down the lane, he is now a World Bank official and a renowned ventriloquist. The latter- a skill he acquired during his stay in the US.
His journey as an artist of international repute began after he published his book Fun with Hand Shadows , which featured in the Washington Post. He was then called on to showcase his skills in hand shadow art in the Late Show with David Letterman. Since then he has performed on stages both international and national. He was also a quarter finalist in the 3rd season of America’s Got Talent.
His career as a Project Evaluation Specialist doesn’t permit him much time for his diverse interests, but it does not stop him either. “I perform with ten puppets for my ventriloquism shows. They have been added to my shows through the years and each of them has a distinct personality,” says Achath. Shilpa Kulkarni sings, Kishore is the handsome one while Thomachan is quite the boaster, Achath says of his puppet characters.
His skill as a cartoonist helps him with hand shadow art; he depicts over a 100 personalities and 50 animals with his hand shadows. “Caricaturing helps me identify the prominent features of personalities,” he says. Each character is arrived through a trial and error method, perfected in two to three days.
His repository of skills does not end here. He also gives motivational talks to corporates, colleges and schools. He has authored six books on diverse topics.
Achath who shifted back to India after almost 30 years in Washington, intends to perform across the country and spread the art of ventriloquism. He performed in the city yesterday.
( The writer is an intern )