Here’s today’s advice from ventriloquist Bob Abdou:
Next month I’ve got a lot of shows lined up and I’m nervous I’m going to forget something. What things should I take with me for back up?
– Ventriloquist from Kentucky
Good Question and as the Boy Scout motto says: Always be Prepared!
Whatever you do carry, you should always have a check list to keep from forgetting items. I actually have different check lists for different shows. Even with a check list I still find myself forgetting things sometimes. And by the time I realize I have forgotten it, I am usually miles away from home!
It’s always good to have an extra performing table, extension cord, and batteries for your sound system. Sound is one of the most important things and it’s the thing that can usually go wrong. Having extra items can really save a show. Unfortunately you can’t predict every situation that might come up. When I add things “just in case emergency” I can find myself with an overstuffed mini-van and already exhausted from packing.
Without bringing the kitchen sink with me, there are some other essential items that I always have in my car just in case of emergency. However, they don’t really have anything to do with performing!
In my glove box in my car, I always make sure I have aspirin, antacid, mouth wash, a box of tissues, hair gel and a bottle of water. Get the picture? The items that I always bring are not about performing but grooming.
There’s nothing worse than having a headache while driving in the hot sun for 6 hours to get to a gig. (aspirin)
Eating on the road is horrible, especially if you have to go from one gig to the next to the next and usually the only thing to eat is fast food. Trying to perform ventriloquism with heartburn is brutal. (antacid tablets)
If you have a few shows in one day, you’re probably going to end up eating that food while you’re driving. You never want to meet a client with a stain on your shirt. (tissue or napkins)
Now after you eat that fast food, you’re breath is going to smell like burgers. First impressions are lasting and I never want to known as the funny guy with bad breath. (mouth wash)
Walking into a gig with my hair looking like Larry from the Three Stooges is not the look I want. Whatever hair I have left, I want it to look good. (hair gel)
Whether you’re driving in 106 degree weather or in snow you’re going to get thirsty. As a ventriloquist, it’s important to keep your throat clear and moist. (water).
My emergency are items that make sure I make a good first impression to the client. I want them to know they are dealing with a professional from head to toe. Personal grooming is just as important as being funny. The Great Lester always instructed his students to make sure their shoes were shined before performing on stage. It’s good advice.
To the person asking the question, I am glad you’re getting more shows! With experience and time, you’ll know just what to bring and what not to bring. I wish you all the best. Just make sure you wear a napkin over your shirt if you are going to eat pizza while driving!
To everyone else: Please share your thoughts on what extra or items you always bring with you to a show.
Bob Abdou/Mr. Puppet
Thanks, Bob. So, share your thoughts on how you are “Always Prepared”.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2011 by Dan Willinger
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