This is not a religious story but a story about motives, especially what is in your heart??
I am very grateful where I am in my career as a professional ventriloquist/puppeteer. To get where I am today was not a smooth road but a long, bumpy one. There is a saying about “it is not the destination but the journey that counts”. I believe that is true. As I look back and think about the past 17 years I see progress from performing as much as I can. I have video on my first performance and “ouch” it hurts to watch it. Compare that video to my shows today and it is a comforting feeling that I did ok. I don’t know it all and dont’ ever want to get a big ego. Elvis Presley once said that if you get a big head it will break your neck!.
Where I am in my career makes me now make choices that I would not have done years ago. I charge for shows, I have to. If I don’t charge for shows I don’t eat and pay the rent. However I don’t have an inflated ego to where if a client can’t afford me, I won’t perform for them. We live in a world today where the poor are getting poorer and performing is a luxury not a necessity. This brings me to my point….what is your ministry??
The description of ‘ministry’ is not a religious one but a motive to see where your heart is.The problem with making the ‘big time’ either on tv, stage, cruise ships or comedy clubs is that there is a higher level or wall that is built between common folk and the entertainer. Some get ‘stuck up’ or feel that it is beneath them to do things that will not elevate them.
Could that be true for audiences? I learned that Howie Mandel used to sell carpet, Brad Pitt wore a chicken costume on a job. Drew Carrey used to sleep in his car when traveling to comedy clubs cause he did not have any money for a hotel room. The point of all this is..Remember who you meet on the way up the ladder of success cause you have to meet them on the way down.
This brings me to my point about ministry. Doing a show for no pay or low pay is just a way to show gratitude for your audience who can’t afford you. If you don’t know what I am talking about, think about performing for senior citizens. Sure they will sleep, snore or even have a heart attack in the middle of your show but you are there for them, not for you. Showing a caring, appreciative attitude toward folks that can’t afford you is one way of having a ministry.
Whether you are a comedy vent, religious vent or a motivational vent, this is a gift that we can give and not feel that we have to receive any form of money. Just be grateful for an audience. Times are tough and some days they are even tougher but when you have a ministry that is motivated by love of people, the reward will last longer than any money you receive.
Bob Abdou….Mr Puppet
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