I have seen many performers that have been doing lines and jokes that were originated by other acts. They also are using puppets very close to what top pros are using and it looks like a direct swipe. If confronted, the newbie act will claim “I didn’t know it was a used by someone else!”. And to a large extent, that was probably true. But that’s why it’s important to do a few things to protect against that. Here are a few to think about:
- Read about and watch other acts online. This will give you a basic grounding on who’s doing what and what characters are trademarks of top pros.
- Make a conscience effort to be original. If a joke sounds close to someone’skey material, leave it out or radically rewrite it to make it your own
- Just because you go to a public ,or not so public show and see a vent does not give you permission to lift parts of their act.. This performer was doing their best material and was PAID to perform, not be an easy target to have their act lifted.
- Find original characters to use in your show. I don’t know how many “grumpy old men” puppets ala Jeff Dunham I have seen people use. Also don’t use recognizable cartoon character puppets from television or or theme parks in your shows. That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! These are toys!
- Using stock puppets is allowed, just try to do something original with them. Dress them differently, do something to make them you own . The producers of stock puppets made them to be USED . It’s up to you to use them YOUR way!
When we all strive to be more original we advance our art, and isn’t that what it’ all about?
To contact Mark Wade- firstname.lastname@example.org