I am a firm believer in reusing material or taking parts (cannibalizing)from an old show to make it fit into a new show. The only caveat is to make sure that the show you are dissecting isn’t one you did recently for the same group. If it is too recent the kids, teachers, or librarians (or whoever) may remember a line or two and that works against you.

A good joke or bit CAN be used again. I try to wait at least three years before bringing back a bit or joke in a new show, just or safety’s sake. You can also dress up the old bit by making some subtle changes, like adding new lines around it or by inserting the old into another routine. The old and the new can blend together to create something new and that’s a win-win situation for all concerned.

The same can hold true with puppets and even puppet voices. If you used a puppet for a certain show and then want to reuse the puppet, you can re-dress the character to give it a whole new look. I once had a puppet that went through many changes. He went from being a sea captain, to a scientist, to a knight..and this puppet is still being actively used.

Character voices can also be reassigned. Listen to the original “Ernie” from Sesame Street and then listen to Kermit the frog. It’s the same voice. The enterprising entertainer (Jim Henson) never had these two characters on the same show, for obvious reasons. Was that wrong? Absolutely not! A good voice can go along way!

See if you can rebuild a new show using parts from other shows. ALWAYS TRY to ad new material and sprinkle the old in. It’s like making a stew..add these ingredients to make it a good experience.

To contact Mark Wade: kidshowvent@gmail.com