In September, I discussed this topic in the International Ventriloquist Society’s Spotlight. I decided to share it here for people who aren’t members – although you should be!

I was headed out to work an amusement park this past August. I have performed there one to two weeks every summer for the past 24 years.

After driving for about 20 minutes, I suddenly remembered I had forgotten to grab something for my act.

This wasn’t something overly important – but it meant that I would be without it for a week of shows. I would need to change my program to cover this.

I wasn’t bothered by the fact I didn’t have this …

I was mad at myself for forgetting it.

I know better. I’m a professional. I’ve been doing this a long time. And I forgot …

To have a packing list.

I don’t have just one either. I have a packing list for my show. I have a packing list for my personal needs. Plus I have a last minute list for things I will be using until I leave the house.

Take a good look at your act.

What do you need to do your show?

Create a list down to the smallest detail. Practice packing your equipment so you know where it goes. At the same time, check off your list so you know it is on there.

If you pack something that isn’t on your list – add it.

Now you have a guide. It is so easy to set something aside and miss it. With your list, you have a way to be certain everything will be at the show with you.

For personal items, create a list. It may seem simple but it can save you headaches. I’ve gone places and had to buy:

  1. shampoo. (Yes, I use it – don’t need much though … )
  2. soap
  3. toothbrushes

and the list could go on.

All easy to replace – but an expense I could have saved.

An expensive lesson about using lists.

Once, when I was performing in Wyoming, I had a two and a half hour drive to the venue. About half way there, I realized I had left my “show shoes” at the hotel. (And I was wearing beat up sneakers.)

When I arrived in the town – there was only one small store that sold clothing. Luckily they had a pair of men’s black loafers. Unfortuantely they were not in my size.

That night – I had my feet stuffed into shoes that were a size smaller than what I wear. And those shoes, that I couldn’t return because the store wouldn’t open before I left the next morning – cost me over $100.

Just because I had forgotten to open a suitcase and see my shoes sitting there.

Lists help.

Sure, there will still be times you forget things. But having lists in place can save you a lot of headaches!

Have you ever forgotten to take something with you?

Tell us your story in the comments below: