In our last installment we visited some of the main points to going full time as a professional ventriloquist. In this column I am going to give you a few more things to think about. These are all valid, real-world items that must be taken into consideration before making that leap.
INSURANCE: That’s right, good old insurance is a big consideration to anyone wanting to go pro. Since you are essentially self-employed you must cover yourself and your family with health, car, and liability insurance. I mention liability insurance s some big venues demand to see a liability policy to make sure you and they are covered. Shop around and see what you can find (I’m not sure on health insurance as Obama Care has changed a lot of this..). As for liability insurance, find a company that will insure just YOU! These group liability insurance policies actually spreads the insurance (usually one million dollars) over ALL their members. If some member in this group has a claim and takes most of the million, if you have a claim later there might not be any money left to pay. This type of insurance is better than nothing, but just barely. Find your own!
YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WORK: Don’t rely solely on an agent, as they often have several acts and you are just one of them. Learn to find dates for yourself and keep yourself busy. If you rely solely on an agent you are putting yourself and your family’s existence on someone else. Learn sales and learn how to sell your own act. If agent work comes in, that’s OK, but don’t wait by the phone to hear from them.
GET TOP NOTCH MARKETING FOR YOUR VENUES: I have found that specific marketing materials aimed at a specific market makes a difference. Don’t list on one brochure that you do schools, libraries, corporate events, and comedy clubs. It’s too diverse and buyers may become weary of just what you can do for a specific market. Why would schools want to book someone who does comedy clubs? Have INDIVIDUAL marketing tools for individual markets. All of this costs money, so you have to figure that in as part of going pro.
I hope I have given you some more “food for thought” and that you will take all of this into consideration before making a leap of faith. As the Boy Scouts say..”Be Prepared!”.
To contact Mark Wade: firstname.lastname@example.org