This has to be categorized as one of the worst things that can happen to any entertainer, but most especially a vent. You get to a distant city only to find the airlines has lost your act and luggage. All you have is the shirt on your back and your passport. What do you do?

I’ve had this happen to me on a few occasions when I was traveling cross country to do some shows. I arrived on time but I had no puppets, no change of clothes and no show attire. Here’s what I did..

First, I had friends picking me up and they took me to a department store that stayed open late. I was wearing my dress trousers, so all I needed a shirt and tie. Also some shaving cream and other bathroom items. I was able to get all of these things in one stop. Since I had left my car with them I had my show vest hanging up in the back of the vehicle, so I was all set clothes-wise.

As for puppets, I knew my friends were amateur vents and had some stock puppets. I used a dog in my act and they had a possum puppet, so for the show the next day the possum thought he was a dog and with a little adaption I used the same routine. Since I was doing a baby cry, a bath towel was all I required, and they had one more puppet I used to close the show. The show went over well, and no one was the wiser. But I did learn my lesson from this. I now travel with non-stop flights. I won’t book a flight if I have to change planes as this is how some of the problems result. Or if I am out of town for a week or so I will send my p days in advance of a show by UPS or other systems. I have backup puppets for all the main characters, so I have another set at home. When my shows are over, I box up the puppets and have my sponsor send them to me.

As for clothes, in a carry on suitcase I carry a shirt, tie, and vest along with some toiletries so I won’t be caught in a bind. When the airlines do lose your stuff they usually have it to you the next day..sometimes! I try to leave nothing to chance and cover my bases…and so should you!

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