Today’s article was guest written by Mark Wade. To contact Mark Wade:

It happens to all of us … you’re very busy doing shows almost everyday and suddenly you get a “dry spell” with nothing going on. What can you do to
help you maintain your top performance during this lull in the action of shows? Hopefully we cn suggest a few things and give you some “food for thought” to help bridge these gaps.


First, you must think of this as what it is..a brief period of downtime and not a permanent thing. This break may be just what you need to renew yourself. Maybe this can be the time for you to reexamine your show, possible add a new character or twist in the old act. With rest and by taking a break you might find yourself more open to writing new material or having someone write for you. This is the positive approach which allows you to utilize the downtime effectively, to your benefit. When you come roaring back, it will be with renewed vigor and new ideas.


One thing I would suggest it to keep up your practice even when not working. I know this is hard and we all get the tendencies to be a bit lazy from time to time, but you must resist the temptation. Practice your routines just as if you had a show coming up in the near future (which you will). Practice the character voices, stretch yourself to do the difficult letters, and practice your breathing techniques. I call these things your “chops”. This will keep you in tip top shape and won’t make for a long recovery of your skills in the event of a longer downtime.


To keep your manipulation of the puppet going devote some time in front of a mirror practicing your moves. Keep you movements smooth and powerful by practice, just as if an audience was watching. Being a vent means you do many things at once, so practice all the things you do and try to imitate a real show experience.


Don’t go in for a long marathon practice session. 15-20 minutes at a time with plenty of water handy should work well for you. Make it a fun, energized session, not something you dread. Keep up with your practicing as your audiences will be depending on it, as well as your own professional pride. Good work habits make good performers!