When should you arrive for a show or presentation with your ventriloquism? That’s an interesting question, and one that could have multiple answers, depending upon the venue.

When I toured with country stars like Garth Brooks, Reba McIntire and hundreds of others for fairs, the report time was driven by the agency that booked all of us. The agent used to put down a 3 hour prior to the show report time. But it took me exactly 10 minutes to get my act ready to go, so with a bit of negotiating I had it cut down to 1 ½ hours prior to the first show. Although I didn’t need that much time to set the act, I had plenty of time to get into the venue, with all the traffic coming and going at the busy fairgrounds. It also gave me the opportunity to do a sound and light check with the crew. I could then relax knowing that I had done my part to make the show a success. It also kept the agent from worrying if I was going to make it to the fair.

For school shows and libraries I usually report in 45 minutes prior to the show time. This time ,I felt ,was exactly what was needed. I could meet the principal or librarian, see where they wanted me to work or I could suggest a better alternative performance spot. If I had come in just in time to do the show I might not have gotten a good location. This time gave me what I needed to do my job correctly.

Because of so many “fly by night” or unreliable performers working venues, principals as well as librarians worry you might not show up. In that case they would either have to recall all the students back to class or, with librarians, figure out how to entertain the kiddies. By showing up in advance you are giving these folks some comfort time…knowing you are ready to take the stage and do the show.

Speaking of taking the stage, getting to your show well in advance also pays dividends to you. I have arrived at a school only to find that the custodian has not cleaned off the old furniture or gym equipment he stored on the stage and it has to be cleared or a new show location must be found. By arriving early you can help eliminate this problem.

I like to live by this motto “To be on time is to be late; to be early is to be on time!”. Give yourself and your client extra time. You both will come out as winners!!

To contact Mark Wade- kidshowvent@gmail.com