Mark Wade Writes


Often I am doing shows for more than one type of client in the same day. I may do a school show during the day, and a banquet show in the evening (for an all-adult group), hopefully in the same area. When I first got started and didn't have enough cases and enough puppets I would have to dash home and get extra equipment and then transfer all of my stuff over into the cases to do the different show. It was a hassle and then I would sometimes forget something that was vital to the evening show, or something I would need when I had to repack that evening for my next round of school shows the next morning.

Over the years I developed a method that has helped me. First, I started using different puppets for the kids and a totally different set of puppets for the banquets. This was a big help in many ways. Often my school show puppets were created with the school show in mind. The puppets were specific to that show. Oh, I could make them stretch to fit the adult banquets with out a lot of hassle, but I found I could do different material with puppets that were designed with the banquets in mind and that made the comedy writing easier for that venue.

Next, my kidshow trunks looked like, well, kidshow trunks. They were in primary colors with bright lettering on them. I had a trunk made for the adult banquets that was all black, more subdued, and I kept the puppets for banquets in that trunk all ready to go. I also had any additional equipment I would need for the banquet in a separate bag. Nothing went in that bag unless it was for the banquet show. When I got home I would grab the adult trunk and bag and was out the door. I didn't have to sort through my stuff, didn't have to make on the spot decisions on what I was going to do. The banquet show was rehearsed, packed, and ready for me to set up.

If I had to go directly form a school show to a banquet show I just put the additional trunk in the car along with the bag and I was still ready for action. This extra preparation takes a lot of stress off of you. It allows you to mentally prepare to change gears and work for adults without having to worry about the puppets and materials fitting in. This keeps things fun for everyone, and isn't that really the name of the game?


  1. Anonymous5/02/2010

    There is no order in disorder. Mark Wade's way of doing it has got to put him in frame of mind needed for particular event. If I were a true working vent I would simplify it down to where one figure worked for all events by change of wig. It is amazing how the hair changes dummy character, without change of clothes or anything else other than material used. LeeDean

  2. Mark Wade is a professional. That's clear and teachable. He knows how to organize a professional show and he knows that not only the figure, also he himself has to be spick and span (Watch the picture!).

  3. I have a number of different school shows, each is packed in a separate trunk. Many times this means having duplicate props, but it solves the problem of packing and repacking and possibly forgetting something.