By Mark Wade

What makes a professional in ventriloquism, or for that matter, any field? Is it because you got paid to do a performance? Is it because you work at it full time and have no other part time employment? Is it because you have the very best puppet / vent figure money can buy?
The answer is no, no and no! It's in your ATTITUDE toward what you are doing and how you engage in it.
Being a pro means many things. It means keeping the customer-client's needs in mind first by delivering the type of show they want to pay to see. It has to be funny, entertaining, and for the most part perfectly clean (in my case, 100% clean!). It is showing up not on time, but early. To be on time is to be late...to be early is to be on time! It's also treating everyone at the event where you are performing as the most important person in the world, not just the guy or lady who hired you.
Being a pro is in your demeanor.. the way you approach everything. Show clothes pressed, shoes shined, puppets well taken care of and in good repair. It also means be courteous, respectful, and not too "full of yourself". The worse thing you can do, an old-time performer told me, is to start believing your own publicity! How true!
If getting paid was the only prerequisite to being a pro, that would be a sad thing. Take your professionalism to the next level by making sure you have a professional attitude!

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