Mark Wade Writes


In today's competitive market place, having a good appearance on stage can mean a lot. You not only have to personally look good, but your equipment should also say, "Hey, I know what I'm doing!" Like it or not, people make judgement calls about you and your show even before you start setting up your equipment, so it's necessary to take time to groom every element of your performance.

I say start with your car. That's right, people judge you by how well you take care of your car. Now, I am not saying go out and buy the newest, most expensive auto you can find ... far from that. But is your car presentable? Is the car clean? If not, run it through a car wash for a few dollars. Take a cloth and wipe off the dashboard, and for Pete's sake, don't litter your car with a lot of fast food wrappers and bags. I had a principal once tell me (about another act that visited his school), "I knew the guy wouldn't be any good ... his car was dirty and messy. It's probably how he will do the act!" A snap judgement by the principal, yes, but still, we have to live with those judgements as entertainers.

Take an inventory of your equipment. Does it need to be cleaned, repaired, repainted, or just thrown away? Taking a few moments to clean and touch up your equipment makes the show look better, and makes YOU feel better. Same thing with your puppets. Make sure you very gently wash their faces and hands, and clean the clothes as well, if you can. Get case covers made to cover your trunks and equipment so the weather doesn't age your show. And if you do use suitcases and bags to transport your items, make sure they look good as well. I try to match up all the covers by having them all made from black material, or I purchase suitcases and bags that are the same color, usually black.

While you're at it, take a look at your performance clothes. Do they need cleaning? Or, do they need replacing? I hope you don't think I am going overboard, but it's the attention to the little things that contribute to a great act. Make sure you are not working against yourself ... take time to be picky!

1 comment:

  1. All good advice Mark. It is important that the first impression will reflect you and the quality of your show.