Small head and shoulders photo of us in mask and costume

Taking part in the

Venice Carnival


About the carnival


1. Costume
2. Sightseeing
3. Who goes there?
4. Impolite people
5. Carnival themes
6. Weather
7. Carrying things
8. Where & how
9. Mutual respect
10. Have fun!

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9. Mutual respect

Respect the professionals... and be professional yourself

Believe it or not, some people do this "period costume dressing-up" thing for a living. You might see some of them handing out business cards to photographers, in between posing for photos.

There will be other people (probably like yourself), just joining in and enjoying it. But whether you are a professional or not, and whether you are surrounded by professionals or not, it's important to respect other performers. I know you're probably thinking that you're not a performer, and that you're just going along in costume to join in. But people who aren't in costume will see you as a performer, no matter how you see yourself! This doesn't mean you've got to juggle balls or do a fire eating act, you can just promenade like everyone else. But there are some things that you should and shouldn't do.

So here are some of the unwritten rules of street performing, designed to make sure that both audience and performer enjoy the experience.

  1. Never steal someone else's gig
    If another performer indicates that they wish to join you for a group photograph, etc., then go along with it! For example, you may be dressed as a king and they may be dressed as a queen. Play it up for the crowds: bow to your queen, let her curtsey to you, and allow the crowds to take photos. You'll probably enjoy every second, and so will everyone else. In a similar way, if you want to join up with another performer, make sure they indicate their approval first. They could get upset if you simply assume it's OK.

  2. Be courteous to other performers
    Give an occasional wave to other people in costume - elegantly, of course. It really plays things up for the crowds, and you never know who you might meet in the process. The vast majority of other people in costume - whether professionals or not - will wave back in return. And if you get chatting to someone, you can always swap stories and helpful tips!

  3. If you don't know what to say, say nothing
    Some people in costume will talk to people in the crowd, while others keep quiet and answer with hand gestures. It's your choice which one you go for, or a combination of both. Silence adds an air of mystery to your costumed character, which is a great advantage if you're stuck for words or can't understand some of the language.

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