College (new thread from elsewhere) and other goals

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College (new thread from elsewhere) and other goals

Postby Nick Jackson » 29 Aug 2007, 21:41

John Stoate wrote elsewhere:
...as a non-swazzler, I am, of course, debarred from the college


Perhaps I'm a bit of a purist but I can understand why they would prefer to promote swazzled shows. However, I realise this is a matter of opinion and has been discussed elsewhere on this site.

I'd be delighted to gain full membership of the PJF but I realise it's more likely that I'll qualify as a brain surgeon.

There's no way we could police every Punch show in the world – although after some I've seen in recent years I wish we could – but are the College and the PJF right to aim for certain standards? And, if so, what should they be?

I've seen one or two "professional" shows which are of the most appalling standard and, if I'm honest, get Punch a bad name.
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Postby Chris » 29 Aug 2007, 22:29

Oh I think Punch will survive the few really bad exponents. There are bad magicians and bad balloon twisters and bad puppeteers. I think we are fortunate in that there are proportionately fewer bad Punchmen than in other branches of the kiddie entertainment field.

I suppose this is because it takes such a big cash outlay and a deal of dedication to become even a bad Punch man, so that some of the potentially bad Punchmen pack it in before they ever reach the performance stage.

The difficulty with promoting standards is always who's standards are to be applied?



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Postby billywand » 29 Aug 2007, 23:41

I was one of those potentially bad Punch men who packed it in before even giving a performance !!!!!!!

At that time (late seventies or early eighties) I had a very good job, as magician on a cruise ship, earning good money, plus all the "extra income" those who have done the ships know is always available. Also. there is nothing to spend it on !!

I bought the gear, but at that time there was nowhere near the amount of information available that there is now, and so I was floundering, and got nowhere.

Now, with so much out there I don't think there is any excuse for doing a bad how apart from lazyness.

The Punch and Judy fellowship gave me something to aspire to when I tried again at Punch, just as the Magic Circle gave me something to aspire to as a Magician.

I joined the Magic Circle in 1982, and after 4 years work at it had my show assesed for full PJF membership last month.

I am awaiting the result with bated breath and crossed everything !!!!!!!

The Fellowship and College are Quite right to aim for a certain standard, but as to who sets them, and what they are, that could be discussed for ever, and it seemed like it was on here not long ago !!!!!!!!
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Postby Nick Jackson » 30 Aug 2007, 06:39

billywand wrote:after 4 years work at it had my show assesed for full PJF membership last month. I am awaiting the result with bated breath and crossed everything

If you get it – and I hope you do – you will have done very well indeed. I've been at this for more than 30 years and I'm still nowhere near the required standard for full membership but I plough on.
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Postby johnstoate » 30 Aug 2007, 12:18

Since this thread starts with a quote from me, I s'pose I ought to put me twopennorth in. - I am all for standards, who sets them, - There is the quandry, I tried to start a discussion on a theoretical criteria a little while back with the usual results. - Mostly, I have to admit because of my poor use of language, - correcting oneself verbally is much easier than the harshness of the written word without the benefit of facial expression! My intent was to find the elements that we, the practitioners, value in a show. I (Of course) maintain that there are two schools of Punch, namely (As Chris stated) 'The kiddies entertainment field' (Mainstream?) and my(possibly more adult) 'Punch Showman' Obviously, if one accepts that this is the case, The criteria has to vary slightly between the two, Some of My material would not fit in with kiddies parties, some of (Say) 'Uncle Bozo's' would limit mine. Famously, of course, I disagree with the use of a swazzle as a basic, as, although a well-swazzled show is a delight, a poorly done one brings the whole image down. How many out there are doing poor shows simply because they are trying to master the call?? - I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE CALL IS NOT IMPORTANT, merely that it should not be seen as essential. My belief is that show quality should be first, swazzling a close second. Not all shows historically were swazzled, but the elements of the business were the same.
I have to admit that I wonder whether this whole arguement is academic, given that we are a bunch of individuals making a living from a principal character who is, himself, anti-establishment and anti-authority, all of whom have our own versions of the same basic script producing widely differing shows, which proves that we are all sympathetic to the persona of 'Himself' and thereby, individuals. Surely it is hardly surprising therefore that we, unlike most other professions have no real governing body and cannot unanimously agree a criteria? I think Nick had the right of it when he mentioned 'Giving Punch a bad name' THAT is what we should have as the First rule, That the show must maintain the life, quality and history that has sustained it for the last few centuries, It must be left to the next generations by us, as vibrant as it came to us! :D
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Postby Mark Andrews » 30 Aug 2007, 22:20

Nick

Membership of the Punch & Judy Fellowship is open to ALL, we do have Full Membership category for those shows swazzled shows which have been assessed.

It's entirley up to the individual whether they wish to become full Members or not.

I you'd like to join the Fellowship you would be made very welcome indeed. You can join via the website: www.ThePJF.com
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Our website http://www.ThePJF.com
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Postby Nick Jackson » 30 Aug 2007, 23:09

Mark,

Apologies – was probably expressing myself badly as usual. Yes, I realise that membership of the PJF is open to all and I was a member for several years.

Mark Andrews wrote:It's entirley up to the individual whether they wish to become full Members or not.

Not true, as you have said yourself, the full membership category is for those shows "which have been assessed", ie those which come up to a certain standard. If a show must be "assessed" then is is far from "up to the individual whether they wish to become full Members". And I do not, for a second, dispute the PJF's right to set whatever standard they wish to set. All I meant by the above is that some of us might never quite get there.
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Postby Professor Eek » 30 Aug 2007, 23:17

The analogy is perhaps that of a football team who only accept players who can dribble the ball well, can pass accurately and have a scoring average of one goal every five games.


The team is much poorer for not having a goalkeeper who has all the skills bar one. He can catch balls very well though but this skill is not recognised so he can therefore never join the team.
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Postby billywand » 30 Aug 2007, 23:26

But if he really wants to join the team, he will work hard with his friends in the team to master that extra skill, and they will help him become a full team member.

All said without using the S word !!!!!!
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Postby johnstoate » 31 Aug 2007, 00:10

Always assuming of course, that the team is still in existence, and prepared to recognize the skill at catching balls that he had in the first instance! :lol: :lol:
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Postby billywand » 31 Aug 2007, 00:42

Hi John,

When all is said and done, it's all a load of balls anyway !!!!!

I do find the point you raised about the two types of Punch interesting. I suppose everyones performance is influenced by the discepline they come from. I come from the "Kiddie Show" side of things, and my show reflects that.

I would love to see the shows of some "Propper" Punch performers such as Les Clarke, and indeed yourself, as it can only be good for Punch if he remembers his roots, and my show can only be made better by learning from the experience of seeing as many shows as I can

There arn't many "Propper" punch shows that I know of in soppy surrey !!

Hope you had a good Bank Holiday, and ll the best for the weekend
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Postby Richard Coombs » 31 Aug 2007, 09:59

I really wish we could let this sleeping dog lie chaps ....when you wake it up it is only your own arse it bites.


On the one hand people say "Yes let's have 'standards' "

On the other they say " Who decides what those standards are ?" ( which always seems to me to sound like "I'm not playing , unless the rules are all my own " )

Like it or loathe it the 'assessment' is there for the PJF for Full Membership *

Its' categories are as widely spread as possible , I wont post the link agian ...its been done loads in the past , and Mark Andrews has put the PJF general link on a couple of posts back ..if you want the Assement details page -if you are at all interested you will find it from there.

Three assessors view each show ( either at at live performance , or if you are a long way from PJF functions , then by a VHS/DVD of a complete show) ...
So with the marks possible in each section , multipled by the 'loading'each section carries , times the three assesors ( who do mark slightly diferently : I have seen my own results - )... it is not an easy task to actually Fail ...and is apparently quite a rare occurrence.



Of course anyone who is of an argumentative disposition will argue that any of the categories are 'subjective' ,or that they dont like one or other of the folk who are deemed to be 'judging' them ... " Who decides what those standards are ?"

But the only ...the only absolute cast iron , rule that is not subjective in any way : is that the show must be swazzled ....perhaps this is why it is the one thing that makes folk vent their spleen ?


But that s the way it is ...accept it ...get over it ...get on with life and please let's stop kicking this issue up ever three months.

The reason I have no patience with it as an issue , is that it really is 'no-win' arguement .

Its been sid by others ,and so many times , and doubtless will be said again when this topic does all repeat itself ( but this is the last time I shall say it , as I am having nothing further to do with any of the wrangles on this isse) ....

You can join the PJF as a non swazzler , and are made very welcome.

Ascociate Membership is open to all comers .

You are not made to feel a second class citizen ...you dont have to sit at seperate tables when we go out for meals....some of the nicest people in the PJF are Ascociates : Wilma who runs the Sales Stall at functions is a tireless worker for the PJF and a lovely lady to boot .a

And you won't meet a more generous bloke than Chris Gasper who does a non swazzled show ...He is generous with his time ...always comes and does a splendid show at Cov Gnd ..always first to meet and greet newcomers, and make folk welcome ...he also takes loads of photos of shows , and often as not turns up next time with envelopes of prints for everyone . He has also held the post of Treasurer in past years.


If you dont swazzle ...but you want to be a part of the PJF ...you are most weclome.

I think there is the rub ...do some of the knockers actually want to belong to the Club?
( and it is only a little 'club' at the end of the day ...it is not a Trade Union or the Freemasons).


* The 'College' is a different kettle of fish in that it is not 'open to all commers' ... you dont apply , you wait until they ask you.
Again whether you like that , or loathe it , it doesnt much matter ..that's the way it is : accept it , moove on.

"Life isnt always Fair " .....still the best lesson my Mother ever taught me as a nipper. It was a hard one to swallow ...but of all lifes' lessons to date , it is the one most often prooved to be true.

My other issue with swazzling is the question of "Can't ? ..or Wont ? " .

If you are happy not to swazlle , and like the Show you do ..Bravo , good on ya !
Dont be bullied into swazzling if you are happy as you are.

When I was first at this , aged 9 thru till 19 I didnt swazzle either ...I simply could not master it no matter how I tried ( and I did try ..and try !! )


But if you dont swazzle , but would like too , then there are many Punch folk who are really helpful , and will spend time with you. They did with me.

I don't mind having htis little rant , because my conscience is clear on that front ..I will try and make plastic swazzles for anyone who is having difficulty ...because I know that often times not being able to swazzle is due to the shape of the roof of your mouth.

( I have written on this subject before ..and some 'old schoolers' have poo-poo'd what I said ) But the dental technician who made my ( blank) denture plates onto which I sew my swazzles , told and showed me some things that prooved to me that my high arched palate was why had absolutely no joy swazzling in my youth....more air passed over the top of the wretched thing than ever went through it ..result : no squawk.

Consequently the the shape and size of the swazzles I make now , mean that I can swazzle ....but will probably never achieve the range and clarity that I envy in some other folks swazzling.

But at least I can now do what I once thought Impossible.

All I am saying is there are pehaps unexplored avenues open to the would-be swazzler , who has given up , because nothing has worked for them - so far.


Anyhow , its unlikely that anyone is reading this far ..I know from talking to mates , that hardly anyone get right through long posts ......

But can we please put this issue to bed now?

Swazzle if you want / Don't if you don't want to.

Join the PJF as an Acsociate Member if you want / Don't if you don't want to .

But let's stop moaning and whinging about it all.


Gueniune Best Wishes to All Richard
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Postby Chris » 31 Aug 2007, 10:46

I agree with Richard that College/PJF/Standards/Swazzle/non-swazzle matters have been well aired in the recent past so following his reasoned summary and plea I am locking this topic. This is not to say it can't be raised in the future, but perhaps only when someone has a new approach?
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