Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains please

This is the place for Technical Tips, Questions and Answers.

Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains please

Postby WendyMason » 05 Jun 2014, 13:13

I'm trying to find out whether I can afford to become a Punch and Judy Woman. how much would a second hand setup cost and where would I find one? Also I trying to find somewhere that sells swazzles I hope you can help me.

I would like to also explain why I would like to adopt Mr Punch into my life and family again.

Cutting a very long story shorter, My Dad always had a dream of being a Punch and Judy Man, I had a amazing childhood were everything around me was turned into a living character and the hands of my Dad. We didn't have much money as a family, Dad always used to tell me about his dream and then push it aside as it was to expensive to get the equipment. So as soon as I got a job after leaving school I started to save for Dads dream, mum was secretly saving a bit too. I contacted some people on the internet (which to Dad's mind was this out of this world place, in fact I felt like that about it in the early days too) and I bought the complete outfit for him. He cried for days, he was so happy. It was wonderful! His plan was that he wanted to go around children's hospitals doing the shows and I would be his bottler/clown. Dad and I practiced and practiced, I even got a Jack Russell named Toby! Dad got really good but we notice that he was having trouble with putting up the booths. Well shortly after that I got a phone call at work saying that Dad had had a funny turn and he had been told he had a bad heart condition, which would mean him not being able to do to much. Oh my, Dad had worked so hard and now his dream had been shattered. I remember begging Dad not to sell the Punch and Judy outfit, I told him I would love to do it instead but no, I think having Mr Punch around made him too sad, so it was sold. Dad died about 8 years later of cancer but Mr Punch was always in his heart.

Now here I am 9 years later, built my own life, self employed and dreaming of Mr Punch.
WendyMason
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2014, 10:15

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby lesclarke » 06 Jun 2014, 08:50

Hi there Wendy, sounds like you have an interesting, (does it look daunting) 'journey' ahead, fortunately it can be broken down into lots of individual sections. Glyn Edwards 'how-to' book, Successful Punch & Judy is an excellent guide. (£15.50 from the PJF)

Personally, I believe the swazzle is at the heart of the spirit of a true Punch show, the sound it makes and the personality it gives to Punch defines him. It may be tricky to master, but it can then 'carry' your show.
Search this board and learn to make your own, it is by far the best solution.

Small numbers of second hand set ups do appear, someone may retire, or may have bought a set up and never mastered it. For your plans you need figures and a booth that are 'usable', or that can be made usable, do you have 'making' skills?

Making your own figures, or remaking a very tatty set has the advantage that the figures can be made to suit you, in terms of style and size, ease of use etc. Also you will develop the skills to repair and repaint figures in the future.

Each year ebay typically offers several sets of figures, also individuals, or booths, or both together, there are few bargains these days. Remember you want 'usable' figures, avoid older 'collector' type figures, these will attract high prices and need a total restyle to actually use.

So, what does it cost? There is no simple answer, depends on what 'turns up' and what you can make and modify yourself. The best solution would be to find someone offering a complete package, but the booth and figures may not suit you, then again they can be modified. As I mentioned ebay can get expensive, the few bargains I have seen in recent years have been where the seller has sold as 'collection only' which seems to put people off.

Why not look at it as a two year project that you can pick up and put down as suits your circumstances.
As if I haven't got enough to do today, with all I've got to do today.
User avatar
lesclarke
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 756
Joined: 14 Sep 2006, 17:12
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby WendyMason » 06 Jun 2014, 12:51

Thanks Les,

You advice sounds good.

I have quite good woodworking skills but not good enough to make from scratch.

I want to get good at the swazzle before buying a setup (unless a bargain comes along). I have tried making one from credit cards but failed big time, the prob is I have no idea what it should look like, size wise etc..
WendyMason
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2014, 10:15

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby WendyMason » 06 Jun 2014, 12:52

Just ordered the book! :P
WendyMason
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2014, 10:15

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Chris » 06 Jun 2014, 21:00

Wendy, if you have no idea how to go about making a swazzle, or its size etc, then you haven't read this website. There's pretty much everything you want to know in answer to all the questions you posted, but you have to be bothered to look.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3205
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby WendyMason » 07 Jun 2014, 08:24

Chris wrote:Wendy, if you have no idea how to go about making a swazzle, or its size etc, then you haven't read this website. There's pretty much everything you want to know in answer to all the questions you posted, but you have to be bothered to look.


I have been very bothered to look thank you Chris! :( I can't find any pictures, or any instructions that make sense. All I have found is lots of info about its history, a set of instructions without any pictures and a link to an e-book. I'm sorry but I'm not paying out for a virtual book that I know nothing about, eg how long it is, does it have any pictures etc... Why would you think that I haven't been bothered? I am very serious about becoming a Punch and Judy woman. I would have thought that other Punch and Judy people would be keen to pass on there skills so that the wonderful tradition is secure for the future. Maybe they are, maybe your just a grumpy Mr Punch, with no patience for newbies. :-p
WendyMason
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2014, 10:15

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Chris » 07 Jun 2014, 09:23

First of all Wendy I don't like your tone. Secondly if you can't risk £5 on what is probably the best introduction to the swazzle in print then you are not serious about learning Punch. It doesn't matter how many pages it has, it's the information it contains. The ebook was available freely on the site for several years but I was persuaded by fellow Punch Profs to put a very small charge on it so that the information wasn't available to the merely curious but could only be obtained by those with moderate interest.
However I still maintain you haven't bothered to look properly at this site. Certainly there have been constructional discussions together with pictures on this message board. Also in the section of the website called Practical Punch you can find Punch Tips and there is an article there on making your own swazzle by Richard Coombs which is taken from his writing on this message board. If you search his postings you will possibly find illustrations.
As for being grumpy and lacking patience I plead guilty as far as people who come to this board and rather than looking at what has already been written, or looking at the FAQ section of the main website, ask the same questions. For example in your first paragraph you wrote "I trying to find somewhere that sells swazzles".
If you had consulted the Any Questions section you would have found "Where can I buy a swazzle". Actually on checking that I note that it only lists two sources. To those I would add Miraiker Battey (www.batteyspunch.com) and also Karl Evans frequently advertises swazzles on EBay.
But if you want to learn to how to make a swazzle, or how to learn to use a swazzle I do strongly urge you to invest in the ebook of which you are so suspicious. It contains information nowhere else available. It isn't there to make me a fortune. This website represents many hundreds of pounds cost and many thousands of hours of work and the only thing I've ever charged for is the swazzle info, and that only because some of our number think that this information should be kept secret. If you are not prepared to risk three cusps of coffee, whether it has pictures or many pages or not, then you aren't seriously interested.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3205
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby James » 07 Jun 2014, 11:53

Hi Wendy.

I can highly recommend the Swazzle e-book. Even if you end up buying some ready made swazzles (and do buy a few, that way you should fine one that suits you and works well) the book will help a lot with learning to use the Swazzle, and retuning and tying the tape. Each Swazzle is different and will require a bit of fiddling about with to get the best sound.

In the past I have bought good, usable swazzles from Bryan Clarke, Brian Davey, Miraiker Battey and Mel Harvey. A quick google search will find their contact details.

But do get the book. It's a third of the price of a ready made Swazzle but much more valuable.
Arnott's Gowns for Clowns, Est 1985
User avatar
James
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 788
Joined: 13 Aug 2006, 11:25
Location: London

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby WendyMason » 08 Jun 2014, 16:48

Can't buy the book as I'm a Mac user :(
WendyMason
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2014, 10:15

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Nick Jackson » 08 Jun 2014, 18:45

Hi Wendy. You can indeed buy the e-book as a Mac user as it's a pdf. :D
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 364
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Chris » 08 Jun 2014, 19:48

That's right Nick, it is a pdf. But I don't know of any ebook format that can't be read on a Mac.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3205
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Nick Jackson » 08 Jun 2014, 19:58

Could be that the instructions said one needed WIndows etc that was offputting. I had no problem buying it! :D
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 364
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Chris » 08 Jun 2014, 20:36

I guess that refers to the download delivery program rather than the product Nick. Even so I must look into that since I am pretty sure that Paypal works across all platforms, and it is a Paypal based program. Will have a looksee........ yes definitely irrelevant info, now corrected. Thanks.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3205
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby martinpunch » 22 Jun 2014, 21:18

Hi Wendy and all

As many of you will know I am on the same journey as Wendy and so my recollections of starting are happening right here and right now, firstly why did no one tell me to buy the book 2 months ago when I first had the idea to get qualified as a proffessor :D !
But I now have enough characters to do a show, but half of them are junk and need replacing with decent puppets.
BUT they have allowed me to practice and decide if I have an appitude before making any major purchases (apart from the £200 booth (bargain I reacon I could get my money back on if I needed to))
The swazzle : I got one from ebay and lost it, then on advice I brought one from Bryan Clarke (it was much better than the ebay one and it was £15)
So my advice is get your script done learn it by heart, then practice it with the swazzle then try it with puppets.
I didn't do that, I just barely learnt a script and did a show with a cardbaord set up and toy puppets - I felt a right nana but the kids did not get up and leave and the adults did not watch the show (I asked several of them after and none of them offered anything more than my boy/girl seemed to enjoy it, but I was having a drink over there (it was at a 30th bithday party with lots of kids in tow).
So i guess I am saying just - go for it - in your own way - in 5 years time you will look back and say I should have done this or that, but the fun is in the journey. I am trying to make a skeleton and a devil, but I really would like to buy a policeman. My punch and Judy were made at school by my sons suppport teacher.
I also have brought a PA (£60). I did a little show today and it was my 2nd show, but I had to ad-lib as I could not do my full script - but I have now an appatite to do any shows that I can do. And to buy the rest of what I need to make the shows how I want them..
Kindest regards

Martin

That may not be the way to do it , but I'm here to learn
Sun
User avatar
martinpunch
Beefy
Beefy
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 19:38
Location: Southsea

Re: Hi everyone,a bit about me and can I pick your brains pl

Postby Chris » 24 Jun 2014, 11:19

Martin asks
firstly why did no one tell me to buy the book 2 months ago when I first had the idea to get qualified as a proffessor

Well I suppose everyone thought that someone wanting information would know that the obvious place to look was in books. And as for which books are available or recommended, well they are very comprehensively covered on this website. This message board is often a useful source of extra information, but surely it isn't unreasonable to think that enquirers will have, at least, glanced at the information on punchandjudy.com, especially the practical information or at the very least the "any questions" section. In this case Martin would have there found a very comprehensive list of recommended books as well as tips on where to buy the ones which are out of print.
http://www.punchandjudy.com/help/qa2-17.htm
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3205
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Next

Return to Punch Workshop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest

cron