Hand up or in front!

Anything relevant

Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 28 Jun 2014, 20:14

I know there have been discussions on here before about hands-up v. hands-in-front. Personally, find the latter more tiring but that could just be because I'm not used to it. Does anyone use both, depending on situation, or has anyone switched from one to the other?
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 28 Jun 2014, 20:22

I switched from hands above to hands in front. I wouldn't think of changing back.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Trevek » 28 Jun 2014, 20:40

I used to use hands-up most of the time, although it sometimes depended how high the roof was of the place I was playing in (in which case I'd use in-front).

However, over the last few years, I've developed spinal and neck problems (for a variety of reasons, not blaming the puppets!) and the physio almost exploded when I asked about doing hands-up shows. Still, stupidity knows no age...

About a year ago, I had a full day, doing 3 shows in another town (2 hour drive) followed by a singing concert. The first two shows were about 30 minutes (with a short talk) each. During the second show, one of my arms began to go numb and the puppet started acting like a dizzy drunk. After these shows my neck and shoulders were not happy. The third show was in-front and I've used it pretty much ever since (and having a guitar strap across my neck for the concert didn't help!).
Trevek
Big Banger
Big Banger
 
Posts: 210
Joined: 06 Oct 2010, 09:41

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 28 Jun 2014, 21:17

I will certainly try hands in front. However, for the pitch I'm hoping to work in the autumn, I'll have to work hands above or few will see me - I'm not the tallest in the business!
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 28 Jun 2014, 21:24

Stand on a box.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 29 Jun 2014, 08:59

Doesn't this mean carrying a rather large box?
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 29 Jun 2014, 10:19

Yes.
Put something in it. Puppets? Canvas? Tent pegs, hammer, guy-ropes? Emergency toolkit?

And it doesn't need to be all that big does it? Remember that the hands above head booth was devised for a street audience, a standing audience. You just don't need to be that high nowadays. The situation in 99% of shows now is kids sat at the front, adults sitting or standing behind the kids. Your playboard only needs to be just above standing adult eye level at most.

With my lazy tongs booth I only need a few additional inches. I use one of those tough plastic boxes sold in B&Q for carrying electric drills. It's big enough, high enough and strong enough. In it I have my guys and tent pegs and loads of spares, a hammer, gaffer tape etc.

I also have a big Sharp booth. In that I need more height so I use a bigger box, a wooden foot locker. In this I can fit all the canvas covering plus sundry bits of hardware. And actually this booth is really too high because with a high playboard the front children have to be further back and I find I take up too much street space. I used to use this booth on the promenade (because of its stability) but managed to block the walkway. I now use a lower booth, where I don't need to stand on a box and the kids can sit that much closer. The adults at the back aren't affected.

But really, you don't need to be that high Nick.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 29 Jun 2014, 10:24

Well it's certainly worth trying, although it sounds as though there's a lot more to carry around. First thing is to try it. I've tried it with a temp fit-up but only managed a few minutes before my arms collapsed - but I expect I it will become easier with practice.

One point, though, the lower the playboard, the more people can reach up and grab props!
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 29 Jun 2014, 11:54

Children sitting on the floor can't reach the playboard Nick. If your audience control is competant then you shouldn't have any problems. Most of us do seem to manage. There are very few performers these days working hands over head.
I don't see how a small box or stool can be classed as "a lot more to carry around" - particularly as you can arrange for the box to also be the carrying case for something else. That's always assuming you need the extra height. Personally I doubt it.
Image
That booth is the one I now use for hard-standing. As far as height goes I have no problems and do not need anything to stand on. I think you also could use that booth comfortably without a box.

I reckon the playboard height can vary about a foot without giving problems. It is all in the angle you hold your arms.
A tall person might employ positions 1 or 2
A shorter person would choose 3 or 4 perhaps.


Image
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 29 Jun 2014, 12:11

I've added an illustration to my previous reply. A fuller discussion of hands in front working can be found on the Punchman's Tips page.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 29 Jun 2014, 17:24

Thanks for all this, Chris. I'll certainly take it into account and have a go.
You mention children sitting on the floor which does seem to be happening more often these days. But I can't see them wanting to do that on a city street so have to presume they'll be standing. And even if they can't reach, there are lads coming out of the local pub, walking between the audience and the show who think nothing of grabbing the gallows or sausages – yes, it's happened.

The reason I saw the small box as "a lot more to carry around" is that it has to be wide enough to stand the show on. If it's going inside for the performer to stand on, then the show has to be as tall as hands above so I'm not sure what's gained.

As for why one needs height: Who has the money? It's not the kids at the front, it's the mums and dads at the back. So it is vital that as many people as possible can see and, hopefully, drop in a few pennies.

Anyway, the point was to gain a little insight from others and I really will give it a go. My trials earlier this week were not successful: pains in the arms and I nearly knocked my eye out with the coffin. But my main discomfort was that I was working in a much smaller space. Again, I expect that's something once gets used to!
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 29 Jun 2014, 17:27

Chris wrote:I've added an illustration to my previous reply

Just tried to do the same but, for some reason, all my pics are coming up as bad file format – same formats I've used before. Any ideas?
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 29 Jun 2014, 18:12

Of course you don't stand the fit up on the box - you stand on the box. And you ask what do you gain? Really I think you are just being argumentative Nick. You gain inches.
Your query was:
"I'll have to work hands above or few will see me - I'm not the tallest in the business!"

How on earth would standing the fit up on a box help?
And since one of my suggestions was a plastic box used to house an electric drill how could you possibly have got the impression that I was suggesting standing a booth on it?
The height of the playboard is whatever height you construct it, if you want it to be higher than your own eye level then you make it higher, in which case you need to stand on a box if you want to still work hands in front.

If you are getting an error of bad file format for your pictures it means that their file format is bad. This sometimes happen if they have the wrong suffix - .jpg for example when they are really a .bmp. If you have another copy of the picture then try uploading that. Otherwise you will need to find out what the file format actually is, and then convert it to the file you want. How you do this depends on what image manipulation software you use. irfanview is a good free image conversion program. You'll easily find it with a Google search.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Nick Jackson » 29 Jun 2014, 18:29

Chris wrote:Of course you don't stand the fit up on the box - you stand on the box. And you ask what do you gain? Really I think you are just being argumentative Nick. You gain inches.
Not meaning to be argumentative so apologies if I gave that impression. I always thought the point of working hands-in-front was to make the show smaller, easier to transport etc. That's why I don't understand the point of standing on a box.

If you are getting an error of bad file format for your pictures it means that their file format is bad.
Just can't work out why: was trying to share a couple of jpgs which I've shared elswhere: formatted in PhotoShop – will try again!
User avatar
Nick Jackson
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
 
Posts: 379
Joined: 21 Aug 2006, 23:32

Re: Hand up or in front!

Postby Chris » 29 Jun 2014, 19:28

The point of hands in front of face has absolutely nothing to do with making the show smaller, more compact or easier to transport. If you don't know the advantages why are you considering it? Why did you try it previously when it made your arms ache?
I suggest you read the link I have given previously.
Your pictures are possibly still in Photoshop native format with only the suffix changed to jpg rather than being converted to jpg. To test this rename the image to .psd and then see if it opens OK. If so then convert it to a jpeg as usual and it should upload OK.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Next

Return to Punch Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests