Mr Punch grew up on the streets of London. He was supported by the working man and his off-spring as he roamed about town, walking up to twenty miles a day and performing up to ten shows. It was hard work. Punch is hard work. Today’s skilled exponents of the art are extremely reluctant to do more than 3 shows – 3 full shows where-in they give everything. As the saying goes – if you don’t sweat it, you ain’t cutting it!
Why would a performer of Punch therefore want to go to a paid event (i.e. one where ‘he’ is invited to perform and paid a fee) and do so for a mere stipend (small fee, paid just to recognise the formal relationship, set at a non-commercial, non-market level rate)?
The value of Punch is that one man (or women – of which more anon) can, if they so choose, present three very credible shows, at any event and entertain several hundred people. What value Punch? Conversely, having learnt their craft, invested several thousand pounds in equipment, devoted a whole day to the event, travelled to and from the venue, worked hard for three shows, and travelled home again, why would anyone – anyone go out to what amounts to the cost of a six person meal in an Indian restaurant?
You have to ask yourself are they giving of their all? Are they presenting Punch as your audiences would hope and expect him to be presented? Is ‘he’ in fact worth the fee you are paying ‘him’ for this potentially substandard service? What happens if ‘he’ gets a better offer? And the chances are, ‘he’ will. Will ‘he’ feel duty bound to honour the booking or will ‘he’ feign sickness and cry off at the last minute?
Having set your budget, will you find another ‘Punchman’ for the same fee? What value do you place on professionalism?
What value Punch?
P.S. Here, lend us a quid will you, I can’t afford to put any petrol in my car…..