We all hate to see the end of a good thing, but spare a thought for your hard working caricaturist at the end of a booking.
Following a spate of horror stories forwarded to me by colleagues (and having had to deal with similar situations myself), I thought it was time to hi-light the problem of drunk punters at the end of the night. I recently had a colleague close to tears, after a drunk punter confronted him at the end of a performance, demanding to be drawn, then later complained to the client. This lead to the client filing a complaint and making libellous accusations on public forums, which all could have been avoided if all parties concerned had simply observed the following points:
- Every performance must finish at some (agreed) point and many artists adhere to the timetable in order to make a second booking in good time. Caricaturists will usually shorten the queue in the last 30 minutes, so not to disappoint later arrivals or those who may miss out.
- Your artist will aim to please the client and often offer flexibility on the day in order to keep people smiling. The last thing they want is a confrontation or complaint, it is their living after all.
- Your caricaturist will remain professional, polite and sober at all times (unless you have hired a low budget option of course), though some of your guests may not.
- The later the performance, the more chance there is that some of the guests will become drunk and less patient, especially when having to queue to be drawn or fed. These guests may take their rejection from a queue as rudeness and react with aggression.
- Remember, any punter who claims they have been “waiting all night” can not possibly have been there longer than the caricaturist. In 3 hours a good caricaturist will draw through a queue of 40+ people, so most people waiting from the moment of the artist’s arrival will be drawn.
- It is the client’s responsibility to put forward those who simply HAVE to be drawn, otherwise your caricaturist will do their best to draw all in the queue, no matter who.
- Not everyone will be drawn, no caricaturist will promise this and in a group of 100 people, maybe 45 will be lucky in an average evening performance. This may lead to a few disgruntled punters, but a lot more happy ones.
As a caricaturist and entertainer I have to regularly deal with drunk, aggressive and violent punters at the end of every performance, despite my having been a roaring success all night and finishing at an agreed time. I always deal with such confrontations in a polite and professional manner, usually leaving smiles behind me. However I should have the right to finish my work in safety and without fear of reprisal or complaint.
With this in mind, I ask all those hiring a caricaturist for their event to spare a thought for the hard working artist, as they pack their pens away at the end of a night and perhaps give them a hand diffusing the punters who missed out on a free drawing that night. Maybe give them the benefit of the doubt the next time a punter moans about not having been drawn.
Its just a bit of fun after all….