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Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

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Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by ClemmieCakes on Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:46 pm

I am pretty new to face painting though I hold a degree in painting from a state university. I started about 3 years ago as a volunteer and enjoyed it so much I have continued to learn and add some paying gigs.

This weekend I offered to volunteer for a street fair for exposure/practice. It sounded great - High traffic, they provide the supplies and design boards, painters in 2 shifts of 4 people each over the course of the 10 hour event. Lunch would be provided too. All we had to do was show up, paint, and go home.

The event is tomorrow and I found out that instead of 8 painters we have 2 and I am the only one with experience. They "might" have some high school girls to paint faces but have also asked everyone to come in the morning so at this point there is no afternoon "shift" and no scheduled break for the 10 hours. Design boards were poster boards with DOZENS of photos ripped from the internet (50+ choices) with the biggest photo being about business card size. The paint they bought was cheap wax crayons that said they'd do 65 faces total, plus Snaz red, yellow, blue and black. No brushes. Glass craft glitter instead of cosmetic glitter (I told her I WILL NOT use that on faces.) No sponges. No towels. I have been trying to help them compile a list of materials but they look at it and then don't buy anything on it.

Next, I find out that the event is charging PPF  - $1.25 for a cheek/one eye design and $3.00 for a full face. I told them the prices seemed low and was told that another booth of "professional" face painters is scheduled to be there and they wanted to charge less than their vendors. I was told I could increase the prices "depending on how good the designs were" but the problem I face now is that I don't feel like I can charge higher when there won't be any consistency with the group of volunteers - most have no experience.

I realize I am a volunteer, but now I am feeling used and it makes me angry. Are they expecting too much from volunteers? I've already committed to doing this and as much as I want to back out I feel guilty because it's the day before and I already said yes. I am considering just bringing my own kit, accepting tips, and hoping I can book paying gigs off of the exposure.

Has anyone else gotten themselves in to a nightmare like this before? What did you do?

Ok.... /rant_over

ClemmieCakes

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Registration date : 2015-07-11

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by jlirie on Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:45 pm

wow, that's horrible. no planning, no common sense, and why didn't they just go with the pro face painter, who will be ticked off with cut rate competition.

i would either back out or if you go, definitely bring your own kit.
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jlirie

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by ClemmieCakes on Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:05 pm

Yeah, I can't believe they asked a pro to pay a vendor fee then undercut them by having volunteers provide cheap-o face paint at the same event. I've heard lots of people complain about stuff like this from the pro side of things. I was told to "not be a perfectionist and just do plain designs that aren't as good" so I don't compete but then I am not fairly representing myself!! If I paint to my best abilities the pro will be upset because it cuts in to their business. If I don't then I don't get any business and waste a 10 hour day turning out crap I'm not happy with.

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by jlirie on Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:18 pm

maybe there will be enough business for both of you.

i would definitely not paint any designs "that aren't as good". kids aren't stupid, and they will know when they've been "had". (i've had kids come over and get face painted after getting amateur designs from another table. in one case, kid wiped off the other design so i could paint him!).

i would do your best. like you said, it's your reputation.
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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by anniel on Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:49 pm

Jilirie is right. And put out a tip jar for you...and "No, you may not share my supplies"...(The tips are to cover YOUR costs), since you are a volunteer. Try all the designs you'd like to practice, but never have an opportunity.
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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:59 am

If there is a vendor there who is face painting, paid their fees, and the event was recruiting volunteers and WERE PLANNING TO UNDERCUT the vendor... That's lovely. Really really lovely. That would make me drop out right there.

I would tell them I cannot work the event. Obviously they have no clue and have actually broken the verbal agreement (as this was not what you volunteered to do based on what they stated were the working conditions.) There is no point in putting yourself in this position as I do not really see an upside for you in it.

I treat my business as a business and don't see any benefit to volunteering as a promotional or practice opportunity. Particularly when grouped with unskilled volunteers with sub-par materials, tools and potential hygiene issues.

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by anniel on Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:31 am

Well said, Shannon...you are much more definitive than I! (I just didn't know how to word it, so I would have gone ahead, sucked it up & shot myself in the foot...)
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anniel

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by rthling on Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:53 am

I'm with Shannon. I don't volunteer, I don't use anyone else's supplies, and I DEFINITELY do not undercut a paying vendor.

No way. No how.

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by Hoodat Whatzit on Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:41 pm

I"m with everyone else who is aghast at the idea that they would intentionally undercut a paying vendor. If it were me, I'd leave them high and dry with their one experienced volunteer and crappy materials. And I would show up anyway and let the paying face painters know what was going on. They would probably appreciate the information and you'd be on good terms with people in your area that might be able to give you some experience at some point in the future.

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by Kal on Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:50 am

Definitely back out of that gig. As Shannon said... there is no upside for you and it sounds like you're on a collision course with a bad day.

If you really want to "volunteer" to gain experience you could always go volunteer your help to the pro face painter who is getting screwed.
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Kal

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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

Post by jlirie on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:08 pm

well, since the weekend is over, maybe she will be brave enough to report on what happened.
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Re: Ugh.. can I vent for a second?!

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