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Crowd Control

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Crowd Control

Post by Lady Jayde on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:05 am

How do you keep the little ones from getting underfoot, bumping your table and literally leaning over your shoulder when you're painting in an open tent without anything that even vaguely resembles walls? There are only so many times that you can have your helper say "please back up so she can paint". The problem is, the kids who were doing the crowding were just spectators, so they weren't even in line to get painted. I had a child tell me to "surprise" her with a creation, but the spectators ruined the surprise by loudly speculating what I was painting.

I've already told the director that I wouldn't paint in such an unorganized environment again, but I still feel that I should've had more knowledge of how to control the situation. However, if it weren't for the many parents who opted to stay in line with their kids (no doubt to reign in any wild requests), the situation would've been far less as I could tell the kids were straining to get closer to me.

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Shannon Fennell on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:01 am

Police tape. Or surveyors tape... I carry a roll in the car and use it to tie off to create a "barricade" if I don't have any walls.

Also, ask for two long tables to be provided and some chairs (or bring your own if you can/have to) If you are in an open tent use one table along the side and then the other to create a right angle - set yourself up in the inside corner of the tables... use chairs to block the opposite side - then you have one open side where they come and go from.

I also use my toolbox to my left as a small table and it keeps them away from my side...

You can tie the tape from the table legs to the tent poles or to a chair or something reasonably solid if you need to create another "wall" - do several strips of varying heights as just one won't stop them.

And... use table cloths that hang down the front of the tables - this creates the illusion of a solid barrier and cuts down on the kids going UNDER the table.

Also... don't be afraid to tell them to "GET OUT OF MY SPACE!!!" I often stop painting and loudly tell them to BACK UP as they are in my light ... that's why I like to have extra chairs... set a couple up where you want the line to START and people will tend to stay there - the next person sits in the first chair.

Shannon Fennell

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by starponysmama on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:15 am

Ha! I learned my lesson the hard way this weekend. Just like Shannon says - I am going to use the surveyors tape. I also use the "liability" excuse to say that I cannot have anyone under my tent that is not being painted or myself. What KILLS me is the lack of manners...........parents just stand there and don't do anything.......my mom would have WORN ME OUT!

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Shannon Fennell on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:20 am

starponysmama wrote:.......my mom would have WORN ME OUT!

I've never heard it put quite that way... we'd say "We wouldn't have been able to sit down for a week!" Laughing

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Perry Noia on Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:02 pm

my sample photos are on a string between two home made stancions (sp?) so the kids stand along the string line looking at pictures while they wait and the parents often will stand on the other side of the line parallel to their kids.

If I have any kids bumping my table (which happens) I usually tell them to please not touch the table because I don't want my water to spill all over the place, which is completely true. At that point the parents usually take a hint and get them away from the table. Their parents have to be there or I won't paint them and if there is a parentless child around, I tell them they need to go find their mommy. I cannot be responsible for their safety if they are unsupervised. If the parents aren't doing something about their behaviour, then tell the child in a voice loud enough for their parent to hear that they need to go stand with mommy while they are waiting.

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Criss on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:19 pm

I agree with Shannon. I have also say in a very loud voice; PLEASE STAND BACK....HOW HORRIBLE WOULD IT BE IF I WERE TO GET BUMPED AND STAB MY PAINT BRUSH INTO THIS LITTLE PERSONS EYE!!!??? When I say this, I am generally looking directly at the offenders, then they quietly go back to the line.

I also use the technique of creating a body triangle around the person I am painting. I will tuck the child's chair in close to my table, and put myself a litttle to the left of them, with my left leg on the outside of their chair. This technique has come in very handy during hockey playoffs, when the fans are insane and don't care where they stand or who they stand on. I have had to use my elbows at times to protect myself and the little ones i'm painting. You'd think adults would know better? Sometimes it takes a charlie horse to remind them of their manners.

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Criss on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:23 pm

hahaha I just re-read my post and I sound like one mean face painting son of a gun. Not really, I just won't tolerate being pushed around.

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Judy on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:24 pm

Couple of ideas:

- paint with your back to the crowd letting the kids in line take a peek to what you are doing.

- (the teacher is coming out in me for this next one) If the kids are getting too close, I tell them it would be a shame if they knocked the table over with all these brushes and sponges, because it would take THEM a long, long time to pick everything up and reclean everything. This kind of has a ripple effect as one kid hears this and transfers the message to the others.

Judy

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Criss on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:27 pm

Judy, your brilliant

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Lady Jayde on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:06 pm

I like your idea Judy, except, I think I'd still need a cattle prod of some sort. I had kids behind me watching me work the last time and it never failed that what over eager beaver would get really...really...close... Like, when I sat up I smacked my head into her face...close. I think a combination of Shannon's police tape, a seat at the front of the line for the next kid up and a sign that indicates where they are to stand is in order. If I can guarantee they won't be doing the ninja sneak behind my back, I'll give turning my chair around...but I kind of like the unveiling when the kid turns around and their friends gush over them...I think the kids like it too. I'd just be bothered by the constant calls of "what are you painting?" "I know what you're painting!".

Criss, I don't believe for a minute that you're a mean face painter, formidable, yes, mean...nope. I too have fought the urge to gut check an over zealous parent who wants to lean in close while I'm painting... but they're few and far between as we don't have a lot of those around here that can bend at the waist without having something fall out of their tops... affraid

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Metina on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:53 pm

I like to have a sense of humor about it and take it as a compliment. Kids want to see what you are doing. I tell them that if they cross "this" line i'll have to charge them more, just like I joke with them when they are in the chair about swinging their feet. "I'll have to charge you a $1 for kicking. LOL

I really haven't had it be a big irrirating issue YET, but could see how it could be. I won't tolerate anyone putting their dirty paws in my paint or touching my stuff, but so far a bit of "can I see what you are doing?" has been the only occurance.

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Shannon Fennell on Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:00 am

If I have a solid wall, I'm like the old gunfighter and sit with my back to it... I'll butt the short end of my table up against the wall, my toolbox barricades me to the left... usually no issues with people getting behind me as there is no room.

And if ANYONE touches my stuff... all H*LL breaks loose! I have to keep everything clean and if some snotty dirty little sticky fingered bologna eating PBJ covered creature starts handling my sponges I have to toss them in the dirty sponge bucket and pull out some clean ones from my kit!!!!

My BIG issue is with the next child hanging onto the back of the chair the kid I am painting is sitting in... I am constantly telling them to step back as they make the chair move.

Having the extra chairs to indicate where to wait helps soooo much in keeping them back out of my way.

Shannon Fennell

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Judy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:55 am

If all of this fails, resort to cattle prod, bull whip (you can reach about 8 feet away with this baby and it makes a really, really loud bang), and electric fencer.... after all.... it's just a little zap!! Evil or Very Mad .

This technique works great in the classroom too!! lol Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

p.s. Get the solar electric fencer and you don't even need to bring an extension cord!! hee hee

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by Criss on Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:36 am

HAHAHAH I love it

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Re: Crowd Control

Post by LoneWolf on Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:28 am

I actually love when the kids are all over the place! Very Happy My table are high and my stuff are inside a box or bags, so they can't really touch any of it. I have like 5 cm water in a 15 cm cup, so little risk of spilling.

Sometimes I have to tell them not to try to take my small faces of my display or not leaning against the chair so it moves. As long as I can move my brush, I am happy. Often I have to tell the parent that it is okay that the children come and watch, as long as they know who is next.

I stand with my back to the crowd, with the child in the high chair, so the rest can look what I am doing. And I can not stress over how many are in the line ;-)

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