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Kabukiman
member
Location: Washington, USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2002
Total posts: 42
Posted:Greetings. So yeah... I've been spinning poi for about four months now, and though I suppose I am good on a technical level, I find my performances to be kind of lacking. When you spin for an audience what kind of things do you do to keep them interested? I know what I like to do to entertain myself, but, as a musician, I know that doesn't necessarily do much for a crowd of people. Any pointers would be wonderful.

I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.


dulce flames
member
Location: Oceanside, California USA
Member Since: 8th Mar 2002
Total posts: 234
Posted:I've never performed on stage or anything, but when I "perform," I basically dance as if noone was watching... Lose myself in my fire and the music..Of course I pay attention to where the people are and keep the focus aimed toward them, but I mostly just feel it and throw in all my tricks... So far I always end up being watched and appreciated, so I say just use your best moves and absorb yourself in it... I do that performing music or poi and it almost always leads to a positive audience response.. Best of luck! dulce flames


flash fire
flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2001
Total posts: 2758
Posted:running joke in these parts is to JUST DO THE WEAVE FAST!!

But, my advice: energy. lots of body movement, lots of eye contact with audience, lots of sass and look like you're confident and enjoying yourself.

IMO, technicality has very little bearing on the levels of appreciation offered by an uneducated audience.


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pozee
old hand
Location: san diego
Member Since: 27th Jul 2001
Total posts: 886
Posted:i have to completely agree with flash. its all about what looks good, and if you are confident you look good. playi8ng with and teasing the audience is always a plus. i like to pay attention to the floor for a minute when i first stop and then out of nowhere just focus on one person. it makes them cringe sometimes when you turn a wicked smile at them. then just turn away.

looks are always important. it is nice to have some kind of costume to go along with it.

and of course making them feel safe is always helpful.

another thing i like to do for an audience is to get a little chant going so that they are involved. maybe jsut a rythmic clapping of the hands, just something so that they know you are dancing for them.

and of course as dulce says, dance like no one is watching. GO CRAZY!!!


anyone got a light?


Raphael96
old hand
Location: New York City
Member Since: 8th Sep 2002
Total posts: 899
Posted:The funniest chant I ever heard during fire spinning was "stop, drop and roll!"

The dancer slowed down her moves since she was laughing hard enough to make controlling the poi difficult.



Raph



FireMikeZ
FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US
Member Since: 24th Jul 2002
Total posts: 1438
Posted:dulce & flash fire/pozee offer different perspectives on being confident and projecting it to the audience. but if you're ready, Kabukiman, which i find must usually be the case with a performer, here are some basic performanc tips across all types of art:

(1) poise - especially in the drama of being a fire arts performer, cut a clean figure and cut the stage/ performance space with it at all times. in particular, remember to stand straight and throw back shoulders, start with the Noh? stance of hands easily before your chest then easily flip them out open-palm upwards and moving whole arms and elbows to your sides, like "see?" lookup the Alexander technique on posture, which most performers, especially theater & movie actors all know.

(2) how do you breath while spinning, and under the scrutiny of performing? it's part of how the rest of you moves

(3) feel the reaction of the audience whether you can see them through your action and the surrounding lights or not, and don't just feel, be ready to react and change your act. . . mood, pace, etc.. you can only do this when you have several styles down cold or almost cold, or you have nothing to switch between. this is audience "chemistry," the critical magical quality of "rapport."

(4) pay attention to sculpting the flow of your act each set from beginning to end, and as a short-hand, at first focus on three points:

(4.1) start - what kind? this can be quiet or subtle or stunning or gorgeous or surprising or cool or whatever you like, as long as you take the audience with you

(4.2) midsection - when you already got them going, and the set's progressing, what will not lose their interest, have them finding after a coupla minutes, hey this is just repeat? what keeps the spice flowin?

(4.3) finale - every act leads to a peak at the end, rarely to something more subtle though that's possible, like when you have wrapt attention and they are glued to hearing your last tiny quiet pin drop after you show some graceful dying flames and interesting emotion, be it sadness or relaxation or joy or sarcasm or what have you. . . fancy phrase, leads to a "denouement" from French, a fulfilling of the audience watching the set expecting a completion. and they all love a fire-breathing blow at the end, always ask for encores.

(5) watch your downtime! if in a group, make sure someone's always lit, don't let yourselves go dark at the same time, bore & annoy the waiting audience. and watch your posture while you're refueling, remember you're STILL on stage, you ARE the cause of keeping attention, move gracefully, promptly, with spotters & helpers, and even be able to joke if things go wrong

(6) when things go wrong, keep your cool! amateurs let a plastic dunking cup catch fire plus all the spilled fuel around it at a rooftop club gig recently i was in. it would be impossible to put out, coolly or not, even though i made sure of having a 3/4 big bucket of water handy. so i improvised, ceremoniously (not like an asshole, just calmly as if planned) moved it out among the spinners, just behind them, as if it were intended to be a backlight for them for the crowd. some in the crowd understood we had an accident, some didn't, and all liked the effect we made out of it.

(7) of course show them your best, slickest, most complex moves which you know well enough to have zero or less than 10% chance of screwing up (some audiences you can take some leeway, but will always lose points for failure). but also remember spinning slow and perfect is already impressive, and gives a good rhythm and vibe.

(8) interact with more things around you to expand control and creation of performance space. wrap off railings (but safely away from audience) & stuff, get into partner moves.

(9) if the performance space is large, intentionally walk/ move around to get close to audience on all sides, and use your legs/ position to make the space interesting, like a figure skater in a big rink filling the horizontal space with figure 8's & stuff, not standing in one place in the middle hard to see.

(10) if several of you, or alone, in the in-between main-action times (you got main action, in-betweens, and downtime), remember you are STILL on "camera"/ in "eye" and "ear" etc., so have a sense of orderly or spirited PROCESSION, and if you are several, don't look like a random bunch, walk all from the same direction, pass by as much of the crowd as you can take care of (they're YOUR peeps now!), and go off same stage direction to clean, rest, relight. . . say everyone clockwise for one portion. . . imagine all starting tight in a knot in the center of the space, then moving out in a concentric ring at the same time. . . other patterns. . . and if alone, do it alone, too.

(11) emotions - some say take dark pics which show only the fire - that's fine, but the whole history of advertising and entertainment and promotions disciplines show you add a human face to a display, attention goes up several hundred percent. . . add emotion, and you got a way other level of performance interest and real audience rapport. you are a whole being phenomenon trying to max out all their senses, including emotional, psychic, peripherals.

(12) poses - variety, usually, is the spice of life! they love it if you kneel down, kneel back spinning over your chest, do splits or martial arts kicks, twist sideways. . . and vary your pace, rhythm, and. . .will you be spinning tunes or having live instruments/ song for you and for the audience, so there's a dance element?

(13) entry & exit - important, how you set the tone, then the last impression you leave, well after you finish your spin. will you bow? just give a jaunty cock of your head, hand-slap the nearby audience, what? take your props if they give them, kinda formally even if you're casual, remember, audience is a group thing relating to you as group object and they all wanna see/ know their group has effect at the end. and then what? be inviting about your next performance? blow a kiss to the crowd? hands together if you're spiritual with fire or people or muse? just smile like a pyromaniac?

[ 20 September 2002, 02:09: Message edited by: FireMike ]


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US


Kabukiman
member
Location: Washington, USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2002
Total posts: 42
Posted:Thanks a bunch for the input. A special thanks to FireMike. It looks like you put quite a bit of thought into my question, and I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate it.

I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.


bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:If annanicole smith ever taught me anything, it's that when they don't love your for your MBA, make them love you for showing a lil' flesh.
firedance in a bikini for that hairy look.

you know you want to.


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always


Kabukiman
member
Location: Washington, USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2002
Total posts: 42
Posted:Except for one thing... I an ugly hairy guy (closely resembling the orcs in the recent Lord of the Rings movie). I don't think the fact that I am spinning fire would interest people enough to watch me spin in a bikini. Otherwise it would be a wonderful suggestion.

I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.


FireMikeZ
FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US
Member Since: 24th Jul 2002
Total posts: 1438
Posted:[on your sig, Kabukiman: way back, lot of dudes tried with Jessica Rabbit when she was hot news. . . anyone succeed in popping her off?]

let's go one beyond what bender put on the table:

they love it when ya set ya hair on fire, dude! that's sure to get major attention, and some love though also disses. . . like Richard Pryor. . . hey, ya pulling all these oldskool examples outta my memory, coz nobody famous has set themselves on fire for a while. . . you could sell tix though, if ya did it public instead of shaving and creams before the show!


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US


Raphael96
old hand
Location: New York City
Member Since: 8th Sep 2002
Total posts: 899
Posted:The spectators will have to settle for me wearing leather pants...no bikini for me.

Raph



SmallBoy - x
SmallBoy - x

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London
Member Since: 29th May 2002
Total posts: 2737
Posted:Jessica Rabbit's mine.......

Fire:- anything that looks slow and flowy.
Try stops, wraps and kicks coz peeps notice them more, and if you're in front of other spinners btb stuff rocks - hehehehe
Apparently I'm now "sick" at it, but fuck what other people think (If you're enjoying yaself that is.......). I always find that people who are still scared of what the fire can do to your health, wont try stuff that they normally do with tails.
BTB is a good example
transitions from horizontal to vertical is always good coz it's eye catching

But then I still think I suck so who cares what I post.....


Small Lardy Person In Disguise


FireMikeZ
FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US
Member Since: 24th Jul 2002
Total posts: 1438
Posted:(* grin *) ya know, SmallBoy, peeps hide their infatuations. . . maybe Jessica DOES!

molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US


Kabukiman
member
Location: Washington, USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2002
Total posts: 42
Posted:It's unfortunate but latelly I haven't pursued cartoon characters. Whenever I try to lighten the mood with some light flirting or just some getting to know you talk they just stare back at me. They don't laugh at my jokes or even blink. It makes me truely feel unwelcome. Do you think that there is something wrong with me. If anyone has any advice I'm always looking for new ways to make myself a more eligable bachler (short of radical reconstructive plastic surgery so I can take off this paper bag, I can't afford it at the moment).
Alright so that was entirelly off the performance topic but I felt it needed to be said. Here's a manuever based question. How would one accomplish moving around in circle while spinning a butterfly. I can do it with weave combination... but the poi seem to want to stay in on spot whenever I try to do anything other than a flutterby weave. Any pointers?


I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.


aimeceleste
member
Location: Seattle
Member Since: 10th Jul 2002
Total posts: 19
Posted:I've found, too, that doing the butterfly and attempting to rotate one's self, that the poi tend to stay in the same plane as before...but the (rather ungraceful, in my opinion) only solution I have found is to kind of jerk the poi sideways with both hands, as if you were pulling them in a five-beat weave, I suppose. This brings them an increment to one side and changes the plane they're spinning in, but I don't like this solution too much. Anyone else?


Odin
member
Location: Singapore
Member Since: 8th Sep 2002
Total posts: 21
Posted:Hi Guys! This HOP site is great, here is my first post! I don't know how to walk in a wide circle while doing butterflys smoothly. But you could try butterfly turns?? Learnt & adapted this move thanks to Josie from the "Naked Flame" poi classes i took recently. The theory is that to rotate your body by 180 degrees, the butterfly pattern has to go from forward to reverse, or vice versa.
To turn from fwd butterfly to rev butterfly, on the downswing of fwd BTF, rotate both wrists outwards so that both pois swing out & stop: reaching about 9 o'clock with the left hand & 3 o'clock with the right hand. WHILE the wrists are being rotated outwards, rotate your body at the same time so that your reach the 9 & 3 o'clock poi position at the end of your turn. Whether you turn yourbody to the left or right doesn't matter. Now start a reverse Butterfly by bringing the pois inwards like swinging 2 pendulums together. It may help if you use your elbows & shoulders as well when rotating the wrists - this may make you look like you are doing a chicken mimicry.
The same principles apply if you want to go from reverse to fwd butterfly. Only this time the wrists are rotated outwards on the upswing of instead of the downswing. You elbows sort of go inwards together instead of going outwards like a chicken.
Hope this helps.


At the windowsill ...


FireMikeZ
FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US
Member Since: 24th Jul 2002
Total posts: 1438
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Odin:
here is my first post!

thanks to Josie from the "Naked Flame" poi classes i took recently.Odin, welcome to Home of Poi one-eyed fire god! ya know our tradition? post up an Intro thread on yourself in the Social Discussions > Introductions forum, name the thread just "Odin" or whatever shout out ya want, and we'll all say hi & get to know ya!

yo, dude, tell us about the "Naked Flame" classes & Josie, what are they, how were they, what did they cover, what did they cost, how many sessions, give us an idea? it's really rare to see classes in some parts of the world, including here in SoCal, but lots of peeps would like to hear what kinda classes goin on anywhere. . .some of us thinkin of takin them, especially on different & advanced topics, some of us thinkin of startin to teach or organize some for our areas. . .

~ Mike


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US


Whiffle Squeek
Whiffle Squeek

addict
Location: Hartford, CT USA
Member Since: 29th Oct 2001
Total posts: 416
Posted:mmm, id also like to know about the details of the class, as i am planning on setting up one on my own, throught he local parks and rec and any ideas on cost, length, etc. would be nice.

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


Odin
member
Location: Singapore
Member Since: 8th Sep 2002
Total posts: 21
Posted:Come see their website!
http://www.geocities.com/nakedflame2002/class.html
br>There is also talk of an advanced poi class ... which i'll definitely be an eager participant - hope get that damned BTBweave & BTFweave right!
Before Josie & Dave started conducting the classes, they sort of got together & tried to break down all the basic moves into their component parts so that it can be taught to us easier. We lighted up on the final night & twirled at a nearby park.
I think classes are great! There are not enough twirlers on this planet.


At the windowsill ...


bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:Naked falme are awesome people. but it's one more awesome name that ya can't use ofr a new fire troupe

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always


Girl From Mars
Girl From Mars

member
Location: Liverpool, NY, USA
Member Since: 17th Apr 2001
Total posts: 168
Posted:kabukiman, did you get your name from the infamous kabuki man from Troma's b-films?

the music feeds my soul that glows and grows with every spin i take.


FireMikeZ
FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US
Member Since: 24th Jul 2002
Total posts: 1438
Posted:please, everyone here, go to clairebear's special performance issue thread, read her issue and my post there, and give it your best.

it's what makes Home of Poi not just a warm family, but the premiere union of talented fire performers in the world.

~ Mike


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US


Kabukiman
member
Location: Washington, USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2002
Total posts: 42
Posted:To answer the question... Yes I got my name from Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD. I don't know if it's a suitable name... but I like the ring that it has to it.

On another note, I figured out a couple of things to do with that butterfly thing I was asking about earlier. It's possible, not only to do an around-the-world-butterfly but also a butterfly-fountain... haven't seen any picks yet but I will try to get them on tape to see what they look like this coming weekend. They feel really clean and natural in movement so I will go that extra mile and share my discoveries with people before too long. Keep spinning (but for pleasure, not popularity).

On yet another note... no wait I don't have anything else to say... I must be way too tired... the sound of the word sleep is rather influencing. hmm.... sleep... that's where I'm a viking, a fire spinning viking... hmm... susceptable villages. Anyway... yeah... sorry... back to reality. See you folk later.


I wouldn't know... I've never given a cartoon character an orgasm.



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