Posted:OK, here i go again gettin all preachy...i was at a party this weekend, a party which i was scheduled to perform at but got cancelled and then relocated, but to make a long story short, i get there and there are about 7 or 8 people there doing poi and staff.i go running to join them, and find out they have no means of safety, no fire extinguishers, no spotters, no wet towels, nothing. this was on a rooftop, water was not readily available, and it was quite windy. I look down and i see the fueling area is RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the circle where people are spinning. furthermore, i see some people lighting up their wicks, without spinning off excess fuel first, and while the fuel drips from their wicks they light up while hanging DIRECTLY over the fuel can. When i approach the person doing this and ask them to kindly move, he says to me "oh, it doesn't matter. kerosene isn't going to explode, don't worry".Now this person obviously didn't know who he was talking to, he had no idea that i had any experience at all, but still, to stand there and explain to me (and i do have quite the background in chemistry and understand well the concepts of volatility and vapor pressure) that this was "safe" instead of taking the same amount of time and energy to move 15 feet away (5 meters for you on the decimal system) so as to eliminate the risk completely, is absolutely stooooooopid. Why, oh why, would you even wanna take the chance? and by the way, i've seen kero tanks explode. they may not quite go boom, but they are readily happy to set fire to anything and everything around.People, please, for the love of all that is sacred, please practice safely. I can't stress this enough. it takes minimal effort and is so worth it. I understand that very few people actually get hurt, but you might curse yourself if you don't take precautions and end up with 3rd degree burns on your face. If anything EVER happens to anyone because they were unsafe and got hurt, all of us who perform for a living and do it safely would be out of a job. people will no longer understand that a fire performance CAN be safe and all venues will shut down their fire priviledges. cities and countries will pass laws forbidding these practices and we will all be arrested. and lord knows i don't need to be arrested any more times...I apologize for the rant, but once again, cannot stress enough how important safety is. and yes, people have gotten hurt in the past. really hurt. people who are better performers than most of us can ever hope to be. if you ever talk to an experienced performer, i'm sure such person will echo my sentiments. as my legendary fire performance idol Joemama once told me, "what would your mama say if she knew you were playing with fire without safety? or all fucked up?" she would not be happy. think about it.safe peax,SkunkPS another point of safety - heads up!!! if you have a lot of people around you, or if a bunch of people light up at once, you gotta keep your eye out not to jump into someone else's patterns, unless of course this is a practices skill and is mutually consensual.
Posted:I have to say I agree with most of the fire-respecting-semi-paranoid people out there. I have a fire blanket handy each time I have a burn. It's common sense - I think its plain stupid to do it without some kind of safety plan. No one is *ever* 100% safe. Ever. No matter how good you 'think' and tell everyone you are.Then again - I don't try all the moves I invent unlit before I play. How the hell do you do that. Surely there aren't people out there that don't pull new stuff out of thin air when they're really going off? When I'm really zoned out it all flows - I'm not going to say to myself hey stop now I haven't tried that move unlit yet. (What move... I forgot I had a pair of chains in my hand for a bit there).After all - they say fortune smiles upon the brave. (Just as long as you don't let safety fly out the window.) I can't believe some people don't have common sense - and it could well be *anyone* that gets fire twirling labelled hazardous.
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.- B.B.King
Posted:More on the personal side of safety:Having a grip that is easy to slip off quickly I think saved my arms a few times from accidental wraps and tangles. It was/is my biggest fear.Although I use more secure grips for practising, think it's a good idea to at least begin with something easy to cast off. Even if it's easier to accidently loose a poi into anything nearby, methinks it's a better risk to take.*shrugs*Your milage may differ though...Secondly, can't understand why people light up with spinning off excess fuel, or even spinning unlit before attempting to shake off excess fuel. Either creates a very nice kero mist, which is just great for making clothing and especially hair all the easier to burn, and doesn't do great stuff to the lungs and eyes either.