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s-p-l-a-t


member
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Total posts: 383
Posted:Hello again all,I was pondering this topic with a bunch of performers a little while ago now, and decided to bring it up on here out of curiosity and to get a worldwide view.How many of you answer *all* of your audiences questions? e.g. "What fuel are you using" "How hot is the flame". (An instance occured probably six months ago where a friend from Byron told me he had a whole bunch of people sticking their hands in his flames to test their own theories. Needless to say he halted it but due to lack of large numbers of safeties had difficulty doing so). "How much do you get paid to do this or that" "Can I have a go" ("NO"!
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) oh yes and "Whats that stuff on the end of your stick/chain/whatever". "How do you eat it" etc Do you answer these with truth and nothing but or do you keep a lot of quiet to add some kind of mysterious air to it like a magician or something?Apologies if this is somewhere else.


The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.- B.B.King

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Oh...and don't forget the ever popular "Do you teach this?"Great topic Splat and I can't wait to read the answers!As for me, and because of my Ren shows I actually dispell the myths as part of the show. For my fire eating show I have an audience member come up on stage. S/he holds the torch while I light it, proving it is real fire, it is hot. I open my mouth and have the person look inside, nope nothing in there for tricks. This gives the audience assurance that I am not tricking them.Although I haven't had anyone ask what the temp is of my fire I have been asked if it is cold fire or real fire. My response, there is cold fire and fake fire?I play up the fact that my character is a gypsy and so uses a special gypsy brew. When doing regular performances if someone asks we don't tell them. I politely say it is a "special" fuel or, my new one, guess. They always end up guessing gasolene which then I ask, "Do I look crazy?" (of course I do, I have fire in my mouth!) It gets a chuckle and me a getaway.I don't answer how other than to say I have trained for a long time and practiced without fire. No, they can't use my stuff and no I don't teach...both because my insurance doesn't allow it, which actually isn't far from the truth. In fact, friends of mine who do the fire juggling balls saw the insurance out worked so well they use it when people ask to try the fire balls, and they don't even have insurance!!!
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I don't answer how much I get paid as a professional courtesy to the venue. My mentor taught me two things about that which I really like. Everyone has their opinion on what it is worth, so if the patron thinks you are underpaid, they get pissed at the venue. If they think you are over paid, they think they are being jipped and get pissed at the venue. So, I answer something cheesy like "I get paid in audience adoration"
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. It generally gets the point across. If some one persists I simply say "Well enough to keep me here."I haven't had anyone ask what the stuff on the end is...if they did I would just say wick. I guess I think the simpler the explaination, the better since I live in the land of legal liability *shrug*.Nice question Splat!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:"Truthful" answers can sometimes be very dangerous to those listening, not just those who have asked the question.If there are any young children, (15ish or younger) I never tell them that I'm using kerosene. Even if I'm using Pegasol there's always some smart guy who says "Hey, is that kerosene?".I lie through my teeth if there are any kids around, saying ," NO Kerosene is really dangerous, I use tabacco juice."I've found using a made-up fuel, that doesnt burn, and has lots of health risks associated with it, stops kids from getting hold of the fuel. i.e. if you say "kerosene" infornt a of a kid, and sometime next week they find a bottle in the kitchen cupboard, they might go get some matches and try to copy you...I also like to explain this to other adults, let them know to look around first before they talk about fuels.I also lie about the number of times I;ve been burnt, I tell them "all the time, more than I can count" just as an extra protection for them.It may seem heavy-handed, but I think all of us need to be aware that people and children are always watching us. They constantly need to be reminded that it is dangerous, but in the case of children, we need to prevent them attempting it on their own as much as possible. Did you ever listen to an adult who said something was dangerous when you were a kid? Or did you just wait until you could do it when they weren't watching?There's my 'whiney mother' reply, but I ask everyone to think about these things whether in public, at a party or in front of kids, even your own.Cheers.------------------Charleshttp://juggling.co.nz

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I do have something to add..there is a "magaician" at one of the Ren Faires who dabbles in fire eating...he announces to his crowd he uses kerosene, more than once per each show. I was in the audience and watching the wheels starting to spin in people's minds was terrifying. Then he proceeded to singe his beard and dump his fuel container onto the stage and a nearby curtain. It was supposed to be played off as humorous. I found no humor in it. I have no idea what the result of his honesty has ever been, but I do know he told more than I felt comfortable with. ------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:that's disgusting, Pele.I can't believe someone would be so callous (or just dimwitted), especially when doing something as dangerous as firebreathing. Have you ever taken a kid to a martial arts movie? For the next two days all they can do is kick and hit other people. "Monkey see Monkey do" is more appropriate for humans than we like to think.Is he still there doing the same act? Maybe you could quitely mention to him that it might pay not to mention the P word (or whatever it is in french). If you're not comfortable with that, get me his email, or the director of Faires email and I will outline the issues in an informative, non-judgemental way...Almost everyone in this world should be given the opportunity to redeem themselves, even this guy...------------------Charleshttp://juggling.co.nz[This message has been edited by Charles (edited 13 August 2001).]

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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pj


member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Total posts: 277
Posted:I have a very simple and effective stock answer I give to anyone who is interested: I send them to www.homeofpoi.com! I also provide them with our local club address (www.calefaction.org) should they want to hook up with us.-p.

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Posted:when i first started performing i was incredibly nervous and managed to set my hair alight etc, that stopped people from coming near my flame, although i dont sugest it.i somehow manage to keep people at a safe distance because i move a lot and people arent always sure where i am going next. normally my girlfriend paces a large circle around me to keep people at a distance

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Jesse


member
Location: Pittsburgh, PA/ USA

Total posts: 118
Posted:Because we use so many different types of fuels (or can), I usually just become extremely general, yet mind whirlingly technical. "Well I could go into all the boring details of burning various hydro-carbons and how to leverage the differences in the flashpoints of various fuels, but that's all very boring. Wouldn't you rather just enjoy the magic of the show?" If they persist, then I explain to them that I'm almost completely self-taught, and that I researched all this information myself over a period of 6+ months, and if they're really interested, then they should have no trouble looking it up. But don't ask to copy off of my paper, please. I'll give them the names of all the pieced of equipment that I use: poi, meteors, etc, but that's about it. If they're truly interested and motivated, they can plug what I give them into a search engine and work things out for themselves without making me at all liable...

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