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phuzzz


member
Location: saltspring island, bc , kanada

Total posts: 160
Posted:well, never done fire eating before so i guess im looking for everything from a how to build wicks thingie to how to treat lip burns and everything in between. all i know is this wire:bad big slow breath. kero. practice. thats just not enough to make me not scared to try.

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Pele'sWhippingBoy


member
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Total posts: 442
Posted:Wow, a new one.I did a little search in this area:Making trailing/eating wicks...That might help you a little.Otherwise, I'll provide a little info from watching Pele. She uses smallish wicks. And the part where she grips with fingers is wrapped in leather strips.As for the burns, I wouldn't know. [image]http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubb/images/icons/confused.gif">------------------[/image]Pyromorph - Let the fire change you

FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Well, you are both close. My grips are wood actually.Okay...Ummm....I will cover what I can in the ten minutes I have.Yes the wire is bad, but it is par for the course, lick your lips. Hold your breath if you can....long, slow breaths kill the flame faster. Kero or Coleman/Naptha is acceptible fuel. Always shake out your torches really well before doing this, you don't want fuel to drip on your tongue. My torch heads are up to two inches long now (which actually isn't terribly small, sorry PWB) but it depends which trick I do. Start with 1 inch heads or a little less just to get the feel. Keep your head back (so flames go up and out not up and into your sinus'). Have *******ALOT******* of spit moistening your mouth and lips...but not so much you drool, I saw that once, it was disgusting.Practice unlit so that you can get used to the proximity issue. It is awkward feeling at first. I put the garage door up and look at my reflection in the window above me which helps me to polish my technique. Close your teeth first, that way if your misaligned or something your lips won't be burned off then seal your lips around the torch. If you get burned (okay, when you get burned) if it is your lips just treat it with aloe as you would any other burn. If you get burned inside your mouth a peroxide gargle (really diluted peroxide swished around) and use of listerine will do the trick not so tastily but nicely. For the time I have been doing this, I haven't been *seriously* burned yet (knock on wood). Your biggest alie is that if you feel like something is going wrong or you feel uncomfortable, drop the torch or blow it out. No harm, no foul.Wind is your gravest enemy when doing this. The slight wind you wouldn't notice with poi or while fire breathing can cause a bad burn when fire eating. Be very aware of this!!!!! I have watched a few people get burned from underanticipation.Truth be told (and I get told this all the time by entertainment directors, makes me feel good)....fire eaters are a dime a dozen and I really don't think the skill is a useful one unless you are a performer and can really hone it and do something fresh with it. Once you've done it twice it seems kind of bland really, not like swinging where you can get lost in it or breathing where you get to witness this plume unfolding in front of you. For the dangers that it can present, it just is so little.Though, I understand wanting to try it at least once. I have to get scooting now, if you have more questions don't hesitate. This is how I got started in fire actually. If I think of anything I'll add later.Toodles!------------------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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Pele'sWhippingBoy


member
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Total posts: 442
Posted:Okay, well I think that 2 inches is small.
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And in comparison to your poi wicks they are. I think even the breathing torches are bigger.I knew that you (Pele) would be able to provide good info. (She likes to put things in her mouth. [image]http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubb/images/icons/grin.gif">)------------------[/image]Pyromorph - Let the fire change you


FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson

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phuzzz


member
Location: saltspring island, bc , kanada

Total posts: 160
Posted:thank you so very much pele!
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Maelstrom


Maelstrom

member
Location: Akron, Ohio

Total posts: 135
Posted:If two inches is small then my girlfriend is a liar!
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------------------Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with "normal" people.


Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with normal people.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I just answered an email about this and thought I would include "Pele's 13 Steps to Fire Eating for Beginners" that I put in the email *giggle*.So, to sum it all up.....1. Soak and shake off torch2. Light and let burn a couple of seconds to make sure all the excess is off3. Check wind4. Raise torch to 70-80 degree angle above face5. Check wind6. Take a deep breath7. Get a load of spit in the mouth, lick lips8. Open as wide as possible9. Check wind10. Slowly line up your torch and begin it's descent into your mouth, if you feel the need gently exhale (genlty so as not to blow out the torch...though optimally you don't exhale at all during this) *remember if anything goes wrong, blow it out, you can relight later11. Put torch into mouth so that the head is behind your teeth12. Close lips around torch to smother13. Remove torch, breathe and smile, you just did it!
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Another important note, and a disclaimer....***Don't inhale when the fire is in your mouth, not even through your nose. It will result in crispy nostrils, sinuses and possibly lungs.***I know I have mentioned that I do some inhaling tricks with the fire, and I think some of you have seen it (NYC, Nomad, Peregrine???). It is not safe. It is very stupid. I admit it. I have also been doing this awhile. Just don't try it....And if you do try it, or fire eating in general, I am by no means the master/mistress, nor am I the end all beat all expert. I will not be responsible for any injuries. I am merely supplying suggestions to help you not get burned!
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That being said...Everyone light their torches!
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Hope this helps------------------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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phuzzz


member
Location: saltspring island, bc , kanada

Total posts: 160
Posted:wow that was easy...any ideasabout incorpoating theminto a routine....(without giving away any secrets of course) ican do the trick.just need to work on style and presentation

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Well, that is kind-of like saying "teach me your style of poi". There are so many presentations to choose from, from the absurd (I know of a guy who lays off the end of the stage and does this for no apparent reason) to just going for it.Combining trailing with eating is very popular. "Eating" from fire fingers is another thing.It also depends on the show. Yesterday I had a small stage and music, so talking to the audience was kind-of not there. Instead I resolved to sit on the edge of the stage and turn my fire eating section into a laid back thing. I pointed my torches at people and winked and such to get thier attention and went about my thing. That way everyone also had a really good view of it in my face, and not just the bottom of my chin.A couple of times I have really felt the groove of the music and did some dancing, accenting the dance with the fire eating pauses.Presentation of this is alot of reading the audience and putting yourself in their shoes..."What would I see if I were to witness a person eating fire over there, while s/he was standing like this..." blah, blah, blah. Make really good eye contact before and after as well. With some thought and practice, fire eating can be a very graceful thing and not just sticking a flaming stick in your mouth.If you can talk to the audience, do that. Banter and make jokes and stuff. Hold thier attention while playing with the torches, as if it is no big deal. Charm them.At least those are my insights/perspectives.Happy (non-flesh) burnings!------------------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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phuzzz


member
Location: saltspring island, bc , kanada

Total posts: 160
Posted:just thought i'd mention that i did my first show including fire eating. i lit my fire eating torch and held it in my teeth while i lit my staff off of it, held my staff with one hand and ate the flame off the torch and did m spinney thing. New favorite crowd saying: "That guys CRAZY! I've never seen marshmellows that big!" -4yearold jasper.

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Charly


member
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Total posts: 68
Posted:Ever try eating fire in high wind?We did a show once where the wind was so heavy we didn't even have to tip our heads back to eat fire!Yes, completely vertical fire eating! It was totally surreal.I've lost my share of nose hair from fire eating in the wind, but nothing life-threatening. It can be done. But I wouldn't recommend it to beginners!Thanks for all your descriptions, Pele. ~*Charly*~www.cabiri.org

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Charly....LOL....it's that the worst/strangest? Have you ever had the wind be so strong that it made your torch *seem* to go out? And then out of nowhere...surprise! It flares up on you! I have to agree it is not for beginners nor for the faint of heart to attempt anything in high winds. I admit though there have been a couple of times when I just forewent eating and went straight to breathing thanks to the wind. Sometimes, it is just not worth the risk! Made me laugh going down memory lane...do you realize how silly we mut look bending around the whipping fire to get the bet angle?? *g*------------------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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melissa
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

member
Location: madagascar, USA

Total posts: 156
Posted:hmm...fire eating. i've been thinking about taking it up again but it has been a long time since i did it last (i learned at a summer camp when i was 15) i remember the basic procedure but i have a few quicky questions:1. is it good to coat your mouth/lips with anything to avoid burns/fuel absorption?2. for fuel is it ok to use white gas if you are doing a fire transfer routine? 3. if you have a goatee (no i'm not a bearded lady but my male friends were curious) can you glob on something to prevent your whiskers from being torched? ok, that's it for my ponderings. -melissa

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Nyx


enthusiast
Location: NorCal

Total posts: 385
Posted:okay so i've been doing some thread searching because i've decided to take the plunge and learn fire eating, then firebreathing. I now have a question that I haven't seen addressed...
Say you want to use your torches to blow a fireball, then when you're done with that part of the act you want to eat the fire to put them out and move on to something else...well, you've just had lamp oil in your mouth so what happens when you try to eat the torch? Any advice? I was thinking that this might be the way to do the trick where you eat one torch, hold the flame in your mouth and immediately light another torch off it. Saw that in a circus and i want to learn it! Pele? anyone? please?
thanks!


"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals"

~Charles Baudelaire

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swiftythefireguy


member
Location: abbotsford , bc canada

Total posts: 61
Posted:wow i bet that wasn't band camp sounds like fun think ill give it a whirl

hey melissa im just across the line if you want to spin in time!


dont ever ask me whta time it is ?where are we? or are we there yet? because the time is now!we here !and we wil never be there !

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aimeceleste


member
Location: Seattle

Total posts: 19
Posted:Okay, the one where you light a torch off of the breath you hold in your mouth is called dragon's breath. What you do, and this only seems to work with lighter fluid (ronsonal, zippo, may also be called naptha for those out of the us but don't quote me on that!), is take both torches, dip and shake them, light one however you want, and A: eat the lit one without blowing it out (just holding it in your mouth with your lips almost completely closed - but don't burn your lips!) open and take the torch out, then blow. All you're really doing is holding your breath then blowing. If you blow onto the fuel-soaked but not lit one, you have a good chance of lighting it.
B: you take the unlit torch, sort of smear it on your tongue, remove, tap the lit one on your tongue thereby lighting the fuel you have on your tongue, and (this is a much smaller flame than dragonsbreath, so it might not work as well) try to light the unlit torch.

Good luck.


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Nyx


enthusiast
Location: NorCal

Total posts: 385
Posted:ahhhh...thank you
it really started driving me nuts after this total beginner did it the other night by accident and i still couldn'tfigure it out! funny cause i just started a new thread on the subject before i read this!


"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals"

~Charles Baudelaire

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CircusFire


member
Location: Fl, USA

Total posts: 2
Posted:...BE CAREFULL..:)

...thy rod, thy staff, they comfort me...

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Dragon's Breath is actually used to described the act of holding the ignited fumes from a torch in your mouth and then releasing it. This is done by using white gas, naphtha, or "lighter fluid" due to the low flashpoint of the fuel. Light your torch and place it in your mouth. Shape your lips into a tight circular shape to hold the fumes. Remove the torch while holding the fumes in your mouth. When you are ready to let them out, simply open your mouth. Be mindful that the fumes are burning and are very hot. If you have another torch or your original one has gone out, it can be ignited from this.

Lighting your tongue is easier but less dramatic.
Simply use a torch that is not fully shaken of excess fuel and swipe it across your tongue, you can do this lit or if you choose to use an unlit torch, then light the fuel residue on your tongue from another torch. This is a form of trailing/pooling.

You can also soak a cottonball in fuel, put it on your tongue and light it. Same concept, different approach.

I want to make you aware however, that doing any of these tricks is very dangerous. Not only can you damage your pallette and your mouth but also your sinus cavity (nose, eyes, etc.), throat and such. When using torches that are not fully shaken of excess remember to not fling them around and that if you hold them up, fuel can and will run down, this can (and has) caused burns to arms and chests. Please practice unlit to get the smoothness of the motions down and use extreme caution and care when finally lighting up.
Hope this helps.


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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Sailor25


member
Location: New Orleans

Total posts: 16
Posted:A good introduction by one of the best fire-eaters out there can be found at Mephisto's home page He has been performing for over 30 years, and has a lot of good tips ranging from different types of fuel, to techniques.

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