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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:i'm pretty good with my poi... not great, but ok...

i can do:
3/5bt weave fwd&rv
butterfly fwd/rv, behind head
mexican wave
corkscrews/windmills
basic wraps (no double suicides or anything)

and what i'm wondering is this: when I move to panama city, florida in 2 weeks, should I try to get a job as a fire dancer? there's this place called Miracle Strip that's a pretty bumpin amusement park, and they're adding some polynesian shows with fire starting the 21st, and I wanted to know if I should try to get in.

I know i could use more experience, i've only been doing this for 3 months, but i figure it'd be a fun distraction from working at wal-mart.

anybody's experience with fire dancing for a living would be appreciated weavesmiley

(oh, and if you live in or near Panama City, Florida, stop by the 23rd street wal-mart on the 1st and say hi. i'll be the really shaggy lookin guy who hasn't slept on the 50 hour drive from california to florida ubbloco)


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Let me ask you this.

Do you have a head shot and a promo packet?
A routine?
Insurance?
Your safety packet complete with MSDS and all of the necessary tools?
A resume with performance based references?

At least those are what I would ask, before the audition even started.
And those are the mild questions I have been asked by producers.

Other questions...can you do any of this stuff behind your back?
Are you able to do choreographed dance moves or acrobatics while spinning?
What do you do other than poi?

Amusement parks are really hard to get into as a performer, and have strict requirements. However, it is not always what you can do with the poi but what you can do with your body and with an audience.

What can you do with an audience?

Think about these and if you can give positive, professional answers...then give it a try.
If you can't answer yes to the first 5 questions, then you have some work to do.

Kindest Regards,
Pele


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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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:thanks pele!

now i know what to look foward to and what I need to work on =]


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:Quote:


Do you have a head shot




I thought this was a family board?

wink


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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:I love the way your mind works Jon biggrin

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:The world wouldnt be half as interesting or colourful to me if it didnt.

biggrin



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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:as pele said, it isn't neccisarily what you can do with the poi, but what you can do with the audience. most spinners spin for themselves, and unless they have some fantastic tricks, that gets a little dull for an audience after a while - especially if they have seen fire performers before.



No offence, but there are literally thousands of people in the states alone and almost certainly tens of thousands world wide who can do poi at the level you state. You need something that takes it over the top these days.



As a former member of a performance troup that was vaguely succesful for a while (made some money - not enough to live on - and had a couple TV spots), I can tell you that it ain't easy in a lot of ways. I respect the hell out of Pele for being able to pull it off after getting a real (if smallish) taste of it.



Street performers doing fire arts here in Berlin can actually make just about enough money to get them thru a year during the half year the weather is actually good enough for them to busk. But no one is asking them to get permits or have insurance here either, unlike in most places in the states.



It's a fun dream, and I played with it for a while too, but if you ae going to be successful with it, you really are going to have to commit more time to practicing and putting stuff together than most people spend at regular jobs - and in the end, regular jobs pay a lot more after you figure in the amount of time you spend at each. Sure you get what seems like a lot of money for a 30 minute performance, but it is only after a while you start to realize that, once you figure in all the time you put into rehearsing and all the money you put into props and costumes and wicks and insurance and other stuff, you are really getting paid not much at all.



In the end, I decided that I like fire spinning too much to try to make a living from it. For me, it inevitably tuns out that anything I HAVE to do to as my job is something I wind up not enjoying so much in the end. I didn't want that to happen with my passion for fire arts.



Good luck if you want to go for it, but just be aware that it is a lot more difficult in reality than it seems at first glance. You are going to have to put a LOT of effort into it for a LONG time before it really starts to pay off to any degree worth mentioning if you want to do anything besides simple private gigs on shady grounds of not having insurance and such (and in many areas the market is flooded with people who can only get their act together to go that far).


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:I toyed with idea for a long while (still do smile ) but came to this conclusion:
Whilst I think I *could* do it - set up a group and make a living off of it - it would take a lot of time and capital to get a pro group of the ground - neither of which I have in abundance at the moment.

So I think I've resigned myself to a semi-professional level - doing festivals, private parties, night clubs etc at weekends and in evenings around a "proper" job - It still takes a lot of effort (especially the choreography) and time, plus some initial financial outlay - but I find it nice to have a hobby which is a little side earner rather than turning something I love into a full-time job

smile


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
It's a fun dream, and I played with it for a while too, but if you ae going to be successful with it, you really are going to have to commit more time to practicing and putting stuff together than most people spend at regular jobs - and in the end, regular jobs pay a lot more after you figure in the amount of time you spend at each. Sure you get what seems like a lot of money for a 30 minute performance, but it is only after a while you start to realize that, once you figure in all the time you put into rehearsing and all the money you put into props and costumes and wicks and insurance and other stuff, you are really getting paid not much at all.

In the end, I decided that I like fire spinning too much to try to make a living from it. For me, it inevitably tuns out that anything I HAVE to do to as my job is something I wind up not enjoying so much in the end. I didn't want that to happen with my passion for fire arts.





Two fantastic points the Vanize brought up (thank you Vanize), which made me think of one more.

First, this is not my hobby, this is my job. I do not spin just for fun anymore, ever. I spend so much time choreographing and figuring things out that when I am just hanging I don't want to do it. Just as if you did data entry all day, everyday, do you want to come home to do it? I love it, don't get me wrong, but alot of people have thought that I am stuck-up or snooty because I simply don't spin at meets and gatherings as it is my only chance to just sit and watch...and even then I analyse.

Next, I don't do just poi. Poi alone will get you just about nowhere. I do staff, fans, jump rope, umbrella, long poi, short poi, devil sticks, eating, trailing and painting....and that is the short list of fire stuff as I know I am forgetting lots. I also do sideshow stunts (bed of nails, dance on broken glass, human blockhead, mental floss, etc....). I am a professional dancer of several forms of Bellydance, Hula and Burlesque...which I travel around the country and teach, as well as teaching out of a studio locally (like a normal job). I am an event co-ordinator. I travel nationally to groups who hire me to come and consult on their shows, train them to be better showmen and safer performance artists. I also write freelance. My LIFE is performing. And if you talk to **any** succesful performance artist, they will tell you the same. We eat, breathe, sleep this stuff, and even then it does not seem like enough. Most I know are not as, well, exhuberant wink as I am about it but to be succesful you have to be.
And none of this mentions any of the business end of what it takes.

When it comes down to it, Vanize is right as well about the money. Almost every waking hour I put into my performing. Tools, choreography, costumes, business, etc.
I know that if I tallied up the last 6 years using a "normal" hourly rate to figure it all out, I would be making next to nothing, and probably have lost money, overall.

And of course there is the issue of, if you get ill/injured, there goes your livelihood (this I learned the hard way, but it definately did wonders for me over the past two years). What do you do then? What is your contingency plan?

Though this is more speaking to a general "you" instead of you directly thor. Amusement parks are different because they are so regulated, but you still need to have you shtuff together to get in.

And John, you can email your head shot to me if it is not family friendly! wink

Kindest Regards,
Pele

There are sooooo many things to concider


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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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Uh oh... I feel some bluntness coming on. I'll apologize in advance for my comments below but be warned.

If you DO decide to be a fire dancer for a living..... I support you. I wish you well. I'll pay to see you if you're in my hood or I'm in yours. But I will say one thing....

Don't whine about it if it doesn't work out.

Now hear me out. I'm not trying to be mean, just realistic.

There AREN'T hundreds of thousands of employers looking for qualified firespinners the same way they are for... lets say High School Science teachers, or truck drivers, or waitresses, or accountants. You're going to have to MAKE yourself marketable and compete for jobs that don't even exist yet.

I spent 5 years in school and got three degrees to make myself marketable and it seriously urks me when some "artist" (as in not a real artist but someone claiming to be) decides that they want to suddenly make a million dollars in their art and then... "Waaaaahh! It's not working! Nobody is hiring me! Why is society so unfair!"

If you are looking to have a secure job, make consistant money and have a stable career, there are many MANY jobs out there that will allow you that. Firespinning is not one of them.

If you're cool with that, then go for it! biggrin


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:Quote:
If you are looking to have a secure job, make consistant money and have a stable career, there are many MANY jobs out there that will allow you that. Firespinning is not one of them.




eek

all of the above(pele hug, NYC hugVan hug)

but don't be disheartened. go and practise loads. work out why you want to do it. work out what you want from it. and then ask the same question again.

enjoy

R smile


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:maybe i'll just dance on the beach and leave a donations hat beside me ;]

Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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originalsmit
SILVER Member since Aug 2003

originalsmit

addict
Location: nottingham, england. cornwall ...

Total posts: 469
Posted:yeah me and my mate owen had an audition one time and ... well the fire was secondary.
it was for medieval banquets in nottingham. at the tales of robin hood no less. it wasnt like wed gone serching for people to hire us it just happened and it ended up as a favour for a mate of a mate.
so we went along for the audition.
asked about insurance etc and they had fire performers every week and were well covered so that bit was ok.
this is after well only about 2 weeks but two thorough weeks of working out 2 person stuff to do. one person stuff.stunts tricks etc.
we even came up with a bit where we just suddenly stop. put down the toys etc, sit down on the fire and start rolling cigarettes and having a chat before jumping up in mock pain
i had some fire ropes which are good and hot and firey (if a little clumsy)
but really you need to be a stand up comedian who can make jokes, laugh get rapport put down hecklers etc who just happens to be good at spinning fire.
thats the main thing. you gotta be constantly chatting to the audience.
it was a good notion but... i just aint got it.... yet


my original signature was tooo long.
this one is shorter

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Why don't you get to a better level at everthing . (try doing something that no one else does or something special would help as well)

and use it as a second job ? Maybe . Pele , venzie , Nyc are spot on and Mr cat as always is speaking from experience here . Those tepooka nutter's eek.

Now excusie me i've got to go to my real job


that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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Lyra
SILVER Member since Feb 2004

spiny norman
Location: Cincinnati,damn it

Total posts: 314
Posted:its totally up to you, but dont count on the income to be enough, id say get another job, and supplemen it with poi busking/small job money, and hey if you get better and start to get well known in the area they might start coming to you. and hey, there may be thousands who can do poi, but its still fairly rare to the average onlooker>>>luv

if you think that our kiss was all in the lips, come on you got it all wrong man, and if you think that our dance was all in the hips then, oh well, do the twist -The White Stripes

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