• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 100.00 credit to your HoP account.
 

Forums > Social Chat > The fine line between "Good" and "Professional"...

Login/Join to Participate

NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I know that similar topics have been discussed but I'm sort of curious. I've never actually seen a professional fire show (strange but true).. well maybe I have. I mean I've seen lots of fire spinners/performers, and they get paid (heck, I've gotten paid)... but for some reason there seems to be a difference to me between what I do and have seen and a true professional with a product.

I think the next goal for me would be to work towards developing a specific product of fire performance. How does one make the shift from freestyle spinner to performer?

There are plenty of venues that I've been at where we've choreographed stuff and put acts together but it still had a large freestyle feel. Even if I had a set range of moves that I did, I don't think it would be an "act" as much as I'd like. There are some amazing spinners in New York but only a few that actually are developing a "show".

What are the specific differences between a really good freestyle spinner and a performer?


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

Delete Topic

PoiKing


member


Total posts: 23
Posted:ethics

The only people who count are the people who care.

Delete

spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I'd say a good performer (professional) would have to illicit some sort of response/reaction from the audience. I'd say interact with, but in this field that really isn't an option. One should be skilled at several different things and not just poi alone. Coreography is a must. Adding variety is a must also. Possibly a theme to go with the show and a costume to match?

[ 17. November 2002, 16:32: Message edited by: spritie ]


Delete

Surloch
SILVER Member since Dec 2001

member
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 64
Posted:Awareness of the audience. How they cope with downtime.

Those are the two biggest I can think of atm.


N mar a sltear a btear

“Things may not be as they seem to be”

Delete

Fire By Riz tm


member
Location: tampa fl usa

Total posts: 212
Posted:great topic Nyc
I know for me I have a different mind set when I perform what really helped me was watching my self on video sort of getting an eye on what the people watching see..I have seen fire perfomers
with much less skill than me present what they have to look like it is much better..

I think the differance betwen a freestyler and a performer is the permorer is more aware of what the audience sees not so much as in down time but as in when you are spinning or doing what ever it is you do..

I have found your arverage person has an attention span of about 1 min for fire unless they are pyros like us after that time all they see is fire going in a circle.. knowing that i know I have to build up what i do to keep thier interest. building it like a movie one second your on the edge of your seat then give them a second to process what they have seen.

I understand the devolping a fire product and running with it cause that is just what i did..
I do mostly fetish stuff with alot of fire tools i made ..keeping in mind my audience has a mind set of about a min i dont need to do alot of coreography of complex moves it is more of timing what I do to build up to that on the edge of your seat feeling and trying to have no downtime..

Picutre in your mind two stages with one guy on one stage doing a 96 beat weave til his wicks went out all of us would be watching that stage in awe teling him he was the king of Poi

but more than likely everyone else would be watching the other stage were someone was doing simple and clean moves.timed so that they wouldnt lose interest..
to me the key is the timing of knowing how to present what you have not the complexity of it.


I have been cursed with the imagination to envision it all

Delete

fireboy


An angry young man with a passon for metal
Location: Wagga Wagga, N.S.W, Australia

Total posts: 252
Posted:well come to think of it i saw a cirus once, and dad laughted at the fire twirller and how well *cough* he could firebreathe and eat. dad, mum and two other friends said he wasn't very good.
he just couldn't find his rythem and timing when it came to spinning but he is a fucking good juggler.


Fireboy

<<SINister miNISister>>
remeber kids jesus slaves

Delete

Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

Enter a "Title" here:
Location: San Diego California

Total posts: 2905
Posted:Quality above all is what I think seperates paid amatures and professionals.

Look at our star actors(actresses) and our "B" rated actors.

What makes em "B" and not stars? The quality of the show, their stage/screen performance, the way they conduct themselves while in the limelight.

Hmmm in retrospect there are a ton of things that could be listed to seperate pro from amature.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

Delete

Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:There's a huge list.
A professional performance acts performs, they're not just spinning in front of an audience. I've seen a group of people think they're 'performers' and all they did was come out and spin some stuff for a bit and wore cool clothes. Rather boring. It's not about spinning, because that in itself is dull after a minute.

Some of the things that can make a professional fire show are: co-ordination, great costumes, audience interaction, dance, story telling, music that relates to the performance, thought about what the audience is seeing, structure and variety throughout the show. A performer, along with everyone else in their group, thinks about all of these and knows that the fire element is just one small part of the performance.

I've seen professional fire shows that tell a story or develop characters without speech, hook the audience with suspense and surprise, mystify, enthrall and made me think "WOW!" in ten foot high neon letters!

So, I don't think there is a fine line between good and pro, I thinks there's a big border. Anyone out there thinking of going 'pro' then please remember that the level is very high and just getting a group together with some good spinners isn't enough.


Delete

Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Body Motion and Carriage gives your attitude and emotion. Be recognizeable but afterwards also be approachable. Move your body, not just your poi.

Eye COntact and facial expression. If it is a move you have to think about, don't do it.

Perform outwardly with your audience in mind. Do not close your eyes and go (as with many freestylers). Do not turn your back alot. 3 beat is the exact same look as a 5 beat to the layman. So do it.

Hold nothing more than 3 beats, if that. It becomes redundant.

Changes planes, angles and speeds.

Talk with the audience. Decide on your appraoch. Be funny, be sincere..just be there for them.

Understand that costumes don't need to be flashy but they need to show the performer. I learned this the hard way. Black and red blend, and are passe. Choose something that accents your movements and compliments the fire.

Be creative. There is nothing worse than any performer who does not own their own show. If you are going to have a character, be the character, own that persona. Imitation may be flattering but it is also boring.

Choose music appropriate to the audience. No matter how badly you like "F*&K Me" song, it prolly isn't appropriate to the school you will be presenting at.

Play, have fun. I hate watching performers who look like it is work. Who do not in some way speak to the audience.

A production piece is very involved. Do not skip on rehearsal or plotting times. Do not think you can get away without a mental shift from everyday NYC to performer NYC. There is a huge one that needs to take place. An attitude the commands eyes be on you, a charisma that makes people want to watch. I don't know how to teach that. Most true performers I know just have it.
Know your backdrop, create one. Set a mood with your staging and support it by everything else, costumes, music, dance style.

Freestyling is not bad in a performance piece, but allow for it.

If you choreograph, practice alot so that you don't get thrown. FOcus, Focus, Focus.

Know your music. All the beat changes and nuances, it really helps gel a show.

Think of effects, lighting, carpeting, scrims, gels, smokes, etc. Don't rely on darkness. I think that is a huge fire-ist mistake.

This one is important to me...variety. A real production piece is more than a 5 minute spin. Know who is coming on when and how. Have the lighting look smoothe. Do not put similar tools on one after another. Give your show a crescendo.
Really build the intensity for you and your audience. Don't use all of your moves in the first ten minutes. Reservation of presentation so that people wait for what is to come next.

Also, don't put too many people doing fire on stage at once, I would say no more than three or four. More than that is not impressive, it is hard on timing and it is painful to watch. It just looks like a flaming cluster.... A well choreographed piece is amazing, with people moving around each other, insyncronous on beat to the music. It can really have alot of emotion and power with the right music. More fire is not always better, sometimes it is just more fire, just like more poi is just more circles.

Mix mediums. Fire, led, glow...each are impressive in their own ways. Mix it up a bit for a dynamic.

Be diverse.
Be original.
Be energetic, really give everything you have to the show.
Love what you do and let that show.
MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!
Catch the audience with what you are doing, them keep them with you by having a strong character presence.
Keep it simple, clean and smoothe. Let it flow.

I also want to add that there is a big difference between the professional who can walk into an interview and know all of their shit. Really be able to answer any question about what you can offer, about what you do, about the fuels, the fire, safety, etc. Be able to rattle it off as if it is child's play. Know what contract points you are willing to negotiate, and how far you are willing to bend. Have a strong handshake and a sincere smile. Have your portfolio with you, copies of your safety standards, a base copy of your (reasonable and legal) contract. Make it known you will work with the company to the best of your ability. Have every confidence in what you present and what you represent. That is the tip of the business iceberg that most freestylers never seem to come near.


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

Delete

Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Sorry for the misspellings and such above, I am just to icky today to worry about it!
I have a great non-answer for you though NYC....

A performer puts on a show.
A freestyler shows off.

That is the difference!


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

Delete

FoxFire


member
Location: Texas, USA

Total posts: 90
Posted:quote:A performer puts on a show.
A freestyler shows off.Been trying to put into words that very same thought. I think that summed it up perfect. It also woulda saved ya a lot of typing, hehe. Lots of really good info to think about.

To add to that (which was probably brought up before, just too lazy to look it up), I think it would be that performer is there for the audience and not just for thimseves (the pro need to have fun doing it, though; otherwise, ya need to find another profession).


Deuteronomy 31:6
John 15:9
Luke 6:22

Delete

NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Nobody really brought it up, but wouldn't the venue dictate the performance also? Providing atmosphere at a club would be a different performance than being an opening act for an old age home benefit which would be different than one spinner at a fire event... Or does one develop a product, then sell that act?

And Ray, I'd agree, but it's not the "quality" of the spinner that separates it... it's the quality of all of the other factors that I'm trying to put my finger on.

And I'm not near ready. I just think if I truely want to improve down the road, I'll need to make that a goal. Even if I never "perform an act."

It's also putting yourself in "Joe Beerdrinker"s shoes. Which I have always found particularly difficult in reguards to firespinning. I think I've got a pretty good sense of what I look like in other areas of my life (teaching, presenting, etc.) but it's VERY hard for me to put myself in the audiences shoes when firespinning. I guess it's sort of like being a magician. Once you know how the trick works it's hard to imagine what it looks like to an onlooker.

I DO think there is merit to getting paid to freestyle as well. As long as you're calling it such. I know I'll take flack for that (old arguement) but I think if a promoter wants some people "spinning fire" they'll hire some. If they want a "fire show" that's someone different.


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

Delete

Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:NYC..the venue does dictate what the outcome of the show will be, but alot of the time they think the concept of the fire show will be cool and really have no idea what it is. I have run into that *alot*. I work with them, alot of discussion time and such, to figure out what is best for that particular venue, however I walk in with an extensive knowledge base in order to explain it all to them. Once educated, they are in a better position to tell you what they want.

There is also this to concider as a professional: sometimes freestyling is called for. It is a performance piece, a background effect for people to gaze at for a moment and continue on with their evening. A Show is something that in it's very nature commands attention. Both presentations can have the professional elements however. As a dancer we practice our freestyle abilities as well as choreographed routines. We know what music we respond to best. Even freestyle is not fully, per se.


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

Delete

Bendy


member
Location: Adelaide, SA, Australia

Total posts: 750
Posted:Well since a professional is spinning to make money, they need to entertain the audience. That doen't mean that he/she needs to "do the weave fast" , rather make it something that the audience wants to pay for.

For me it comes down to:
Freestyle - you twirl for yourself.
Professional - you twirl for the audience.

Both can be great fun and you may enjoy them both, or some people might prefer just one of the two.


Courage is the man who can stop after only one peanut

Delete