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Forums > Social Discussion > Two y.o. Burned at Ren Faire

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:http://www.nbc4.com/news/5132861/detail.html
br>
I am already in an aggrivated state today.
I have ZERO tolerance for performers who somehow think it is okay to light an audience member on fire.
I have less tolerance for audience members who go along with it.
And I am downright disgusted by performers who think it is alright to fling wet, flaming torches around thisclose to children.

I also found out that because I am up for 13 weeks of performing at a couple of Ren's next year that if my contract is cancelled because of these idiots, and fear of this based on them, that I can sue them for impeding my job. Huh.

I hope they are blackballed.
Irresponsible idiots. mad


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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Fine_Rabid_Dog


Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...

Total posts: 10530
Posted:frown

The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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Ry
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 4496
Posted:Written by: Pele

I have ZERO tolerance for performers who somehow think it is okay to light an audience member on fire.
I have less tolerance for audience members who go along with it.




I'm not sure how you could have less tolerance for the audience member who decided to go along with it Pele.. I think audiences by and by have been conditioned to go along with the flow and be taken for a ride by the performer. The interactive performer plans a course of action and the 'knows' what the outcome is, and hence has a duty of care; the audience often goes in blind. Like if a magician says he's going to saw you in half, you don't expect he means it, and cowering off stage people would have more sympathy for the magician than you..

That being said. I think it's an utter disgrace for a performer, well not even a performer, for anyone to have done what that performer did. He/she deserves to be jobless for that degree of recklessness.


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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:Im saying many times, responsibility and discipline.

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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DragonFury
BRONZE Member since Mar 2005

Draco Iracundia
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 784
Posted:Poor kid.
what would the liquid on his head of been? should the wand of been dripping in liquid?


Do we sleep when we die?

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth, Australia

Total posts: 5814
Posted:People often lack commonsense. If a performer comes up most ppl assume its safe. As would any person in your audience. People dont ask about the background safety.

This is stupidity by the performers, I dont understand what fuel they were using either. I also dont uderstand how people let some random beach vendor put black henna on their kids.

Its incidences like this that give the responsible fire performers a bad name. Accidents can happen, equipment failure can happen but blatant stupidity is inexcusable.


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

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Ry, I am an interactive performer. I was trained as such, now I train interactive performers. One of the first things we learn/teach is that we do not compromise the health and safety of the audience in such a manner because they are trusting.

BUT even a willing audience member should have thought twice about having their head set on fire. There is a common sense, a survival sense, that seemed missing from this man. There are things we know are illusions, and then there is fire.

The liquid could have been anything we see used. White Gas or Naphtha derrivitive. Rubbing alcohol, even ethyl alcohol. Enough of any kind of fuel can be soaked into a wick to make it drip. I have seen excess fuel on torches cause some pretty bad stuff before, so that is not uncommon. It is not the fuel choice I care about, any fuel with flaming drops would have burned this little girl...it is the disgusting amount of irresponsibility that went into this "performance".

I also want to say that this is not the first time I've heard, or known, a performer to light an audience member on fire on purpose. But this is the best of example of what can happen.

I also have to say that I am disgusted by the faire for not responding, though I am sure attorneys told them not to. I hope that troupe gets fired. They have put many of us here in the US in a horrible predicament. I also love their choice of victims, anyone else notice that the mother of the burn victim is a lawyer?
Niiiiiiiice.

And a friend pointed out that this kept being labelled as an accident. They knowingly lit his head on fire, that is not an accident...that was very intentional, and stupid.

Okay...ranting over.....I think.;)


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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KaelGotRice
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

Total posts: 1584
Posted:mmm just wait, even stricter fire laws to come in the US, as if there weren't enough already.

To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Audiences are incredibly vulnerable in these situations; I believe most members of the public, if brought up on stage and told that they were going to have their head set on fire would go along with it, as-



1. they assume there's either some kind of trick, or that the performer knows what they're doing, and that it's safe



2. on stage, in front of everyone, few people would back out, through fear of appearing to be 'spoilsports'- once you're up there (on stage, in full public view), for most people, the factors mentioned in 1 above, would tend to overrule the possibility that the trick could go wrong.



Of course, this is standard knowledge for many performers- they know once they get a 'volunteer' they can transgress all normal boundaries that would ordinarily prevent people making fools of themselves.



Recently, in the UK, was a report on a poor girl who'd gone, with her family, to one of the Thailand 'elephant shows'.



These are common tourist attractions; unfortunately, one of the elephants ran amok, and crushed her with its tusks- she died later.



It's easy to think, on reflection, that going to a live elephant show with only a flimsy fence between the elephants and audience; is a little stupid.



However, people just assume that its going to be safe; and understandly so.



I know a few old-style juggler performers who've worked in improvised situations, street shows etc; most have a story or two about near-misses with audience members, some involving fire-clubs.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Ry
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 4496
Posted:Pele, I understand that because of your experience and background, you may have a different perspective to my own. I respectfully disagree and for reasons already stated, have a point of view similar to Dave's. Good post Dave.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:also bear in mind that the only source of this story so far is the local newspaper who seem to have interviewed just the family that were involved.

an account from the festival organisers or, even better, the performers would be beneficial, if only to explain what the hell was going on with that act in the first place.

i've personally never heard of *any* act where part of it involves intentionally dousing an audience member's head with an inflammable liquid and setting it on fire...


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: coleman

i've personally never heard of *any* act where part of it involves intentionally dousing an audience member's head with an inflammable liquid and setting it on fire...


cole. x



Then talk to Knagi. rolleyes I stopped talking with him for a month because I was so pissed when he did it.

I know people who performed at the faire. They said it wasn't even on a stage. It was a "street bit".

Public statements by the organizers and by the performers are being doused by their attorneys, according to a friend who works for MRF.


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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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:o.O This is totally bogus.

If you really need somebody else to light on fire, at least make it your own family members.

I'm inclined to agree with Ry and OWD. When a magician offers to chop your finger off, you let him because obviously that's part of his act and you can't possibly come to any harm. It's no different with fire, in the minds of the unenlightened.


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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JayKitty
GOLD Member since Nov 2004

JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey, USA

Total posts: 534
Posted:I forget who it is but I know of one performer who sets his pants on fire. It's a more controled thing. When playing with fire there's always going to be to mant variables to be completley safe. I watched you interview Pele (very nice btw) you did everything right and something still went wrong. Fire should not be taken lightly.

Don't mind me, just passing through.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Written by: Ampersand

o.O This is totally bogus.



Do you mean as in it is a false report, that it didn't really happen? It's a pretty strange thing to make up isn't it?


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Kieron
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Member
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 232
Posted:I think you missed some of Pele's interview. She repeatedly and clearly states what she did wrong.



Things can still go wrong even when you do everything right, theres an inherenet risk in everything we do but you do everything within reason to minimise that risk. If you choose to take risks that cross the line you don't involve others who have no understanding of what your doing. Fire breathing in my opinion is one of those things where the risks and hazards far outweigh its value as a performance, however its the performers choice providing there safe about it (even then things still go wrong). Although even then its not just they who get hurt its their friends, family and audience who are all effected if something goes wrong.



Also I agree with what has been said about audiences, there'll always be someone who'll agree however stupid the act as they trust the performers as all-knowing, perfect people. So its the performers responsibility. It also bugs be that there stupidity damages others performers like Pele and co who are responsible performers.

EDITED_BY: Kieron (1130320444)


"I'm quite good at darts, though i often miss" - Kylie

"I'm not a bad driver, I just panic when theres other cars around" - Sarah

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I'm a bit confused.. Pele's interview? what interview? Is there a link to it?

What could Pele do 'wrong' in this situation? It wasn't her who did this setting people on fire act was it? Assuming it happened and isn't 'bogus' ie a false report anyway?

And..

Written by: Gnor

I also dont uderstand how people let some random beach vendor put black henna on their kids.


What is black henna and what is wrong with it?


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Drudwyn


Drudwyn

Forget puppy power, Scrappy's just gay
Location: Southampton Uni

Total posts: 632
Posted:Gabe, Pele's interview had to do with a much earlier accident invloving a backburn. Jay was merely saying that even if you take lots of precautions, things can still go tits up. It had nothing to do with this incident at RF.

Bogus was used with the meaning 'unbelievable' rather than false.

I hope that clears things up Gabe.

I'm not up to speed on all things Henna, so you'll have to google it I think... :P


Spin, bounce, be one with the world, because it is yours to enjoy...

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:There's also a thread on it around somewhere, I can't search at the moment but it seems other people can so I'd recommend that. But they put dyes in it and such often, is part of the problem. Might want to consider deleting the first post as well since you duplicated it.

Sorry, not getting involved in the actual topic here *bows*

I am a bit surprised at Knaggi tho, he was always very harsh on people who wern't up on fire safety back when I knew talked to him frequently.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Kyrian, I worked with Knagi for years to get him to come down to a safe zone. He was a very "do as I say" person, whom I adore btw, but it got him in trouble a couple of times.

Black Henna, without additives, has a chemical in it which most people are allergic to. It will cause anything from mild irritation to having your skin completely split open or become infected. It is a pretty nasty thing to take a chance with.

What I did wrong was lose some of my respect and allow someone to push my pride button. All steps of physical safety were covered many times, all the steps were taken twice, for my accident. These "performers" seemed to have no respect for their audience or themselves, let alone fail in the safety area. That is tragic.

I am on a yahoogroup for professional fire eaters and there is also the belief (and we have seen it happen) that Ren Faires, and other festivals, are regarding fire performers as being "a dime a dozen" (which is true, I have even been told that) so instead of looking at safety standards and the actual skill level of the performers, they are taking the lowest bidder instead.

This is true. I have heard it from ent. directors. I have been bumped because of it . I know people who have worked faires for years who were replaced with horrible amatuers when their price was deemed too high.
So then, how much of the responsibility of this incedent would you place on the Faire for hiring someone substandard and not knowing what these people would do?

I think it is a double edged sword and I think that while such events hire multitudes of performers and they can not really know everything that each is going to do, I do feel it is their responsibility for those who have acts which are more dangerous to the audience to find out what is entailed and all the precautions taken, etc.
Any thoughts on that?


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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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:A agreee that its "Double edged sword". Its playing with fire and its allways double edged.

But its not their responsibility at all. They shoud know basics about what you do. They are responsible to give what you ask for the performing. They want to be sure everything will pass ok without problems and do what you ask for, but the main responsibility is at you cause you know how to work with fire and you will show it the best way you can

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:first of all: black henna is NOT henna.



pele, i agree - it is indeed the fault of entertainment directors being too scrooge-like.



it makes so little sense that they would consider cutting corners on something like fire performance in a street performance/walkabout scenario.



but as richee says, it is very hard for them to know how to tell the difference between a professional fire performance group and an amatuer one.



its a tricky problem to tackle but could be resolved by having a self-regulating body for fire artists that sets minimum standards for safety and performance conditions...



a group named NAFAA have made a commendable start on this and i think the idea should be embraced in north america and also emulated in europe and australasia (where fire arts are becoming more popular with every passing year).





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Good Black Henna link Cole, thanks.

I'd tend to side with OWD because of the reasons he states, AND:

Most people do not juggle, breathe or eat fire. Therefore they are not aware of all the safety precautions required. They don't know about "Safeties", MSDS or types of fuel. If someone is giving a show, then I assume they know what they are doing. If I go to a fireworks display, I don't expect them to be pointing at the audience.

How are MoPpers (sorry, I love that phrase. Trans: Members of Public) supposed to be able to tell the difference between skilled people and amateurs? *I* spin fire and thought I was pretty good until I saw people at Falmouth. I was wrong. More to the point, MoPpers won't know the circumstances surrounding the hiring of fire performers.

It's like Ampersand, if someone seriously asks to chop your finger off as part of an act, you don't expect to have an amputation for life. Otherwise magicians would never get volunteers. The whole *point* is that the performer asks a MoP to do something that *appears* stupidly risky. That's why it's entertaining.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Kieron
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Member
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 232
Posted:First responsibility is with the performers.

Second with the organisers

Third with MoPers



The performers are the specialists, or supposed to be, they should understand what there doing and act responsibly.



The organisers should at least research the acts there hiring and insure very obvious things like not setting the audience on fire don't happen but they can't know everything about every type of act they hire. In some ways there as ignorant as a MoPer and just ticking off a box that says fire performers with the cheapest available.



MoPers will trust the above two in almost all cases unless they have greater then normal understanding of the act. I.e I doubt a HoPer in an audience would agree to put on a kevlar suit, soak it in paraffin and light it but i wouldn't be suprised if a MoPer wouldn't just belief "kevlar, stops bullets. Must be fire proof or they wouldn't be telling me to do this."



Doing this in such proximity to the crowd, and the parent letting fire be so close to his kid (also would have been just as stupid if he'd gone further and left his kid unattended if its a large crowd) makes me doubt natural selection works in modern society.



At least thats how I see things from my entirely inexperienced point of view.

EDITED_BY: Kieron (1130368512)


"I'm quite good at darts, though i often miss" - Kylie

"I'm not a bad driver, I just panic when theres other cars around" - Sarah

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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:Written by: newgabe

Written by: Ampersand

o.O This is totally bogus.



Do you mean as in it is a false report, that it didn't really happen? It's a pretty strange thing to make up isn't it?



No, I mean the situation is bogus. It's weird and wrong. I'm not questioning the validity of the article.


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:The problem with putting the responsibility on the performers, is that not all performers are competent.

They should understand the safety aspects better than almost anyone else, and the good ones do; but anyone can set themselves up as a performer (and they do).

This is especially the case with the rise in popularity of poi/staff/fire arts- individuals with a few weeks spinning experience are getting gigs because they're happy to spin for free entrance and a few free beers.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:But this is temporary increase.

I say.



"Only the best stay."



:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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Kieron
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Member
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 232
Posted:The same can be said about the organisers, you don't not place responsibility on people just because there incompetent but shouldn't be.

If I built you a house you'd hold me responsible when it collapsed on you. Just because i'd be an incompetent builder doesn't mean its not my responsibility for being so.

Then its also your responsibility for being incompetent at hiring someone who knows anything about building. Organisers are just as likely to be incompetent.


"I'm quite good at darts, though i often miss" - Kylie

"I'm not a bad driver, I just panic when theres other cars around" - Sarah

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Ok- if a performer burns an audience member by doing something stupid, then obviously they're responsible; I accept that fully.



What I was talking about was more to do with envisaged solutions to the problem that, occasionaly, audience members get hurt by stupidity.



Where that is concerned, I'm pointing out that leaving it the hands of the performers is flawed because some of the performers are going to be incompetent.



That doesn't mean that it's not going to be one of the factors in an effective solution; just that its not going to be the only one.



It needs responsibility from the performers, and, just as important, an attitude change from the organisers.



Organisers often do not understand the dangers of badly run fire arts displays- much as it is wrong (IMO) for new performers to do gigs for free entrance and beer; equally, its the fault of the organisers for offering it in the first place (in the UK, this happens a lot).



Then again, it would help if 'performers' didn't do gigs for beer (or for lowlevels of pay) in the first place- its kind of a viscious circle isn't it?



If this is like most things however, it will all be talk, until sufficient incidents occur and a few people get sued..


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Kieron
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Member
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 232
Posted:I see no problem with "performers" doing gigs for free entrance and beer (providing the latter comes after the performance). If people enjoy performing then its there choice do do so at whatever price they wish providing they do it properly and safely. To me it'd just be another excuse for a spin.



The vital part is "providing they do it properly and safely"

EDITED_BY: Kieron (1130413221)


"I'm quite good at darts, though i often miss" - Kylie

"I'm not a bad driver, I just panic when theres other cars around" - Sarah

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:Written by:

onewheeldave

"if a performer burns an audience member by doing something stupid"




Than he realized it as well as organizer. In fact it is not doing something stupid, it can happen to profesional too. It is because
with fire and as was written before its double edged sword.

"You are about the play the best way you can."

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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Page: 12

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