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

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:http://www.nbc4.com/news/5132861/detail.html
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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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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Cole, NAFAA is a really poor example. They have been around for years and have done virtually nothing they have set out to do. They are as much a help to me getting a gig as someone working construction on my street.

In concept, yes, but that organization would have to be known by event organizers and local fire authorities in order to have any credibility.

I found that several of the faires my friends work at waived having liability insurance for some of the performers as long as they only had to pay them a stipend. It seems that the higher you are paid, the more they expect. So, in essence, they knew they were getting crap and were okay with it.

In my mind that puts the entertainment directors back into line for responsibility.

When I run an event *everyone* needs to have g.l. insurance, even the musicians. And the events I have worked have always asked me for mine, and if they didn't, I questionned them about it.

Cheap arses!


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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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Concerning spinning for beer and free entrance- you're right, it is indeed down to the choice of the performer and the organisers.

Nevertheless, there are issues-

1. Many people who spin for free are neither professional nor insured- it could literally be a kid down the road who's been spinning for a fortnight and has no conception of safety

2. It devalues the industry- if people are willing to spin for a 1/10 of the rate a professional (who has to cover their insurance, cost of proper safety equipment and earn suffucuent money per gig to cover the cost of running a proper business) then many organisers will go for the cheap option

3. beer and fire safety do not mix- certainly, in years gone by, when I was busking fire, I would often by approached by nightclub organisers who seemed to think I'd be up for juggling fire for free admittance, and drinks while performing. That sums up both their attitude to performers, and their common sense where fire is concerned.

Now I'm not going to necessarily side with the professionals on this, and say that spinning for free is just plain wrong- there are valid considerations from the other side.

I'm just pointing out that it's not clear cut- if you perform for beer/free entry/cheap etc, it affects the industry, it makes it harder for comitted professionals to get work, and, most relevant to this thread, it also, IMO, contributes to the awful safety problems that plague the fire arts.

Not all 'professionals' necessarily have an appropriate understanding of safety, but it's considerably more likely, that they will have more than a relative newbie.

When (note that its not 'if') an audience member is killed or horribly maimed by someone who the media call a 'fire performer'; then, in all likelihood, that's it for the industry (ie the fire community ie us).

It's then likely to be too late for the industry to regulate itself- that will be done by government officials and their representatives- who are not known for making a particularly good job of regulating industries they don't understand.

IMO, if you've got an organiser who thinks fire performers are up for performing for free entrance to there club, and be bunged some alcohol while performing; then that organiser needs putting straight on a few things.

If a 'performer' is happy to comply with that offer, then so be it- it's their choice.

What they cannot do, is to go along with that, without adversley affecting the industry as a whole, without making it harder for professional spinners to make a living, and without contributing to safety issues.

IMO, anyway.

(I appreciate of course, that some who perform for free, do so responsibly, and may even leave the booze till after the performance (though, in my experience, many don't)- I'm just trying to make a point concerning organisers attitudes to this).


"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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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Those are great points Dave, and as well all know, I think hell has a special place for undercutters and underbidders in it, as do many pros that I know.

And the term professional does not always equate to perfect safety. It should, but the sad reality is that it does not. It seems all someone has to do is label themselves as pro, and have someone believe them. That is sad indeed.
I also find that many event organizers do not check my references. I give them a sheet of them, but rarely do they check. I would prefer that they do in all honesty. Then again, I show up with a full out burn plan and one of my references is the Fire Marshal in charge of Pyrotechnics for all of Manhattan, so that might be part of it, but they don't know if I just slapped the name on the list, you know?

And quite frankly, a professional should never have booze as part of their contract or payment. That is completely unprofessional. If you are truly a professional you tend to get offered a drink afterward anyway. "Will spin for beer" is the advertising of someone highly desperate imo.

Do I perform for free? In a way, yes. For specific charities only. Then I will draw them up a bill, and instead of paying me outright, I have the fee returned to them as a donation, so then I get the tax break and they KNOW that they are getting a service that is worth something.

But these performers were paid and "professional", so that is neither here nor there.

And I don't care how trusting the audience is, there are lines that do not get crossed...and lighting a MoP on fire is one of them.


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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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:Written by: Pele

Cole, NAFAA is a really poor example. They have been around for years and have done virtually nothing they have set out to do.

...

In concept, yes, but that organization would have to be known by event organizers and local fire authorities in order to have any credibility.



that's a shame frown

i think what an organisation like that needs is experienced fire performers that are willing to act as representatives in their area.

i.e. a self-regulated governing body that sets minumums for fire performance standards.

the only way a group like NAFAA will become known to event organisors and local fire authorities is if it is supported and pushed by established (and more importantly, safety concious) poerformers and acts.

however, with no immediate return and a fair bit of work required to help it become recognised, it doesn't seem to be something many performers deem worthy of supporting.


personally, i think that without something like NAFAA, we are destined to go on forever with no-where to point event directors to to help them make more informed choices when hiring fire performers shrug


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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Richee
HOP librarian
Location: Prague
Member Since: 15th Jan 2002
Total posts: 1841
Posted:I heard about permision doing street performance, available if France and UK.



In fact is there some certificate to confirm our performance ability?



:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

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




Rimmer: What kind of a plan was that?
Cat: A stupid plan- that's what kind of plan it was..
Lister: Well why didn't we stop him?
Rimmer: We thought he had something up his sleeve!
Cat: Yeah.. now we got Queeg forever.. and that's a long time.

- Red Dwarf Season 2 Episode 5 wink


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