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Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
I thought I might share my greatest performance memories from my time as a performer with you, and i'd like to hear yours.



i started performing 6 years ago, and in that time i have had some experiences that i would not trade for anything.

the first time i spun, i was instantly hooked. i didn't know where it was going to go from there, but i knew i loved the sound of the flames. people liked watching, and that helped, as i have always been a bit of a showoff. getting onstage was a bit if a pain, as there was a group in my area of the Society for Creative Anachronism that was a bit territorial and would do anyting to keep people off the stage if they weren't with them. i started up my Troupe, Fire and Steel, and decided never to blackball anyone who was sober at the time of performance. this led to being respected by other performers. (before this, firedancers were known as a walking egotrip.) the drummers were reluctant to play for firedancers because they never got so much as a thank-you for playing when they didn't have to. this changed for us when i started getting the audience to applaud for them, pass them drinks (if they get drunk, they're not putting the audience in jeopardy... this is not the case if the firedancers get drunk, however.), and inviting them out at the end of the show to take what i considered their rightful bow.

ubbangel i'll also never forget the times we've passed the hat for people in our area who were recently hospitalized and decimated by bills. we never raised much, not really enough to dent medical bills, but it was enough to get them some extra groceries and things so they could direct more of their financial efforts toward their medical expenses. it's been more and more raised each time as our reputation grew. i am very passionate about this effort when we do it.



once, during a weekend of performing, there were so many children there who were inspired by our shows that they were spinning sticks all day long, and after dark, their parents broke out glowsticks. we invited them out to the stage while we took a break, so during intermission there were 40 or so kids out there with glowsticks. ubblove it was so adorable, i had a hard time not crying.



during a performance two and a half years ago, i destroyed my left knee eek . this ended the show early, as you might expect, but it was a weekend where we were raising money for a woman who broke her back. i thought when it happened, "oh, god, i'll have to stop performing... not now..." the extent of the damage: torn ACL, meniscus, and bursa. i started out the next morning in a chair, spinning in my campsite with a baton. i began the day on crutches, and by noon i was up to a cane. by early evening i was able to limp without the cane, and by showtime THAT NIGHT i walked without a limp. i didn't have to perform, but i did. why? because i still felt that the woman needed my help more than i needed to take it easy. i also felt that if i could make it through that night, i would prove to the audience as well as myself that i wasn't done yet. before i go on, let me state that this is not an arrogant statement: i am a bit of a legend in my kingdom, if someone doesn't know me by sight, they know of me, and if not, they've at least heard my name. there are over ten thousand people in my "kingdom" in the SCA, and they all pretty much are aware of me. when i performed that night, it confirmed to the whole kingdom that Frederick the Reckless is a man too stubborn to quit so easily... or so i would like to imagine... ubblolLOL



then there were the times i invited all the bellydancers out to the stage to help with our grand finale... thirty or so bellydancers of all ages and abilities (don't give me any flack... just realize they are aware of the risks as well as we are... okay? just visualize this.) and there have always been at least a few "smalls," or little children, whom we keep our distance from. our purpose for the bellydancers is to provide light so they can be seen by the audience, so we don't need to be that close. at the end of it all, i introduce the bellydancers one by one to the audience, and the children are grouped together and also introduced... it's priceless to hear 450 people say "Aaaaaaaaawwwww....!"



these are just a few of the many priceless memories i have of being a fire performer, and there are a great many more... and NOT ONE OF THEM IS ONE I WILL EVER TRADE... biggrin





what are some of your greatest moments, people? i am sure that quite a few people here would find this thread fascinating.

i am positive i will.

beerchug

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


StoutBRONZE Member
Pooh-Bah
1,872 posts
Location: Canada


Posted:
I've only been at the performance thing for a year, but my highlight had to our Halloween show. We managed to do a 25 minute fire show, outdoors in the pouring rain, and the audience didn't seem to mind at all.

An audience, I might add that was largely made up of children, who mostly manage to watch the whole performance with rapt attention, despite the rain and chilly temperature.

Str8JakitDealing in Perception & Probability
135 posts
Location: On the edge of sunrise and sunset


Posted:
i to have only been performing for a few years. 3 at best. my most notible experiance was the first major gig i did. it was a ren fest. so not only did i get to wear a sweet costume, but the crowd was intense. i wsa the 3rd to go out, and used my double poi. when the crowd saw the 2 wicks, man, the noise that came from them had me amped for weeks! i have been addicted from then on.....

Legal and illegal are a point of view. All that matters is morality.

If there's a shadow in your life, then there is also sunshine. Perception is everything.


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
good start! keep 'em coming! i love this stuff.

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


Sporkyaddict
663 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
I was spinning at the university's Christmas Ball with the juggling society and spent most of the evening spinning staff and fire breathing. Because we were in the car park the last few busses were bring the people to the ball while we were spinning. One of them pulled up so close to the performance area that I hit one of the side windows with a pillar (the bus was about 10 feet away) and ended up with most of the people who were in the back few rows pressing their noses to the windows and having the bus driver shouting at them to get off. I was going to fire breathe against the window again but one of the other spinners told me that the bus was non-smoking!

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
non-smoking... classic... ubblol

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


_Stix_Pooh-Bah
2,419 posts
Location: la-la land


Posted:
setting fire to my little skirt (cotton summer wrap around) at Beautiful Days festival in front of 5000 people.. yey me! D'oh!



Still took it off and carried on.. sans skirt! (still had my jeans on underneath tho!) no damage except my pride!



The first Glade festival was pretty cool too.. jsut the fact that we were performing at the very first Glade festival.. woop woop.. oooo I think I miss Burnt Toast! hug
EDITED_BY: Stix* (1136904041)

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..


SethisBRONZE Member
Pooh-Bah
1,762 posts
Location: York University, United Kingdom


Posted:
I performed for my 6th Form at our Prom after A-Levels. Man that was cool. All these people who'd been ignoring me for 5 years were suddenly chanting my name and wanting to talk to me. Including some very nice girls... devil

But then that was the last time I saw any of them, so I guess it doesn't matter that much. It was just great to do something that maybe they'll remember, rather than just saying "Who was that quiet guy who never really did much?"

I also set my beard on fire when fire breathing once... that was tragic... didn't hurt too much, but a bit embarassing! redface devil

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.


LostSurferSILVER Member
I'd be in trouble if I had to eat an antelope now
278 posts
Location: The Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom


Posted:
I performed at the finale of the Camel Rock festival in 2005. I was the main performer at the end spinning wire wool on the end of an old stone quay jutting out into the water in front of a huge granite stone formation that looks like a loaded camel! And then as I finished, on queue, a few thousand pounds of fire works went off over head into the sky and the cheer was something that kept me bouncing all night long!

bounce

"Everything in moderation. Even moderation itself. From this it follows that you must, from time to time, have excess. And this is going to be one of those occasions"


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
Wow. This is a tall order.

Lets see, one of my first was a Halloween benefit I performed at. The organizer kind of over spoke on what I do to the fire dept and then sent out a full crew. Pumper truck, another truck, fire chief, and something like 7 men with full gear for lil ole me. I almost peed my pants laughing. I did huggas on each one, and they freaked because they were unaccustomed to the smoke and heat (they always wear gear keep in mind). They asked their chief if I could perform on top of the pumper truck...and he allowed it. So on a windy, rainy night I climbed atop the truck cab, they turned on the lights and I did fire breathing and poi. We have some of the most awesome photos from that night.

The sound of hundreds and hundreds of children screaming and yelling and cheering is like nothing I can describe. And then having one girl with Down's Syndrome come up, hug me and say she wanted to be a pretty as me when she grew up...man did that cause a tear.

The insanity of the Discovery Channel/Soap Opera party filming will never be far from memory for me. Having these people who my gran watches on tv every day come up and tell me how I awesome I was, the fact that the car was towed away while there...just so much stuff...too much....

My first performance in my home town and when I was done, the music turned off, the fire disappeared and there was a hush. An absolute silence over the crowd, like a holding of breath before they burst into applause. I will NEVER forget that silent moment as long as I live. The fact that I had a billion thoughts in such a short period of time still amazes me. lol

The drunken proposals, the flowers from strangers...those are all awesome but of that type of stuff the best was....
I was spinning outside of a club in the freezing cold. Drunks were driving/walking by and it was one of "those" shows. You know the kind, the ones where you wonder "What the hell am I doing here?" Then this guy walks up and just stands there and watches with a smile. He continues on his way and then comes back around later, shakes my hand and says "I really respect what you're doing here. Thanks." Then he disappeared. That simple gesture made the night for me.

Being hired to perform for a baby shower in a very small country town, outside of a small high brow restaraunt where the firehouse was across the street from the house that the restaraunt was in. The ground was uneven and gravelly and it was just an odd day but then the restaraunt stopped...literally...everyone working came outside, everyone eating (with the party and not) came out to watch. The fire chief sat in a lawn chair next to his nurse of a wife with the pumper truck beside them watching. It was awesome. Then to be invited in to eat after and having them serve my food with flaming sugar on the side made me crack up.

And the last one I will share is the day I set the fem fire breathing record. I didn't set out to do it. It was one of those things where everything was just right. Seeing the fire plume go up and up and up...and watching people who are leaning over the balconies move back out of its way was surreal. Then when it had disappated to see that it melted the plastic things hanging from the ceiling over 30 ft up was shocking...yet very cool. And to have news people there just by accident was even stranger.
That is a very surreal memory for me, even to this day.

I could go on and on...but I won't. wink

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


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
thanks, Pele. anyont else got great memories to share? or is it gonna be me and Pele, just trading anecdotes?

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


fNiGOLD Member
master of disaster
3,354 posts
Location: New York, USA


Posted:
well tonite I got to perform in Boston proper, on Comm Ave. Good times great oldies. Not a particularly spectacular performance, but the audience seemed really responsive and a good time was had by all. And it was our first real organised performance as our new troupe ubblove complete with setlist, audio and electricity provided by the people, instead of lugging giant speakers smile



And we found out after we were done, that there was a car accident at the stoplight on the street biggrin I smile only because we were worried that there could be major accidents and that didn't happen.

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
the first real performance is always worthy of being one of those priceless memories. thanks for chiming in!

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


fNiGOLD Member
master of disaster
3,354 posts
Location: New York, USA


Posted:
haha its not the first real performance, its the first one of a new group ubblove

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more


SpannerBRONZE Member
remembers when it was all fields round here
2,790 posts
Location: in the works... somewhere..., United Kingdom


Posted:
There were some children in the audience I span for at a small gig last year. I had my hood up and was wearing baggy clothes so it would have been difficult to tell which gender I was in the dark.

While I was spinning fire, I heard them say to each other:

"Hey...is that one a girl?"

"Yeah! She's a girl!"

"Oh! That's so cool"

weavesmiley

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
first ever or first with the new group, it's still a good reason to remember it...yes? biggrin

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


fNiGOLD Member
master of disaster
3,354 posts
Location: New York, USA


Posted:
well its the new group comprised of the old one + new people

but yes biggrin

out of curiosity, how many people make safety announcements to the crowd before their set?

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
we do...

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
Written by: fireNice


well its the new group comprised of the old one + new people

but yes biggrin

out of curiosity, how many people make safety announcements to the crowd before their set?




Abso-freakin-lutely do, in those types of situations...
(nightclub shows are a bit different)

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


fNiGOLD Member
master of disaster
3,354 posts
Location: New York, USA


Posted:
i think you mistook what i meant. We have all performed, both old and new people, but recently the 'new people' joined our collective unit and we formed a new one.

so not "new" as in, hasn't been spinning long, but "new" meaning i had not done a paid performance with the person before

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
no, i understood what you meant, and i meant that wether it was the first performance ever or the first performance with the NEW group (as in the group may be veteran performers but you've never performed with them before) it is still worth remembering.
i hope i cleared that up... i really didn't mean to confuse.

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


fNiGOLD Member
master of disaster
3,354 posts
Location: New York, USA


Posted:
yeap smile

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more


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