Page: 123
Scorched_Out
newbie

Member Since: 24th May 2006
Total posts: 9
Posted:First off, let me say that I love the site. And though I have a feeling that I will not be liked very much after this post, I'm glad to be a part of this community. Now on to the negativity.



I would very much like to comment on post after post condemning fire breathing. Here, as well as every site that I seem to visit about the fire arts, contain horrible warnings about fire breathing and it's effects as if the simple thought of the art would turn you into a HIDEOUS MONSTER FROM BEYOND DEATH AND HELL!!!!!!!!!!AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH



And yet thousands of people are doing it everyday. Now, do not take me wrongly. I do agree that the art is dangerous. Kinda like stepping into a hug steel box full of hundreds of pounds of jet fuel. And then, with relative stupidity, launching that box five miles into the air just so you can get from one place to another faster. Good lord! We would never imagine doing that now would we?



Or why would we ever dream of jumping out of that box with a sheet extended over our heads, attached by a couple of strings, just to make our fall to the earth a little softer? Oh my God thats ludicrous!!!



But we do it. And we do it without constantly advising these people of the dangers of flight or parachuting. Ok...I've gotten off track here. My point is simply this. Any time you decide to play with fire for the fun of it your placing yourself at risk. PERIOD!!!



There is no imphasis on fire breathing here. The imphasis should be on lighting a fire at all. You light a camp fire and you run the risk of burning the whole forest down. Your light a grill and you run the risk of it blowing up in your face.



I've been a breather for eight years now. I've never been burned, I've never burned anybody else, I've never gotten sick from the fuel, or lost my teeth, or ended up in the hospital as a result. I make gold from fire and I'm happy!



I mean come on! Poi seems more dangerous to me. Slinging around a burning cloth on the end of a chain? Right! I invision audience members burning to death from a poi thats gotten out of hand. I refuse to stand within a hundred feet of those guys in case they miss a beat and throw that thing all over me! At least my tower burns out in a few seconds.



Look, Im not trying to make waves here. I sympathize with those who have been injured while breathing. But I feel a little hurt that the art that I love so much is being turned into the worst thing since the fall of lucifer! Especially when something as dangerous as poi is getting the old shoulder shrug.



Fire breathing is a magnificent art. Dangerous it is. As is any other fire art. More dangerous than the rest? I don't think so. And I resent the acclimation.

EDITED_BY: Scorched_Out (1148467391)


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Gnarly Cranium
Gnarly Cranium

member
Location: San Francisco
Member Since: 16th Feb 2005
Total posts: 186
Posted: Written by: Sethis


Them: Isn't that dangerous?
Me: Extremely. But I like doing it.


For some reason, this makes me giggle. A lot. Okay, I know, you're not a gleeful psycho-- still. Imagining it being said with a straight face is even better! XD

 Written by:

But if someone says "I smoke" then people don't immediately point out "Smoking is really dangerous you know, and might kill you". That seems to be the default response to "I Fire Breathe" though...


The dangers of smoking are fairly widely known.. Firebreathing not so much, is the only thing. At least, I know I was pretty shocked to hear how bad it really can be, though common sense suggested it was not exactly kid's stuff.


"Ours is not to question The Head; it is enough to revel in the ubiquitous inanity of The Head, the unwanted proximity of The Head, the unrelenting HellPresence of The Head, indeed the very UNYIELDING IRRELEVANCE of The Head!" --Revelation X

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Spiderbaby



Its strange how fire breathing is such a big issue on hop it overshadows the dangers of other arts,

how about the boy from peles interview who was steamed "like a lobster" and ended up with "3rd degree burns over 70% of his body" after a poi spinning accident




It wasn't so much a 'poi spinning accident' as a 'soaking your clothes in water then putting another layer of dry clothes on top and setting them on fire with a set of poi, accident'.

i.e. if he'd not been wearing wet clothes under dry clothes, he would have ben fine despite messing up with the poi.

 Written by: Spiderbaby


In general people who only spin fire poi or staff are much less concerned with safety than fire breathers




This is not true. On this, and many other threads, we've heard of idiot fire-breathers who turn up at parties and try to seem cool/attempt to pull, by teaching drunken party goers to fire breath, after reasuring them that it's perfectly safe.



 Written by: Spiderbaby



Cant everyone just accept fire breathers are willing to take a risk not many people are so stop pestering them by telling them the dangers they already know?





Yes. Well I certainly can anyway.

As far as I'm concerned, those who insist on fire breathing are welcome to do it; in the same way those who insist on drilling holes in their heads or amputating their fingers for aesthetic reasons or abusing drugs etc, etc; as long as they're of sound mind, I'm OK with them doing risky , self-destructive or just plain stupid, activities- it's their choice.

I only have a problem if they also insist on encouraging others to do it by downplaying the risks, or claiming that it's no more risky than spinning, or come on HOP trying to glorify the activity.

On HOP it's not really a case of 'lecturing fire-breathers'- if a particular long-term fire-breather is sincere about safety then he/she will already know as much as anyone here can tell them about dangers.

Threads like this are not about lectures- they're about some idiot claiming to be a 'professional' fire-breather, then showing that they are anything but by talking rubbish about how fire-breathing is pretty safe and how unfair it is that HOP is a bit down on it.

Newbies and minors read HOP, so when some fire-breather comes on here talking rubbish, it's important for those of us who have a more responsibe understanding of the dangers, to post the realities of fire-breathing.

Ironically, most of this is caused by the fire breathing trollers themselves, cos everytime they come on here spouting their drivel about how great fire-breathing is and how it's such a shame that HOP seems so anti-fire breathing, as sure as night follows day, people here are going to set the record straight.

As I said before, if fire-breathing is so great and those who do it are so confident in their abilities and decisions (to choose to fire-breathe), why do they get so irked at the fact that HOP is generally not encouraging on newbies getting into it?

Increasingly I'm coming to think that a lot of these fire-breathers are not at all confident in their decision to regularly put toxic, carcinogenic fuel into their mouths and blow it over a flame, knowing deep down that, like many before them, each blow is one closer to the day it goes wrong and puts them in intensive care.

Like I said before, if they're content to continue doing it, then that's their choice; but, the more they also insist on trying to get others to join them, the more obvious it is that they're really feeling like rats on a sinking ship.


"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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linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:talking from personal experence i know how easy it is to start fire breathing

the first (and only time) ive done it was on holiday in turkey, id been on HoP about 3 months and had (briefly) read the fire breathing info. a guy came along to the hotel i was at on a show evening and did fire breathing, he then invited people to come and give it a try - me and my friends (having had about 1 pint each) gave it a try.

we all survived but looking back (and having since read pele's story and really read the articles on firebreathing) i realise how stupid i was. it was lucky i'd read enough on here to know the basic technique and tell my friends as well as the possible long term affects.

i dont fire breath any more - its the sort of thing i'd only do if i was going to do fire preforming professionally and i would spend a stupid amount of time practising. i dont work with fire professionally and wont be trying fire breathing for a long time.....


back

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Spiderbaby, how long do you hold your breath after you breathe?



Did you also know I hold the women's world record for highest pillar?..recognized by my professional peers, set in 2000 inside an auditorium ground level floor, I managed to melt banners on the ceiling...just over 30 feet in the air (which means, it was a fluke with the right environment caught accidentally on camera because none of it was planned).



Now, if I wait for pillars like that to dissipate, I will turn blue.

Properly aspirated fuel hangs in the air a long time, have someone take photos and you will see it yourself.



I step back. I wipe my mouth. I inhale when the mist is what usually is far enough away from my face that I don't inhale it in. How did I learn when that was? By initially inhaling water in practice. I didn't, as you seem to think, inhale immediately. I never do. But when the wind shifts, it really doesn't matter. Didn't for me or for numerous others.



To say to hold your breath is honestly a grasping statement.

I do my fire breaths the same way every other professional out there I know does theirs, like Mephisto, for example...who has been fire breathing for over 30 years and is one of my dear friends.



I also want to say to Spiderbaby that most of the "lecturing" occurring here is to someone who is not a professional, is debating and is thinking about trying fire breathing. Most of whom feel it is easy and did not think to, or could not find a nearby professional. Contrary to popular belief there are not "thousands" of professional breathers out there. Those who are out there are generally not willing to teach, or if they do, they charge a very pretty penny for it...and I do not blame them one bit. Being professional is much more than simply getting a paycheck for what you do. It is how you behave towards others as well. I think keeping other people's safety in mind is very professional and conciderate and caring, whether or not you feel it to be bothersome. I would rather have someone warn me for the millionth time than never at all.



AND please do not misconstrue the things I "report". The Lobster Boy incedent was not the fault of poi spinning, as Dave pointed out and is a completely isolated incident. Poi and Staffers are equally as safe (or they should be) with fire, and to say they are not is very disrespectful. They are in a different manner to breathers because the arts are very different. And since I have been doing all forms of other fire tools without incedent for longer than fire breathing, I will honestly back up everyone here who says that fire breathing is far more dangerous than fire spinning alone.



I agree this entire thread was trolling.



It doesn't change the fact that I am very insulted at several of the insinuations that I am not and was not well trained.



Thanks to all who spoke up on my behalf, especially the thoroughness of Valura. hug I also would like to say that I do not at all suspect Raymond to be the creator of these posts. He would never, ever, have said such hurtful things to me.





In many areas that I have encountered fire breathing is not outlawed per se but a fire authority will shut it down, placing it under pyrotechnic laws...which are very strict and in some areas are illegal. Do I think this is "fair"? Not one bit. I do however understand both sides of the fire authority struggle (theirs and the performers) so I respect their decisions.



For whomever asked if your teeth can fall out from it...yes.

In fact, Mephisto is down to just a few. Somewhere around here I posted a copy of a letter he wrote about it, and the dental dramas he has gone through linked back to gum disease from fire breathing and weakened tooth enamel from fire eating. It sucks but it's a fact, especially since he is not an isolated incedent.



And for Pyromancer, actually the history of fire breathing began long before carnies came about. There are drawings and stories from ancient Sumerian about priests who would "open their mouths and exude flames which placed those priests closer to the gods, speaking in their violent toungues." Also, it could be traced through to some Fakir as well (though not through the Swami...which brings about how Fakir knew it was not a holy feat but presented it as such). Then there is a large skip in the history ahead to the 1800's and carnies, which is prolly where your readings picked up. The chronology of fire eating and breathing is pretty interesting really.



OWD, I can actually really respect your thoughts on it. There are certain acts I refuse to be billed with as well, or productions I won't be part of. I applaude you for your convictions. I also agree with you about the lack of confidence in personal choice creating the "superior" attitudes that we have seen. I find it sad too but hey...whatever.



Just because you haven't been hurt yet does not make it safe or you better than anyone else...and all true professionals that I know completely adhere to this mindset, which is part of what makes them so amazing.

EDITED_BY: Pele (1148962147)


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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Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:hahahaha...I had to laugh when I read that people don't start in on smokers about the dangers of smoking, being a smoker do you know how many people tell me how it is affecting my health and sometimes even theirs.

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Spanner
Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...
Member Since: 27th Feb 2003
Total posts: 2790
Posted:Thank you, Pele. I was wondering whether you might have a little to say on the subject wink
I don't think that you should have to defend and/or justify yourself and it's a shame that the need to reiterate the dangers of firebreathing so often remains but I'm very grateful that you do so hug


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

yay,

:R"

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Scorched_Out
newbie

Member Since: 24th May 2006
Total posts: 9
Posted:im sorry to everyone on this forum. im not a real firebreather. a friend of mine has been playing wit it though and i found his links where he had been posting here. i thought it would be a bit of fun to play with his mind but he did not think it was funny at all. especially since i used his netwokr. if you would be so kind as to delete this account please
EDITED_BY: Scorched_Out (1149005829)


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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:umm you are either an absolute cretin to think this is a subject that you can joke about or you are a real performer attempting to save face...

neither is very cool.

however, an internet troll that actually comes back to reveal themselves is pretty unheard of - you are a very rare phenomenon sir, albeit one we are not sad to see the back of smile


goodbye and a reluctant thank-you for letting us know that everyone can ignore absolutely everything you have said and discount all of your opinions wave


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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_Aime_
_Aime_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hastings
Member Since: 2nd Jan 2004
Total posts: 4172
Posted: Written by: Scorched_Out


i thought it would be a bit of fun to play with his mind but he did not think it was funny at all.



Go on, hack into my account and pretend you're me, make some utterly idiot posts in my name. I'll think its stupidly funny.

Honest.


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Domino
UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 757
Posted:umm Seems a little odd how much the wtitting style changes between the first post and this one...

Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by: Scorched_Out


im sorry to everyone on this forum. im not a real firebreather. a friend of mine has been playing wit it though and i found his links where he had been posting here. i thought it would be a bit of fun to play with his mind but he did not think it was funny at all. especially since i used his netwokr. if you would be so kind as to delete this account please



This account or this thread? They are two *very* different things.


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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VampyricAcid
VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House
Member Since: 27th Jun 2005
Total posts: 1286
Posted:i say we go for the thread so as not to go crazy, there are millions of unused users on here, one more cant hurt

Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

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Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:I don't think you should delete the thread....I think some very good points came up in this thread....

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Medusa


I don't think you should delete the thread....I think some very good points came up in this thread....



I agree.


"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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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:the thread is very useful and insightful as to how a reputable fire breather(or someone who knows about it) would respond to irrisponsable and unknowledgable poeople making ludicrous statements.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:So do I: such as this from OWD... well said, as usual.

 Written by:


I'd also like them to know that most of their peers in the arts with any sense, tend to see fire-breathing as being more a display of lack of self-respect, than an impressive or skillful art.




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

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:I disagree. That quote from OWD I actually find quite insulting.

What makes Fire Breathing any less of an "Art"? What part of it implies a lack of self respect?

As far as I'm aware, I don't have any ego problems, I don't have self-worth issues (Unless there's something my subconscious isn't telling me ubblol). I Fire Breathe because I like the sight, I like the sound and I like the experience. Can any of you say different for why you spin Fire?

It's not deliberately self destructive behaviour, and I find it offensive/condescending that people attribute such behaviour to fellow fire manipulators that they haven't even met. What happens when you meet a fire breather that you've never seen before, you have all these preconceptions about what an idiotic "art" it is, then they don't have a clue why you're giving them the cold shoulder? Is that a good thing? I don't see why fire breathers should be denied the respect that you would otherwise give to another member of the "Fire circle".

It's kind of the same as if I met a sky diver. Personally, I think that sky divers have something wrong with them. How bored must you be with your life if you need to jump out of a plane to liven it up a bit? Surely it's a little odd to risk yourself just for a little adrenaline? That's what I'd think.

But I wouldn't assume that they have the same sense of self worth as someone who cuts themselves. I wouldn't assume that it was a completely stupid thing to do, and by implication, think that anyone who did it must be stupid too. I may not agree with the activity, but I wouldn't avoid someone/think worse of them just because they engage in it.


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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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Sethis- IMO, what makes fire breathing less of an 'art' is that, compared to spinning, it's-

1. considerably easier to learn
2. relatively limited in terms of variety of 'moves'
3. I personally have never seen a fire breathe that I'd want to watch; I've seen plenty of spinning that I do want to watch, admire and learn from

additionally, there's quite a number of breathers who are stupid and irresponsible and who happily encourage people who know no better to have a go at breathing whilst drunks at parties etc- this kind of behaviour reflects on any art.

Ultimately, i've seen poi bring real joy and benefit into peoples lives (including mine); whereas i've seen fire breathing destroy peoples lives- not just online identities, but people I know in the real world.

 Written by:


As far as I'm aware, I don't have any ego problems, I don't have self-worth issues (Unless there's something my subconscious isn't telling me ).




Most people who have non-obvious self-worth issues (such as binge drinkers) are unaware of their problems and their subconscious also doesn't tell them.

I'm not saying you do have self esteem problems; simply that a lack of awareness is no indication that you don't.

You like fire-breathing: - OK, that's fine by me; I can't comprehend why you like it, but, if you really want to do it, then fine.

To me, whether your desire to fire-breathe is based on low self-esteem or something else, is not particularly relevant- you're an adult and it's your choice; if you want to fire-breathe i can't stop you, nor would I want to.

But, if you're truly at ease with your decision and, if you truly do appreciate the dangers and risks (relative to fire spinning), then surely you'd just stick to your own personal fire-breathing and actually be totally happy at HOPs responsible approach to this subject?

Fire-breathing being (relatively) unskillful, easy to learn, primarily appealing to naive members of the public impressed by spectacle and being highly dangerous and damaging to most of it's practitioners- these are not insults, they are straightforward facts.

--------------
 Written by: Sethis


I Fire Breathe because I like the sight, I like the sound and I like the experience. Can any of you say different for why you spin Fire?




Firstly, let's get away from spinning fire- that's just one aspect of spinning and, certainly in my case, the vast majority of my spinning is without fire.

What's good about spinning?

1. development of skill
2. spiritual aspects
3. it benefits health
4. social interaction
5. possibiltiy of gigs/workshops
6. passing on something of value to others

Just 6 points off the top of my head.

What about fire breathing?

where 1 (skill development) is concerned- to a much lesser extent, fire breathing can be picked up in a matter of hours (and in the UK, there are people running workshops that do teach it in a few hours)

2, spiritual aspects- maybe, for some

3, health- definitly not- it always damages and sometimes wrecks the health of those who do it regularly

4. social interaction ? certainly not to the extent of spinning, and diminsihing all the time as fire breathing is recognised as being highly detrimental to those who practise it

5. possibilty of gigs- yes, defintly: possibiltiy of workshops, yes, unfortunately.

6. passing on soemthing of value to others- personally, i'm proud to pass on spinning/juggling skills to others as I know that they are likely to improve their lives- I would be ashamed to encourage anyone to dabble with fire-breathing and gutted I learnt they had ended up in hospital as a result.

=========

Ultimately, if you want to call it 'art' then go ahead- personally I won't use the term 'art' in connection with fire-breathing cos, IMO, it gives it a status it doesn't deserve


"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: Written by: Sethis


It's not deliberately self destructive behaviour,




Actually...it is.

Unlike activities such as driving or sky diving (which fire breathing is often compared to) where there is a prospect of danger and damage, but it is not something that happens automatically when you do it...that is not the case with fire breathing.

Fire breathing is more like smoking. It is very deliberate choice that you make. Every time you do it you contaminate your body with poison. Like with smoking, you may not feel the effects immediately but you are doing damage to your body.

Therefore it is self-destructive...just slowly.
Which means it is very much a deliberate, self-destructive activity.


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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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:OWD I deliberately compared it to Fire spinning because it bears little or no relation to non-fire spinning. I accept that not everyone likes fire spinning or doesn't do it. Fine. But why do people spin with Fire, other than the reasons I mentioned?

The thing about lack of awareness was a joke. I'm fairly certain that if I had psychological problems they would show up in areas of my life, or that my friends would tell me. Binge drinking is more destructive than fire breathing will ever be, and there is nothing artistic about it. You and I may have different opinions about how artistic fire breathing is but please don't compare it to such comprehensively non-beneficial behaviour.

I don't have a problem with HoP's attitude towards it. smile I have a problem with other spinners when being asked saying "You don't want to do that, ever. Come look at the shiney Poi!" The instant dismissal of Fire breathing as something that someone can't enjoy grates with me, because I personally enjoy it.

Pele: IMO the difference between smoking and fire breathing (and self-harming and fire breathing) is that Fire breathing is enjoyable, beautiful and creates something other people can gain enjoyment from watching. When was the last time you saw someone enjoying smoking?


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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coleman
coleman

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


1. considerably easier to learn
2. relatively limited in terms of variety of 'moves'
3. I personally have never seen a fire breathe that I'd want to watch; I've seen plenty of spinning that I do want to watch, admire and learn from



bizarrely enough, these are almost identical accusations as those levelled at firespinning by non-pyro-influenced jugglers.

just an observation shrug

i think the comparisons people are drawing in this thread are not very useful - they seem to be chosen to support a specific point rather than to give a good idea of motivation vs risk.

if one insists on using smoking as a direct copmparison (although, who has ever ended up with ards because they inhaled one drag from one cigarette incorrectly?), i think smoking tobacco as a by product of choosing to smoke weed is a more useful comparison in terms of risk to heaslth vs perceived benefits.

still, its not that useful since i have yet to hear of one person that is clinically addicted to fire breathing wink


there are lots of similar side-show acts that require an element of harm to come to the performer or a higher than usual element of real risk (usually coupled with a huge perceived risk).

like fire-breathing, the acts naturally do all they can to minimise the risk and the ongoing detrimental effects to their health.

but there are still plenty of performers that choose to exhibit these arts, which have been around for hundreds of years and are still extremely popular attractions today.

i'd be very interested to hear people's opinions on and their perceptions of (especially those who totally oppose fire breathing) the other side-show skills like suspension, sword swallowing, fire tracing, angle grinding, glass eating, cigarette magic, live piercing...


this thread rocks smile


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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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: coleman


 Written by: onewheeldave


1. considerably easier to learn
2. relatively limited in terms of variety of 'moves'
3. I personally have never seen a fire breathe that I'd want to watch; I've seen plenty of spinning that I do want to watch, admire and learn from



bizarrely enough, these are almost identical accusations as those levelled at firespinning by non-pyro-influenced jugglers.

just an observation shrug




Bizzarely enough, those are almost identical accusations as those leveled by anyone watching an art form they don't like.

Used to describe:
Techno music
Abstract sculpture
Photography
Rock music
Minimalism
Coleman's Mom
Rap
Performance Art
The Internet
...


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

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Well, first of all....suspension and live piercing (depending on what you concider live piercing) are not traditional sideshow acts at all.

And Cigarette Magic is just that, magic. It's like eating bugs and "swallowing needles".

In terms of danger in sideshow it goes like this, from most to least dangerous...

Glass Eating
Sword Swallowing
Breathing Fire
...everything else.

Now, the thing is...glass eating is easily gaffed because, quite frankly, it isn't showy.

Fire breathing is a dime a dozen, actually for the reasons that OWD gave.

I get more reaction from doing the double bed of nails with 3 people on top of me than I ever did fire breathing.
I get more response from my bellydance on broken glass than I did fire breathing.
I also do something called Stupid Roulette. I am one of about 5 people in the sideshow world to do a non-gaffed version, and am one of 3 who hasn't been injured yet. However, I control it. So I won't get hurt...it's simply perception. I have had marriage proposals over that stunt.

But none of them are about the stunt. They are about the performance that goes with it. And quite frankly, the stunts need to be learned properly or you'll get hurt, but other than the three listed above, they won't kill you.

Fire breathing is conciderably more dangerous than the other traditional sideshow stunts.

Even the dancing girls (hula and bellydance) tend to garner more attention now than fire breathing.

(PS...I've been doing Sideshow for years and have had the joy and pleasure to work with or talk with some of the top acts out there as well as some guys who've been in it for 70+ years. It's incredible how things have changed and how "less" dangerous the fire breathing is now that they aren't using leaded gasolene!)


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:i didn't say suspension and live piercing were 'traditional sideshow acts' ubbangel



i said that they *are* sideshow acts that include elements of self-harm and as such, make a better comparison to fire breathing than smoking cigarettes does.



as you said pele, i think sword swallowing and glass eating are the most comparable skills/acts in terms of risk to health.



i realise, for example, that sword swallowing takes far longer to learn than fire breathing might, but since the discussion has moved on to the pros and cons of performing these skills at a professional level, this difference does not factor.



i'd like to hear what fire breathers (and those who would denounce the skill as inherently self-destructive) think of these comparable acts.



i know that sideshow has been looked down upon in the past in general by magicians and (to a lesser extent) big top circus performers.



i'd just like to understand what forms those opinions a bit better smile





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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simian
simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London
Member Since: 11th Oct 2002
Total posts: 3149
Posted: Written by: OWD

[Firebreathing compared to spinning is]

1. considerably easier to learn

2. relatively limited in terms of variety of 'moves'

3. I personally have never seen a fire breathe that I'd want to watch; I've seen plenty of spinning that I do want to watch, admire and learn from





heh, i've heard very similar criticisms of poi compared to juggling.



There, as here, those statements are wilful ignorance, and should be ignored.



edit - whoops, Cole and NYC beat me to that by miles. I guess that's what happens when you take two hours to write a two sentence post...

EDITED_BY: simian (1149167485)


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:You're right- in the past some jugglers did use 'poi is easy and has limited moves' argument to put down spinning.



At the time I wrote a fairly long on-line article in which I expressd my opinion that the argument was wrong.



IMO, the difference here is that those who claimed poi spinning was easy to learn and limited in terms of moves, were simply wrong.



Poi basics are relatively easy to learn, but from then on it's like any movement art, requiring dedication and lots of practice to develop advanced moves and flowing combinations.



Same with the variety of moves, poi has been developing for many years and new stuff is always been discovered.



Fire breathing however, relative to spinning, is very easy to learn, and does lack variety of moves.


"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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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: onewheeldave


Poi basics are relatively easy to learn, but from then on it's like any movement art, requiring dedication and lots of practice to develop advanced moves and flowing combinations.




Devils Advocate:
Fire Breathing basics are relatively easy to learn, but from then on it's like any movement art, requiring dedication and lots of practice to develop advanced moves and flowing combinations.

Yes? No?


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

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:lol "Coleman's mom" ubblol

Okay...that was funny...

I read your post backwards, sorry Coleman and I can explain why I said what I did. Many of the traditional sideshowistas can not stand the suspensions and live piercings being put on display as shows, then labelled under sideshow...because they are not. There is a strong feeling in the traditional ss community that putting those elements on display are extremely disrespectful. But that is offtopic so moving on...

Did you also know that the disdain of between magicians and sideshow actually goes back further the other way, where SS peeps are disdainful of many magicians?
And there is a real basis for this.
Magicians (to some degrees intelligently) have gaffed several of the sideshow arts. They have telescoping swords to make it look like they are swallowing them. They have cheats on the Stigmata (what my stupid roulette is based on), they used plastic and gaff mats for the broken glass, sugar glass for the glass eating, gaffed escape ropes and jackets, filed nails on the bed...things like that. What happened is that over time people came to believe that everyone gaffed their performances and so now SS peeps have to work 10x harder to prove what we do is actually the real thing and not some fake crap that will be pumped up as real.
It seriously has been a challenge to get people to understand that the glass is real, the nails are real and yes...even the fire is real.

Magicians think SS are stupid for doing things that are dangerous when there is a cheat way available. SS are ticked at magicians for demeaning these arts and taking the lame-pansy-arsede way out on things which aren't even deadly.

I've had run-ins with magicians in the same show who have an ntire arsenal of tricks they could do but insist on hastling me because mine are real. I have issues with the gaffed magic versions...alot.

The idea behind that, if you are going to do it, then do it...but don't pretend. If you deem it as being too dangerous then move on to the next thing, don't do it, don't complain and don't look back but at least show a bit of respect, and if not silence, for the ones who do it.

(Keep in mind these are gross generalizations and not everyone feels this way. There are magicians I adore even).

Now, with the circus...I haven't encountered that at all.
I do think Guy LaLiberte had a bit to do with it since his main schtick was as a tremendous fire breather.

In the old skool circus the sideshows were used to rouse the patrons and the circus' marketted on that excitement. There wasn't alot of disdain over the stunts, just over the money. That is still there to a small degree.

But even in the SS there is a chain of regard. The harder and more real the stunts you pull, the higher you are ranked (other than the human anomalies, who were always the royalty). Magicians were pretty low on the totem pole. Next were the "Geeks" because what they did really took little to no skill but they weren't a dime a dozen. Then were the stunts. The more dynamic, the more you were regarded. I know a guy who poured gasolene on spaghetti to eat it in order to make more money (of course, he has ten kinds of cancer now). As time went by the people who could do all of these are the ones hired because as audiences watched tv, they became (and are) desensitized so having less performers in the grind means less pay for the owner. As that happened "carnie crime" went up...hence the bad rep.

Moving on...
Glass eating, while tremendously dangerous is pretty unimpressive. There are a few who do it dynamically (Todd Robbins of Coney Island has great jokes, and Enigma who can eat anything presents it very ferrally). However it is still higher on the list because with fire breathing or sword swallowing, the danger is fairly instantaneous. With glass...the shards can stay in your system for quite awhile before a severe infection from a sliver will set in. As Todd says, "It's three days of wonder for a few minutes of relief."
Therefore, is it worth it? Not to many. Todd, for example, won't even teach it any longer but he will teach fire breathing and sword swallowing for enough money.
It is dirty (glass gets everywhere) so it needs some stage clean up, but it is portable, fairly inexpensive and of no risk to the audience, and that is where the desirable factor is.

BTW, the technique for glass eating does take awhile to learn, and should be learned on glass candy.

Sword Swallowing. Well...you know...the basics of it can be taught in one evening. I taught someone how to sword swallow in about 3 hours. It is extremely individualised. I also know someone who has been working at it for years, and sadly still can not get it. It is more of a personal challenge.
Sword Swallowing is more spectacular than fire breathing, both from the audience and performer perspective. I think the audience actually comprehends the danger of it more than the fire. A (perceived) sharp object goes in and comes out and person is still standing. And alot can be done with that. Sword shapes, multiple swords, neon tubes, balloons (btw, both of those are actually just as dangerous as swords...neon tubes more so). There are a tonne of possibilities for presentation. It is a longer lasting stunt and it has that gross out factor audiences hate to love. It's a biggie. You don't endanger the audience, it is an easy set and clean up...Therefore, in the eyes of many performers, it is much more worthwhile than the fire breathing and the risks do outweigh the negs.

Fire breathing is dangerous. Lasts only seconds. The audiences (and obviously other performers) do not understand that to do it well takes a tremendous amount of skill and technique. I do know several people who never really mastered the art of fine mist aspiration. It is dirty and it's portability (due to the amount of safety stuff needed) is questionable. Very often it now requires special precautions or permits which can make it expensive. There is a very real risk to the audience. There is also clean up required from it. It is simply not cost effective when comparing to the other stunts. It is a one off with a 10 second wow factor. What it does serve as is a really great attention grabber for the rest of the show...and very often that is how it is used. If pulling in enough marks to pay the bills, then it is worth it. However, it doesn't stand alone against the other stunts..especially sword swallowing.

Beyond that Coleman, you should tell OWD to get his butt in here and post to this cause I think that's whose opinion you want more than mine. 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

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