Spoonerism
member
Location: England
Member Since: 14th Dec 2001
Total posts: 31
Posted:Yo... This is beautiful. I love seeing this whole group growing and enjoying POI/STAFF etc. A couple of years ago there was hardly anyone on this site. Look at it now though, thousands of us swapping info., taking the piss, bigging up, shooting down, communicating learning and Spinning. We all know what a buzz this whole spinning lark is and how many people have learned to twirl thanks to this site. I know I did. Malcolm, Flashfire, Pele etc., you spread much much joi, THANK YOU AND WELL DONE

People... a word on caution. I hate to preach to the converted but I hate it more when I wish I'd done something, I didnt: When performing professionally we should be ANAL about safety. I would hate to see one of these new crews popping up especially in the U.K., get shut down and sued by some friggin ambulance chasers. This is entirely possible. There are also a LOT of sharks in the entertainments industry. I want to start a thread to brainstorm these point if I may.

How can we protect ourselves / look out for each other? If it can be done, it should be, I think.

What do you think ??

Do you even think its necessary ?


Cheers.


I.S.M.


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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:quote: How can we protect ourselves / look out for each other? If it can be done, it should be, I think.
Not a performer, but....

I end up teaching a lot of people base moves, or a couple of additional moves. Some of them have firepoi and decide to do there first burn. If they decide at a point when I am there, I will sit down and watch them, unprompted. I will give them my full attention, and act as safety. Only fair, I taught them, and lent them some confidence.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:safty is good in performance troupes, being a performer myself i know the dangers of new non inteligent think they know all about spinning and other stuff, getting up on stage and doing shows.

the one thing that bothers me more than there maybe safty 50% of the time in most troupes but the amount of wannabe performers that think they can improve shows by angle grinding, how safe can you make this type of performance? you cant, i know from personal expreience with an accident i had on stage with an angle grinder and my penis, yes i said penis, thats all i am going to say i was lucky, i had done it time and time before but accidents happen and proves safty is all important, if you are prepared to spin fire then you should know your responsibilities and know your actions and if you go up in flames then flames can be easily put out with out the aid of a safty.

the troupe i am based with right now do not have safty at any gigs we cover and thats a lot of gigs normally. we allways have doorpersons and a fire extinguisher at the stage but they are supplied by the clubs we goto not us so yeah we have safty but not every club does that.
we have 3 teams out every friday, saturday and sunday nights and some midweek gigs too.
i am with our second team, i work with a very good friend Tony and his long term partner Kezzar and my lovly fiancee nancy, 3 people i trust most in my life when i am performing, we all look out for one another, our shows are max 15 mins long and allways we have our eyes on one another incase some thing happens, such as my incident.
one thing that springs to mind is that our latest addition to team 2 is a 16 year old girl, not our choice and we did queery it when we found out how old she was, we trained her and she does well and she is safe because we make extra sure she is safe.
i normally take it upon my self to keep eyes peeled even when just out stiltwalking cos men are perverts in clubs face it. believe me men touch me up 20+ times at some gigs, they dont know i am male, stupid them, but being a performer you are there to attract peoples attentions, girls are going to get felt up and they have to deal with it in some way or another, punters are going to try and get you off your stilts and try they can they wont succeed.
but i allways look out for certain signs, i call it a second sight as you also have to play a part with what you are doing. but giving this girls age and experience we all pay that 150% attention on whats going on with her as well as each other.

safty is that all important feature that can some times be miss judged. accidents are going to happen with what ever props your using on stage.
self awearness is more important in my eyes and respect for your fellow colleagues safty.

i may be back to add but i will leave it there for now.
peace love and safeness
PK


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:PK....um....wow.
First of all, just because the fire extinguisher is there does not mean that what you are doing is safe. You have to have someone holding it, or near it that knows how to use it. And with as many fire people as you perform with, you can take turns. Sometimes split focus is not the best thing to rely on.

Second, I have been doing this professionally years now and I have never, I mean NEVER been felt up in a show. I have had alot of drunks do alot of strange things but part of the point of having safeties is that they also help to run interference. NOONE should put up with that sh!t for any job, especially performing.

Spoonerism....About the safety, really you can't force people with what to do. And unfortunately it takes just one incedent for it to have a ripple effect everywhere. It really sucks.

As for the entertainment sharks, all we can do is really put up a guideline for what people should look out for and what professional etiquette and standards should be. Making the resource is a step in the right direction though.

Love and safety to all....
Pele


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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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:cheers pele,

we perform mainly in the mainstream clubs in the UK where its full of stupid drunken idiots, i've had bottles of beer being well attempted to be inserted in offices of the rear nature by female's amongst other stuff, nancy has suffered worse and i wont say any more, that sort of situation will never arise again we made sure of that.

heres one that broke my heart, nancy got punched full boar in the face enough to cut her face open by a MAN at a club in plymouth, i was running round with her and Tony tooled up looking for the wanker, she had a mask and costume on. we saw him in the que outside 2 weeks later, lets just say he wasnt walking home, oh if only i wasnt on stilts at the time i wanted to fucking kill him. thats our worst experience that we have been subjected to and our boss didnt take any notice well not much any way, and she only got 20 for that nights work... fucking bul shit aint it!

it all boils down to the guy that runs our company and he isnt a performer, yet he does get involved with some of the fire shows, i am by far the most influential amongst us and wiser than any of them, non of them are spinners or into performing as some of us here, they just see it as being kewl.
i do not agree to the way the company is run, i hear "be awear of promoters", i'm more awear of him and his doings.
we have now got inplace strict rules where we are followed around on walkabouts by doormen to keep an eye on the public, they also stand by with fire extinguishers at hand when we do fire, some times we are put on stage and we are as close to the crowd as you can feel the breath from their mouths, i really do not like most of the stuff we do, we arnt comfortable in what we have to wear but we dont get the choice he designs the shows, well i do have the choice i dont have to work for him.
i have really been doing it for experience and money, the money is crap i earn 50 a night and get transport provided, but its extra cash right now. we can be on the road for 48 hours with no sleep which isnt good, but as you know i havnt been able to work at my 9-5 for nigh on 5 months now, so i needed the money.
nancy has now given up working with them and i hopfully soon will not have to if all goes to plan, i hate it and its totally crappy.
every one i know closly from HOP asks me what i am doing working for them, but with out it i would not have been able to gain the knowledge i have now and move on to better things.
our boss doesnt care about us, so we have to look out for our selves, things have been good though there was a lot of work last month which helped me with christmas when all the bills came in and the clubs we went to were really good.

i hope for their sake though that they could stop being more interested in the bank accounts and more interested in the well being of their performers and pay them a decent ammount of money for what they have to do.
well its a new year and a new start, this has all been going through my head for some time now and hopfully i will not be doing any thing again for them.
i have given them so much in the past and got nothing in return so heres to me and saying good bye to bad situations.

i would like to add though that on numerous occasions we find evidence and get told stories of other troupes... man i wont go there, make us look safe. there are people that shouldnt be doing performing that are putting them selves in so much danger.
fire breathers that are crap and dont know what they are doing leaving lighter fuel in dressing rooms wtf? stories of people breathing with petrol??? wtf? horror stories, the UK has much to learn and i hope any one reading this thread will not be taken in by some of these people, they need educating.

so i will leave with happy vibes knowing that i can share my experiences with you..
pk


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Spoonerism
member
Location: England
Member Since: 14th Dec 2001
Total posts: 31
Posted:Hello again... yeh cool. erm...PK... Christ mate your PENIS?? What were you doing with it, must have been some show. Pele: Girls getting felt up seems to be an accepted thing in my experience of the UK ents. ind. Well, not acceoted, more like tolerated.

Safety...what Im talking about is precautions and after the fact stuff rather than on the night awareness etc. If you can be seen to have taken EVERY precaution, such as thorough risk assessments, attention to M.S.D.S.'s and the fuel used etc. Then you are seen to be less liable. Ive been talking to an expert in H&S today and even just making a set of POI entails relatively huge responsibilities if your then going to go and sell these things to a member of the public. If you dont do this, you really dont have a leg to stand on in court. Oh do you know...I really cant be arsed doing this in text. Im crap at it, its taking me moons. PK I will see you this weekend and we'll do it in the real world, I work better there and you will probably understand what the fick Im on about. Will post the results A.S.A.P.


Cheers everyone


I.S.M.


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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:i certainly look forward to meeting you mate, it will be a pleasure to meet some one else that can understand the whold scene concepts here in the UK performance wise and the differnt clubbing scenes.
i'll even show you my scars man, no just kidding i was lucky i wasnt marked for life just some nasty blood blisters, kind of looked like a red and white dalmation for a week or two until it headed. took me a good five mins to untangle that grinder from my costume. ginding feels more second nature on stage nowadays though so at least i got over my fobia of it all, but its still at the back of my mind every time.

i cant wait for Thistle to read this thread she has had runins with my boss in the past and she has many a wise word to say about him i tell ya!!


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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arashi
arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx
Member Since: 21st Mar 2002
Total posts: 2363
Posted:jeez. been thinking about getting an agent but you're scaring me dude! i'll keep going with the "who i know" thing... even if i am usually pretty broke

pk watch the willy! you're hurtin ME just reading this

and now i wanna start a "stupidest thing you ever saw a newbie fire dancer do" cause bet i got all yours beat by a mile


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Magickal_Kaleidoscope
member
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Member Since: 28th Dec 2002
Total posts: 119
Posted:2 many long posts . so for the sake of a short one...........................

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Agents are as good or as bad as you let them be...

(except Greg Lay, they are the best people I have ever worked with)

Safety-wise, what on earth does the agent have to do with safety? Safety is up to the troupe or performer!

I have a very strict set of rules I follow for any fire show, the biggest one being I HAVE TO AND LOOK AT THE VENUE AND DISCUSS WHAT I WILL BE DOING WITH THE CLIENT.

I turn down a lot of fire gigs for safety reasons. One gig had a pile of crepe paper strewn a few metres above me in a big meshy overhang. No way was I going to do fire under that.

Simply tell the Event Organiser or agent that you have strict safety guidelines and if safety is compromised, you will not perform. It impresses the new agents you deal with, and hopefully makes people think more about safety, even if they go off and hire someone else.

In my mind, it doesn't matter how much you need the money, nothing is worth yours or others peoples safety...


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

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Spoonerism
member
Location: England
Member Since: 14th Dec 2001
Total posts: 31
Posted:Firkin Right on...This is what im on about, lets pool our knowledge coz I hate to say it but my experiences so far have been nothing short of miserable, it doesnt have to be like this. I dont want to name names in print yet until I know I cant be done for slander or summat but somethings gonna be done about this. Im gonna phone Equity today and explain the situation, thats one thing. They've got to be interested, we need to aproach this thing as a group though I think. Will get some info. Let you know etc.

This is now in hand and im not gonna stop mithering about this, Equity is gonna be sick of the sound of my voice by the end of next week. I know totally how you feel PK I feel like Im whoring my beautiful POI skills out sometimes its horrid isnt it. No friggin more. "New year" Watch this...

See you all at the weekend. Cant wait...


I.S.M.


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Thistle
Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK
Member Since: 27th Jan 2001
Total posts: 950
Posted:Wise words about PK's boss. Suffice to say he is an extremely selfish man.

I'd typed a really long reply and now I've deleted it. I don't want to go there because it invokes feelings I would rather not have to deal with today. Besides PK has already said enough for everyone to get the idea.


Are we nearly there yet?

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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:i have a question, if equity start to get involved with all performance troupes in the UK is that going to make it harder and more expensive to start out? some of these guys [no names] have lots of money to get round things dude, were gonna have to get a lot of info as regards to some of these dangerous troupes.

thistle wise words.
i'm sure kato would just add a small sentance about him too.

i am with spoon here, no names mentioning dont want a court case on my hands.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Glåss
Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:If I remember right, Last time I looked at it,
equity membership cost only a little more than insurance.
And equity includes insurance.


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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:equity is 65 a year with free insurance upto 2 million, ten pounds cheeper than insurance availiable in the UK. i think you get health care benefits too and it opens up a door to bigger and better options in other performance. but they do have criteria's you have to fall into to be qualified to appy for equity, i researched this the other month in NYC's thread about being legal. worth digging up if people want to recap what i found out about performing in the UK. america, canada, europe and asutralia is a whole different ball game and then so are the scenes and people in clubs and at events so every one will have a different story where things and situations can become all to familuar in one scene noticed by others but not associated by performers in other countries.

so where can this thread go? as there are only a few performers from the UK that do a lot of work around the country, its going to be a hard battle, but at least we can discuss and group together to try and reach some sort of guide line as to where we can go in the future and how to make it safe for all, but not to close the door infront of us and not be able to get work in the future.

durbs thanks for your email mate, i hope it helps. please mail me more if you want some more advice or keep on reading for reference. i am totally happy to help you guys as much as i can. and i am sure after me a spoon get together on saturday we will both be able to shed more light in to this thread. to you all for your responces, i just hope i can take my past year and come up with things to avoid and whats best for new comer performs to do and so on so forth.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:So the first thing to do is make a list of things that should be discussed and decided upon.

What do you expect from a manager/producer?
What do you offer a manager/producer?
What lines do you cross?
What is performing etiquette when working in a troupe?
When working solo?
When working where other artists are?
What is the base pay rate that no one should work under?
What safety procedures do you absolutely not compromise on?
What is the proper way to deal with an audience gone mad?
What options do you have when dealing with a crooked promoter/manager?
How do you choose between promoting yourself or someone else promoting you?

the list goes on and on and on...and none of the questions will be answered until you figure out exactly which ones are the most important to you right now.
Just food for thought. I can spend time making suggestions on them all, but I am a bit wordy so I will save you the pain! LOL


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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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:no essay from you for now then pele

well we have a start, and a horror story to go on.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Spoonerism
member
Location: England
Member Since: 14th Dec 2001
Total posts: 31
Posted:
Hello again, its going all over the place this thread isnt it ?

IDIOTS IN THE CROWD : Short of eugenics, there is nothing anyone can do about idiots, they are a perk of the job to me.

SHARKS : There are however things you can do about sharks, (poking them in the eye, stun guns and chain mail diving suits work well apparently I wouldn't be keen on any of them, myself... for the human kind maybe, not the toothy variety though...oh no.) Equity will chase non-payers for you and sue, if they agree you have a case and have taken reasonable steps yourself. They are good at this as well. Equity insurance does not cover fire performers. That was said by their Manchester offices today, I have the guys name and number if you want it. They can only act on behalf of individual members, not crews / organisations. There are ways around this point though. There is always word of mouth as well, not to be sniffed at.

SAFETY : What are the minimum precautions that should be taken when doing any fire performance? This information does not need to be endless. It could be as short as : fire extinguisher, spotter, dump rags, insurance, minimum distances between performer and fuel / audience, maybe a couple more. The info surrounding these points is on this site, on a previous thread ive no doubt. Once this has been agreed, if we tell the H&S dept what it is, from there on its official. As long as standard H&S risk assessments are carried out and these guidelines are followed. All of us have a leg to stand on at least. Something I dont think we have now. Its not extremely simple I know, but its not too difficult either. Just a few details really. When you compare it to a BTB multiple beat weave, its a friggin doddle, yeh ?

What dya reck ??


I.S.M.


P.S. cheers people, im looking forward to meeting you this weekend too. Its gonna be bastard freezing though isnt it? Is there a sound system or anything? Shelter? Scuse my ignorance.


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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:right ok so we get a list together and get the HS involved thats good.
right is it legal to do fire inside of night clubs? can we look this up. a little research in to pubic entertainment licence laws would be wise here. i know that clubs have very strict fire proceedures in place and certain things are not permited. we have to cover all types of events we perform at indoors and out. nightclubs and other venues.


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:ouch...so I hate to set a bad example, but someone must be hurt at this point..feeling up girls what?? smackness down, would never happen in my vicinity, have many girls participating in fire troupe but that would never happen, sorry...I am brief but drunk, f**k thzat...

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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