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DubbeloDubSILVER Member
1 post
Location: South Africa

In the Cape Town (South Africa) community of firespinners there is a Dictatoral group called firetribe. This group in essence runs the fire arts in Cape Town. They get all the work and free entrance to trance parties, the spinners who are not members get no recognition whatsoever. Although we love spinning and do not require payment for performances, we get frustrated because the firetribe members are put on pedestals and made god-like. It is the most frustrating when we see sub average spinners joining firetribe due to friendships with members. We would love to start an opposing group but have no idea how to. Any ideas?

15,417 posts
Location: South Wales

Hire the A-team? shrug

Start a vicious rumour about the Firetribe members, possibly involving a goat? umm

Hire some UK spinners to lay the smack down and get all their current bookings from them. Then pass them onto you? wink is their website.

What it may help to do is work out why "They get all the work". Are they chasing up the clubs and making sure that they get the bookings, or are people coming to them? Why are people going to them? Where are they advertising?
Are they simply more sucessful becuase they work harder? confused

Likes trees...
209 posts
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Hi there.

As a member of Firetribe, I would like to respond while trying to keep things cival.

JP runs firetribe. While I cannot say he "brought" fire spinning to Cape Town, he was one of the first to establish himself as a performer. He is now a fulltime "agent" and equipment maker. He has established a network of contacts for gigs over the years. He also can provide choreographed shows with about 10 performers, which few individuals can arrange.

I don't know much more about the politics of how JP gets his gigs, and who can and can't join Firetribe. Jp is the guy who has arranged weekly spinning meets at cool runnings with free parafin for anybody, firetribe members or not. he also is the one who arranged and paid for permits to play on the beach in summer (again, for anybody). He makes great equipment that could compete in the UK in price and quality (I worked and travelled around the UK last year). I think he is doing a lot to promote and grow the fire spinning community in Cape Town.

If you have any questions about specific incidents, feel free to post them here or PM me. I am just a member, so don't know much about his business relations.

If you think that he is controlling all the gigs, why not try and start a different troupe (my tone is purely suggestive, in no way am I dismissing you)? I don't know of any other groups in Cape Town (I think there is one in Stelenbosch).

I hope that the fire community in Cape Town doesn't get caught up in political rivalry with people bad mouthing each other. it would be a sad thing to see, especially when it is still so relativly small.


Just re-read your post.

1) Trance Parties: the arrangment with the trance party organisers is that we perform in exchange for free entrance. This seems fair to me.

2) I don't see how the Firetribe performers are put on a pedastal. It may be my ignorance, or it may be that it is winter and there isn't much happening with gigs.

3) To start a group, maybe contact members on this forum who have started there own groups and ask for guidence. Most of the firetribe members are people who have a hobby that luckily can earn them some money (if they get get gigs. not everybody does). they don't arrange the gigs themselves, JP does. He is successful (it seems to me) because he has made fire performing his career and has succesfully marketed his troupe.

4) I don't know who the "we" are that want to start an opposing group. I don't want to get involved in the politics, so I don't want to know. If you do start a group, please decide for yourselves if you will oppose firetribe out of "revenge" or fair competition. as I said earlier, it will be sad for the fire community to be divided by political agenders.
EDITED_BY: WOFT (1153661453)

'n Boer maak 'n plan.

15,417 posts
Location: South Wales

That'd be why then biggrin

newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia

Dictatorship? these people tell everyone what to do and how to do it? They punish you and confiscate your toys if you don't do it their way? I doubt it.. But maybe they seem to have a monopoly on paid work.. a different thing. That could be because bookers trust them. If you want that level of trust, professionalism is the key. Not just 'give us money' but working to good standards. And maintaining a professional performance group is not easy in any art. It takes investment of time and money, which may take a long time be paid back.

Getting a skilled group of people is only the first step. Choreographing, designing/making costumes/props/backdrops is another. Getting work is the next... does the current group really have 'all' the work? Or are there new markets... if the current group is 'macho' or 'hippie' or whatever, try another approach.. eg I have just seen a group in Europe who are performing a love story in cocktail clothes with cool jazz type music. If there is ongoing interest in fire performance in your area then a new approach/cotuming/performance style will be interesting and desirable for bookers.

Inthe long term maintaining the professional levels of safety/punctuality/financial management/interpersonal relationships over the months or years it takes to get established is hard too. Ongoing groups often put a portion of group income into transport/marketing/new props/insurance/costume maintenance before they take anything themselves...

Are you willing to put this sort of time and effort in? To make a really interesting experience for the people that is safe/reliable for who books you? Or do you basically want to freestyle in return for free entrance? It's a different level entirely. To offer to work for no money actually reduces your credibility with bookers. If you are sloppy or dangerous there is no backup for whoever let you in. In my opinion, an ongoing, organised group that has put in the work SHOULD get the gigs. That is not a pedestal, it is respect.

Meanwhile it sounds like there are good opportunities for people to play for free in public in your town... and a group that has blazed the trail for professional work. So go for it!

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

Rouge DragonBRONZE Member
Insert Champagne Here
13,215 posts
Location: without class distinction, Australia

I agree that there is a lot of work that goes into creating professional groups, and while the people on them may *think* they are approachable, to many beginners, they are anything BUT appraochable. To new spinners, those who perform or who are very good at their art can seem intimidating and like they can't be spoken to by the little people.

I'm not going anywhere with this, really. I just wanted to say something that is possibly from Dub's point of view.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

blu_valleySILVER Member
fluffy mess
197 posts
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

There are quite a few fire troupes and performance artists in South Africa that seem to dominate the scene, Mainly Firetribe, the BDI and Vibemasters as far as I can tell (I havent been back to SA for a little while now so things may have changed). Start building a reputation for yourselves and you may find your name up there with them. But I agree with the others, dont do it out of revenge. It takes a lot of hard work to build and maintain a good reputation and noteriety (sp?).

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

"I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

DuncGOLD Member
playing the days away
7,263 posts
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingdom

Have you actually approached fire tribe? Maybe if you became friends you'd be invited to join shrug Perhaps the attitude you display here is also present in the "scene" in SA, maybe that's why you aren't invited. Have you spoken to this JP guy who runs it? Maybe he's a really nice hard working guy and would be happy to help find you gigs too! Even if you set up your own troupe if he's an agent I'm sure he'd be happy to point work your way.

If he has a good reputation it's hardly his fault if people go to him first, it's the fruit of what I'm sure is years of hard labour.

Wow things must be really different in SA, here all the performance troupes, hobby spinners, newbies, oldies hang out together all very nicely and friendly, genuine aggressive rivalry between fire spinners? kerazy

Let's relight this forum ubblove

Likes trees...
209 posts
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

 Written by: Dunc

Wow things must be really different in SA, here all the performance troupes, hobby spinners, newbies, oldies hang out together all very nicely and friendly, genuine aggressive rivalry between fire spinners? kerazy

Not really. This is the first I have heard of serious rivalry. there are a few people in Firetribe who have their own shows in development (one guy is performing staff, double staff, poi and fire breathing on stilts): they get their own gigs as well as gigs with Firetribe. the 2 weekly meetings (1 in winter) are organised by firetribe, but are open to everybody. I always thought they were warm, happy gatherings confused I feel sad that the impression of Cape Town is such. I think the only way to solve this is for a big bunch of non-Cape Town spinners to come down in summer! i have a bit of floor space and a lot of camping space in my garden!

'n Boer maak 'n plan.

CodySILVER Member
That guy from Reno
556 posts
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

This is a fascinating topic; our group has just entered the "professional" arena with paid choreographed gigs. The group started as a community thing. In order for the community to work people have to give of themselves i.e. bring fuel and tools. They also have to pioneer the permits and insurance etc. Once the community starts performing as a "professional" group the issues start. Not only do new spinners come out of the walls and everyone wants to join, but the group becomes intimidating. We still have our community gatherings, but the rehearsal schedule is starting to take too much time. We've started discussing what the criteria are for becoming a member. Our goal is to be all inclusive and diverse. So far our only restrictions are mandatory safety training and showing up on a regular basis with a good attitude.

Unfortunately I see our group heading the same direction as firetribe. We are the only group in Reno Nevada, and at some point somebody will think we are dictators. But to a point we are. We helped create the permit restrictions and standards of safety. It really is our way or the highway because if your own way burns down the nightclub, it's over for all of us.

Maybe firetribe needs a newbie coordinator, someone that is easy to talk to, approachable, and approaches new spinners. We have 4 officers in charge of the group. I teach most of the classes hence I meet all the new spinners as just the teacher. This makes me easier to approach even though I am the president and the conflict of competitive booking isn't there.

Currently we are thriving, but their are definitely more bumps ahead.

DubbeloDub, it looks like you may have the wrong impression of JP, you should talk to him. smile

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

MikefromGlosSILVER Member
985 posts
Location: Gloucester England

In gloucester we have just started a new fire group called betrayal. The problem is we keep having new performers coming out saying hay let me in i can bring this to your group. after a while not only does this get damn annoying but you just dont want to know. I cant keep changing a act to allow for someone that can perform fire diablo on a okay day. We work with the local circus youth group to club lampau that lets us see the skill as it starts and devlops we then make a decsion on who to invite to join. Its not that its harsh it just seems like the easist way to do it. When ever we go to a meet its all ways nice relaxed and easy gatherings its a great laugh. theres no need for rivalary as were only in it for fun. The other good thing bout meets in england is if you see a move you wanna learn you just go up to the guy and ask and 9 times out of 10 he/she will help you out.

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

pitmanSILVER Member
544 posts
Location: swansea, United Kingdom

i love this thread its just what i need right now, myself and a mate have just started a troup called Fire Mulisha we are still setting up and trying to get things sorted. firstly can someone or every one send me infomation on how they set up there troup as well my view on this debate is that i think jp from what i have read is that he has worked hard to build up his rep and people have seen his work and want him, i think you need to advertise your work more and the work will flow in more


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