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Forums > Social Discussion > The Effects of Free Performing

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Jai


Jai

Member
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Total posts: 52
Posted:Hey all,

I would like to make a thread to inform everyone on the firetwirling industry that is being taken advantage of by many corperate bodies. Our art is no different than painting or film makers. We have a skill that is available to the community and we are being taken advantage of because of the lack of information that is out there for performers. Thats why i am writting this thread and need everyone to read this and post any information that i have left out. I am going to focus on 2 issues this poses for the future of fire twirling.

1. When someone performs for free it takes away business from the professional performers that spend their days perfecting their skills and routines.

2. Because most people who do work for free are amateurs, the quality of the performance is not as good as it would be from a professional. The corportations usually dont use firetwirlers again because there wasnt a good response from the crowd. And therefore more business is lost for professional performers.

So we need to stand up against the corporations who make millions of dollars each year and take advantage of our unorganised artform. They will tell you that they are doing you a favour and trying to give you 'experience', but all they want is free entertainment. Next time you are approached to perform for free, tell them that you will not do it. Tell them that you should be payed for your services and will not be taken advantage of. It is the for the good of the industry.

Now im sure there are alot of people out there that think im like a crazy 'twirling nazi'. But believe me, fire twirling has a great future for some people and in the future i wish to be one of those people. Would you paint a picture for a cafe for free? It is the same concept.

Please invite everyone to read and write in this thread. This is an important discussion for our industry.

Jai.


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cubeman372


newbie


Total posts: 6
Posted:So are we or are we not allowed to spin in public?

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:umm

Spin until you get dizzy and fall over.
Do it everywhere.

shrug


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Yes, you can still spin in public, and if your goal is just to spin in front of an audiece, there's the option of simply going out and finding an impromptu one, like those guys standing in line for that nightclub, or those patrons sitting at that pub patio.
You won't make any money, but you might consider putting it on your resume as a "performance"


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Cube... rolleyes get a hat and a pretty gal, or cute child to collect for the oil and you wont have to mind at all wink Easy...

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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DavidJNolan


DavidJNolan

Precision instrument of speed and aromatics
Location: Vienna

Total posts: 240
Posted:better still, get yourself a trained monkey ... then the coppers will really come rolling in

Not a spinner!

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Yakumo
SILVER Member since May 2006

Yakumo

veteran
Location: Oxfordshire

Total posts: 1237
Posted:Excelent thread, gives me a lot to think about,



I was already pissed off at the way the local branch of a very big company (no naming and shaming....yet) had dealt with picking up some student performers for a couple of days (no fire, but still..), but now I am even more so, though it is most likely, obviously to late to do anything about it, I had gone as my first gig, on the thought of it maybe leading to bigger, better things, but the whole thing turned out crap, and it currently seems no-ones even been given the little that WAS promised (food/drink vouchers).



I'm going to PM onewheeldave to ask for an 'event details' sheet example, I'm crap with things like that.



And I've sent mail to my friends involved in running the Oxford Uni Juggling Soc, and Brookes Circus Soc asking them to have a read of this thread.



I wouldn't advocate going all totalitarian on all of this, but I'm very much in favour of everyone being far more educated and thoughtful over the whole situation which will benefit everyone smile


Blinded by Hyperlights, please donate generously grin

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted: Written by: cubeman372


So are we or are we not allowed to spin in public?



in places without a lot of spinners it's really easy to find others by just picking up your stuff and going to a festival...i found a few people at bastille days
(the fire spinner made more than i did and he didn't stay very long)
mostly a friend and i showed kids how to juggle and spin (and for the parents-cheap props so they don't lose a bunch of money when/if the kids lose interest i.e. socks and tennis balls)

was i bad?


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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MikefromGlos
SILVER Member since Jul 2006

MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England

Total posts: 985
Posted:I say your not bad because ur wideing the community trying to get more people involed its what i do a lot i am on the streets of gloucester talking to people and spinning i also running juggling groups with group equipment so under privliged kids can join and learn So i think its a good thing

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

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:It's been brought up a few times here.

What about the effects of teaching poi on the professionals?

Doesn't that put people out of work and make their kids go hungry?

wink


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

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:there is one small group here that you never see

and i can't afford lessons, many in milwaukee cannot lessons
so tongue


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Yakumo



I'm going to PM onewheeldave to ask for an 'event details' sheet example, I'm crap with things like that.







I've sent an email with the sheets attached.



As others may be interested I'm also copying-and-pasting one of them here (formatting has been mashed in the process and I can't be bothered to sort it out smile, along with the text of the e-mail-



============

Event Details.



Event:



Location:



Date: 27 Oct 06



Time:



Details: Short display of 'Fire Rope' spinning



Cost:





Event organiser to provide *Audience barriers (roped off area etc)

*Safety Person (responsible adult to assist in emergency and to ensure audience members stay behind barriers

*Fire extinguisher

*Event organiser takes total responsibility for ensuring that audience stays behind barriers and has been informed that the performer, due to the concentration required for fire performance and due to potential 'night blindness', will not be able to ensure the safety of any members of the public who stray beyond the barriers into the performance area.









Designated Safety Person is:





Performer to provide *All equipment necessary to the performance

*Other safety equipment (fire blanket)









Signed:

Print name: DAVID PANTHER



Signed (you sign here):

Print Name:

==========





Hi,



I'm also posting this on the forum as it may be of interest to others.



Attached are 'Event Details' sheets-



They're very much geared towards specific events, the first one I've attached is the template for craft or circus skills workshops outdoors; the second is an actual sheet for a recent short fire event at a local community center (with cost details, names etc deleted).



It's a matter of getting a basic template together, saving it as a word doc, then altering it to take into account specific details for the gigs you do.



Also, using the lessons you learn from gigs, noting what things could have been done better by either you, or the organiser and then adding it to future sheets.



Another good thing to do, if possible, is arrange a 'site visit' attended also by the organiser, where you can check out the space/venue- either charge extra for your time or reflect it in what you charge for the event.



With the fire gig, as I was working solo I insisted that they supply a safety person and wanted it clearly stated in the signed agreement what their responisibilities were going to be- a big part of the site visit consisted of me actually training this (non-fire) individual and included, for example, him actually putting out wicks with the fire blanket, cos this is something that sounds straightforward, but actually requires a bit of practice to ensure that the flame is totally smothered.



Obviously, it's even better to supply your own experienced safety, but, for the small amount of fire gigs I do and the limited funds of some of the clients, I have to make do and try to maximise safety as best I can.



The 'night blindness' mentioned, is the fact that, while eyes adapt to darkness, they lose this when looking at bright light/fire- as fire people we know that when spinning, the outside world tends to become pretty dark, making it very difficult to see anyone who may wander into the performance- but non-spinners (eg event organisers) would not appreciate this unless it's pointed out.



In the context of this particular gig, I felt it worth including that in the 'details' sheet (along with verbal clarification on the site visit).



The main thing is to care about safety and to be creative and invest time/thought into maximising it.



Most clients will actually appreciate the emphasis on safety and the fact that you're organised and professional enough to put everything in writing- it also eliminates the confusion and misunderstandings that can arise from purely verbal agreements.



Verbal agreements, in this context, are just silly.



I'm sure my events sheets and approach are not perfect- where fires concerned it's very much an occasional thing for me; anyone who spots flaws/shortcomings, feel free to post here.


"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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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I should have mentioned that there was also a 'risk assessment' sheet, for which I used the organisations own document.

Those who have insurance in the UK will be aware that it specifically states all claims will be invalid if a risk assessment is not done and documented.


"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!

Delete

DavidJNolan


DavidJNolan

Precision instrument of speed and aromatics
Location: Vienna

Total posts: 240
Posted: Written by: NYC


It's been brought up a few times here.

What about the effects of teaching poi on the professionals?

Doesn't that put people out of work and make their kids go hungry?

wink



Hell yes!
No one should teach anyone anything ever, coz it might threaten my career. Nobody ever taught me anything. I invented it all myself.
No, ACTUALLY!
I taught Robert Heart, and that censored went around and taught everybody else in the world. Stupid good-for-nothing. If it wasn't for him, I'd be the only staff player on the planet :grumble:

wink


Not a spinner!

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:surely teaching would widen the base of interest create more knowledge and keep you in work.

Just becuase more people can do it doesn't mean they are all going to get as good as you.

we can all sing but we haven't put Maria Carey out of work yet... (tries getting in better tune just to try again) biggrin


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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DavidJNolan


DavidJNolan

Precision instrument of speed and aromatics
Location: Vienna

Total posts: 240
Posted:I agree.
The more people who play staff and poi, the more different minds there are thinking about it and the more interesting things will develop

And you are right, a broadening of public understanding about poi and staff can only be a good thing for those who really work at setting themselves apart. As I mentioned earlier, all that the contemporary audience (usually) understands is the flashy effect of the fire, but as more people see and understand fire shows the easier they will be able to discern between a bad show and a good one )or a worldclass one for thta matter), meaning those who really put the work in to create something outstanding may actually get the recognition (and the pay) that they deserve.

Shame about the Mariah Carey thing tho...


Not a spinner!

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