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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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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:At risk of everyone hating me i'm going to ask something.

I agree with what you guys are saying. I'm not going to type my agreement cos you guys all have 4 pages worth of it anyway.

But I feel that what you are saying is a bit elitist and gives no rise for people trying to break into the industry. People pay for the level of qualification and experience in other areas, particularly in the entertainment industry, but also in SO many other industries (teaching, engineering etc).

This isn't about how much you practise and prepare for your show or your level of professionalism, this is about how you create the name for yourself in the first place to get the eperience under your belt so you CAN start moving into $150/h gig territory.

So basically I'm saying how the hell are you supposed to do it given all the above limitations.

*now runs and hides*


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...

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Rouge, I too was wondering when people were going to start talking about offering apprenticeships in these arts, it's the next logical step if one is opposed to freelancers just winging it.

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Kathain_Bowen


Kathain_Bowen

Good Ol' Yarn For Hair
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Total posts: 422
Posted: Written by: stout



Rouge, I too was wondering when people were going to start talking about offering apprenticeships in these arts, it's the next logical step if one is opposed to freelancers just winging it.





Y'know, I had this really funny post - in my mind - to reply here with, but I just realized how sick I was when I tried to throw the tea kettle full of boiling hot water out, instead of the paper packet from the tea bag. Once I did that, I realized the post was probably not as good as I thought it was and was gravely disappointed and afraid to actually post it.



biggrin But, but, it involved the word "Aha!" and a rather Scooby-Doo like feeling that this was all a carefully calculated plot by Stout to lead us all to the conclusion that apprenticeship was the way to go, and that Jai, was really Stout in disguise, like Old Man Winkles under a rubber mask.



..... it was a really funny mental image, though, I assure you.



..... maybe I should do that putting the laptop down thing again.

EDITED_BY: Kathain_Bowen (1161311643)


"So long and thanks for all the fish."

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Rouge Dragon


At risk of everyone hating me i'm going to ask something.

But I feel that what you are saying is a bit elitist and gives no rise for people trying to break into the industry.



I don't think anything we've said would prevent a total noobie from LEARNING the right things to do and then doing them. Whether that's safe performing technique or getting insurance or anything else. There's obviously a level of experience that everyone should achieve before performing but I don't think it's elitist since I would think anyone that tried and practiced would be able to achieve that level.

I can't agree with it being 'elitist' because I don't think anyone here is excluding the 'non elite.'

We can call it 'safe' because we want to exclude dangerous people or we can call it 'professional' if we want to exclude unprofessional people.

Frankly, I have no problem excluding dangerous spinners. I don't think it's eliteist because it's not difficult to gain the skills needed to meet the criteria we seem to be setting.

And Dave, I think the f!re bre4thing arguement is connected to this discussion but could easily derail it into one of the many FB discussions that exist.

Do a search.

[Kidding, I mean let's not get bogged down in FB discussions]

smile


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

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MiG
GOLD Member since Apr 2004

MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG

Total posts: 3415
Posted:The question still remains as to how someone, say they've been spinning for three years, are safe and all that, 'breaks in' to the professional market.



Let's hypothesise- pretend i'm a good, safe spinner. I've been going to meetings and fests for 5 years. I know almost all there is to know about safety, and i've got the best public liability insurance money can buy. I want to start doing paid performances, but there's too many people out there that have been performing pro for as long as i've been spinning, and have a name up as 'the one(s) to call'.



According to this thread, i can't perform free to get a name up, i can't charge less than the established spinners because i'll be undercutting them, and common sense says no company is going to hire an unknown for the same rate as 'a name'.



What do you do?


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Kathain,,are you looking for an apprenticeship? I give you special price on tuition, just for you pretty lady...

I think what's being viewed as elitist here is more the idea that people are undercutting rather that the danger aspect. Really, someone could go from rank newbie to paid performer in a month or two. The safety stuff is actually pretty easy to learn if you set your mind to it, and it's really up to the individual's abilities as a performer who can manage to dance with the toys without screwing up ( too often ). This is where people with a dance and theatre background really have an advantage, when compared to us dorks.

And we all know some of these people, don't we ?

It shouldn't be about how many complicated tricks one can do if someone were to create a guild, it should be based on reliability and responsibility. Having standards is a great idea in theory, practically I can't see it being a big advantage simply because in the world of getting gigs, safety issues are usually talked through in person while scoping out the venue, and saying "we adhere to the such and such code" probably won't mean that much in the grand scheme of the deal.


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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Mig and Rouge... there is only one way all performers have gone from hobbyist to charging for gigs (via building up a show, and reputation)... and that is really, really hard work.

Lots of phonecalls, admin - stuff you don't realise you have to do when you're starting out.

This thread is not elitist, but if you do want to break into the 'industry', then get ready to work hard and carve out your own niche... like every other paid performer has had to do.

If someone else is doing 'your thing' in your area... then you have to consider - do you have a market for the product you're selling (in other words, you).

And if there is enough gigs to go around, then why not approach that group and ask to join... you would probably benefit from all the groundwork and contacts they have acquired, and I'm sure they would value another highly-skilled performer.

I don't think it's really possible to draw up a guideline for performers... but certainly it is possible to outline safety issues - which I think has already been done on firedancing.com - as was already mentioned.

Anyways, good night
smile


Getting to the other side smile

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Mojojo
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

Mojojo

wandering dingo
Location: Aussie in London

Total posts: 167
Posted:
So, if performing on a voluntary basis (ie, unpaid) is such a bad thing, and takes away work from paid performers who are trying to learn a living from their profession...

I should feel awfully guilty about working for free - in Thailand recently, building houses for tsunami victims, and a couple of years ago, giving up six months of time when I could otherwise have been being paid for doing something, volunteer teaching English in a poor rural Village in the north of Thailand.

Shame on me for taking that work away from anyone.

Is there a difference? Not that much. I would perform on a voluntary basis, if there was a good reason for it being for free.


Only three things are certain: Death, Taxes, and that England will not win back the Ashes in this lifetime.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:rolleyes



No Mojojo, what we are talking about is:



 Written by: Jai, from the very first post in this thread

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.





Obviously the Tsunami victims and the poor rural village are multi million dollar organisations, so yes, you should be ashamed.



wink



As I have stated before, and I strongly believe many others follow roughly the same guidelines, I will not perform for free unless:

a) It is for family

b) It is for friends who are other fire spinners

c) It is for charity


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Jai


Jai

Member
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Total posts: 52
Posted:No, i didnt mean it in that context. As UCOF said 'As I have stated before, and I strongly believe many others follow roughly the same guidelines, I will not perform for free unless:
a) It is for family
b) It is for friends who are other fire spinners
c) It is for charity'

This is not a personal vendetta against anyone or any group of people. My intentions were to get people's opinions on free performances becuase there have been many times i have been ripped off for work since moving to Melbourne. I guess i am too trusting. There have been some great points raised. The one i like the most is:
You cant educate every fire twirler who has just picked up a stick on the safety of performing, but we have a better chance of educating the people who will hire them to the dangers that they can face if something were to go wrong.

I am going to do my bit, if i see someone firetwirling that i believe is dangerous, i will give them a few tips. Not only on safety but on actual twirling so they can become more fluent therefore safer.

And i am not Stout in a mask. :P lol.

Jai.


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted: Written by: NYC



I do not believe that more than 1% of the firespinning community fits into category 3. I do not believe that such things as unions and self regulation make any sense in an industry that is 99% hobbyists.







What like the Football association or the Governing bodies of Sport fishing?



Me and My friend started out as a group and have added 2 people very quickly, we are always interested in talented performers, we have our eye on a diabloist at the moment but are waiting for him to develop "an act" and get insurance.

you forget that for EVERY sport that has professionals there are MANY more that do it as a hobby. I understand people don't think of spinning as a sport but it is still an activity. even artists and actors have guilds. wink


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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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Mojojo



So, if performing on a voluntary basis (ie, unpaid) is such a bad thing, and takes away work from paid performers who are trying to learn a living from their profession...

I should feel awfully guilty about working for free - in Thailand recently, building houses for tsunami victims, and a couple of years ago, giving up six months of time when I could otherwise have been being paid for doing something, volunteer teaching English in a poor rural Village in the north of Thailand.

Shame on me for taking that work away from anyone.

Is there a difference? Not that much. I would perform on a voluntary basis, if there was a good reason for it being for free.



Yes, there's a BIG difference and others have pointed it out so i won't repeat.

 Written by: UmbiliciformCraterOnFace



As I have stated before, and I strongly believe many others follow roughly the same guidelines, I will not perform for free unless:
a) It is for family
b) It is for friends who are other fire spinners
c) It is for charity



Good guidelines, I think that many here would agree with that one.


"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: Written by: NYC


 Written by: Rouge Dragon


At risk of everyone hating me i'm going to ask something.

But I feel that what you are saying is a bit elitist and gives no rise for people trying to break into the industry.



I don't think anything we've said would prevent a total noobie from LEARNING the right things to do and then doing them. Whether that's safe performing technique or getting insurance or anything else. There's obviously a level of experience that everyone should achieve before performing but I don't think it's elitist since I would think anyone that tried and practiced would be able to achieve that level.

I can't agree with it being 'elitist' because I don't think anyone here is excluding the 'non elite.'

We can call it 'safe' because we want to exclude dangerous people or we can call it 'professional' if we want to exclude unprofessional people.

Frankly, I have no problem excluding dangerous spinners. I don't think it's eliteist because it's not difficult to gain the skills needed to meet the criteria we seem to be setting.

And Dave, I think the f!re bre4thing arguement is connected to this discussion but could easily derail it into one of the many FB discussions that exist.

Do a search.

[Kidding, I mean let's not get bogged down in FB discussions]

smile



Well put, i agree with it all except the last bit smile

I definitly concur that I have no problems excluding dangerous spinners.

With fire breathing- thanks for pointing it out in a reasonable and respectful fashion.

I agree that this thread should not turn into a fire breathing discussion- as you say, a search will turn up many threads on that.

I DO have issues with fire breathing and most are not relevant to this thread.

One aspect though, I feel, is relevant.

Please allow me to explain it and then, if you still consider it innapropriate, then feel free to express that.

As preveiously said, I'm increasingly working with community groups and barely do anything for commercial/corporate organisations.

Community organisations in the UK are based on very different principles than commercial ones- many of the workers are there not for the money, but because they care.

No disrespect to those who work in purely commercial organisations here, many of whom also care.

However, as we all know, many of those in promotion who traditiaonally provide much of the work for fire artists, do not care, hence the number of times naive artists get ripped off/not paid.

Community organisations aren't known for having lots of cash or hiring fire artists; however, when they do get funding it is often considerable and, increasingly, they do have a commitment to pay hired artists at well paid rates to reflect the fact that self-employed artists do require a high hourley rate to subsist.

This means that hire of fire artists is becoming more frequent.

Getting to the point- I believe strongly that if such potential hirers in the community sector had any idea whatsoever of, not only the immediate accident risks associated with, but, just as important, the long term health consequences of regular fire breathing- they would not hire fire breathing acts, prefering to spend their money on artists who do not sustain health damage through their chosen art (such as spinners, jugglers or an art unrelated to circus skills).

IMO, they're entitled to their views (ie that they care, that they do not want to support industries whose workers, as part of their work, imbibe highly toxic chemicals that do have long term serious health consequences).

That's not to say I want to put down fire breathing, simply that potential employers should obviously know the facts about the health issues associated with fire arts, then make their own decision.

Does that sound reasonable NYC? Like you, I feel strongly that for the usual fire breathing arguments to dominate this thread is wrong, and would encourage immediate reporting of such hijack attempts to a moderator.

However, on the very specific aspect I cover above- I feel that this thread would be incomplete without it being brought up.

Lastly, to show that I'm taking this seriously, I've reported my own post to the mods, hoping that they will be on alert for anyone attempting to turn this thread into a fire breathing flame war.

And, if I'm wrong, or if I've failed to make my case, they are welcome to delete it.


"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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sagetree
GOLD Member since May 2006

sagetree

organic creation
Location: earth

Total posts: 246
Posted: Written by:

...in an effort to get something together before the inevitable fire accident that leads to the goverment putting legislation in place- what would those things be?





everytime i read something like this i keep thinking that even if the fire community had efficient self regulations or a union of sorts i would think that when the inevitable fire accident happens the government would still make legislation against fire dancing.



i guess my point is that i think the focus should be more on how a global fire dancing guild would benefit everyone instead of preventing the government from regulating. (because they will anyway)


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:If an organised self regulating body was established and recognised by members / participants as a motivating factor then the government would generally open a dialogue with said group before slapping on legislation.

spinning is a form of PLAY, play and games involve adherents to particular rules not necessarily related to those of the REAL world.

this is a definition of PLAY used by governing bodies.
it allows actions within a specified field to go unpunished by laws due to all participants recognising and adhering to a seperate set of rules, enforced by the regulatory agency.
i.e you can't rugby tackle or hand off someone in the real world without breaking the law, however on a rugby pitch these are taken as a matter of course (Laws suspended)

If a fire accident DID happen within the realms of a regulatory body the government would want legislation BUT they would frame it with the help of the regulatory body and probably the fire service. Although they create all kinds of rules regulatory bodies are also there for the mutual benefit and protection of members.

But I agree if the government REALLY wants something then it will probably get it.

Similar to what OWD has been saying our group does workshops and is keen to head more down this path, we are all paying for our own police background checks (CRB check) to provide an element of comfort for parents etc when we are looking after thier kids,


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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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: MiG


The question still remains as to how someone, say they've been spinning for three years, are safe and all that, 'breaks in' to the professional market.

Let's hypothesise- pretend i'm a good, safe spinner. I've been going to meetings and fests for 5 years. I know almost all there is to know about safety, and i've got the best public liability insurance money can buy. I want to start doing paid performances, but there's too many people out there that have been performing pro for as long as i've been spinning, and have a name up as 'the one(s) to call'.

According to this thread, i can't perform free to get a name up, i can't charge less than the established spinners because i'll be undercutting them, and common sense says no company is going to hire an unknown for the same rate as 'a name'.

What do you do?



The exact same thing you do in any other industry. Sink or swim.

If you want to be a bus driver but there are already more bus drivers than the industry requires then you don't get to be a bus driver. Doesn't mean bus driving is an elitist occupation, it just means that the supply outweighs the demand like in any other industry.

If you're trying to suggest that it's an industry than you need to play by the same rules and expect the same results.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted: Written by: simian

As I have stated before, and I strongly believe many others follow roughly the same guidelines, I will not perform for free unless:
a) It is for family
b) It is for friends who are other fire spinners
c) It is for charity



i'd add:
d) it's at a funky party and it lets me get in for free smile
(if they then ask you to go spin outside for the queue, you laugh in their face and tell them they should have hired a professional smile )


"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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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Well you certainly CAN spin for free to get a name - you don't seem to get the point. Nobody is saying you CAN'T... There is no enforcement and basically not even a moral sanction if you do.

You just will have to accept that the next generation coming after you is doing the same thing and the one coming after that and after that... therefore:

Simply do not depend on spinning for making a living and to not expect any sympathy from those who try.

Valid points NYC - that's why (at least in munich) we have physicians, architects, engineers and even PHD's working as waiters and taxi drivers: Because the market is saturated.

Funny enough it's easier (and sometimes better paid) to work as a massage therapist, than an architect (something all Indians are laughing their butts off - at first). Also medical doctors' income is by far not what it used to be, but there is high demand for people who take care for the garbage bins...

As the "community of firespinners" is not an organised group, has no union, any set of guidelines and not even a "minimum wage", PLUS it's growing on a daily basis, corporations find more than enough people who try to get a name...

IMO people will only respect you, if you respect yourself. You do not show respect for yourself and the art you perform, if you spin for free on a corporate event IMHO. You're appearing desperate and greedy for attention (those 5 minutes of fame). If you're spinning for free admission and a drink at the bar - to me you're still neither respecting yourself, nor the art you are performing.

It's not as if something that is free is worth nothing - but after all you act like a fool, spinning for corporate events and commercial parties without charging cash for it.

But maybe you have your only focus on the attention your drag and the applause - that junk that is sticking in your nose and lungs, the burn marks, singed hairs, broken toys, the risk you take yourself and put on others (no matter how routined and coreographed you may be), the pollution that you cast out in the air and into the floor....

Maybe organisers and club owners should start to charge YOU? wink [/sarcasm]


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Mynci


 Written by: NYC


I do not believe that more than 1% of the firespinning community fits into category 3. I do not believe that such things as unions and self regulation make any sense in an industry that is 99% hobbyists.




What like the Football association or the Governing bodies of Sport fishing?




The day that a pro football team lets their star player go and says "NYC, we'll let you play on our team because we don't think the audience will be able to notice" is the day that pro footballers don't deserve a union.

smile


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:*thinks about it*



It really has to do with:



Demand/Supply



[Demand for the work/supply of the workers willing to do it]



There isn't that much demand for firespinning, and there's a huge supply.



There are many many many people that will pay big bucks to watch a football match even though many people would like to be footballers (very high demand/high supply.)



Something like a surgeon would be a moderate demand but a very small supply of qualified folks. That's why they make the big bucks too.



As a teacher I've got lots of job security becuase nobody wants my job.



If you want to make money, pick a career with high demand and short supply.



If you pick a career with low demand and huge supply of folks wanting to do it (like firespinning) then I'd expect there to be difficulty organizing things like unions and decent wages.


Well, shall we go?
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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:if you do a gig for free i think you are obliged to be as crap as you possibly can - turn up late, be rude to everyone you meet and make sure you set at least one part of the venue on fire.

remember to point out as you leave that you get what you pay for.

i believe there is sufficient demand for corporate entertainment to support more fire performers than there are in the u.k. right now.

however, i think that restricting your skill set to only spinning is the single most important reason that spinners cannot find full-time employment as performers.

look at any circus performer's cv and you'll see a skill *set* - they can offer more than just one type of entertainment, even if they make most of their money doing just one thing.

if you want to be a full-time performer, diversification is the key to success - at the very least, learn to stilt walk and balloon model and offer workshops too so that you can provide more than just 'a show with glow or fire'.


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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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:NYC ubblol glad you made a good deal in circumnavigating around quoting or adressing me ubblol never mind wink



So if you want to survive - for what you do not necessarily need money for - go into teaching, garbage or recycling - there's the future. But stay away from spinning... (?)



However I guess the purpose of this thread was to inform all those who unhesistatingly perform for free (at corporate events) are taking away "the reward" for those who are willing to try turn their passion into a living - which is a crap idea anyways and in no way anyone would benefit from that. wink



@cole: clap eggsactly! Diversification is the key!



 Written by:



if you do a gig for free i think you are obliged to be as crap as you possibly can - turn up late, be rude to everyone you meet and make sure you set at least one part of the venue on fire.







ubblol Guess that's what some do even though they GET paid. wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:SO... my point is (and I do have one)...

If you want to incorporate any of the above ideas you either need to increase demand or decrease supply.

Ways of increasing demand:
contacting promoters, organizers
advertizing
doing free shows to promote paid ones
etc...

Ways of decreasing supply:
Forcing out unqualified spinners
Not teaching others (teaching others is completely stupid if you're trying to market yourself. You're creating your own competition.)
Keeping valuable information from newbies
Forming a union and forcing non-union workers to quit

Focusing on increasing demand seems both easier and more ethical. Most of the arguements above seem to be focusing on decreasing supply.

Plus, once demand increases it will become more apparent which troupes are qualified and deserving of further employment.


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:No doubt you have a point.



 Written by: NYC

If you want to incorporate any of the above ideas you either need to increase demand or decrease supply.



Ways of increasing demand:

contacting promoters, organizers

advertizing

doing free shows to promote paid ones

etc...





Good points, I put in bold, what I totally disagree with, unless if it's for friends, charities. To avoid repetition: I explained earlier, WHY IMO free gigs are not a good idea. I have experienced organisers who play this either a "perpetuum mobile" or simply hire the next dude, who wants to build his name. As you wel put it yourself: There are MORE THAN ENOUGH gifted performers out there.



 Written by: NYC



Ways of decreasing supply:

Forcing out unqualified spinners





How so? You can NEVER force out "unqualified spinners", even if you'd form a union - you will always have a hard time to enforce it and I guess none of the fireplayers has the mindset to seriously pick on another - I hope! The only ways will be that the gov't will put strict(er) regulations on us.



NYC - in YOUR city spinning fire is prohibited ANYWHERE. Where I come from, we can spin in every park (with massive fire and a huge group) and if we get a permission from fire prevention (which is not THAT hard) we can do it in the streets busking. Personally I'd hate to see that change! That's the only reason why me, myself and I are pointing our staffs at safety regulations and encourage people to train more/ inform themselves about proper fire safety practices/ discourage unexperienced spinners from performing with an audience.



 Written by: NYC

Not teaching others (teaching others is completely stupid if you're trying to market yourself. You're creating your own competition.)

Keeping valuable information from newbies

Forming a union and forcing non-union workers to quit





The water flows down the hill, in no way you're going to stop that. You can be a part of it, or get washed away. Even at the hardest times, I'd never cease teaching others (if I can)... and I will never. Because after all I regard this "art" to one of THE most beneficial and easiest to learn activities that a human being can pursue. Dunno 'bout you, but I'd rather starve before playing Gollum....



 Written by:

Focusing on increasing demand seems both easier and more ethical.





clap Completely agreed.



 Written by: NYC

Most of the arguements above seem to be focusing on decreasing supply.





Excuse me, but I reckon selective reading and misinterpretation is one of your favourites, NYC (no offence)...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1161355540)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Tom, please don't accuse me of misquoting you or misrepresenting you when I am clearly ignoring you.

Thanks.

smile

[It's not always all about you homie... I was talking to others in my posts above.]


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FireTom


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Posted:Then maybe as kind not to brush "most of the arguments above" over one edge, because - even though my ego is struggling with the idea that you a)re ignoring me - I can't b) follow up on what you're indicating.

I can observe sincere concern of those who do try to turn their passion into a profession.

On top of this - and this is the part I particularly am focussed on - if more accidents are occuring (and they certainly will any which way) - the "happy days of free spinning in the streets and parks" will soon be over.

None of your concerns however, right?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

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Posted: Written by: Coleman

if you do a gig for free i think you are obliged to be as crap as you possibly can - turn up late, be rude to everyone you meet and make sure you set at least one part of the venue on fire.

remember to point out as you leave that you get what you pay for.



genuis! ubblol


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay...so.. I just read the whole thing and there is a general consensus coming around and I don't even think ya'll realize it.

What makes a professional:

1. A solid, and diverse, skill set with a thought out presentation (not just spinning in a corner in jeans) and safety measures thought and taken, including not drinking during spinning, thinking of audience and venue safety, etc.
To this I also want to add the willingness and ability to use an alternative to fire (ie: understand that fire is simply a medium, not the end all beat all of performing and that it will not make a sucky presentation look better)

2. Paperwork. Contracts (or however you call them), liability waivers (can be built into contract), Burn/Safety plan, etc.

3. The drive to do legwork. Leg work is self promotion. Making sure the burn plan gets to the marshal, that the promoters know you are available and what your standards are.

4. Worth. You determine your show is actually worth and you have an expectation to receive at least that much. BTW, I'd like to add that it is not unreasonable to request that you receive a percentage of the payment upfront as a deposit.

5. That you pick and choose what free events you will do, and limit yourself on them. Instead of doing every charity that comes around, you choose one or two that are important to you. You will spin at a friends or for fellow spinners but that's it, etc.

There are more of course. I have acted as a consultant for many performers over the years, helping them set up their paperwork and deciding what their professional limitations are. Why do I do this when I could easily market myself to their events? Because it would wear me down. Because then I would die trying to make them and because I want other performers to be as professional as possible and to set high standards. If enough of us do it, then promoters and producers will get the idea. I know several already who will not hire outside of the professional they have established a rapport with, unless someone is referred to them by those pros.

That type of stuff goes a very long way to positive market increase (as NYC said) without being down on newbies.
It is also a covert way of controlling the market quality without the free spinners in your area knowing what you are doing.

BTW, when starting on something like this..head to the fire marshall's office first. Since event producers have to work with them, if they feel secure with your practices then they will be more inclined to approve you for a producer instead of someone the producer could cut corners on.


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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NYC


NYC

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Posted: Written by: coleman


if you do a gig for free i think you are obliged to be as crap as you possibly can - turn up late, be rude to everyone you meet and make sure you set at least one part of the venue on fire.

remember to point out as you leave that you get what you pay for.



Ah... British Sarcasm. I think. I hope. I need to learn or my marriage is going to be very confusing. wink

But I feel like your joke is what people are actually suggesting.

I'm going to fall back to one of my earlier points because I think folks are missing it.

The situation in London is different than the situation in New York City. If y'all want to organize the huge number of professional fire performers than I think you've got a point. Y'all might want to organize safety and urge venues not to hire uninsured or free performers.

Each community has different needs.

I'm not going to stop donating performances at festivals which are based on artists donating art. I'm not going to stop spinning for free at parties that I want to support.

I really think it's apples and oranges with the different communities.

I can't imagine that one kid in Alaska performing fire at the local Ben and Jerry's store opening is going to hurt the community. But I can imagine the fact that half of San Fransisco spinning must make it difficult for a San Fran troupe to get work.

The part where y'all are gonna yell at me is where I'm suggesting that I haven't seen enough fire troupes that are professional enough to warrant the enitre industry to gain respect.

As long as you've got a large number of professional troupes showing up late, professional troupes being unsafe, professional troupes being rude and totally 'unprofesional' by any other standard the industry as a whole doesn't deserve respect. [The very few that do certainly deserve huge amounts of respect!]

As long as the 'professionals' are acting less professional than the non-professionals I don't think that y'all have got a leg to stand on. And if the difference isn't detectable by employers then you've got no right to complain when they pick based on price.


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[Nx?]
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

[Nx?]

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Posted:nice pele, thanks. agreed.

T wave


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
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