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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Ok, so last night, I was talking to some friends and they described me (half-jokingly) as a "pyromaniac."

Webster's describes pyromania as "an irresistable urge to start fires."

Obviously, by the strict definition, I am not a pyromaniac because I never have experienced an irresistable urge to start a fire. I just happen to think that fire is beautiful, but I also fear fire and have great respect for it.

I think that it's good for a firespinner to fear fire. I think it helps you to practice good safety skills. I just remind myself at all times: "Remember, the fire wants to destroy everything."

So no, I don't play with fire itself. I do acts that use fire (like eating or spinning) but I don't just play with fire for the sheer joy of playing with fire.

How do you view your relationship with fire?

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:Certainly not pyromaniacal!

On a fundamental, wide-eyed-child level, I like fire because it just looks so damn cool

However, I've seen and worked with fires that are always pushing the limits - always growing, always getting bigger and badder, but it's like I maintain a standard of safety and take a more minimalist approach anymore... I've seen the big kaboom, and it's just not so big anymore. I keep my fires small and controllable, and more enjoy the patterns I make than the actual flames themselves.

Electroglo equipment gives me the same kind of joy that fire does, but there is still something primal to the fire that I can't quite put a finger on... it awakens something in me, I guess you could say.

What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:I flatted with a pyromaniac once, (I have asneaky suspicion he pushed for me to move in on the grounds of my hobby).

It was so scary, he kept asking questions about how to light guitars, and trees and anything on fire.

He nearly burnt down the house because he was burning paper on the front step, the flame licked his hand so he threw it away and it landed in the dry bush right next to the house. The whole bush cuaght on fire and had to be doused with several buckets before it was put out.

Even then, I spent half an hour soaking the charred ground in water and turning over the earth and ashes to (hopefully) stop any embers from relighting.

Yes, I get called a pyro by many of my acquaintances, but I'm not a patch on this guy!

I don't think clinical pyros should have anything to do with fire arts, EVER!

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?

Posted:Anyone remember Knagi?

<deftly ducks swipe from Pele's protective wing>


Blue light hunter
Blue light hunter

Location: southend-on-sea, essex
Member Since: 22nd Aug 2002
Total posts: 22
Posted:Fire, i like fire!!!! I too do respect it and haven't yet aflamed myself!!

I love the colour and the flickering. Wouldn't say i love to burn things but i do love the wooommmppphh noise as it spins around your head!!!

hmmmmmmmm fire xx

And eh,, Knagi?

There are three rules about the monkey in the cage. The first is we do not speak about the monkey in the cage. The second is we do not speak about the monkey in the cage!!!
The third is not to feed him after midnight or ever get him wet......

LuNcHbOx...(Aka. Nathan)-un-single
Location: beneath a cloak of self-tortur...
Member Since: 3rd Oct 2002
Total posts: 536
Posted:hells ya man..i am a pyromanic!!!
i am the one and only pyro in this state...
i have blown, inflamed, and put my self out so many times i have lost count...
man i love fire...
i'm saving up to buy some fire poi so i can start swinging...
well laterz..lol

-LuNcHbOx, Aka. Nathan...Give a man to fish, and that man knows where to come for more fish...Teach a man to fish and you have just destroyed your market base...


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:LOL @ Josh!!! Oh my god did I crack up there! I have to admit, I adore Knagi to death, but he is borderline Pyromaniac...and he admits it. BUT...in his defense (as Josh prompted)
he is sooooo much safer than he was say two years ago!

I taught a fire eating workshop yesterday to a man writing a book about this stuff and talked much about this topic.
As someone who performs with fire. I do not feel that we should in any way fear the fire. I do think we should respect it for all that it is, the great transformer and destroyer itself. I think we need to be fully aware of what it can do, not only to ourselves but others and their belongings. In this there lies great respect and great caution, but fear should not be in there, as people who harbor the fear are more likely to lose their cool when something goes wrong. People who respect, know what can happen and remain more calm. I have seen this theory in action and fully believe it.

I am not a Pyromaniac. I like fire. I love the way it dances. The nuances in it's color. The aromas it leaves hanging in the air. I love the way it touches things, with a caress that is silky smoothe but sometimes a bit harsh as well, very much like a siren. But this does not drive me in anyway to set things aflame, because I, better than many, know how it can change everything in it touches. It is a dichotomous creature and I really appreciate that, being one myself.

Yes, I said fire is a creature. It is very much alive to me and I regard my relationship with it on many levels. One is that of a performance partner. It dances and sings. Sometimes in unison with me, sometimes very much contrary to my imaginings, but together we create art.

Much like any living creature, fire wants to survive, and as someone with that same drive, I admire it completely. It does not want to destroy everything in it's path, it needs to feed to live. It needs to breathe to grow. It speaks it's own language...roaring when it is full and boisterous, whispering when the wind makes it fearful to come out and play, dancing with excited fervor and lazing into a quiet slumber when the night is done. And as someone who works closely with it, I listen to it, seeing what mood it is in that day..and whether or not it is moody and tempestuous or just seeking a good time.

I respect fire for being the harbinger of life. Without it there would be no modern society as we know it at all. Like the human race, fire creates as much as it destroys...a catalyst for change both naturally and by user design. And as such it has my utmost respect.

It is lovely in its own graces, complex with it intricacies and its seemingly random nature and yet so simple in its basic drive....
I think too much!

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


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:I agree and disagree on the fear of fire concept.

I don't fear fire. I fear burns! Both on myself and on other people.

I fear the damage fire can do to property as well.

Basically, I fear what fire can do when it is out of control, regardless of whether its from me while performing, or some bum smoking in a petrol station.

Fire's great, but it's potential scares the cr@p out of me

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?

Location: Aotearoa
Member Since: 8th Apr 2003
Total posts: 138
Posted:I think they need to re-evaluate the defnition of pyro.

I burn purely for pleasure, i love it. I was burning every night for months, but does that mean im a pyro, NO!!! Allthough i do have "an irresistable urge to start fires."
I dont randomly burn anything, or houses and stuff. Just poi/ staff.

Its all just smoke and mirrors


Oolering Man
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Member Since: 12th Jan 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:I don't fear fire, because I think thats unhealthy, I do however hold it in great respect...... and was that pyromaniac or poiromaniac, and does that make you a pyrpoiromaniac, or a poiropyromaniac if you like spinning fire poi? what about if firestaffs more ya thing?!?!?

:::::::::shut up Spiral!::::::::::


Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:To me, fire is just something extra to add to spinning for a bit of variety.
It's slightly more fun than spinning non-fire poi but it's also so much more hassle.
In fact, I've only lit up 4 on four occasions so far this year, and 2 of them were this week, so fire is really not that big a deal for me.

Having said that, it was such a rush when I had a go with Woody's quadruple wicked poi last night, and since I've now found some other spinners who live near me, I think I'll be lighting up more often

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.


Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:I'm certainly not a pyro. I only view fire as formal tennis ball spinning.

It's nice to see and always a bit surprising at the number of non-pyros that firespin. I have met and even taught some true pyromaniacs... People who actually like to destroy things with fire. They're actually a bit scary. I don't think many true pyromaniacs would also have the patience to learn to build tricks and such... but I know there are a few of you out there.

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

DJ Dantana
Location: Stillwater, Ok. USA
Member Since: 15th Aug 2001
Total posts: 1495
Posted::raises hand and jumps up and down: "oooo, ooo, pick me!!!"

I've been a pyro all my life. I don't destroy things (that aren't my own) but there are very few things cooler than watching something big go boom with a big ol happy joygasm of a fire ball, like a mushroom cloud and the shock wave you feel in your chest and the infrared radiation on your face and lots of gasoline left over to sit there and burn baby burn

That was a lovely poem, pele . Well, if you didn't mean to, even just by taking out a few lines from above post, you could send it in to a publisher. seriousely, that was beautiful prose.

Never fear anything, RESPECT, but do not fear.

Fear leads to panic, panic causes death.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side.

we eat and we drink and we smoke and we try!

Mistress Aurora
Mistress Aurora

Hot Schtuff
Location: Stillwater,OK/Wichita Falls,TX
Member Since: 19th Jan 2003
Total posts: 1032
Posted:I'm not a pyro.
I think I'm more cautious than fearful of fire.

I'm still getting used to the flame on my poi.

I've been jokingly teased by my other fellow fire spinners with things like "yes mother" after I ask them to be careful when spinning on wet sand or uneven ground.This was during the filming of Booty One vid.The sand was wet at my apt. and I had a hard time doing my moves.I kept making sure I wasn't going to trip and fall and burn myself.

I asked the others to be careful and not do anything that could throw them off balance and could cause them to fall.That's where the "yes mother" came into play.

It kinda hurt but I will let it be known that I care for the safety of not only myself but of others.I don't want to see anybody get hurt by fire.

I sometimes think that I may be too much of a cautious person, but how cautious must you be when it comes to fire?

I don't feel comfortable when it is windy,there's uneven ground,or if it's cold outside because I can't feel my fingers or hands when it's cold, plus I'm shivering.

I enjoy doing fire poi, but I also enjoy the fact that I am doing my best not to get burned and I try and eliminate those factors which I believe are conflicting with my personal safety or the safety of others.

Does that make me a worrier?

Am I a worrier if I look out for the well being of my fellow spinners or myself?

All it takes is one time and somebody could get hurt.I just want to try and minimize that from happening.

RISK: Do not follow the common path; Go where there is no path and leave a trail.

DJ Dantana
Location: Stillwater, Ok. USA
Member Since: 15th Aug 2001
Total posts: 1495
Posted:yes mother

we eat and we drink and we smoke and we try!


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:pyromaniac? me? no, never played with lynx cans and bonfires when i was a teenager, not me, you've gotten me mixed up with someone else. I also didn't go to a valentines house party earlier this year which had 2 fire engines called to it twice.

but on a more serious note I am always very cautious when i spin with fire. I always make sure i have the correct clothing, am sobar myself and won't do it unless there's at least one sobar person watching with a damp towel. You can call me sad if you want, but whilst I love fire spinning i don't really enjoy pain all that much. Being smacked with a beamer is one thing, having to have plastic surgery is another.

I wouldn't call myself a pyromaniac, but i do like the stuff. I also like the fact that i've performed to quite a few people now who don't know my name and just refer to me as the fire man

Location: North Wales
Member Since: 26th Nov 2002
Total posts: 45
Posted:i too enjoy watching fire, i enjoy its colour, its sound, the fact that you can cit on the beach with a big fire, and if you look closely enough the fire can tell stories of caves, dragons and other myhths and ledgends. i like the fact that fire can make something, yet destroy something. it is a delicate substance that can turn horribly wrong if used wrongly. yet i am not a pyro, i just enojoy the way it dances, its almost as if it is excited to be alive those short few minutes of its life. spinning it on the end of a stff makes me enjoy it mroe, i do to respect it, i am not afraid of fire or burns, i am afriad of pain. and being inot other sports such as BMX i experiance pain on a regular basis. but there is no pain like a fire pain, its not like a bruise or a cut, it gets worse before it gets better. yet thats the beauty of it. once you experiance the pain once, you know what it is like, and you know how far you can go before it says no.

spinning fire also shows an amount of self control and confidence, i mean, if you think about it, no one truly has proper self control, or even self realisation, it helps me know how much i can truly take, with this delicate element. like i said before, this element can turn nasty, only when you make it go ut of control, and when you have self control, you have self realisation.

this is the reason i like fire, but i am not a pyro


Mike Buggins


Quantum Theorist
Location: Vansterdam
Member Since: 12th Dec 2002
Total posts: 564
Posted:yes! and A pyrotechnition

In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird, now the world is weird and they take prozac to make it normal again.

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