Forums > Help! > Best way to get a gig?

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SILVER Member since Jun 2008

Location: , USA

Total posts: 65
Posted:Well Im new to the idea of preforming for money. I have done a few grad parties and small things like that. I and a friend that's a glass walker and juggler were going to be busking a local street festival but that fell through because my new Poi heads haven't come in yet.

I was wondering though what is the best way to get a weekend gig at a bar or something. I was guessing business cards and a promo video would be the best bet. I would only do fire outside.

What about insurance? I already know safety is very important and even more so in front of people.

Any tips would be helpful.

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SILVER Member since Mar 2008


Location: Wilmington, NC, USA

Total posts: 14
Posted:For me, it's been all about who you know. It gets easier the more you connect with other spinners. I've had the great luck to meet up with the organizer of a fire troupe in my area, who has invited me to a few gigs. It's much easier to work with an established group than to convince people that you're a valid performer.

If, however, you can do want to start your own troupe or do solo gigs, marketing is very important. If you want to start with a bar or something like that, you should go straight to the manager and convince him that you'll be good for business - the fire will draw people in, etc. Sell your experience, too. Fire is dangerous, and people will want to be sure that nothing is going to happen to their establishment.

If you're in the US, this site is highly recommended for a fire insurance company:

Also, it'd be great to have some kind of video that you can show of a past performance.

Good luck! Hope this helps.

EDITED_BY: LOCfan (1217726675)

.: Sanity is calming, but madness is more interesting :.




Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:Well, I'm in Oz. A lot of the hard work was done when my troupe started. You need a name, and business cards (and a website helps) and yeah, promo video.

Insurance in Australia can come from "Duck for Cover".

Then there's promotional companies, though they do take 30% or something on top of your fees...

Going around to clubs, making contacts, friends of friends is always a good start.

Good luck!


GOLD Member since Nov 2001


still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:have a routine - try design it to be flexible so as to suit as many events as possible. having multiple skills, multiple performers will allow you to compete better against other troupes offering the same.

Provide quotes when you can. It'll minimise the chances of dodgey promoters attempting re-negotiate costings after you provide the service.

regarding the policy of asking for 50% upfront - if you have the clout you should do so, but bear in mind that i have lost gigs in doing so.


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always


SILVER Member since Mar 2005


what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Be good. Be very good.
Otherwise you may-
make a tit of yourself
hurt self/others
just further the reputation of Fire Spinning being something just anyone can do- that doesn;t need appropriate payment or even respect. Cos really if a 'performer' is not good, entertaining etc, why should anyone respect or pay them?

Have a LOT of experience spinning in your backyard/the park or wherever else you practice. There are very many obstacles and distractions that can arise in a performance setting.. especilly, g*d forbid, a bar- where people go to get pissed and even more stupid/reckless than normal. eg people come pick up your stuff while you are spinning. Play at firebreathing. Heckle and try to impress beefhead gf's by making things hard for you. Walk across your space. You may spill fuel or spray it from inadequately spun off toys. Hopelessly tangle or get a burn in public.

All of these things can happen, and experience in your basic skills will help you when things go wrong, as they may well at any time..

Have professional looking costumes that are fire resistant and improve your look as well as enabling you to move well.

Be scrupulous about safety, have excellent equipment in perfect order, and preferably a dedicated safety person or minder who can come with you. Be as smooth as silk in your fuelling/lighting and EXTINGUISHING practices. Do not choreo to burn until your toys are out.. that is a lame look and creates tension. Extinguish them safely while they are still looking good.

Know what you, and your moves, look like while you are spinning by practising in front of a reflecting surface or filming yourself. Beginners often look tragic-- head bent, shoulders hunched, doing nothing in particular and looking nervous about it. Or flinging themselves around in an unfocused way. Use timing, stops, character with your choreo. A performance is a long way from just mucking about.

Then somewhere down the track, when you are really really ready, think about approaching people who have the power to give you a gig.

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




Total posts: 6650


Promo Vid and/or Business Cards: essential to start with.

Insurance: do a search re. "insurance for fire performers"

Legwork: once you have the above completed (and presuming that you're 'good enough' to perform in public for money) do the run-around and present yourself to the venues, event managers and agents. You'll find heeps of information browsing the web, addresses and stuff...

Last (but not least): be a VERY safe spinner thankx

Good luck

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


SILVER Member since Jun 2008

Location: , USA

Total posts: 65
Posted:Thanks for all the information guys. I should be fine with heckling people because I have dealt with them before. When doing partys what I do is invite the heckler to try and follow me with my soft Practice Poi. That tends to get them to ether shut up or they make a complete ass of them self. I would only do that in a open area just in case they end up throwing them.


GOLD Member since Feb 2002


Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra, Australia

Total posts: 810
Posted:Hmmm that might work for street shows or parties but i sure as heck would not be doing that at a paid corporate gig. I suppose it depends on your style of show but if you are just doing free form spinning I don't think bringing hecklers up on stage and making a spectacle out of them is particularly professional looking.

Any how that os probably the least of your worries. You should focus on the safty aspects like spotters, insurance, fire permits and that sort of thing before you even worry about what a heckler is going to say to you.

I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />