Forums > Help! > Fire performance as a profession

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BRONZE Member since Sep 2009

Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Total posts: 3
Posted:I've been looking around for about a month now, trying to figure out what steps it takes to become a professional fire performer/poi spinner, and I really have no idea what to do to start. Do you need a license to perform somewhere? Do I need to just join a fire troupe and book gigs with them? My sister told me to move to Hawaii with her and perform at luau's, but I don't know how to do that. I'm currently stuck with this talent running in circles unsure how to turn the skill into a profession, somebody please point me in the right direction!

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SILVER Member since May 2007


Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Total posts: 3597
Posted:it's hard.

First step is insurance. Then you may want to make a promotional video of what you do. You may also want to develop a couple Routines so that everywhere you spin you are not just winging it. once that stuff is taken care of, work on your stage presence, because more then likely, it needs work.

Once thats all done it may be time to start thinking about going pro


Owned by Mynci!


Charlie Fox
PLATINUM Member since Jun 2006

Charlie Fox

Burinating the village like Trogdor
Location: West Auck, NZ, New Zealand

Total posts: 156
Posted:Good advice from Pojo,

A lot of people start performing by advertising themselves with posters, making themselves known to local bars and businesses or talent agencies, and possibly doing a few cheapies/freebies for local businesses just to get yourself known. However with the latter don't fall in to the trap of doing cheapies/freebies for anyone, especially businesses, the only people i do cheapies/freebies for these days are friends, family and not for profit business or fund raisers. you eventually have to put your foot down or you will fall in to the cycle of doing 10 gigs for $50 instead of 1 for $500 for example.

Find out what the local rates are in your area, and do your best to abide by them, it works out best for everyone, as the surest way to get on the wrong side of every other performer is to run around under cutting them, and believe you me, the local business know what the local rates are, and they will always try to pay you less, they are at the end of the day a business, and with fire being such a heavily community based activity it's easy to fall in to the trap of taking the low rates to help out the business.

In Auckland NZ, we charge per performance, not for time also.

Never underestimate the power of a good quality business card also, we use Click Business Cards, ours are Double sided with matt laminate and an awesome logo that grabs attention (if i do say so myself wink ), get heaps, get your friends to pass them out for you, and pass them out yourself.

Hopefully the above is of some help to you, i have no doubt this may be a touchy issue for some in the community though, and am also acutly aware things are probably done very differently in other parts of the world, there are some pretty big differences even just from one end of NZ to the other.

The biggest thing though, in my opinion, remember as a professional fire performer you just made fire a business for yourself, you open yourself to new challenges, new criticism, but also new skills and the thrill of a responsive crowd. Do not sell yourself short, initially i must admit i felt bad charging so much for my performing, but now several years on, i charge more, and i'm fine about it, when we charge for fire were not just charging for the time we perform at that event, you have fuel, transit costs, and how many hours did it take you to get as good as you are, plus how many others can do what you can do? the answers should be hundreds/thousands and not many wink The shorter your performance is the more you need to practice so the more you should charge, my solo performances are the same price for 1 or 60 minutes, 60 minutes is pretty much just an extended practice session, 1 minute is very intense and high pressure.

And holy crap I'm a rambling. nothing like 4 hours sleep 5 nights in a row in a time zone 5 hours away from your home one to warp the mind.

Hopefully the above is of some use to you, I could probably talk for hours with tips and hints and lessons learned from performing, also as i work as an agent for other performers I've gotten the hang of organising groups of people for performances too.

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
- A.A. Milne

Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!
- Anon (I think)


BRONZE Member since Apr 2005


Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8738
Posted:Insurance, Professional website, Costume, routine(s)
marketing and chasing gigs and events and clubs etc


Insurance, website, costume, routine, approach a developed troupe and see if they can offer you any work as an act. or approach an entertainments agency to put you on their books to sell to people and you perform as the agency.

It's hard on your own to run a full show but it can be done. See if there are any others interested in starting a group. but definately get some good pictures and a good promo video to put on your site hug try and get some good references as well to put on your site if your just starting out.

and charge what you are worth, and most importantly stay safe. proper risk assesments are required for your insurance to be valid prior to performing so know your safety info backwards, nothing worse than seeing a performer doing fire for a club or event who has NO idea of safety. so get an extinguisher and fire blanket and wet towels just in case wink good luck

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.


BRONZE Member since Dec 2000


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I'll come back to this quickly, but are you still located in Seattle?

There are some really incredible troupes working professionally there, or people who used to have them and now hang out and just answer questions. If you plan to start in that area, I highly recommend you check with them and build a good communication with them as you never know when they'll refer you when they can't do a gig.

The rest I'll come back to later, as I said but there is some good advice already here to get you going. :-)

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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