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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Fire in your show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

rtgreen
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Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

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Hey guys,

Just a quick question: What problems do you have using fire (flash paper, candles, flash pots, etc.) in your shows? I am especially interested in cruise venues and how you handle modifying or replacing fire effects to match the venue.

Thanks,
Richard
RJE
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Inner circle
1848 Posts

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Hi Richard,

We don't use fire at all. Our liability insurance strictly forbids it.

We do a lot of work with a fantastic laser (FFP) company who used to do a lot of pyrotechnics. Over the last few years, they have done less and less. In fact, I haven't seen them do any for quite sometime. The insurance costs and risks are just too great.

Anyway, that's our side of the story.

All the best,

Rob
rtgreen
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Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

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Thanks Rob,

That's what I assumed, but I wanted to hear it from someone who knew from experience before jumping to conclusions and avoiding fire and flash in my show.

Thanks,
Richard
Mtripp
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New user
99 Posts

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I do a science show in schools.

Last week I was in Akron OH.

A professional science teacher there was doing a classic science experiment....

...something went wrong and it exploded and sent her and 9 others to the hospital including her own son.

Critical condtion, skin grafts, HORRIBLE thing to happen.

Remember, this was a full time science teacher.

I advise EVERYONE to leave the fire stuff alone.....
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1814 Posts

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Richard,

It's been a while since I worked on a cruise ship (early 1990s) but I always used a small amount of flash paper with my vanishing candle and used a fire wallet. Neither of these were a problem. (My liability insurance, which is through the I.B.M., does allow me to use flash paper. Pyrotechnics/explosives are excluded but flash boxes are covered up to $5,000 and flashpaper is acceptable. I still use flash paper and the fire wallet in my shows for ages 12 and up.

Like anything else, you have to be careful how you use fire and there is a risk to it. If you want to include fire magic, just be prepared for the worst case scenario (keep a fire extinguisher handy) and know what you're doing.
rtgreen
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Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

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I'm really mostly concerned with very small fire like a candle flame or a small sheet of flash paper. Nothing big.

Thanks,
Richard
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1814 Posts

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I don't see where that would be a problem.

Michael
Tony S
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Special user
New York
581 Posts

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Quote:
On 2006-02-01 19:06, rtgreen wrote:
I'm really mostly concerned with very small fire like a candle flame or a small sheet of flash paper. Nothing big.

Thanks,
Richard



Richard,
After the Rhode Island incident a candle, small piece of flash paper, or small piece of flash string is the only fire I will use in my show. My liability insureance covers me for these uses of fire. Even with such small flames, I always make sure there is a fire extinguisher nearby. Depending on the performing circumstances, I am always prepared to leave the fire out of my act. For example, if it appears there are too many people in the room to evacuate safely in the event of a mishap, or if there is only one way in or out of the room I will not even light the candle or flash paper. I have not worked cruise ships, but if I did I most likely would not use any fire at all - it just seems like it's potentially too dangerous a situation to me.

Tony
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



www.anthonysisti.com
The Village Idiots
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Elite user
Orlando
464 Posts

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We use a lot of fire in our show, on ships. A member from the Alpha Team (fire men) has to sit back stage and watch our whole show every week as a precautionary measure. They seem to like it and I have made a few friends from them.

The biggest problem I think you will encounter is traveling with flash paper. I haven't done it so I don't know. Just doesn't seem like something I would want on a plane.
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
modern_sorcery
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Colorado
27 Posts

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I only use fire outside, with no audience there to possibly get hurt. So when do I use fire. Only on videos I shoot, that is it.

There are so many good magic effects out there that have nothing to do with safety issues, stick to them.

I wish I remember the name of a magician who told me that the audience may not remember that you played with fire, but they all will remember who started it if an accident occurs.

Be a magician. Don't do escapes where the element of danger is real, that is a stuntman, not an escape artist. Don't play with fire with an audience there, your not a fireman or an arsonist.

I know it sound rough. It is safe though. I eat fire, do the traveling flame, hold the fire in my hand. Only on video though. I don't want to be responsible for someone else suffering because I am messing around with fire.
ufo
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
1185 Posts

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I use lots of fire including multiple large torches. At a theatre I usually just do it and never ask. There is an extinguisher and a fire blanket on hand and someone ready to step in and contain any spread. IT also goes without saying that we have learned to handle the fuel dump, source, etc professionally.
Outdoors I always just do it. Once in the last 13 years I have been asked not to do it...and that was an outdoor situation.
If I am in a small setting like a banquet room, etc...I do not use the big fire. I will still use flash paper and candles, etc but nothing that couldn't be contained at the expense of my own two hands.
A big time pro told me: "always do fire...never ask if you can do fire". If you ask they will say no. If you (in a right enviornment) do it, they say "COOOOOOOL!"
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
modern_sorcery
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New user
Colorado
27 Posts

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As magicians we are always looking for the self-working trick, back-up plan for failed tricks, lines to handle hecklers, but we are so quick to play with fire with no back-up plan at all.

We are always looking for the answer of controlling the situation if something get out of our hands, not with fire though.

It isn't to tramatic to a kid if the dove your working with leaves a sample on your coat, but you would never be able to apologize enough if he got hurt during your show.

It is not our job to bring real danger to our audience.

I first started performing in California. Magic and acting. You can't legally buy flash paper, etc. in CA without a pyro license. Open flame on stage or the set requires a permit and fire personnel (or fire marshall. I can't remember) I am sure that they have criminal penalties for not following the law. The manager of a music group was sentenced to 12 years for a fire in a nightclub. The law sees all pyrotechnics to be the same in some states. I am in Colorado now, and can buy flash stuff legally. I am sure that I would still need permits to perform with fire inside.

Oddly enough fire and a boat in the middle of the ocean is a bad combination. That ship will have rules and you would be very wise to inform them that you are using fire. Have it in the contract and you better have a plan for when something goes bad.

If you want to perform with fire, legally protect yourself, and always protect your audience.
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