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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Catch this if you can! » » Fire juggling! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Stick Man
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I'm 16 and I had my first show last week, it's great. I advise it to anyone that hasn't tried it yet. If you have, do you know any good visual tricks I can learn. Smile
Lithix
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Visual tricks for doing torch juggling? Almost anything you learn doing club swinging looks very cool with torches. I'd suggest simple things like throwing doubles every third throw. Basically it doesn't take much to impress people with fire.

If you are doing a street show, I really like holding the unlit torches in a V shape in one hand so that two torches are touching and the third is about 8 inches away (or whatever comfortable distance, where you can light it without it igniting the other two). Make sure that the seperate one has enough fuel on it so that you can grab the wick and get your fingers wet. Basically you light the torch and then grab the wick for a fraction of a second as you rotate the other two torches and light them with the fire on your hand.

I don't know if I'm really explaining that the best way, if you don't understand what I'm saying, just let me know and I'll try to explain it better. Basically audiences just love it when you grab the fire from one torch and use it to light the other ones. Smile

Oh yeah - btw... I'm not sure what kind of show you are doing, but if it's got a comedy element to it, there is a standard gag that usually get some laughs.

When juggling, place one torch between your legs (wear jeans) and then either go "Eek!" and make a facial expression like you didn't really mean to do that trick." Smile I'd suggest practicing this with unlit torches until you can put the torch far enough between your legs to not scorch the back of your pants.

When you are done juggling (and you should always quit before the fuel runs out) there is a way to get the kids rolling. Put two torches in your left hand, hanging down to your left and one in your right. Look right and blow out the torch in your right hand, Make sure it looks like it's really hard to blow out. Then "absent mindedly" tranfer one of the torches from your left hand to the right, basically do the same thing facing the left. This of course re-lights the torch you just blew out... and you just keep doing it for a while, re-lighting the torches until you decide to look really out of breath and wonder what's going on.
Smile

P.S. - Chops look really cool with torches too - but they are pretty difficult... and if you don't do it right or your hand is sweaty from too much fire juggling... then there is a chance of slippage... and having a torch fling into your audience... they usually frown upon that. (Trust me!)

Also, keep your fuel well away from where you are performing and perferably in a sealed container. We used to always pour some in a cup and put the container away, until this one time we were performing inside at a dance club... someone accidently kicked over the cup - and we missed a trick and the torch fell on the floor... think Coyote Ugly. Fortunately, there were people lurking near by with fire extinguishers - we just bowed in the middle of the fire and grabbed our gear while they put the fire out. The crowd loved it. Smile
Missing_Link
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Nice recommendations, Lithix. Don't forget that fire juggling not only looks great, but also sounds great. The noise of wooshing flames will impress many. Torch swinging is a great thing to do, as is combining torch juggling with a unicycle, rola bola etc (the same goes for knives). Tricks that involve a carry and throw look good with fire - like throwing under arm or mills mess. Do you fire eat/ breathe? That can also be added for a finale.

Cheers

ML
Lithix
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Tempe, AZ
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Also - if you don't do any fire eating... Its pretty funny to make a big dramatic gesture and very slowly act like you are going to eat the torch... then - as everyone is on their toes waiting with divine anticipation - you slice right through the tension by lowering to the side of your mouth and blowing it out. Then just be like, "Yeah right! Did you see how big that thing was?!" or something to that effect. They usually laugh and aren't too upset that you didn't actually eat the flame.
Stick Man
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Hey I found a funny trick now while practicing. Do this as a florish, throw a double/triple and while it's in the air toss one round half way and hit the wick (while lit!) to spin it back the other way. Now catch the one that's hurtling back towards you from above! Smile

How do you do fire breathing? Smile
Lithix
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That sounds pretty cool actually! If you happen to get some video of it I'd love to see it. Smile
Stick Man
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Sorry, no video, just practice without them lit first in case you actually catch the flame. (you get soot all over your hands though) Smile
Lithix
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Yeah - be careful when you do that trick after you've been juggling with lit torches for a while because the metal part beneath the wick is EXTREMELY hot and WILL burn you if you touch it. Smile

Fire breathing is pretty dangerous and it tastes bad... but it looks cool and is a great way to draw a crowd. You can get a book about from dube.

Basically just practice with a mouthful of water. Keep your lips pressed together fairly tightly and force the water to spray out. You are trying to achieve a fine mist with no large drops of water. Practice with your head at a 45 degree angle - as you will be wanting to spit the flame UP and AWAY from your face and the crowd.

When you're ready... go for it. It just takes some practice to figure out bursts and jets. I'd use lamp oil... it's slimy, but it doesn't taste as bad as Everclear or Kerosene. (Though I use Kerosene on my torches) Smile
Missing_Link
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I don't like the book on fire eating/ breathing by Benjamin Garth - there is not enough safety info on fuels etc. Best to learn in person from an experienced fire breather, not from a book.

Have a look at the Fire Eating/ Breathing discussion on the Believe It Or Not board below.

Cheers

ML
Pokie-Poke
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Always practice so you can wow them without the fire. If you can do that then when you add the fire you can really wow them!
Also as more places do not allow fire be ready for it. Fire will make you lazy. As far as fire breathing, don't bother. I juggle a lot of dangerous stuff, and when looking to add some thing I look at risk vs. gain, Will my show be that much better for the risk? For me and fire breathing it is no.

Learn to juggle better, more magic, better showmanship, and out live the fire breathers.

I have used just about all the gags mentiond and they all still work and at night I like club spining. It just looks cool, but it is kinda lame in the daylight.
Fast spins, 2-3 spins looks Smile
My chops are weak but I like the look of them (hmm, something else to work on.)
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ChrisZampese
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Quote:
On 2002-10-24 12:26, Lithix wrote:
Also - if you don't do any fire eating... Its pretty funny to make a big dramatic gesture and very slowly act like you are going to eat the torch... then - as everyone is on their toes waiting with divine anticipation - you slice right through the tension by lowering to the side of your mouth and blowing it out. Then just be like, "Yeah right! Did you see how big that thing was?!" or something to that effect. They usually laugh and aren't too upset that you didn't actually eat the flame.


For a similar effect get a mouthful of water from a glass (crowd will think that it is the fluid that you use for your flames) and make a dramatic display like you are going to create a huge fire ball, then spit the water on the torch, putting it out!
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
Pokie-Poke
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This could be funny but a wet torch will more than likely sputter and may be hard to light again. Have you tried this or is it just an idea? Smile
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SpiffnikHopkins
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I think you do it when you have no intention of re-lighting it.

~Spiff
Pokie-Poke
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I guess I'm just a street performer, so I look for the instant reset. Next show in...
Smile
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Paul Jester
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mmm... chops do look very good, I like them, also a 3 up flash, especially when the third up is a tripple spin looks very good... and daring, requires some practice though. But the best trick with fire has to be the front weave (a poi swinging move that can be done with torches) whilst juggling, it's one I can't do yet but have seen, and it is awesome... THE trick to do with fire juggling. As for an instant reset, you can put your torches out by dunking them into parafin you know...
I like fire...
Jester
:clownjuggling:
Stick Man
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Does anyone here own a set of fire balls and are they worth it? If so, which ones do you have? Smile
Missing_Link
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I don't own a set but have had a shot of the Mr Babache Fire balls. Not bad and quite good fun in the dark. If you do lots of carry + throw movements, you get some decent looking trails. But you need to wear Kevlar gloves with them, and juggling fire with gloves can feel a bit akward.

Butterfingers sell them, as do Dube.

Cheers

ML
Lithix
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Tempe, AZ
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I assume this would work for juggling fireballs... I know it works for fireball hackeysack... get a HEMP hackeysack and soak it in fuel then when you hit it, it makes little flame bursts that look very cool. You can usually use them about 3 or 4 times before they burn up. Smile
Pokie-Poke
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I have, and use firefly, fire balls, no gloves! They get hot and only burn for a min. or 2. they cost a bit, about $50.00 each. If you do a LOT of stuff at night, maybe you will get your use out of them, but I don't think it is. I use it as a 100% hype prop. 20 min of setup and 1 min. juggling.

Just lighting things on fire is dangerous, fire balls even more so, Please be careful!
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