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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Children and Fire (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Long Island, New York
182 Posts

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OK, I am adding a dove to my childrens show and I use a dove pan. I love the reaction that I get from adults when I set some tissue on fire in the pan and change it into a live dove.

My question is, do you think it's a bad idea to use a fire effect in a childrens show?
Vilago
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230 Posts

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I'm sure you'll get a lot of "absolutely not" responses, but my own opinion is...under 9, no...10 or above, yes. I would also recommend getting an umbrella policy, or at least a performance liability policy just in case. Don't want to lose your house just because some parent believes you "made" their child burn down the home...
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I agree over 10's yes, under 10's no, my daught used to be terrified of fire and even a small flame in a dove pan will scare some kids. The public liability insurance is a must for all performers whether you use foire or not. Especially in this day and age where you can get sued for anything.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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Definately not for youngsters. I had an equiry recently, and one of her concerns was whether or not I use fire in my show. If I did, she wouldn't have booked me. I think fire is OK for maybe a circus style show/act, but as a magician, I would not use it.

All the best, Billy
Payne
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Seattle
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I use both a fire palm and a fire book in my childrens shows regardless of age and have never had a problem with it. It also gets a great reaction and often kids will come up to me after the show and want to see the fire book again.
I think an object magically erupting in fire is ok but I too might have second thoughts about lighting something with a match or lighter in a show, items easily obtainable by a child.
Anyway we are magicians, why would we ever use a match to light something? It should just magically burst into flame.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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What you say makes sense Payne, I never thought of it that way. Using a match or lighter would tempt kids into trying it themselves, whereas, if it happens magically they wouldn't know any difference.

All the best, Billy
TroyRoark
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Springfield IL
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Payne,
I love good magic-psych! You're absolutely right.

I normally let the booker know that there is a portion of my show that uses a little fire, nothing big, just a flash of light. I give them the option of taking it out of the show. About 90% of the people don't mind, but I would 99.9% are grateful that I asked.

Always have a backup method if it's ixnae on the irefae.

Troy Roark
Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Long Island, New York
182 Posts

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I like the Idea of giving them the option before the show. I never really thought of it that way payne, but your right about the magical burst of fire. It makes it less likely for a child to try what the see me do.
magibrad
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Canada
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Now, I was thinking about this too, as i have the same effect, and until 3 months ago i used a flame with my dove pan but. I talked with some parents, and they advised me not to have the fire. AS they didn't feel comfortable to their kids being exposed to fire. It's all up to you, and mostly it depends on the circumstances but I say no

-Brad
braddevant
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Back in the seventies I was doing a show at Charleston Navy base. It was a xmas party for the families of the men stationed there. I started by walking on to music, and the first effect was torch to cane. I came on and this young girl about 4 or 5 years old screamed like someone was killing her, she was crying and the mother had to take her out of the room. After the show I asked if she was alright and was told that she had survived a fire that killed her grandparents. I haven't used fire since. I realize this is not a situation that will happen more than once in a life time, but is a little flash worth the risk.
Richard Landry
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Chatham, Illinois
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I no longer use any fire affects since I had a girl run out of the room in fear when the fire book burst into flames. She had apparently been in a home fire and she was very disturbed by the flames. I also think that it is an insurance issue in the schools.
Darkwing
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Nashville Tn
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I absolutely will not do fire tricks for little children. I don't want the possibily of any child going home and trying to do "magic" like they saw the magician do.

Besides, there are so many other things that you can do in a children's show that are very entertaining without have to resort to fire.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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I've heard lots of complaints from parents who've booked me and said that last year they had so & so and they were not impressed that he used fire in front of children. I never use fire or do anything that the kids may try and copy where they could get hurt.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
mforteath
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Tasmania, Australia
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I think the effect would be brilliant! I do agree, however, that maybe using a match or lighter to ligh the tissue paper could have a bad effect on want to be magician kids. I think that if it errupts in to flames magically, then that is the safe way. I know a really easy and cheap way of doing this by the use of a foot switch, all up should cost you no more than a few dollars. They will never know how you got the flame there in the first place! If you want to know how to do this, send me a private message.

Regards, Mark.
Turk
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Portland, OR
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There are so many reasons NOT to use fire for children's shows, that it just isn't worth the risk. The cons definitely outweigh the pros.

For instance, how can you be certain a child hasn't had a bad experience with fire? How would the host/hostess know about the particular circumstances of each child in the audience and how can he/she give permission for each of the children at the performance?

How can you be certain that a child will differentiate between fire effects using matches/lighters and those that don't or that a child would appreciate the difference between the two methods.

How would you feel if a child is permanently truamatized FOR LIFE or if a child burns down his home and kills all family members in the fire? I just wouldn't be able to live with myself.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and children are fascinated with fire.

And in these "special-effects" times we live in, where everything is "video-game violent", car explosions, on-screen killing, etc., children have become so desensitized to violence and mayhem that they might not be capable of viewing fire other than in a "neato jet!" kinda mind-set; they might never appreciate the danger and then they try to duplicate the "effect"--not realizing the intrinsic danger that exists.

I know we magicians want to do the effects we want to do and we might try to rationalize away the risks in or efforts to justify the use of fire. Again, IMHO, the pros NEVER outweigh the cons.

Just my two cents worth.

Turk
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Long Island, New York
182 Posts

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Thank you for all the feedback. I have decided to replace the fire in the dove pan with a cake baking story where the egg turns into a live dove. The effect will be just as strong in the children's eyes and less at risk for me.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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I think that's a very wise move Daniel. I'm sure you'll get just as good a reaction from it.

All the Best, Billy
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