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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Fire Eating! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mike Giusti
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Ever wanted to eat fire and add that spectacular "extra" to your shows that no one else is doing? In my opinion, throw every book you have on the subject in the trash! There are so many errors, dangerous misrepresentations, and life-threatening words written on paper about the topic in almost every book I have read on the topic!



My advice is to hire a professional to teach you how to do it. I was fortunate to learn under Brian Brushwood from Austin, TX, a consummate, safe, and concerned professional. It was the best money to-date I have spent on adding something to my show no one (at least in my area) is doing...
Steve Brooks
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The closest thing to fire eating I've done is watching Gene Simmons. Ouch! Smile



As a side note, I have laid on a bed of nails! Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Mike Giusti
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I got the point, Steve... Smile
Margarette
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Fire eating...well, would anyone be surprised to hear that I have been taught how to do this? Smile I was taught by someone who learned it from Gene Simmons. I have not yet found an opportunity to use it in a show, however. I was also told that camp stove fuel is the best stuff, but it tastes horrible! Is there a better alternative that doesn't quite taste so bad?



OK, so NOW, everyone realizes just how strange I am!!! Smile Hey! I admit it! Just imagine how my brother and sister turned out...I was the "normal and sane" one amongst us growing up!



Margarette
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Bengi
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No.... I don’t eat fire. But I was in another magic forum awhile back. Someone asked if anyone had ever tried lighting flashpaper in their mouth, and would it be safe to do so.



I think he should try another profession... whatta ya think?



I was in a discussion awhile back...

the question was... "Is fire eating really magic?"



I think it is.... as it requires the knowledge and skill.... and it’s entertainment. I believe good, entertaining fire eating would add a lot to my shows, but would have to get up the nerve to try it for the first time.



Bengi Smile
Magicman0323
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I value my facial hair too much to try it Smile
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Tom Cutts
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I would have to say fire eating is not magic. Glass eating and razor blade chewing is not magic. Swallowing and regurgitating objects is not magic. Nails thru tongues are not magic....ad nauseum.



They might be entertaining, but they are not magic.
Mike Giusti
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I prefer to call it geek magic -- a kind of magic in its own right, IMO. Smile
Tom Cutts
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Sounds redundant Smile



Tom
Bengi
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D Smile UBLE that!



Bengi
Prophet
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Margarette

I use Lighter Fluid on my torches. I was "trained" with that and have never tried anything else I don’t think it tastes that bad, but I also eat at a place whose big seller is called a garbage plate (for good reason) also you may want to check out http://www.geocities.com/masterfyretr/

He’s a great guy and known as the master. Lots of great tips. Last I knew the site was down for construction. If you want I’ve made a little booklet from his site I could mail to you.



Smile



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dorbolo
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Tom,



You write;

"I would have to say fire eating is not magic. Glass eating and razor blade chewing is not magic. Swallowing and regurgitating objects is not magic. Nails thru tongues are not magic....ad nauseum. They might be entertaining, but they are not magic."



I wonder what your reasons for excluding those effects from magic? I am interested in your reasoning about this.



Do you include "Needle through arm" and "Disecto" in this distinction?



In good spirit,



Jon
Scott O.
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I would have to agree with Tom’s list. These thing are not magical in nature. Magic by definition is an apparent breaking of the laws of the physical universe.

Putting a nail through your tongue is not magical. However, if there is no hole afterwards--that’s magic (weird, but magical) Eating razor blades and then regurgitating them is not magical. It is a great demonstration of bodily control.

Now, swallow a string too, and bring the whole works back tied together--that’s magic. There is no way to physically do this.

Penetration without a hole, cut and restored (e.g.. Disecto), levitation, these are magic because they seem to defy the natural.

If something appears merely difficult, but possible with the correct training, it is not magic. Although, as Tom stated it could be entertaining.


Scott Smile
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dorbolo
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Thanks for the explanation Scott. You have an interesting and important point.

I think it important because the role that performance magic has in the culture is partly determined by how the performing magician's idea of magic coincides with or diverges from the common public idea of magic.

It is possible for the performing community and the common public to operate with very different conceptions of what is magical. If that were to occur, then the craft would suffer in the public view.

The distinction of points of view is seen in Robert Houdin's assertion "a magician is an actor playing the part of a magician."
In that statement there seems to be two magicians: the magician as performer (the actor) and the magician as role.

In order to successfully play the magician-role, the actor must have a well-developed conception of what a magician-role is and does. I believe that the strongest conception of a magician-role is developed in conformity with what people (non-magicians) commonly believe magic to be.

Your definition, Scott; "Magic by definition is an apparent breaking of the laws of the physical universe" may make a good definition of magic for the magician-actor; useful in building repertoire and creating effects.

I do not think, however, that this is an adequate definition of magic as is required in the magician-role or the common conception. That is, we might substitute this definition for the magician-actor term of Houdin's claim, but not for the magician-role.

Perhaps: Someone who appears to break the laws of the physical universe is an actor playing the part of a magician.

But not: A magician is an actor who plays the part of someone who appears to break the physical laws of the universe.

I think that as magicians we don't want to play the part of someone who makes appearances, we want to play the part of someone who actually does have power over nature.

Indeed, I think it is broader than physical laws, because much magic involves assumptions about mathematics, perception, probability, supernatural, psychic, and other principles that are not covered by physics.

In "Strong Magic" Darwin Oritz's offers;
"The illusion of impossibility is as good a definition of what constitutes magic as I can imagine" (p.22). Oritz is here giving the magician-performer side of the picture.

To the audience and common conception, magic would be the creation of impossibility; the performance of the impossible (not just the performance of the illusion of the impossible). Such is the nature of magic that when the audience is aware that they are experiencing an illusion, their experience of the magical is diminished.

It is important where we draw the line in allowing what does and does not count as magic. My view is that a sufficient condition of magic is the audience experience of something as magical. That is, what the audience regards as impossible determines what can be seen as magical.

An audience-centered performance will begin with the spectator's conception of the impossible.

If I am on track so far, then it does seem to me that an audience may well view effects such as eating fire, swallowing swords, fire-walking, and the like as the performance of impossible acts, and so with the right presentation these could be given as magical effects.

When I was in graduate school a fellow showed up in Western Oregon and set up an operation to demonstrate fire-walking. He burned a bonfire and raked the coals into a 12 ft pit. Then he led groups of people through a meditative process that culminated in them walking barefoot across the 12 ft of red-hot coals without being burned.

Many people were convinced that this fellow had tapped into a higher power that allows us to transcend danger and perform the impossible. Professors and students from my department were baffled by this phenomenon. They saw it as inexplicable.

My interest in magic gave me assurance that there were likely many practical ways to explain and produce such an effect (even though I did not know what). My attempts to convince them otherwise only fueled their conviction that something very weird and powerful was afoot.

None spoke of "magic" directly, but many signed up for the fire-walking workshops (at considerable cost). For myself, as I aim to produce an impact in spectators to my performance, the reaction of my peers to the fire-walking is as good a model as I can find.

If such phenomena do not count as "magic" from the performer's perspective, then it is a good idea for more of us to expand our scope beyond that realm.
WR
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Never thought I would hear the name Gene Simmons and magic together. What next Spitting blood Smile ... Kinda a hot subject though. I Eat small fires, Book of matches, flaming sticks etc... Where is such an expert to be found to get into eating BIG stuff??
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WR Smile
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Dolini
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dorbolo,

Magic as you say is in the eyes of the audience. I agree. No one mentioned the knife that cuts the arm with blood (no harm done). The guillotine that does not cut your head off. What about the swords through the box. What about the classic sawing a women in half. One of my favorite magical moments. If the audience perceives it as magic it is.

Dolini
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Cetch
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I agree with jester_juggler. Kerosine is the best fuel. So long as you don't ingest any of it. Also I think it burns at a lower temp( maybe just seems that way to me)
Don't let them know how much it really hurts.
Paul Jester
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I think Fire Eating is Magic... Kind of a "Now you see it, now you don't" with Fire!!!
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DavidEscapes
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Hi all

Scott.. you said ...

"These thing are not magical in nature. Magic by definition is an apparent breaking of the laws of the physical universe."

I would disagree with you on this one. While I agree totally with the above statement I feel that fire eating, from an audiences point of view does involve breaking the laws of the physical universe. After all, fire burns, yet the fire performer, if he /she is doing their job correctly, is not burned. Just my two cents.

Have fun

Duncan
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Jeb Sherrill
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I tend to agree with Straightjack Guy. If we have forgotten that putting fire in our mouths and blasting it out is NOT supposed to be impossible, then we have been magicians too long. It is an easy trap to fall into, especially in these times when information is so much more abundant. But if performed correctly (assuming the role of the true magician), then almost any effect can be true magic.

Sable
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