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Elite user
442 Posts

Profile of Missing_Link
I use paraffin or Coleman's for eating, and always paraffin for the blow.

Let's face it, neither are exactly going to win prizes for yummiest taste in the world. You get used to both.

But persuading my wife to get used to paraffin breath is a far harder task!


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Special user
Bensalem, PA
883 Posts

Profile of Pokie-Poke
BTW, the greatest danger of fire-eating that I didn't see mentioned here, is to the liver.

The chemicals used in both the torches and the blowout (unless grain alcohol) are all absorbed directly through the lining of the mouth as well as swallowed and can cause accumulating damage to the liver.

Alcohol will also be absorbed, with the added risk of getting drunk while playing with fire.
Not too many old fire eaters out there...hmmm.
The Adventure cont...
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Regular user
Caledonia, NY
184 Posts

Profile of Prophet
I just thought I would post this story I found at sideshow-freaks.com. It's pretty interesting and helps state a great point when learning to eat....you will get burned!!

Story by our Master of Ceremonies.... Plus a Plug
From: Crispy
Date: 14 Nov 2002
Time: 11:59:34
Remote Name: 12-254-44-249.client.attbi.com

Disclaimer: This is a little long and a blatant plug.

This is journal entry he read us during rehearsal that I asked he allow me to post.

Confessions of a Reluctant Sideshow Performer By Ukulele Loki, Master of Ceremonies, Crispy Family Carnival Spectacular

Fire is hot. Fire is hot enough to turn raw meat into food. We call this process cooking. Meat is dead muscle. We are made of muscle. As mostly muscle, we instinctively avoid coming in contact with fire because we know instinctively that when live muscle comes in contact with fire, pain is associated. We call this process burning.

I was reminded of these facts in a very dramatic way tonight. I was also reminded that fire was not intended to be orally inserted. I think you can see where this is going. The basic understanding of these principles of fire is the primary reason people respond with such awe to the fire eating arts. And, as emcee for Colorado's only working sideshow, I've witnessed this response first hand. It's usually a mixture of horror and awe -- with a few parts surprise, confusion and delight thrown in for good measure.

Now, people who work in restaurants that specialize in delicacies often forget that such delicacies are special, after all they're surrounded by them. I've been surrounded by fire eaters for some time and I guess I sort of forgot to appreciate the product. "Sure," I thought, "I can try fire eating." After all, I've read about it. I've even been shown a thing or two on the topic by my good friend and colleague, Crispy -- undoubtedly Colorado's most skilled fire-eater. Why not give it a try? So, I tried.

Going through the basic routine as outlined by wisened experts, I snuffed a lit torch in my mouth. And... I actually snuffed it. Wow! It made my body shudder like an epileptic but, I snuffed it. The next night, during a lull in our street show, I tried again and, again, I succeeded. At this point, a couple of girls came over to observe what we were doing. I was so pleased with myself I completely forgot that I was in the process of LEARNING to eat fire and simply placed a hot, flaming torch in my mouth. Naturally, I burned the entire inside of my mouth in an instant. To make matters worse, my body received the signal that I had burned the entire inside of my mouth just an instant before the signal reached my brain and I gasped. In other words, I breathed in. Breathing in with a lit torch in your mouth is what you never, ever do.

Fortunately, and by some stroke of tremendous luck, the little bit of training I had received kicked in and forced me to extinguish the torch before I gasped. Otherwise my throat and lungs would have been licked by a tremendous and hot flame. Instead, my throat and lungs were licked by a toxic mixture of kerosene, carbon monoxide, and sooty vapour. I smiled at the girls as though I were pleased with the result and turned to where Crispy was preparing a torch. "Crispy," I whispered "I think I burned myself." --

"Yeah, that happens."

-- "No but Crispy, I think I burned myself." Crispy looked up and, with the slow, and private gaze that is his trademark, he paused long enough to light a cigarette. He calmly exhaled his own mixture of carbon monoxide and sooty vapour. "Yeah. That happens."

This was the point at which the light bulb clicked on with a resounding: "ah-ha!" See, I was never one to practice feats of strength and physical endurance. I was always given over to verbal acrobatics. In layman's terms, I've never been a daredevil. I've always been a smartass. I decided then and there that I should stick to what I'm good at. I'll do the talking and leave the maniacal pyrotechnics and exuberant self-torture to the experts.

To find out more about the smart-ass and the experts in The Crispy Family Carnival Spectacular, log on to http://www.crispyfamily.com

Yours In Magic


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Slim Price
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Inner circle
1935 - 2006
1326 Posts

Profile of Slim Price
On 2002-04-27 13:19, WR wrote:
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??
MPost magically yours,
WR Smile


"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"

"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
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Loyal user
264 Posts

Profile of tiptophat
May I suggest Coleman fuel, or better known as white gas. It does not burn with the same intensity as other fuels.

I would recommend learning from someone who does a fire eating act, as much information in books is incorrect.

I learned how to do it from a working pro and he even had an accident once. So be very, very, very careful.
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Regular user
117 Posts

Profile of tim_mantis
It is not as simple as choosing a fuel to use for all fire eating stunts, each has its own use.

If you are just extinguishing flames, then it won't make much difference, but many advanced techniques are not possible without the correct fuel.

I have just resurrected the superb act of deceased fire-eater Jon Gresham, and in short these are the fuels I use:

Torches for extinguishing, flame retension and flame transfer - Lighter Fuel (Coleman fuel?)
Cotton wool balls - paraffin
Blow out and blow out torch - paraffin

Some performers use mixtures of fuel when working on stage or outside to give better visibility through flame brightness, colour and smoke production. I have never used mixes.


PS if anybody wants a video of the act from the IBM British ring convention performance email me tim_mantis@hotmail.com Smile
Slim Price
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Inner circle
1935 - 2006
1326 Posts

Profile of Slim Price
[quote]On 2001-09-08 01:00, Mike Giusti wrote:
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...

There are some current posts on our Discussion group that I think are worth reading, one from a newbie with sense and replys from the highest levels. Read the pro's comments...

"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"

"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
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2134 Posts

Profile of KingStardog
Check my burned skin post under the regular fire topic. Anyone doing these types of things should know about this.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
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