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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Playing with fire in DC? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Zagam
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Silver Spring, Maryland
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I have a show coming up in DC and would like to do some fire manipulation and possibly fire eating. I called around (fire marshal, fire prevention, ect...) to find out about permits and such but just got different numbers to call. Everyone's voice mailbox was full so I couldn't even leave a message. Anyone know who to contact? Or if its even worth the effort? I have other stuff I'm doing so this isn't a necessary part of the act. The other option would be just go for it and ask forgiveness rather than permission but I'm not comfortable doing that with fire stuff as that would be really unhelpful to the community at large. Any suggestions?
rossmacrae
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Ask someone in DC who already performs fire acts. Get in touch with Cheeky Monkey? Mab?
dave_matkin
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Don't go Nike and ask for forgiveness ..... You may never get it and may get a fir etc. but I like te idea given by Ross. That's right I can't remember where to stick the apostrophe.
Harley Newman
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Ask the venue.

And in the US, now, asking forgiveness for fire is not a particularly good idea.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
dave_matkin
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I don't think it's. good idea anywhere .... Unless your trying to light a fire and it doesn't work then it's ok to be sorry......

I would not risk it. And wouldn't not checking in advance and getting the relevant paperwork in place void your public liability insurance?
Stephon
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Our experience is that it tends to vary, depending on the venue; some don't allow it, some are completely unconcerned about it, and others want to involve the fire marshall.

Definitely check with the venue, and make sure you have insurance that covers fire.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Zagam
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Thanks all. The venue (Red Palace) doesn't allow it indoors. The hope was to do some stuff outside like a bally. I have the proper insurance (I made really sure of that). I'll call Red Palace and ask some more questions but at this point its looking like more trouble than it's worth. I can do broken glass out front instead.
Harley Newman
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For the sake of discussion: It'd be easy to say "It's my art and I know what I'm doing" and do it anyway. There are several probable outcomes.

It'd tick off the sponsor, who would not hire you again. You'd look bad, and word would get around that you're unprofessional and hard to deal with. The days when one can say "banned in DC" as good publicity, are either fading or gone.

It'd become harder for the rest of us, because we all get lumped together, and we'd be seen as troublemakers (as if we weren't already, by our nature).

It could also lead to problems with insurance people, fire marshalls, and police. I'm not sure that any of them is either best or worst to deal with. They ARE a fact of professional life, and ticking one off, is like blowing up a bridge that you need to cross.

One of the problems is that we all get lumped together under the umbrella of those fools in Rhode Island, whose club burned down. It doesn't matter that we didn't cover a roof with highly flammable insulation, lock the venue doors, or hire a band with an incredibly stupid f/x guy.

It doesn't matter that technically, fire eating isn't pyrotechnic, because it's not remote controlled. Because we play with fire, we're the same in the eyes of many bureaucrats. And unless we go the route of the French Revolution, bureaucrats are much more likely to be our figurative death, than the other way round.

Sometimes you just have to say "They're paying my bills, and I shall be compliant."

And it's not as if we don't have OTHER things to do.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
The Curator of the Unusual
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Harley

Could you rewrite that belief to address all the Folks that have tatted and/or have steel piercings on/in thier Faces? Your words of wisdom are profound, and if I could just hand them a copy of your Metaphor as it would be much easier then me/I having to explain to them as to why I can't Hire them...

Thanks...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Harley Newman
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Tatts and Piercings are a fad. Sure, they've been around for thousands of years. So what? They do not make people better performers or better people.

Fire is not a fad, and misusing it can screw not only an individual, but our entire industry. The results of the Rhode Island club fire have affected us all, even though there's no relation between us, other than all of us being in show business.

I saw the diatribe you received about tatts and piercings. Total BS, though what else might we expect from the author? He burns personal and professional bridges everyplace he goes, and has ruined the ability of other show owners to play spots for years. Sadly, there's no effective way to address it, because he's one of your competitors, and other people will see THAT as the problem, discounting you. Some people are just plain stupid.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
magicbymccauley
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I've performed at the red palace and at the venue it was before, when it was called the palace of wonders. They used to let people do fire, but no more. Please respect that because like Harley said, they're very serious and it's one of the only places that variety workers enjoy going to. We don't want to lose that too because it's so rare to have a place friendly to the carnie type.

I was at one of Jeff McBride's lectures last year and he showed us a trick with a lighter and a steel thumb*** and some flash cotton. It makes a tiny un-noticable combustion (happens inside of the thumb***) and out shoots.... CONFETTII.

To which he exclaimed "Confettii, the NEW fire!"

Unfortunately the fire thing is hitting people all over the country. The DC fringe festival STILL ALLOWS FIRE, so if you're looking for a venue, that's one of the few in DC that still does.
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
The Curator of the Unusual
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Why not steal Ole Barnaby The Jugglers schtick, where he keeps failing (dropping), to perform a certain trick, but then shows a photo of himself actually doing it...On second thought, forget I mentioned that for obvious reasons...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
ronfour
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Just do it
Stephon
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You should be fine doing fire outside in front of the Palace; it's been done many times without a problem. The venue allows for fire out front, and on the patio, it's just that inside is a problem, because of the low ceilings.

My experience has been that fire out front is a great way to get attention, but I can't say for certain that it sold any tickets.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Zagam
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Silver Spring, Maryland
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The plan was to do some manipulation and eating and possibly do a fire ball if conditions are right (I'm pretty picky about when and where I do fire. The folks in my group understand but that doesn't stop them from trying to get me to do it every show) outside. They told us early on inside was not an option.

Stephon, do you guys get permits to do it outside? I'm still waiting on a call back from some guy that probably won't know anything about getting me one.

I hope no one got me wrong. I wouldn't just go for it, do fire and *** the consequences. I'm a pretty foolish guy at some level but not when it comes to putting other people at risk. And I do see that even if no one got hurt at the show, it would hurt the community at large.
Stephon
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No, we've never gotten a permit to do fire outside.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Rotten
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JUST DO IT!!!!

You should never listen to me. I have a fantastic stick that loves to pull a Bob Marley.
thegreatnippulini
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Something happened to one of my posts. I wonder....

Piercing/tatts fad: I agree 100%. Although, personally at it for two decades, I'd say this will be a long lasting fad, and I do hope it continues as it pays my bills, keeps a roof over my house and food in my childs mouth. People used to say that equal rights was a fad. During the Victorian/Elizabethian era, a fashion fad could last 40 years.

That being said, in certain areas of the country, piercing and tattooing are regulated. Certain states and cities have passed laws concerning body mod. In Philly, you need certification to work in this field. Get caught, you WILL be fined and WILL be arrested and WILL do time. Ask for permission rather than ask for forgiveness, this applies specifically to written laws. Do you need a permit in DC to play with fire? I have no idea. But if you DO need a permit in ANY field in ANY area to do ANY specific job.... you better get one. Any less and the industry suffers.

My 2c
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
The Curator of the Unusual
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Nipps...

When Todd Robbins gets a Bone in his nose and Hoops in his lobes and a pierced tongue...

I have to say...that even then, I still won't...

But if I did...a Licensed Nippulini would be a good choice to do the work...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
thegreatnippulini
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of Hell because I've made
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Aw jeez, thanks! Nah, I'd rather keep a handful of good folk like yourselves to remain un modified. In the future, YOU guys will be the freaks.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
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