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Dakota Rose
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Dakota Rose
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I just came back from the IBM and SAM conventions. In one of the hotels, we had to get special permission to use the fog machine for our flash appearance. I guess the fire inspector had to shut down the fire/smoke detectors during the show.

Does anyone know if this is a big problem in all the hotels or do you thnk it will be a problem in the future?? I quit using my flash pot, because I couldn't use it at all at the Rivera Hotel at the World Magic Seminar. So now I've gone to fog. Now I'm wondering if I shoud take out my flash appearance completely.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Dakota Rose
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The Mirror Images
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If you share the type of special effects with the venue that you will be at they can share with your there procedures for these types of situations.

Best of luck.

Michael
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Andy Leviss
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Yes, this is common in many venues. A lot of the smoke detectors work by sensing smoke particles in the air, and they can't distinguish between smoke from a fire and the particles from a fog machine. So, to avoid setting the detectors off, the theatre has to be "zoned out" of the alarm system, and in its place a fire marshall needs to be on site.

It's not just hotels, many theatres have this, too. Same goes for flashpots and other sources of fire. It all has to be approved by the fire marshall.
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The Mirror Images
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Just need to make sure you tell them in an advance to see if it is ok with that venue for those types of effects.

Michael
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CamelotFX
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Andy's right (he's always right!) I hate it when the script calls for fog or smoke. In the beginning I simply went with the "It's better to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission" principle because I know NFPA Standards and LeMaitre does as well. Also because the head custodian is on my "good friends" list, trusts me, and zones out the theatre area at my request knowing that I always have standbys with fire extinguishers and we have an emergency evacuation plan. But all that aside: In visiting venues, you need to plan in advance and contact the venue. The first answer is always: "Huh?" But any major hotel or convention center has done this before and the Conventions Manager knows the drill. Do whatever he says. They didn't turn Simon and Garfunkel away with their lasers, strobes and gelbs. They need to apply the same regimen to you.
Regan
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Dakota Rose,
Fog machines definitly can set off the fire alarms. I don't see that changing. But wait... There is good news. (No, I didn't just save a bunch of money by switching to Gieco) You can use a "hazer" instead of a fog machine. I am told they won't set off the alarms and they do as good as a fog machine.
Now for the bad news. They are more expensive than fog machines.

Hope this helps,

Regan
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The Mirror Images
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But it is still a good idea to tell them what type of equipment that you will be useing. Either it be a hazer, Fog Machine, Stobe lights. You name let them know. They have to make proper actions to prevent something that shouldn't happen. Such as clearing your audience. Have a Fire Department come. Trust me it can happen. Still let them know. Best to be safe then sorry.

Michael
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Andy Leviss
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Hazers can very well set off fog machines. They put particles of haze fluid into the air. Particle-based smoke detectors can detect those particles, depending on how sensitive they are.

Also, hazers produce an entirely different effect from fog machines, and are not an equivalent substitute. Fog machines produce a visible concentrated cloud of fog that eventually dissipates, hazers produce a nearly invisible cloud of haze that rapidly becomes fairly evenly distributed and then slowly dissipates.

The only thing they have in common is that they cause beams of light to become visible.
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Jeff Haas
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So instead of fog, is there a way to use bright strobe lights for a moment, that would help cover a flash appearance?
Dakota Rose
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Thanks everyone, so much. This gives me a lot to think about. I have been working with my strobe, but it just didn't cover the drape dropping. (and I sure don't want to expose anything.)

I guess I will just take the advice of letting people know ahead of time and if it is a problem, I may not use the flash appearance and come on stage a different way. Hopefully, this won't have to happen too often.

Thanks again,

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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The Mirror Images
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A good idea is to have lights just pointing towards the audience that are sitting next to the unit. Once the flash goes off the lights go on blinding the audience for a second or so to cover the cloth release.

Good luck in what you do.

Michael
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MagicalPirate
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You could also set flash bulbs in series into your frame connected to the capacitor unit to set them off. You could use the same type of foot switch to set them off that you would have used with your flashpot.

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hugmagic
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Dakota, I must say that I like the new direction the act has taken.

Taking out the flash pot is a must in today's world for your act. It is simply not worth the trouble.

When your act is booked have listed in your show requirements that you use fog and all smoke detectors must be disabled for the performance and rehearsel if necessay. Most hotels will work with on this if you just talk with them. This is were a little finese in talking with people comes in.

The electronic flash idea is a good one as you could put one unit on each side of the curtin and no one could possibly see through the flash.

If you need more help, feel free to pm at anytime.
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Dakota Rose
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Thanks everyone,


And Mr. Hughs,thank you for the compliment. I've been working hard and still have a lot of tweaking to do on this act. I may start a "part two" this winter or next spring.

I will try the electronic flash on each side and see if that helps. I will also try pointing the flash towards the audience. I don't think I could put flash bulbs on my teepee frame.

Mr. Hughs, thanks for allowing me to PM you if I need help. I'll let you know what works.

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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KSMagic2007
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Hi Dakota,
Once again congrats. I Recently competed in the IBM competition in clevland, and used a flash pot. I had n o trouble with it, because I was informed that is was not considered open flame. But Last year when I competed at SAM in vegas, it was nearly impossible to even light a match. I beleive part of this is due to the fact that the IBM buys a several million dollar policy for all who preform and SAM doesn't. So I guess what I am saying is that it all depends on where you are preforming

Kyle
Dakota Rose
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Hi Kyle,

Thanks for the info. I didn't know that about SAM and IBM. It's nice to hear from you. I look forward to seeing you again.

Your friend in magic,

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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kregg
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Yes fog is an issue with sprinkler systems and public address alarms. Even if it's dry ice the ventilation must be adequate or it will circulate through the hotel and frighten the guest.
I did a show with IBM (the business), even after we were cleared by the fire marshall we had problems, because the AC controls for the room were two floors down.
Also, remember, some States require union operator's or they'll close you down.

Kregg
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