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Old 10-10-08, 09:41 AM   #1
giant kid
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Default fire eatting

simple question about fire eatting, i don't know much about it, but want to learn, does the wick ever touch the inside of the mouth in process? i am looking to build some, and can i put metal screws in the wick to secure it? as a matter of fact what would make the best wick?
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Old 10-10-08, 06:12 PM   #2
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Common sense dictates that metal screws are a bad idea. They get very hot and one bump will result in a nasty burn.

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Old 10-10-08, 06:42 PM   #3
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Having someone show you, first hand, physically in front of you is the best way to learn.
I have, however, learned some good things from this book:

http://www.oddballs.co.uk/fire-eatin...ook-p-343.html

I use their advice in wick wrapping/tying off, and I think I may have even evolved it a bit.
It's a little bit like noose tying. ...Don't ask how I learned to tie a noose.

Anyway, find a mentor, too.
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Old 10-10-08, 10:18 PM   #4
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Default Just say no

First off, sooner or later all fire eaters get burned.
That aside, the toxins from whatever fuel you use will enter your body through the soft tissues of your mouth, and over a long carreer it will catch up with you. (But maybe you dont plan a long carreer.)
It looks really cool and show wise it is big bang for the buck; but there are safer ways to make a living.
And that...is my two cents.
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Old 10-11-08, 12:48 AM   #5
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I strongly suggest you read, then re-read, this before you undertake learning to eat fire.
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Old 10-11-08, 06:10 AM   #6
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I once burned my whole beard off.
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Old 10-11-08, 06:58 AM   #7
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Default you gotta love that

Quote:
It looks really cool and show wise it is big bang for the buck; but there are safer ways to make a living.
And that...is my two cents.

And this from a sword swallower.!!!

Thats worth more than two cents!
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Old 10-11-08, 12:31 PM   #8
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Old 10-11-08, 01:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
But it was a job. You'd be around other performers, and after a while, if they liked you, and liked your attitude, they might just teach you something new. Sometimes you had to pay them, but they'd teach you.
It can be frustrating waiting for "a while" to be up, but there you have it.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: you gotta love that

Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Nelson
And this from a sword swallower.!!!

Thats worth more than two cents!
Yeah, my first cautionary "I don't recommend it" was from Stephon.
Good times.
People told me how to do it right away, but I think they wanted me to die.

But yeah. I reiterate, get to know people. Read to get the basic idea, then make friends.
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Old 10-12-08, 06:52 PM   #11
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Take advice only from people who do it, if you want to do it. It aint rocket science; a monkey could do it, the guy telling you not to use screws never ate fire in his life: you can use screws. Heat rises, keep your head back. Don't inhale. Start with no flame, then use just one drop of fuel, then 2 drops, ect. Let the torch cool between sessions. I'll show you anytime. Its awesome and super safe, people are nailed to their seats for 5 minutes, if you play it right. I recommend it to anyone over three months old.

Other than that, I have no opinions.
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Old 10-12-08, 06:57 PM   #12
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You taught your kid to do it, didn't ya, Taxi?

I was on CBC Radio this morning *shining my chewed up nails on my shirt right now* and I was introduced as a "fire breathing filmmaker". I inturrupted to make the correction. I was a "fire eating " fimmaker.

"There's a difference?" She asked.
"Yes," I said. "Fire breathing is actually dangerous."

Then we talked about Martin's stupid story.
Apprently he's more interesting than me.
pffffft.
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Old 10-12-08, 07:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel Peters
You taught your kid to do it, didn't ya, Taxi?

I was on CBC Radio this morning *shining my chewed up nails on my shirt right now* and I was introduced as a "fire breathing filmmaker". I inturrupted to make the correction. I was a "fire eating " fimmaker.

"There's a difference?" She asked.
"Yes," I said. "Fire breathing is actually dangerous."

Then we talked about Martin's stupid story.
Apprently he's more interesting than me.
pffffft.
They make ya sound like some sort of dragon! Fire breathing.
Like Mushu from Mulan
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Old 10-13-08, 04:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
the guy telling you not to use screws never ate fire in his life: you can use screws.
OK, then let me qualify that statement.

On the rare occasion that I have had to dirty myself with such a pedestrian trick as fire eating, I have used torches where the wicks were wrapped onto the handle with wax-free dental floss. No wires or screws to get hot. On the other hand, my juggling torches have screws to attach the wicks since they need to be much more securely fixed to withstand the inertia when the torch is thrown. Sticking one of them in my mouth requires making sure that the screws are properly aligned so that they point to the side as they do get very hot. The wick itself doesn't get hot because the fuel is what burns, but any metal (wires or screws for example) that are used to fix the wick to the handle heat up nicely. I used to hold the lit juggling torch with my teeth, so I had to pay extra attention to the screw placement before doing that trick.

But, I have not had, or wanted, to do any fire stuff for years. Done that, been there, then decided that my health was way more important that some stranger's petty amusements. "Oooh! Look at the circus monkey!" When I became unimpressed, so did they.

Fuel poisoning, chemical pneumonia and ulcers are all on the short list of reasons you might decide not to bother with fire. Then there's the smell, the grease, the transport problems and having to deal with the fire marshal. Oh, and the biggest reason of all? It's what the audience expects, which in my book, makes it a deal breaker.

There are some good fire acts out there, but they are shadowed by all of the others who try to use fire in place of talent or skill. If you decide to get into it, don't just do it half-assed, REALLY get into it. Ignore the cheap wow factor and do the research to learn what fire is all about. Discover the new fire.

Fire manipulation/eating is still in my repertoire, but I drag the torches and fuel out of storage only under duress - usually when I'm having to be the desperate circus monkey.

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Old 10-13-08, 08:54 AM   #15
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Ah!

Steve, I took a chance on that one, thought there was no way you had ever gone there. I just can't see you doing it.

You are wrong, though, even if you happen to be right. I use a Mr. Babache, the best fire wand on the planet, and they plonk two screws dead in the middle of the works. Never hurts a bit.

http://www.firetoys.co.uk/juggling/F...ing_Wands.html
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Old 10-13-08, 10:13 AM   #16
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Default Read the not-so-fine print

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr.Taxi Trix
You are wrong, though, even if you happen to be right. I use a Mr. Babache, the best fire wand on the planet, and they plonk two screws dead in the middle of the works. Never hurts a bit.

http://www.firetoys.co.uk/juggling/F...ing_Wands.html
From the site:

"THE SCREW AND THE TUBE WILL GET HOT which is why we recommended this item to advanced users only."

Seems to me--point, Ragatz.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:21 AM   #17
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Default I got your back Taxi

I use those little Babache babies too.
I am certain that must be a disclaimer because they dont get hot at all.
I am however definately in the camp of ...

Dont do this stuff unless your getting paid enough to justify the long and short term risks.

If you paid me enough I would probably put a lighted blowtorch up my ass....especially now
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Old 10-13-08, 11:20 AM   #18
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I assumed that was how people in Iceland kept warm.
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Old 10-13-08, 02:23 PM   #19
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Maybe the commercial prop makers know more about attaching wicks than I do. I've always used home built torches, so I can only vouch for my own handiwork - hot wires, screws and all.

Go ahead and try it various ways. If it burns, then do it a different way. I always changed my wicks often, so I didn't mind using floss to tie them. Clearly, any tied method is going to burn away much faster than using metal screws or wire, but the thought of sticking that old torch back into my mouth after it's been sitting in the storage box since the last gig doesn't appeal to me. Clean wicks are tasty...

Just a side note, in my experience, more fire accidents happen from mishandling of the fuel source than from mistakes with the actual props. I've seen several shows go awry when there are spills while soaking the torches and then lighting them too close to an open container of fuel. Earlier this year, I saw a group of street performers in Lisbon light their container on fire and then attempt to put it out by stamping on it, which of course resulted in a lit pant leg. Actually, the rest of the show went even worse.

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Old 10-13-08, 11:39 PM   #20
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I've been a fire eater for 16 years. Learn from another fire eater, which means being in the business long enough to meet one and to have something to offer in return (which may just be the pleasure of your company, but something).

Eating fire is merely the dangerous part. The hard part is writing a fifteen minute comedy act around a three-second trick.
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