Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Alright y'all. It's your funky fire friend at it again. I apologize for the delay.
Creating and compiling amazing content for wonderful readers; such as yourselves is harder than it sounds.
As promised I have another epic article for you guys!
Here's A quick overview:
Danger & Skill!- Incredibly dangerous advance fire eating and fire breathing partner tricks!
Art! - Behind the scenes look at the creation of our magic fire sandbox ( also dangerous…)
EXPLOSIONS!-Video from the EMBER Instructors Showcase Fireworks Finale!
Weird Facts & Honorable Mentions from my interview with the event producer Zeus Bigelow- If you want exclusive access to the full hour-long call and hilariously botched written transcriptions; go ahead and hit that little subscribe button at the top of the page!
Danger & Skill:
For those of you who are familiar with fire-eating and fire-breathing; These two art forms are commonly considered to be in the top 3 most dangerous sideshow acts. It is not uncommon for people to sustain life-threatening injuries while performing these stunts.
As a professional fire-breather, safety is our number one priority. We have spent a lot of time researching and developing best practices to mitigate the risks involved. I should note that the stunts exhibited in this article SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED WITHOUT THE HELP OF TRAINED PROFESSIONALS!
That being said. Below are a couple of clips from our spontaneous Fire Cock Initiation.
In the first clip, you are going to see me (Levi "sirreal" Morin) & Benjamin Ten attempt For the very first time a unique Hybrid Pass(a combination of Fire eating and breathing.
To be apart of the fire cocks, you have to perform three tricks that are randomly selected via rolling a Custom Pair of dice.
Each of these Di has corresponding fire eating and breathing Tricks that you can perform on your own or with a partner.
We Rolled a "nose candle" & a "Flame Isolation."
A nose candle is when you blow flaming vapor from your nostrils.
"Zeus performing a nose candle"
This trick is so dangerous that many members in the industry advise against doing it all and it is being considered for removal from the Fire Cock trick list.
A Flame Isolation is a fire breathing trick where you isolate a fireball a foot or two in front of you. 🔻🔻🔻🔥🔥🔥🔻🔻
This trick is especially difficult because you have to spray your fuel in such a way that it only ignites at a distance. The fire naturally wants to travel back upstream and follow the trail of fuel you're emitting.
On its own, this technique requires immense precision and control.
To perform this pass; when the ignition point is only 2 or 3 inches wide AND coming out of your partner's NOSE (without burning your partner or spraying toxic fuel on his face) is SERIOUSLY TRICKY. Even some of the most highly skilled artists shudder at the thought of it, and WE PULLED IT OFF!
In the next video Ignite founder Shayne Mastriano & Courtney Lopez pull of multiple fireballs to stoplights.
Basically, Courtney holds flaming vapor in his mouth and puffs little balls of flame up to Shayne to light off of. This move is also tricky.
First of all; the flaming vapor is sensitive to wind. It is challenging to hold in your mouth, nonetheless, get multiple fireballs out of it.
Again the ignition is only about 2 or 3 inches wide, Directly above your partners face, travels upwards and disappears very quickly.
ART-Magic Fire Sandbox:
Recently I turned one of my favorite pyro pass-times into an interactive art installation. You might be asking yourself, "What the heck is a magic fire, sandbox!?". It's exactly what it sounds like — a Sandbox with fire and sand.
Fire sand is easy to make, and a dash of Ignites' Sparkle Powders (Sparkletits and Psycho-Powder which are available for purchase) really make things magical! It takes the concept of hanging around the campfire to a whole new level!
Not only do you get to watch the fire, but you get your hands dirty and actually play with it. Now don't be fooled. It is still very hot and potentially dangerous.
Playing with it is somewhat of an art and a skill. Once you get the hang of it, it can be fun for almost everyone. Check out this video of it in slow motion!
Designing and building this interactive pyro-bar at TN E.M.B.E.R was a lot of work! On top of triple-digit heat, High Humidity and pop up showers we had to make everything from scratch!
Hell, I had to draw up the design changes the night before the build. We must have spent 12+ hours working on this thing. 😊
This was a serious labor of love. Here are some pictures of it post construction and a short clip of everyone playing with it: 🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻
In the end, it was well worth the effort. Not only did the event producer and participants love it; the landowner and his children had an absolute blast with it!
To my knowledge, this type of installation is the first of its kind when it comes to fire & Flow arts events like these! Now for the Explosions!
It is a tradition for events like these to host a variety show where all of the performance instructors showcase their talents. This is by far one of the most magical parts of these retreats.
As a professional performer, I often spend most of my time on the stage, putting on a show. It is opportunities like this where we can sit back, relax, and find inspiration in flames.
With the help of our friend Cait E Merks from Cirque and Destroy out of Houston; we were able to put together a surprise Fireworks display for the showcases' Finale! It was the first time I've ever seen fireworks at a flow event and my first time hand firing 4-inch shells! (so loud!).
Weird Fact & Honorable Mentions:
In my last article, I mentioned that I was going to interview Zeus Bigelow, the Producer of Tennesee Expressive Motion Based Educational Retreat AKA EMBER. Well... I did it!
Did you know that Zeus was in a Metal Band before he got into flow arts! Like, Whaaaaaaaaat!?
In case you were wondering the band was called "Animality"; Yup, like in Mortal Freakin Kombat! How badass is that!
He and I chatted over the phone for almost an hour. We covered quite a lot of ground over the course of our conversation. So much so, that there is no way I would be able to fit it all into one short article.
That is why I have made the audio available for download. Now please be warned. While recording our conversation, the sound coming from Zeus's phone was getting pretty garbled from time to time and made some of it somewhat inaudible.
This did, however, make for a rather funny speech to text transcription that included some ridiculous statements such as:
" Speaker 4: last year. [inaudible] again, a little slow festival drug ethic. He's f'ing seaman!"
The interview files can be accessed
I thought that it might be nice to share a little tidbit from the interview in case you don't end up getting a chance to listen to it yourself.
Regardless, in my experience: when people bust their butts to do a good job, one shan't be stingy with their flattery and gratis!
During the interview, I asked Zeus a question along these lines " So, when a casting director reads a script they often immediately get a sense of what actors they want to play each character. There's a sort of dream team that they just know they want to be involved in the project. When you finally committed to making EMBER a reality, who were some of the players that you just "knew" you wanted to be apart of the cast?"
His response was a bit too long-winded to quote verbatim, but here are the cliff notes.
" That’s a really tough question; Probably the first five people that got involved. Weslyn Wolven (long pause, maybe some Ummms) Jim Uremovich, (more “ummmsss”) Jeremy, Jeff Pixels and uh You, honestly. (The You Is Me...the Writer, Levi; Juss sayin 😊)
When Weslyn signed on to do the graphics; her contribution helped make everything more real. Up until that point, EMBER was just a spoken word and adding that visual element really brought this thing to life. I was also gonna need help with scheduling everything, and Jeremy offered to help, so that was another one. Jim Uremovich (which got transcribed as Jimmy Ronda lol), I knew I needed Jim on board. His experience running fuel depot and safety aspects at other events was gonna be crucial. Jeff Pixely, I needed someone I could trust with the medical side of things. Someone that I knew personally from working medical at other events that was comforting but also very knowledgeable.⭐ ”
He goes on to mention how he appreciated the unique element that I brought to the event with the sandbox and how it made the experience that much richer and what not.
EMBER was a fantastic event!
Beyond just the handful mentioned above; I had the pleasure of interacting with so many beautiful people.
I am really excited for next year! This time I will be bringing fire water fountains!
Thank you so much for reading this blog!
If you enjoyed this blog and want some Pro Tips for improving your Flow Arts business, please check out my professional advice column @
Levi "SirReal" Morin