Chicago Fire Jams make the national news scene

Wow, how time flies when you’re busy! My last post was weeks ago, but luckily it’s been due to being inundated with gigs and a hectic schedule and not my general lackadaisical nature. I’ll be posting about the gigs I had over the last several weeks separately, but the big news is: the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jams were profiled by an Associated Press reporter, Martha Irvine, and her video essay has appeared on multiple news sources nationwide!

Ms. Irvine attended the September FMJ and the footage she’s compiled is fantastic. It’s a great snapshot of what the FMJs are like and of the people involved. I’m so proud to say that I was able to recognize almost all of the faces in the video and can call many of them friends, including: Liz Campanella (one of the founders of the FMJ and Pyrotechniq troupe member) and her husband, Devin Breen (also from Pyrotechniq, doing staff); Mitch Davidovitz (Phoenix Underground); Ryan Brandoff (spinning poi in a fedora), AshleyPants (hooper extraordinaire), Andrea Matteson (of Solaire, doing fans and double staff), Michael Trahey (spinning poi), Lance Johnson (spinning poi) and Amy Willen (providing us all with fire).  And yes, there’s even a quick shot of me, lighting up my fire sword (I’ve nicknamed it “The Beast”).

The video was originally posted on the LA Times website as “Chicagoans spin fire by the full moonlight.” According to Ms. Irvine, after the video was posted, nationally, the video was among the Top 15 videos yesterday and continues to get hits today. It ran in several other news locations, including:

Doing a google search for “Chicagoans spire fire by the full moonlight” turns up A LOT of links to the video as well, so it looks like it’s getting a lot of traction, too. (Oddly enough, neither the Chicago Tribune nor the Chicago Sun-Times elected to run the video on their sites. I have no idea why, especially since it’s a report on something amazing going on in their own backyards.)

So thank you, Ms. Irvine, for putting together a wonderful portrait of our fire spinning family. We hope you come back again to join us at future jams.

I’m so thrilled that our community has been featured in such a fantastic light, and count myself as immensely lucky to be part of it all. Congratulations on the exposure, Chicago Fire Tribe! You look amazing and deserve recognition for all that you’ve done to bring the jams to where they are today!


September Performances

It’s a good thing I got some relaxation in over Labor Day weekend, because it looks like September’s going to be busy! I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve got three, possibly four, gigs already lined up for this month – and that’s in addition to the September Full Moon Jam.

Coming up tomorrow night at 8pm, I’ll be spinning LED poi and flags to the exotic folk & jazz stylings of the lovely Dawn Xiana Moon and her trio at the Abbey Pub in Irving Park. Tickets are $8 pre-show, $10 at the door. It’s drummer Joe Chellman’s last gig with the Trio, so if you haven’t seen them perform, don’t miss this! He’s an amazing drummer and we’re going to send him off with a bang. Oh yes – you might get on TV if you come, too!

In two weeks, on Saturday, September 18, I’ll be performing at the Grand Opening celebration of my favorite local cafe, Senem’s Coffee and Tea House (you can even check out my review of Senem’s on my personal blog, Magpie’s Marbles). There will be a whole line up of entertainment for the day. Senem is a lovely woman and her cafe is a hidden gem in East Lakeview/Wrigleyville, so come on by, support a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, and enjoy some of the best Turkish coffee and mint lemonade in the city.

Finally, I’m thrilled to have been invited to perform at il Carnivale e Stage Left – the Fall Season kick-off event for the Stage Left Theater – on Friday, September 24, at the Mars Gallery. Stage Left is a fantastic Chicago company with a focus on producing political and social theater and providing a supportive venue for new visions. Like all small theater companies, they depend heavily on public support, so join us for an evening of frivolity, celebration and unique entertainment. Advance tickets are $50 and $60 at the door.

The month is still young, so hopefully there’s more to come!