Time to renew your policy

Filed under: community,performance,safety — Tags: — WildfireWeaver @ 9:06 am  

It’s that time of year again: fire performance insurance through Specialty Insurance is set to renew on MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2011, so be sure to get your renewal/application form and policy check in the mail. You can find the application here.

The 2011-2012 policy period will run from April 25, 2011 – April 24, 2012. Insurance for this 12-month period is $215. Please note: Specialty Insurance does not accept debit or credit cards, you need to send a check or money order VIA mail service; expect processing to take about a week.

The 2011 – 2012 shared policy limits of coverage for all members are as follows:

Each Occurrence: $3,000,000 (bodily injury & property damage to others)
Damage to Rented Premises: $100,000 (to rented premises)
Personal & Advertising Injury: $3,000,000 (hurting someone’s feelings)
General Aggregate: $5,000,000 (the most the policy will pay out during the policy year)
Products – Completed Op. Agg.: $5,000,000 (the most the policy will pay out during the policy year)
Medical Expenses: $5,000 (emergency medical to others injured by you)

There are also 6-, 3- and 1-month policy periods at a sliding scale cost.

For those who prefer to purchase insurance on an event-to-event basis rather than annual coverage, the cost for insurance is $125/per person per event, and once issued, the certificate of insurance will expire after seven days. So if you’re looking to perform more than once a year, the annual coverage policy really is your best bet.

The policy isn’t cheap, but that’s the thing about insurance – no one really thinks that they need the coverage, until they do, and suddenly they’re staring at a potentially enormous pile of liability costs.

So protect yourself and protect the community: renew your performance insurance today.


Lakes of Fire tickets on sale today!

Filed under: community,event,fire performance,performance — Tags: , , , — WildfireWeaver @ 11:29 am  

Tickets for Lakes of Fire, the Great Lakes Regional Burning Man event, go on sale today at 12pm EST. Go here to Black Rock Tickets to make your purchase. Please note: There will be absolutely no ticket purchases at the event gate! Tickets sold out last year well ahead of the event, so get ’em while they’re hot!

Tier 1 tickets for attendees 13+: $35

Tier 2 tickets for attendees 13+: $50

Tickets for children 12 and under: free

I attended Lakes of Fire last year – it was my first Burning Man event ever – and the experience was amazing. The creativity on display was inspiring and the atmosphere was as friendly as you could hope for. Although by the end of the festival I was DYING for a shower. Thankfully this year there will be an actual lake to go swimming in!

Event description (from Lakes of Fire):

Lakes of Fire 2011: Anima Mundi is an outdoor art and camping event occuring at Lucky Lake campground in 3977 W. Wilke Rd., Montague, MI 49437. Event dates are Noon, Thursday June 23 – 3:00 PM, Sunday June 26, 2011. Read and follow the survival guide to prepare for this event: http://www.lakesoffire.org/survival-guide/ . We are a 100% volunteer produced event and count on your participation to co-create Lakes of Fire. Your art, workshops, theme camps, and volunteerism make Lakes of Fire. This is a Leave No Trace event come prepared to handle all of your own survival and comfort needs and to remove and properly dispose of all of your own trash and recycling.


Chicago FMJ 2011 season is almost here!

Filed under: community,fire performance,Full Moon Fire Jam,performance — WildfireWeaver @ 2:04 pm  

It’s been a LONG, dreary winter, but the time of long nights and gray skies and snowpocalypse is nearly done and Spring is almost here! And you know what that means – FIRE! The Chicago Full Moon Jams will be back next month, starting Sunday, April 17, 2011 (weather permitting). I’ve posted the 2011 schedule here.

So dust off your picnic blankets and join us as we chase away the last of the winter time chill with music, dancing and flames!


Halloween Shennanigans

Filed under: community,fire fans,fire performance,fire poi,fire tools,performance — WildfireWeaver @ 6:20 pm  

Ok, so October went by much faster than I thought! Luckily, it’s because it was a busy month and I’ve got quite a lot to catch up on. So apologies for being so quiet, but hopefully you’ll have caught at least one of my performances over the past month!

Not the least of which was the Big Daddy of them all: the Halsted Street Halloween Parade in Boystown. The parade is a long-standing institution, and for the past seven years, the Chicago fire spinners have been proud participants. This was my second year marching in the parade and it was even better than the first. Not only was there a stellar turnout by the fire spinning community, this year we even had a float – several spinners performed on top of the Cobra bus as it made its way down Halsted Street.

Following the parade was a choreographed performance on the mainstage with Solaire Fire. Now, these guys are amazing and I’m honored that I was given the opportunity to share the stage with them. The 16 minute set was comprised of 8 performance sets presented by 6 performers using palm torches, poi, staff, double staff, sword and fans. I’ve broken the video up into 2 parts since it’s so long, but it’s worth watching them both all the way through (and I’m not just saying that because I’m in them!).

Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me upload files any larger than 7MB, so here are the YouTube links to the videos:

Boystown Halloween Mainstage with Solaire Part 1

Boystown Halloween Mainstage with Solaire Part 2

So that closes out the fire season in Chicago for 2010, and we certainly went out with a bang (it almost makes up for the soaking we all got during the October Full Moon Jam). For the most part, the bitter cold of the Chicago winter makes fire spinning a rare occasion, but if I hear of any, I’ll be sure to post it here!

A BIG thank you to my fellow performers – Andrea (palm torches & fans), Julia (palm torches & poi), Dietrich (double staff), Shorty (poi & hoop), and Jodie (poi & staff) – for inviting me to join you. Thanks to Zan Franzoni (also with Solaire) for organizing the fire community for the parade and setting up the performance. And last but not least, thanks to the parade organizers & Boystown community for allowing us to share fire with you during this fantastic neighborhood tradition.


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!


Safety tip: Don’t use superglue with fire tools

Filed under: community,fire tools,gear repair,safety — Tags: , , , — WildfireWeaver @ 4:43 pm  

Everyone needs to repair the wicked portions of their fire gear at some point. Maybe your snakes are fraying or the heads of your staff are getting a little loose. But when you reach into your repair kit, leave the superglue alone. Aside from releasing fumes that could irritate the eyes, nose and throat, the flames will cause a nasty chemical reaction in the glue that can damage your gear, turning a simple fix into an expensive replacement.

Instead, use wood glue (such as Elmer’s) when making repairs to your fire gear. Exposure to flame will cure the glue and get it to seal all the right spots securely. Just apply the glue, let it dry, then dip the wick into your fuel, light the wick for a few minutes and extinguish.

Remember, spin safely to protect yourself and protect the community!

This safety tip has been brought to you by the folks at Pyrotechniq.


August Full Moon Jam is here!

Come out tonight and enjoy the best kept secret in Chicago community entertainment.

When the sun goes down around 7:30pm, the gathering of Chicago and nearby Midwest area fire spinners will commence with music, dancing and of course – FIRE! Many of the performers are preparing to head west to Burning Man, so help us give them a fantastic send off on their journey to Black Rock City.

I just finished wrapping the hilt of my fire sword with gaffer’s tape to improve the grip. I can’t wait to break that bad boy out tonight!

The jam takes place in the park along the lakefront just SOUTH of Foster Ave (NOT Foster Ave Beach). There is parking along Simonds Drive or you can take the Red line/151 bus/146 bus to Argyle and walk EAST through the park and under Lake Shore Drive.

Bring friends, family, a picnic blanket and your camera. No alcohol, please. Remember, this is a Leave No Trace event – you pack it in, you pack it out, and if you see any trash on the field, please help out by throwing it away.

The jam will end promptly at 10:15pm. Please be aware that the police will hand out tickets if you are in the park after it closes at 11pm.

The jams are not sponsored by the City of Chicago. They are FREE events organized by the fire spinning community so that we can share our art and passion with others. Hope to see you there!


Spinning LED poi in north Lakeview this Thursday night

Come see me spin to the musical stylings of my close friend and folk singer/songwriter extraordinare, Dawn Xiana Moon, at Martyrs’ Restaurant & Pub in north central Lakeview. Dawn will be playing with her trio and if you haven’t heard her before, you’re in for a treat. Her music is a unique blend of jazz, blues and even Chinese folk music (with a smattering of French for good measure). It’s not unusual for her to sing in three different languages over the course of one evening.

Also, it’s her birthday and she’s providing treats! So come out and join the celebration as she shares what she loves doing most.

She’ll be followed by Ben Keeler & the 500 Club (10pm) and 3 in Counting (11pm).

Doors at 8pm, show starts at 9pm.

Tickets are $7 in advance or at the door.

Hope to see you there!


Reminder: August Full Moon Jam on Tuesday, Aug. 24

The final Full Moon Jam of the summer is coming up in two days.  If you’re free this Tuesday evening around sunset, come up to the lakefront park just south of Foster Ave. and east of Lake Shore Drive to see some amazing fire performances by Chicago and midwest area fire spinners. The jams are free to the community, family-friendly, Leave No Trace events. For full details of the jams, go here.

As always, I’ll be there with poi, fans, staff and the new fire sword. Come out and enjoy some of the finest community performance art Chicago has to offer. Hope to see you there!