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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Smile by Fire

On May 15, 2008, I wrote Mesmerized about my childhood fascination with fire. On April 29, 2009, in Little Stuff, I told of my play with bottle rockets as a young adult. In And You Can't Make Me, I recounted my short-lived defiance of my father while playing with matches.

What I haven't told is how playing with matches led to a fire. While playing in a field behind a Howard Johnson restaurant with a childhood "friend," I was egged on by said "friend" to get more aggressive in the lighting of grasses. Unfortunately, this led to a small fire which quickly grew beyond our control to be large enough that a firetruck was called. Through some good fortune, I was never implicated; I recall watching the blaze and firemen with my mother from our front stoop, she not realizing that I was the perpetrator.

As part of the product line for my business, I sell many articles used for fire juggling and spinning. Some of my customers use these products just recreationally, while others use them more seriously as professionals in performance. And some, like Chris Flambeaux, have turned fire into a lifestyle.

Chris has been a customer for over 20 years, and his interest in fire has evolved into creation of his performance troupe, Flambeaux Fire. The extravaganza features everything on fire: an aerial act, fire fan manipulation, fire poi swinging, and brandishing of an array of headpieces and other torch accoutrements. Performers work on stage, within circles of fire, and also on stilts, walking through the audience:

Chris hails from Scotland; his Scottish accent is only one of many weapons in his arsenal of charm. Always friendly, accommodating, and courteous, a visit by him and a look at his work just illustrates how flames are not necessarily destructive or evil. In the hands of Chris Flambeaux, we see the beauty and can Smile by Fire :)

Related Posts: Rhino Rolling in MudImpossible, Palehorse Productions, Circus Amok


René said...

Is Flambeaux the guy's real name?
If so that would be quite fitting, since in French "flambeau" means "torch" (as in "le flambeau olympique = the Olympic torch").

Kudos to the pictures, especially the first one. They are remarkable!

s.c said...

great pictures,love them

time traveler said...

Gee Whiz Brian, You made me feel guilty..Yes people--it was me who was with Brian on that day..Brian was the better kid-I was the one who was more prone to get in trouble..Should have hung around with Brian MUCH more as we got older..You brought back fond memories with your opening sentences..