Archive for the Lessons Category


Posted in Lessons, The Basics with tags , on September 29, 2010 by jimmycush

A Transfer is when you move the fire from one wick or object to the other. A hand transfer is just that you take a hand and light in on fire with one wick and move it to the other. This is demonstrated by my video called Hand Transfer. Another transfer is a tongue transfer. This is done much like a hand Transfer but you light your tongue on fire rather than your hand. This transfer is in my video called Tongue Transfer. Other transfers are clothing, ground, and air.


Sock and Fluffy Poi

Posted in Lessons, The Basics on September 7, 2010 by jimmycush

What are sock poi in my last blog I wrote about them and you might not know what they are. Sock poi are exactly like it sounds… poi made from socks. I have found that clown socks tend to be the best; they are well made, thick, and long. I personally practice with sock poi before trying any new moves out on fire.

But where do I get them?

The answer is that you make them. All that you need are two tennis balls and clown socks. Take a sock and put one ball in it and push it to the bottom. Next measure the sock to be the right length and tie a knot at the top. make sure that you give yourself a good bit of give on the length because the socks tend to stretch out when being spun.

What are fluffy poi.

Fluffy poi are poi made out of artificial feather and are fluffy so that when you hit yourself with them they don’t hurt much. The pair I own cost me $30. The benefit of fluffy poi over sock poi is that they have finger grips just like fire. This will make the transistion from non-fire to fire much easier.

Costuming and Fire?

Posted in Lessons, Safety, The Basics on March 14, 2010 by jimmycush

When performing your costume could make or break a character. There are things you must consider to make the costume complete. Is it the right type for the show? Is it appropriate for the audience? Is it practical for the performer? Is it safe? All of these questions make come into play when picking a costume.

The type of show could determine the type of costume, for example; during Halloween wearing demonic clothing is acceptable. To a 5 year olds birthday party it is not. Wearing pants and no shirt is fine at a pool party but not at the Christmas holiday party.

What makes a costume practical for a fire performer? When using poi you don’t want loose ends swinging about. That means no extra ribbons, chains, and even too loose of clothing. These all could get caught in the chains of the poi and end the show in a hurry. Just as if you are going to light your arms on fire while fire eating  you must have them exposed and that is not easy with long sleeves.

What is safe? I know we are talking about fire so safe is a relative word in this industry, but safe clothing is very important. Firs,t most all clothing can burn, but not all burn the same. Petroleum-based fabric (nylon and plastic based) don’t quite burn as much as they melt. This is important to note because in the case of an accident it will continue to burn the skin even after the fire is put out. The plastic heats up and can even stick to the skin. Cotton is wonderful for fire shows, like most all cloth it can burn but unlike petroleum-based fabric it burn away. When using cotton it is important to also look at the thickness of the fabric. Cotton sheer will burn very easily but denim does not. The other type of fabric is animal skin or leather. Leather looks cool and essentially does not burn because it is  animal skin. Seasoned leather is even harder to burn. The down side to leather is that is expensive and sticks when it get hot and sweaty.

For most of my shows I use cotton/denim because it is the right balance between cost and safety. The only real rule is to be safe and have fun.

How To Hold Poi

Posted in Chain Poi, Lessons, The Basics on February 28, 2010 by jimmycush

When learning to swing poi one of the most important things to learn is how to hold the poi. First which ever handle you use make sure that the chain is pointing away from you. That means that the loops are facing away from you. There are different kinds of handles. They are the single loop, double loop, and knobs. the most common and the one I use is the double loop. But to be fair lets talk about the others first. The knob is a plastic or often wooden ball that is held in the hand. You hold it like a knob hence the name. The advantage to the knob is if you like to release and catch moves it balances out the weight much better making it possible to catch the poi easier. A single loop works almost the same as a double loop except that you can put 1, 2, or 3 fingers in the loops. The down side in my option is that it can stick out from your hand a little too far to make it easy for wraps. Now for the double loops; the double loops go around your middle and ring finger, one loop per finger. This gives me wonderful control over the movement and plane of my poi. It is important that the loops are on these fingers as opposed to the ring and index finger because later with more advanced moves it will help control the poi and keep clean planes. In the end it is you doing the moves not me so use whichever handle you use should be the one that is the most comfortable to you.

Time for Lessons

Posted in Lessons on February 21, 2010 by jimmycush

It is now getting warmer and time to start giving lessons. Lessons are a way to learn an awesome new hobbie, impress friends,  it a great core and arm work out, and most importantly fun. Energemata Poi will be giving these lessons in the park. Which park? That os still to be decided, if you have a suggestion lets hear it.

There must be at least 4 people per lesson. That does not mean that you must find three other friends as other might want to learn the same day, but that would guarantee that there are enough people. Also to help the learning process a limit there is a limit of 10 people unless it is one party of people and then I will go to you and you can bring every one you want.

So let’s have some fun and learn some Poi!

The Many Uses of Flash Paper

Posted in Lessons on February 21, 2010 by jimmycush

Flash paper is an amazing thing. It has been seen by just about everyone during a magic show. But what is it? Flash paper is paper that has been soaked in Nitrocellulose. The importance of this chemical is that it burns very bright and fast, leaving practically no ash behind.

First the safety warning: Flash paper needs fire to light and should only be done by permission or by and adult preferably one that is a professional fire artist. You have to be 18 to buy flash paper.

Now what you can do with it. Flash paper burns so quickly that as soon as you light a 2″x3″ piece it is already half burnt. You can throw it and not worry about it hitting something that is only 4 feet can take a larger sheet and wrap a business card in it then when you light it, poof a business card.  One piece of flash paper some flash cotton and a flash gun will produce a ball of fire that can shoot 10 feet. Many sleight of hand tricks are done with flash paper because it burns so bright it is hard not to look at. Example making money appear, pulling things out of thin air or even producing birds. This is all magic and not fire really but many people mix the two together and so in a show you can throw a little bit of magic in and every leaves happy.

Where can you buy flash paper? once again you have to be 18 to buy it but flash paper is sold at magic stores. If you happen to live where there is not a magic store you can buy it online easily. the going price is about $4.50 for a pack of 20, 2″x3″ sheets or $4 for a 8″x11″ page.

Denatured Alcohol

Posted in Lessons, Pictures on February 7, 2010 by jimmycush

Denatured Alcohol is a clean burning fuel for marine stoves, that also cleans and thins shellac. But what is important to us about it is that it burns a different color. What color? Electric blue ish. When mixed with some kerosene it make s a blue color that turns orange. The color is not very bright and therefor only really good for pictures. You could use it for a show but it would be harder to see. A plus though is that Denatured Alcohol id clean burning so there is no soot exhaust.

Here are some pictures of the mixture of Denatured Alcohol and Kerosene: