Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fire Eating? - Why the Hell Not?

South Florida Guy Eating Fire
If there is one thing that has always fascinated me it's the art of fire eating.  An art that is high risk, extremely dangerous, and in no way something to learn at home from YouTube videos. Doing it right will likely burn you. Doing it wrong will surely require medical intervention. The secret art of fire eating is usually passed down from one artist to another. A literal passing of the torch.

This year I chose to purchase a season pass to the Florida Renaissance Festival.  There are several performers who eat fire - some only feet away from my camera. I've seen some dozen or so exhibitions in the four weekends I've attended the festival. After a little soul searching, I decided I wanted to take the leap and follow my dreams. Now where to find a qualified teacher.

Eating Fire
It is my good fortune that my close personal friend Jana Colgin just so happens to be touring this year at FLaRF. A ten year fire eating veteran, she graciously offered to give me the beginners lesson and I immediately accepted.

I'm sure you have some questions.

Am I crazy? - Just a little.

Is the fire hot? - Hot as fire - the cold stuff has not yet been invented.

Did it hurt? - I stuck burning hot fire on a stick in my mouth so yeah, pretty much.

Will I do it again? - What, are you kidding? I'm shopping for a kit right now.

 I am hooked. I don't know if I will ever be at a performing level but after several hours of intense training, I managed to transfer a flame to my tongue then light another torch with the flame coming out of my mouth. That is certainly a show stopper at any family gathering. Huge thanks to all the performers that inspired me and a gigantic heap of appreciation to Jana who enabled me.


  1. Yep, crazy sure describes it!! But the next step?? Fire-WALKING!!! I've seen people walk across red hot coals with no burns in the Pacific Islands - now wouldn't that be a great follow up act to have in your repertoire?!?!

  2. @Red - Funny you should mention that. Fire Walking was a big craze here in the late 80's. I had the opportunity to participate once. There is a trick to it. I really wish I had paid a little more attention to the instructions back then. Fire Eating is a whole other thing. I took notes this time!!