Circled in flames, my friend Michelle rhythmically swung fire balls attached to chains and put on a fire poi show.
Fire pois are essentially flammable wicks on the end of long chains, which a performer can spin and do tricks with.
I was 17 at the time and sitting around a bonfire at a trance rave in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. At that moment, my heart spoke to me: ‘This is what you will be doing for the rest of your life.’
I fell in love with fire and it gave my life purpose. I felt reborn. Fire and power incarnate.
Ever since – which is more than 12 years later – being a fire performer is what I love to do. When I step into my alter ego and ignite the fire both on the stage and within myself, I feel as if I’ve been dancing since the beginning of time in one continuous cosmic theatrical story.
I had no idea what fire performing was until I was 17. At the time, I was actually studying art, quantum physics and M theory and I thought I might pursue a career in digital graphics with a background in sports and philosophy.
That one night changed everything.
Immediately, I started teaching myself because I felt that I needed to become a fire performer. Initially, I learned a lot from watching YouTube videos.
I would watch many fire dance videos, specifically to study the combination of dance with fire performing. A fire dancer and a fire performer are two separate things and my goal was to combine both of them into one character.
A year after I started training – when I was 18 – I started performing professionally (Picture: SNCTM)
Shortly after, I watched fire breathing videos. I know it sounds dangerous and, at first I practised for about a month or two with water.
My basics in learning started with flow and dance, followed by fire breathing. Fire breathing involves, a major amount of concentration.
You must be able to concentrate on not just your surroundings, but as well as your breathing, your fuel intake, and most importantly – do not inhale or swallow any fuel. Avoiding a chemical poisoning and keeping yourself and your audience safe is priority number one.
Afterwards, I taught myself how to make my own tools, such as fire-eating torches and making costumes. The tools I purchased to continue were safety equipment, and fire props such as fans, poi, and torches.
Throughout it all, safety has always been my number one priority.
I took my time with research – strongly looking into safety and educating myself on fuel science. I have prioritised safety as the most important part of being a fire performer. If you ever feel inspired to look into circus or performance arts, start by looking up local workshops and artists to reach out to.
It took me three months to master fire-eating. The first two months were extensive research while building the courage internally to get over my fear of burning myself.
Fire eating involves a great deal of concentration and pain tolerance. One of the most important things you can do is not to over-eat fire, which results in blisters and minor burns. Overall concentration while keeping your style, character, and stage presence is what is mostly involved for me personally when it comes to eating fire.
By the third month, I finally felt confident and I took the final step. I succeeded and the courage I had built up paid off.
The early challenges I faced were having the finances to invest in myself and in my tools. But that started to change when I began booking work.
A year after I started training – when I was 18 – I started performing professionally. I signed onto multiple agencies and began performing for corporate high end events and nightclubs – making an unexpected but good income at such a young age.
At the time, I wasn’t making as much as my competitors, but for only being 18 years old and making $2,000-$3,000 (£1,683-£2,523) per month for a few fire shows, I was extremely happy with myself.
Taking myself and my career seriously at this age made me become a very mature business person and other companies in the industry started to take notice.
Around 2010, I performed at a festival where I met a beautiful goddess named Masae Satouchi, who was a Geisha from Japan and danced with fire. She’s a beauty to behold on stage, both in a kimono and wrapped in flames. When we met, we instantly bonded and became a fire brother and sister.
We performed a duet together at the festival, which brought us closer. Now, over 10 years later, we still share the stage and perform. She saw my craft and my show and opened many doors for me – including a prominent fire entertainment company, which got me a contract at a top New York City nightclub, Webster Hall.
There, I became the creative director of the weekly fire shows. Masae and I did a show there every Saturday for the following five years. We were rock stars and I was only in my early 20s.
The highlight of my early years was when I performed a fire show and did a fire installation in the heart of Times Square, which felt very special. I wore a giant five-foot fire mohawk, breathing over 20-feet of flames and staring into the lights of New York City.
The Fire Department of New York awarded our company the title of ‘Largest Fire Installation Ever to be Made in Times Square’, and in that moment, we made New York City history.
I had beautiful models posing while I kept all eyes on me with fire eating (Picture: SNCTM)
At this point in my career, I was wearing high-fashion fire headpieces and using custom-made fire props. My favourite was a large scythe, and I would always get booked to be the grim reaper, or the devil himself – especially for Halloween. I would stand fiercely and pose, while breathing giant flames off it. I was also created giant fire logos for corporate events.
Additionally, I specialised in indoor fire shows, always using proper safety measures, including safe fuels that are smell and smoke free.
After I accomplished all of my goals, I lost my spark — no pun intended — for fire performing in 2005. I was living like a rock star, but I was bored. I felt I had nothing left to prove. I ended up becoming a paralegal in January 2007 and moving away from fire performing.
Then one day – two years after giving up fire performing – I came across SNCTM on Instagram. It’s a secret society specialising in hosting well-curated events that provide a one-of-a-kind atmosphere filled with erotic theatrics.
I was looking through photos of fire dancers, and I came across a photo of a beautiful naked woman dancing with fire. There were only women on the feed. No men. It intimidated me.
I messaged the account via a direct message offer my services as a performer and I was shocked when I got a reply. The reply was so subtle – just asking for my email.
I knew they were unique and exclusive, so I could perform exciting shows in front of high-profile people.
When SNCTM came to New York, I was invited to perform with them and the spark and passion were reignited. This is because it had been years since I was in a green room with other talent, getting ready to perform and entertain others. I was excited and happy to step back into my alter ego.
I felt alive, and like I could prove myself again.
I personally like to call it fire sex magic (Picture: SNCTM)
The first time I performed for them was over the NYC skyline on a rooftop – I was wearing a tuxedo and a fire head piece. I breathed fire and behind me, I had beautiful models posing while I kept all eyes on me with fire eating. This backdrop was unlike anything I had been a part of before, but the fire performing all came back to me so naturally.
Being the only male performer on the lineup made me want to work harder. Since then, my fire has evolved to a more dramatic lustful tone. The circus glam is still there, but now I focus more on a dramatic erotic story.
Now, I perform unique bisexual shows. Picture both men and women together wearing well-made erotic costumes, while also wearing unique head pieces performing inside occult fire circles making love.
Imagine a large ritualistic fire circle. Inside this circle are men and women, who are practically naked and embracing the heat of the fire. Passions and seductions rise, then lust takes over and the show begins.
The ending is a fiery climax that burns bright. I personally like to call it fire sex magic.
I feel blessed and extremely lucky to be in this position today, especially with everything going on in the world. I guess you can say I feel like Batman, living a double life that keeps me balanced.
I won’t go back to being a paralegal because I now know that it was not who I was meant to be.
These days, I get to do what I am most passionate about, which is to create one-of-a-kind magical erotic fire ritualistic performances.
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