On location again with #bmcc #blackmagic. Felt like I was on set for #gameofthrones ! (stolen image and tweet from Craig)

Well, its official. My work/professional life and fire spinning have completely collided. One of the companies I work with a lot recently got a new Black Magic Cinema Camera. I had shared some of the footage from our recent shoot with them (we also shot on the Black Magic, as well as a Red) and had previously babbled on and on about fire stuff… Well turns out we’re going to be featured in their upcoming project. From what I gather, its all about celebrating the spirit of Independence in Philadelphia through various independent people. My favorite bartender Clark (who also happens to be good friends with one of the guys at the company) is featured in it, as well as Philadanco and various other small business owners and artists. We’d been trying to get the ladies together with the crew, and scheduling was a nightmare. When we finally got everything locked, massive thunderstorms and tornado warnings cancelled our first go-around. We rescheduled for this past Monday. Beautiful weather, four dancers, solid location.

Showing up in full costume to see folks who hire me pretty regularly as a normal person waiting on the sidewalk was rather amusing. Wave “Hi”, grab my fire dump box, costume bag, speaker and extra fuel and tromp over to shake hands. We did some portraits first (UG I’m awful in front of the camera being told to smile) and then lit up. I always love the reactions people have when they first see fans on fire. Photos and videos don’t really do it justice. There’s something primal about the flame, and the fact that decked-out ladies are manipulating it and drawing shapes in the air is fascinating. In this world of instagramming everything, I’m always pleased when people take out their phones to try to capture the moment. Yup, we’re one of those “OMG can’t believe where I am right now” experiences.

We’ve got some stills from the footage up over on our site, I can’t wait for the final piece to see how they work us into the rest of the stuff they shot.


Wow. I feel like a truck hit me, but its a good kind of exhaustion and sickness. What could be a good kind you may ask? I’m run down and feel like death because yesterday was insanity. My fire troupe, Lux Arati, teamed up with crew from Drexel’s Film & Video program to shoot a promo. It was a win-win shoot for everyone- the Drexel folks had some new cameras they wanted to test and run comparisons of, and needed some interesting footage for their color correction class. Plus all the young folks get some GREAT footage for their reels. What’s better than hot girls on fire?  Of course, I managed to schedule us to start at a park on a beautiful Sunday that also happened to be Cinco De Mayo. Oh, and Equality Forum, a block or so away. Yeah, parking was a NIGHTMARE. Then we moved to a warehouse to do some rooftop stuff for magic hour. The warehouse was under construction. When I talked to Kevlar about the location, he said there was a ‘lift’ to get to the roof. I thought he was being British…. and was picturing a large elevator. Nope, when he said lift he meant this kind of lift. It was worth it though.

Lux Arati and the Philly skyline

After the warehouse we headed over to Michelle & Tim’s for a food break and some night shooting. We got to use Tim’s awesome tank to add interest to the background. It was a super long day for everyone, but I’m so pleased with everything. You know its good when the camera guys are high-fiving after a take. We shot a TON of stuff (about a terabyte and a half!) so I’ll have a lot of sifting, but I can’t wait to get started on it. Now to drink some tea and get myself feeling more human!

Geri at practice, with some palm torches

My fingers are crossed for nice weather tomorrow… Lux Arati will be performing at the Rotunda as part of the Poet-tree EnMotion series. We did a gig for the series last year, and it was a lot of fun. The location is beautiful, and our set was nice and casual. We were supposed to have drummers, but there was some sort of family emergency, so a few people grabbed some things to bang on- it was a little bit all over the place and tough to dance to, but still fun.  This year we’re a bit more organized, and I’ve told pretty much everyone I know in the Philadelphia area about the show. Which means I’ll actually know quite a few people in the crowd. Eeeep! Time for stage fright to kick in! I’m really excited about it, though, because we have a nice line-up. Its a mix of fire and non-fire, solos, duets and group pieces. We’ve got our intensive practice tonight, so I hope the rain holds off. Another fun bonus? We get to use the new speaker thing that I bought for the troupe… its pretty awesome. Basically like a guitar amp on wheels, battery powered and iPod friendly. We’ll have to test how loud it gets tonight, but I think its going to be really great for our shows. Definitely relieves the “Where the hell is our music supposed to come from?” anxiety. Now we’ll always have a backup ready! So yeah, if you’re in Philadelphia, come on by! Its a free show, in West Philly at the Rotunda. We’re set to go on around 8:30 or 9. It’ll be fun!

So glad that Lindsey got these photos. Its rare for us to all end up in the same costume at the end of the night, with a beautiful location, to boot! What’s not to like? (Click the link above or here to see the post over at our Lux Arati website.)

Of course it was raining. Of course the stage was slippery and our fuel dump was on stage, the spin off area directly behind the performers. Yes, also on stage. Still, the performance must go on! Here’s our whole-troupe fan finale. (The full set is here– fire fingers, hoop, staff and palm torches.)

Pouring rain at Cabin #1

Months of practice. Sewing costumes, organizing multiple acts, choreographing till brains went numb, multiple near-break downs… the girls all put their damnedest in. All for naught. That massive storm that took out the power for over 2.1 million people and took the lives of at least 15… yeah, it shut down our stage Friday night from about 9:30 on. We were all told to secure our camps and seek shelter. Our little camp (me, Michelle, Tim and Dave) hung out in Michelle’s car, watching the storm. I’ve never seen so much lightening. The rain wasn’t really that bad. It knocked down our tarp, but it was a fairly easy fix and our tents were well staked and stayed dry. Some other campers weren’t nearly so lucky. Its been a while since I’ve seen such incompetent pitching. One guy’s unstaked shade structure flipped completely over (surprise, surprise). Another never staked his rain fly, and half his tent crushed in, the poles bent. Overall though, I’d say damage at the campground was minimal. Our show though? Cancelled. There was a 30 minute slot on Sunday night, but Jen didn’t want to cut anyone for the show. So it was re-scheduled for Sunday night. Maybe. From looking at the schedule I’m not sure where it would fit. I still don’t know if they ran anything.

I never stay through Sunday. Two days is about all I can handle at this event, and this year was particularly rough. Like the rest of the East Coast, Darlington MD was experiencing a massive heat wave. 90 degrees at night. Humid, sticky, stagnant. Pounding music all night. “How’s your PEX?” and people partying… Tim, Dave and I are all reluctant PEXies for sure. Chris asks why I go. “The fun part is our performance on Friday night.” I respond. Without that, the whole weekend felt like a chore. Michelle and the rest of the girls performed an awesome dance before the effigy burn (as Setu Tribe) so that was good to see… but I just couldn’t even pretend that I was going to have fun at any of the DJ tents. Perhaps if I felt more comfortable free-form spinning I could’ve had some fun in the spin jams. I need to work on that, because it would give me a good way to participate in these events. As is, though, I know my choreography, and just kind of freeze up other than that. Watching some of the performers was interesting, and I’m inspired to work more on my stage presence. But I just couldn’t stay through Sunday night with only a possibility that we would be performing. I wanted to be home. Chris had a real rough week at work the past week, and I wanted to spend time with him. If I had stayed I wouldn’t have really seen him until Wednesday (work all day, Softball/dance after work… Wednesday would be the first night we’d get to spend time together).

Can’t get this at PEX

And I did have a lovely day with him. We went to the farmer’s market as soon as I got home (I felt like a dirty hippy… such filthy feet!), then the coffee shop and later ate ice cream and watched cheesy sci-fi movies. A really nice Sunday. I also ran into a colleague when we were getting lunch who talked about bringing me in on a really great project. If I hadn’t been in Philly, I wouldn’t have run into him and who knows if that connection would have been made. (I’m being vague because he hasn’t confirmed anything yet, and I don’t want to jinx it… and its a very exciting piece I can’t wait to work on!)

As great as my Sunday was, though, I’m heartbroken that I didn’t get to perform. Part of me wanted to stay through Sunday and finish off the show, but there was no guarantee it would actually run. We all worked so hard! I’m sure the folks who were in more than one act were even more sick over the whole thing. Tim built a huge roulette wheel that was tarped over for the storm and taken down Sunday morning. Some of the acts were from out of the country (we called them the “French Mafia”… I’m super disappointed I didn’t get to see their piece) and others from all over, so likely won’t be able to perform even if we can reschedule something in Philly. We’ve got to do something, though, even if the show line-up changes. Anyone have suggestions of where to perform a 45 minute or so multi-act fire show? Outside stages that we can rent or events looking for performers? Fire hoopers, double staff duets, a fan troupe, an awesome burlesque number and more… and hopefully before Burning Man becomes the focus and takes the majority of our performers out to the desert.

Karen, Me, Alexis, Kobe, Dad

My sister flew in from Seattle for Father’s day weekend to hang out with Dad & Karen and Gramps and Tom. It was quite the family weekend. Red eye flights, shopping down town, genealogy exploring and circus playing.

Of course, any time I head to my Mom’s house I pack in my hoops and my fire fans. Open space? Yes please! Mom is so much better at hooping than either of us! Even though I ended up bruised and sun burnt, it was a great afternoon in the sun.

This time as I was throwing my fans and fire box in my car I heard “Performing fire?” Um, yes. Who are you and how did you know that?? Most people have no idea what my fire fans are when I’m carrying them around. Apparently my neighbor is a tattoo artist and sees fire performers at conventions. Awesome! I left my second set of fans with Mom so she can practice. (She promised not to try lighting them till I’m back though. Safety first!!)

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