Top 10 Things to Remember Before Leaving for a Gig

Earlier this month, we posted the Quintessential Checklist for Flow Performers which has a more limited scope so naturally, there is some crossover with this new list: Top 10 Things to Remember Before you Leave for a Gig. This list accounts for some of the things one migh think are common sense for fire dacers and subsequently, everyone thinks the other dancer has it when no one does.

  • Lighter– Bring several lighters. It’s only sort of funny arriving at a paid gig as a fire dancer with out one. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have one and it can be really embarrassing when everyone’s looking at you while you’re trying to find a lighter. (Author’s note: Read as: I don’t want to ever Top 10 Things to Remember to Bring to Your Gigmake that mistake again – I generally bring at least 2.)
  • Performance tools – it sounds obvious and yet, I’ve forgotten my tools. It’s only happened in situations where I needed something I don’t always have with me like my triple wicks or palm pots, but I did in fact forget my fans for the 2007 Expo and I was performing a fan piece with my students. Be sure you have a list in your head of all the acts and all the tools you will need for all the acts so you can ensure you arrive with everything you require. If you forget easily, write the list down. If you have a tool bag, make sure your tools are in the bag before you leave. Just because you think it’s there doesn’t mean it is. Performance tools also includes things like costume parts including hair cover, gauntlets and gloves.
  • Fuel – If you fire dance with any regularity, it may not be uncommon for you to just keep fuel in your car. However, just because a can is in the trunk doesn’t mean the can is as full as you remember. It’s good to remember some spare fuel in case something spills or, even more fun, they want you to stick around and do another set.
  • Music – bringing the music includes the sound system if you’re responsible for it and the power cords, cables and batteries required to run the sound device. In addition, be sure to bring a tested copy of the music as well as a backup copy of music which means on a different device. I’ve gotten to gigs where the battery died on the iPod, the CD was scratched, the Y adapter was broken and my machine crashed. The safest thing to do is bring at least 2 copies. One gig, it was a good thing we had 3 copies because the first one had the set in the wrong order and by the time we reordered it, the battery was running out and the interface to the second device didn’t allow for reordering the list. Be sure to check that the order of the music is correct. Listen through the set from the device before you leave.
  • Directions to the venue – If you dance with other people, it’s easy to think they will have the information you need to get where you’re going. The safest thing to do is bring the directions with you. If you are going somewhere that is more rural, don’t rely on your mobile device to have a connection — have a screen print of the directions in your photo library. If need be, bring printed directions.
  • Contact name and phone number – You may arrive on site and be expected to meet up with someone you’ve never even spoken with before. Be sure you have their name and their cell phone number with you. If possible, get an alternate contact person and phone number.
  • Phone numbers of your crew – This includes all your dance partners, fire safety staff, photographers, video people as well as musicians.
  • Duvetyne – Don’t assume your safety brought it — check in with them and make sure. Regardless, bring your own every time – then you know it’s big enough to put our your tools. For example, if you only spin poi, you don’t need as large a piece as someone spinning fans would need.
  • Second skin – Most people don’t want to get burned but when they do, they want to have a great solution on hand. Second skin is my number one burn care recommendation and you can read about it in this scar prevention for fire dancers article.
  • Check your gear and gear bag before you go – Prepare for your gig by checking all your performance gear. Check for frayed wicks, unsafe connections, closed quick links, rusted parts, wicking that’s falling apart, cracked or warped parts and chain that looks faulty. For extended trips, be prepared by bringing extra gear with you. Spare tools are a handy thing to have. If you want to earn your fire dancer boyscout merit badge, we suggest you bring a tool kit with spare parts including things like:
    • handles
    • leashes
    • swivels
    • multiple pliers
    • split rings
    • a ring splitter device or screw driver to pry the split rings open
    • bolt cutters
    • quick links
    • heat tape
    • grip tape
    • gloves for your safety
    • handy wipes
    • If you’re using a caldron, also bring:
      • lamp oil
      • rubber gloves
      • funnel
      • rag for wiping up

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