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Fire in the Hand


Stagem 23

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I need to create the magic trick of an actor suddenly holding a flame in the palm of their hand. I have visited various magic websites and have bought 2 gimmicks that behave like lighters and use lighter fluid. However they are not foolproof. The gimmicks I have get hot in your hand after 10 secs and the lighter flint isn't reliable - it would be better if it was battery powered somehow. Has anyone used these before or does anyone have another way of doing this?

 

 

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Fire is hot

Fire burns

fire for 10 seconds is a VERY long time - after the first 3 seconds your audience will stop noticing it

 

Other more expensive fire-from-palms gimmicks are available but none will overcome these three primary problems and in return for being "electronic" and "foolproof" you end up paying out a lot more for the prop in the first place and have massive ongoing running costs. You need to re-evaluate what effect you're trying to achieve.

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The Royal Opera House had an effect like this for Bryn Terfel in 'Die Walkure". I don't know details but it involved an apparatus worn under his costume with a tube running down his arm and a small device in his hand. He had a heat-resistant gel on his hand, and 'lit' the flame he carried from a trough of flame which was part of the set.

 

It can be seen very briefly at 0'12" in this video http://www.theguardian.com/music/video/2013/jan/04/die-walkure-royal-opera-video .

 

Suggest you contact Stage Management at the ROH to see if they can supply more details. I seem to remember from watching the original (much longer) feature referred to in the video clip that there were stagehands with fire extinguishers standing by !

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Roh unit required 3 staff to "operate" could only burn for a few seconds(it's opera, you can predict exactly how long the effect needed to last) and cost several multiples of what the op has already spent.

The juggling ball units are better but the original points about fire being dangerous and a long burn having no more impact on an audience than a 3 second burn remain. If your Venue is going to let you onstage with fire as currently described / desired you're going to have to produce a LOT of convincing reasons and a mountain of safety procedures.

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The gimmicks you have are probably the most common way of doing what you want.

 

Assuming they are the old flesh coloured pot with a hinged lid and a couple of ring to keep them on your hand?

 

Try gluing a couple of layers of leather to the back of the pot. It just adds a little insulation which is often enough.

 

I've used this type of prop several times and the performers that have worn them have managed to keep the flame going until the fuel burns out.

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