Author Topic: She didn't like the "Sprite" in this one.  (Read 1747 times)

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PSMKay

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She didn't like the "Sprite" in this one.
« on: Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am »
(submitted by nole)


     

I didn't actually stage manage this one (fortunately!), just crewed.  A few years back, I worked on a Pacific Islander festival at the state Art Gallery.  This included a Samoan fire dance, including twirling fire batons, fire eaters, 40 gallon drums with fire in them and about a million old fruit cans around the stage border filled with
kerosene, old rags and (you guessed it) set on fire.  The highlight of the show was two full sized bull models made out of tin in the middle of the dance area, that spewed fire and firecrackers out of their mouths on cue.  Not the sort of show that you want ANYTHING to go wrong on, or wear a polyester shirt, for that matter. 

Unfortunately, we'd got the guys from the local radio station to help us move the bulls to the stage area (it was an outdoor gig, much to the relief of the Gallery's insurers) which was thirsty work, so they all drank a couple of plastic bottles worth of Sprite each.
Unbeknownst to us they then threw the empty bottles into the bull's mouths, without
realizing they were stuffed with firecrackers.  The show goes stunningly well, up until the bull scene where the dance leader lights the firecrackers.  All the plastic bottles catch fire, along with a few other bits of garbage these radio bozos have thrown into the bulls, and we're left with two bulls spewing flames out of every orifice and threatening to explode .  Two of us grab fire extinguishers and duck and weave our way through about twenty firestick-twirling dancers to get to these bulls before one of them melts/explodes/goes into orbit and stick the nozzles down their throats (the dancers didn't even falter, and they're
making so much noise that yelling 'stop' isn't going to make an ounce of difference).  Problem is, you only get about one good squirt out of the average fire extinguisher, so the ducking and weaving is repeated again for replacements.  The other problem with CO2 powder extinguishers is that they produce this disgusting white powder that makes people choke and get runny eyes, so for the rest of the show the fire twirlers were coughing like crazy and couldn't see properly.  Apparently the gallery's safety inspector drank about four beers in ten minutes after that little episode, and got the shakes if you even lit a match beside him... 


 

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