First Friday Fire Fest - A Grants Pass Night Life Awakening

Coming up this First Friday, August 2, 2019, will mark the 18th First Friday Fire Show IN A ROW that we have been putting on free to the public of Grants Pass, Oregon. Lately, it has been leveling up.

One of our regular performers, Michael Skaggs, always bring the spirit with his outfits, and sometimes drums with actual fire shooting out of them!

One of our regular performers, Michael Skaggs, always bring the spirit with his outfits, and sometimes drums with actual fire shooting out of them!

The gig began in an open space on the corner of the OFA (Oregon Football Academy) and then a month later to a small space right behind the Grants Pass Welcome Center. Once we began getting some more performers and audience members, it was quite clear we were needing to move to a new bigger space; especially since the facebook event for December 2018 First Friday Fire Show reached many thousands of people, 2,400 people saying they were interested, and 335 people saying they would attend. We even got the local Channel 5 News to show up! So we moved the event to the Owl Parking Lot a block away (5th and H St., downtown Grants Pass).

My partner in crime, Catherine Rutan, rocking the fire jump rope.

My partner in crime, Catherine Rutan, rocking the fire jump rope.

The show became a huge hit and well known among the valley. I had many performers reaching out and wanting to get together regularly for practices and to help support the scene!

This upcoming show will be at yet a new location; the Dutch Bros Headquarters Parking Lot on 4th and G St. (110 SW 4th St., Grants Pass). And not only that, but we have extended the show from 1 hour to 3!!! We will begin at 7:00pm with a free Yoga class as well as Acro Yoga demonstration. At 7:45pm, some break dancers I have been training with and befriending will go on till 9:00pm. At that point we will continue on as usual with our open burn jam (please reach out to me if you are an experience fire spinning performer) with accompanied local drummers. Depending on the flow, we will go till at least 10:00pm, and maybe a little after if everyone is feeling it.

See you this Friday!!

Performing with my fire sword for a growing audience.

Performing with my fire sword for a growing audience.

First Friday Fire Show

This coming Friday, August 3rd, 2018, with be the 5th consecutive First Friday Fire Performance in Downtown Grants Pass, Oregon (outside the Grants Pass Welcome Center on G and 6th Street). Free to the public, and encouraged to participate with a percussion instrument or maybe even have fire spun around you!

I have done a number of things with Full Circle Phenomenal that I am proud of, but I cannot remember a more prouder moment then last First Friday Fire on July 6th when I was able to bring together 5 professional fire performers (well, technically speaking 4, and one novice, but he did good), around 20 drummers and maybe 50-60 bystanders. It was PACKED! And so much fun for all. I was reported to after the show that a man was there who just returned to town after being away for 15 years, and he said, "I cannot believe something so cool is happening in Grants Pass." and I could not agree more with him. WE ARE MAKING THIS INTO A TOWN WHERE PEOPLE LIVE, not die, as it has been in the past.

Here is a recap video I did of the show:

4th First Friday Fire by Full Circle Phenomenal and Friends. Performances every First Friday, downtown Grants Pass, Oregon.

Being a professional fire performer is certainly not easy. From the training, to the trust, to the networking, to the herding of cats (other fire performers); people are simply not familiar enough with the concept of it being a popular means of party entertainment, and that its actually very safe. People who aren't safe in the business obviously don't last long; if you find someone who has been doing it awhile and even has videos and a website, you can probably consider it a done deal. Fire Spinners have zero room for mistakes as we know what we risk. Fortunately the only things to have ever happened in my 4 years experience was minor injuries to myself. Otherwise, it's been a blast, for one and all. Never a complaint.

There's obviously something magical about fire; and to tame it brings that magic under control and into a level of comfort, like a campfire. When we flow artists spin fire, I see it relative to emulating what is happening in the micro and the macro cosm; balls of fire spinning around black holes, and electrons orbiting around atomic nuclei - are we really so different? Not at all. We are the same stuff, still just having fun dancing about like we're on fire; cause we are.

With my practices of yoga and qigong, I combine with my fire performance to keep things focused and on an even keel, inside and outside of myself to ensure everyone has the best time possible, without things getting out of hand. I have been checked out by the cops every First Friday and on numerous other occasions, and EVERY TIME, still to my amazement and great appreciation, they're cool with it. These types of interactions is what gives me hope, and beyond hope, certainty, that we can be still be wholly creative beings showcasing our great talents, even if they appear to be dangerous, and still all prosper from the experience.

Come on out this Friday at Sundown (9:00pm-ish). The address is 198 SW 6th St., Grants Pass, OR, 97526.

First Friday Fire Spinning Show in Downtown Grants Pass, Oregon (6th and G) at Last Light.

First Friday Fire Spinning Show in Downtown Grants Pass, Oregon (6th and G) at Last Light.