First, you know how I feel about free shows (except charities and donation events and even then, we discuss it) We have a rule about anyone who contacts us within a week of Halloween-Triple Rates. Why? Because 1) someone wasn’t a good planner and that doesn’t bode well. 2) Spontaneous and unplanned fire with flammable costumes and drunken people-what could go wrong? 3) WE need time to plan it into OUR schedule.


And here’s why;

COST:  We not only have expensive fire props but we need support for those props. That means time in training and training means a place to train. And places to train cost money-and if you ask about fire-well if they’ll even rent to you. We are VERY fortunate to have a spot we rent and are grateful they’ll have us-swords, fire and all.  We have to pay for insurance and that is never cheap. Some of our members pay for extra insurance as they do independent acts (if it’s not under the Phoenix Swords banner, it’s not coming out of our insurance) And there is LITERALLY a cost in flesh and blood which leads me to;

DANGEROUS: We are setting ourselves alight for your entertainment. Nothing is 100% safe.  Airplanes go down, food poisoning happens, and people burn themselves. In order to be where we are we have to take chances every time. And in our pricing page and contracts we have a clause that says “In the event of too much risk…”  We have had to say “nope” on a number of occasions when we saw our performance area.  And if you think all employers take into account your well-being, speak to my friend the Nigerian Prince, I’ll send you his email.
We aren’t the only ones taking a chance.

RISK:  Okay, so we’ve established you have something a *little* broken in the brain-box to play with fire. So although we may not be paragons of common sense it doesn’t mean we don’t possess any and it’s important to have!   True Story: So you would like us to perform for your city for free and “exposure.” Here’s what being exposed -you are a cheap-a$$ and we said “no.” So you got yourselves another set of performers, that’s cool. What is that person’s name?[ Real name redacted] The Dragon? That totally sounds like a Real Life name. Did you see The Dragon’s insurance? Did you have a contract with The Dragon?  Did The Dragon have a fire plan?  Nope just going to do fire stuff on some cement with no barriers and hope for the best. And they were lucky-we knew The Dragon and he does fire for fun. But what if you’d “hired” The Dragon Rando instead and he set your city on fire?  The Dragon Rando just has to change their appearance and slide out of sight and you get to breathe deeply the charred remains of the results.

RESPECT: We have been accused of being able to produce diamonds from our butts. That’s an insult we’ll live with gladly.  But honestly, people don’t generally respect what you do unless they pay for it. I used to do my art for love and then for money. After two years as a freelancer, I was done-after hearing some TERRIBLE excuses for not being paid. I wish artists could just do their thing and be beloved for it-but we don’t live in that world. To quote Cardi B “I make money moves”


And no one should have to give “free” anything but this one in particular chaps my cheeks because it speaks especially poorly of the people who are putting on a show. I understand that we are an “ask” society so yes, it never hurts to ask. But when you are asking at “0” recompense that’s not negotiation, that’s sheer contempt and disregard for not only you but the safety and well-being of others.