For the record. You know it when you are on fire. It's just a little impractical to stop the show so you can put yourself out. Most of the time a piece of burning fallout comes to rest on your shoulder or back and either smoulders until it burns through to your skin or catches fire outright. You usually don't catch fire though because you are generally sweating so much under two layers of long sleeve cotton shirts, a Nomex hood and a fire helmet when it's already 80 degrees or better outside. Your sweat keeps you from actually bursting into flame. But sometimes a nice piece of fallout will fall down your collar and catch you about mid-back. It's almost the identical sensation to someone putting an ice cube down your back except of course it's burning you and not chilling you. You can tell a shoot shirt has been around for awhile because of all the little frayed holes in it. Sometimes you don't notice you are on fire until after a shoot and someone notices smoke rising off you. That's always fun. Mostly you don't notice too much because of all the adrenaline running through you during a shoot.
The shoot will be Saturday, April 30 at Camp Bonner North near Washington, NC. If you'd like to come out just before dark to watch, you can. I can get you directions. If you want to come out and help set up, that's fine too. I'd give you a T-Shirt. Unfortunately the best I can do for you being on the site when we do the shoot is make you a spotter as both my insurance and my Federal licensing prohibit me from letting untrained personnel actually light anything. Still, a spotter gets to be a lot closer than the general spectator. And they get to put me out if I catch fire. Bonus! I can't have kids on the shoot site under 18 at any time so if you have kids and want to see the show with them, best I can do is find you a nice seat in the audience or maybe over by my folks who will be video taping the show and hopefully not the ground or the treetops this year. In any event, please let me know before I leave next Wednesday that you wish to attend.
I have to say that our plant responded well to the requests to put more noise into the pyro. They came out with several new cakes that I tested last weekend that not only give a super range of colorful effects but break really loud. If it's a clear night, it should be plenty loud. If it's a slightly humid or rainy night, it should be SUPER LOUD.
For anyone that cares, the opening of the show and the general layout can be found
Opening Layout - Dimensions are 16 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
We'll start the show off with the Lance Signs spelling out ECC (East Carolina Council) BSA (Boy Scouts of America) and the center Tarheel sign in Carolina blue in tribute to UNC winning the NCAA championships which will hopeful's bug any NC State, Duke or Wake fans present. The extremely loud Spider Woman fountains and the strobe pots will go then too. *Advice* don't look dirrectly at the strobe pots unless you don't care about seeing the rest of the show clearly.
Then I'll step back and begin lighting a row of Special Effect cakes with eclectic names like Shotgun Wedding, Bull's Rule, Hicktown Heaven and Shaolin Tradition.
Then it's back up front to light the 3 foot silver strobing wheels, the crossed Titanium Gerbs and the Niagra Falls so basically in this effect I'll have showers of sparks coming down like water, shooting upward and spinning around.
The two Crazy Creatures "V" cakes which go up in a huge V of different effects.
Next is a crossfire of 4 - 4 stage artillery shells. So 16 effects in the air at once.
Then 2 Crossfire cakes which throw up effects in an X pattern actually crossing over each other.
Then step back for another row of Special Effect Cakes as before.
Then a special this year of 24 - 4 stage artillery shells all at once. We call this a Wall of Fire effect. 96 separate effects in the air at once.
And last but not least by any stretch is 8 - 500 Gram finale cakes.
Hopefully all will go smoothly and not become the Super Bowl opening sectacle it was last year when a gross of Roman Candles tipped over backwards and shot right at me. Deb sais she was never more happy to see me emerging from a cloud of smoke still alive.
One thing. If you are working on the show, you have to be nice to everyone. The scouts will come up and ask some really boneheaded questions. Just don't answer in kind. The comments recieved after this show by the scouts and the leaders are my bread and butter for getting this show again next year. It's not set in stone and I have to renew the contract yearly. A sarcastic comment to some little kid could jeopardize that. If you don't know the answer, don't make one up. Direct the person to me and I'll answer the question.