What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

That Time They Trusted Me with Fire August 13, 2016

I’m a little accident prone. Okay, I’m significantly accident prone, especially when it comes to fire. Kitchen fires, camp fires, I can destroy things like a pro. And for the last few weeks I’ve been playing the Wicked Witch of the West, complete with real live fire shooting out of my hands.

It’s a little, flash paper device, but it does make a nice little flame.


Sometimes the thing won’t go off at all; occasionally a ball of fire forms around my hand; and one time I caught a tiny bit of the set on fire. Just the little strings hanging off the twine decorations, but still, set on fire all because of me! Woot woot (and hope I don’t get fired)!

And not only am I supposed to shoot fire out of my hand; I’m supposed to aim for people! Mostly my lovely roomie who plays the Scarecrow. Which is terrifying. Looking at a person, pressing a button, and hoping that fire shoots at them. But not too well at them to make them really catch on fire, just enough to make it look like they might catch on fire to the audience. It’s a delicate and difficult balance. And I did hit the Scarecrow in the no-no place once. Luckily there was no damage done.

Today we close The Wizard of Oz, and the fire hand, lovingly referred to as the pew pew, is going to be passed onto the next show that requires mild pyromania. It’s been a great run, and I’m so grateful to have had another trip to Oz.

But I still have one performance left, so what can I catch on fire tonight?


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