This article’s intention is not only to help guide people in how to create a spin jam but can be used to help better manage a current one, So first what is a spin jam? I would like to think most people would agree that a spin jam is simply a group gathering whether or not people are actually spinning it’s more about the memories, having good conversation and meeting new people.
What’s great about a spin jam is you can just go to watch, try new props, practice for a performance or just for fun, it’s really up to you how much you want to get involved, Spin jams are not classes however you will always find someone willing to teach you a trick or two.
They generally don’t cost a penny to attend although some may ask for an optional fuel donation if fire spinning is involved which is only fair if you have been using everybody’s fuel for the last few weeks.
First impressions count
So let’s start by being vain and choosing a name “Saturday Spin” or “Texas Spin Collective”are not good names Texas is a very big place, this goes the same for cities and even though you don’t know it there is most likely another spin jam somewhere in the area, So think local I personally think using the base location name is the best option something like ” Troy Park Spinners” and that brings us on to the next step.
The Base location
Choosing a base location can depend on many factors, whether or not you want somewhere quiet and private or something more public where people may just wander over to see what your doing, as long as you have plenty of space it doesn’t make much of a difference and is a personal choice, Most spin jams like mixing it up changing locations which is a good idea but it makes things harder for people to find you and frequent bad turn outs kill the group, Choosing a base location where you plan on doing the majority of meets just make sense some what of a homing beacon to the masses.
Once again this is optional and ties into the whole naming bit, “Bristol Hooper’s” even though these guys do in fact welcome other props many people would assume it’s mainly just a gathering for hooper’s and therefore give it a miss, You may actually just want a group focused on a select prop which is fine but if not make it obvious everybody is welcome, The main question you need to ask is are you going to allow fire.
To burn or not to burn
So if you decide no fire that’s fine you can move on but if you do want to allow people to light up you should take note because as the organiser of the event this gives you the moral duty and depending on where you live possibly the legal responsibility for the safety of everybody who attends, So first things first contact your local fire station/marshal and just be honest ask them what is allowed in the area, will you need insurance, tell them your proposed locations, what safety measures you plan to have in place i.e. burn kits, fire blankets, wet towels, spin off buckets etc. then ask for their opinion and suggestions, This will help you in long run if god forbid something does go wrong.
Next I would like to mention it’s one thing lighting up some props but its a whole other league fire breathing so just don’t allow it, some people may know what they are doing, others will think they do and some may just want to try and to be honest you really don’t want to deal with what could happen if it goes wrong so yeah just don’t let it happen!
Share the load
Just because you started it doesn’t mean you have to do it all, have discussions with the group and elect some other leaders preferably the ones with more experience, Choose at least 2 people to help be responsible for safety of the group, They can help lead safety demonstrations at the beginning of every session showing people how to correctly spin off fuels, giving information on fuels, what to do in a crisis and generally just keeping and eye on everybody and helping with the preparation of each event maybe just by bringing spare props, fuel, music and other safety supplies and so on.
So I planned on putting this all in one article but there is simply way to much to say and it’s getting late so I think I’m just going to have to split it in two so the follow up article will be “managing a spin jam” and will be published soon.
– Much love