People we meet are always fascinated by what we do for a living.
It seems so mundane to me now but I forget that when Rick and I first met, I thought it was pretty interesting and exciting too.
It does have its awesome moments but I have also seen the difficult work and stress that goes along with it.
I was recently on the roof of a sports arena at the end of two 12-hour long set up days, mildly hypothermic, coated head to toe in explosive powder, with unresponsive fingers
cramped from wiring. The only thought going through my head the entire time was “There is absolutely nothing glamorous about this!”
It’s not always like that.
But the truth is that since then, I’ve managed to make myself scarce whenever a show with that much potential for misery has come along.
Rick has been doing this for 20 years.
He was a lieutenant firefighter and started working for another pyrotechnician on his off days.
Eventually, Rick took over and found himself torn between the fire service, which he loved, and the pyrotechnic work, which was taking off by leaps and bounds.
He obviously choose the pyrotechnics and retired from the fire department.
He has been doing this full-time for about 12 years and is one of the few pyrotechnicians who makes his living solely from his work.
Most people assume we do the big Fourth of July type outdoor shows and we do a little of that.
But it’s not our main focus. We specialize in the proximate, or indoor, fireworks.
It’s amazing the array of work he has done.
Weddings, big corporate meetings, the Olympics, the Millenium Ball Drop in Times Square, multiple casino openings in Las Vegas, movie and television special effects, music videos, private parties for celebrities, every Robbie Knievel jump, and shows
in Dubai and Shanghai. He’s done pyro for the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, lacrosse, hockey, and indoor arena football leagues.
And of course the Lingerie Football League. For some reason, we never have a problem finding male volunteers to help with those!
But the bread and butter of our company is providing the local license for almost every tour coming through Washington State.
Concerts, the circus, WWE, Disney on Ice, PBR, and motocross.
There’s more, those are just the recent ones coming to mind.
These tours come through with their own pyrotechnic crew who do all the difficult work of setting up and firing the pyrotechnics.
In Washington State, a state licensed pyrotechnician must “oversee” the show and make sure all local safety codes are met.
We basically watch the set up and the show from backstage.
We often obtain the permits, coordinate with the local fire marshal, and provide any gases needed for the show.
It can be fun.
I love taking the kids with me and seeing new people, places, and events all over the country.
But the schedule can be grueling too. Rick works incredibly hard.
Plus there is a mountain of paperwork and training to be kept up on for the local, country, and state authorities as well as the ATF.
We’ve had lots of adventures.
It’s definitely not a boring job! So I’ll be sharing some of our experiences as we go along.
And what does this have to do with food? Two things:
local cuisines sampled during our travels and tour catering.