Jimmy Cushingham — better known by his stage name, Jimmy Pyro — will be eating fire, breathing fire and dancing with fire in a family-friendly spectacle Thursday at the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County.
“Fire just has this awesome power to it. You can feel the energy from it and it makes this powerful sound when it is spinning,” said Cushingham, whose company, Energemata Poi, is based out of Atlanta. “Poi” is the art of fire spinning.
Cushingham, who has performed for the last six years, said that while the entertainment aspect can whip a crowd into a frenzy, the hazards of the job are quite real.
“I want them to go in with an open mind and ready to be amazed,” he said. “There is no trick to it and it is a real danger, so do not try this at home.”
Kim Westbrooks, head of youth services at the library, said the free performance fits into the scientific education aspect of the summer reading theme. “This is part of our summer reading program, which is science-themed and it is called Fizz! Boom! Read! He will be talking about the science of fire in addition to performing.”
Weather permitting, Energemata Poi will be in the library’s overflow parking lot. In the event of bad weather, the performance will be held in the Ayers Room Auditorium on the library’s second floor.