>>This episode of the Modern Rogue brought to you by CuriosityStream.>>Go to curiositystream.com/rogue
and use promo code rogue to get one month free.>>Yeah, man. [stammering] Dang it.>>Just–he gets so worked up. He wants you to do this so bad.
>>[unintelligible explaining] Want to try something cool?>>Yeah.>>Here, put your torch right there.>>Right there?
>>Right there.>>JASON: Gotcha.
>>BRIAN: I’m going to do a little squiggly line. There we go. I’m going to light this and then boom. [Jason gasps] And now you eat that.>>I haven’t read the book.>>It’s very easy. Come on.
>>No, what‽>>BRIAN: Just a taste!
>>Stop, stop, stop!>>Just a little bit. Come on, you big–
>>Stop it! [deep synthetic rumble] [electrical pop]
[gentle vinyl static] [rising chime] All right, what are we doing here? Wingardium Leviosa? Swish and flick?>>[through laughter] Yeah.
>>Is this some of your wizard bull[bleep]?>>We’re going to learn how to eat fire. [prominent static crackling]
♪ [samba] But of course, much like a Jedi needs to make his own lightsaber, you have to build your own torches.>>Okay, now are these like, going to be–can I Tomb Raid
with one of these torches? Is it that kind of torch?
>>Okay, dude, they’re very versatile. You can explore tombs, you can host reality shows on Discovery, you can harass Frankenstein.>>Ha, oh!
>>That’s a joke I stole from Penn & Teller.>>You know what? It’s Frankenstein’s monster, okay? [Brian laughs]>>There are juggling torches out there that have a Kevlar thing with two screws in it.
You don’t want to use those, because they’re too big to fit in your mouth. Plus also, those screws
get really, really hot. You’ll burn the heck out of your tongue. I know this from experience. There are fire eating torches out there, also with that same Kevlar material.>>Some of them–oh, you’re talking about
ones that are pre-made that you can just order off
the internet or something.>>You can buy off the shelf,
however, and take this from me, the guy that wrote
The Professional’s Guide to Fire Eating, I strongly, strongly advise
that you build your own torches mainly because what happens
when you buy off-the-shelf is you might get a reservoir
of fuel that’s inappropriate for the size of the mouth or the skill that you want to demonstrate. Some people like really big torches that hold a lot of fuel because
they can keep on using them without re-soaking them for a while, but the trade-off is that you lack the precision of having the exact right torch for the size and shape of your mouth. We have two handmade torches that are about perfect,
in my opinion.>>They’re really smaller
than I would anticipate.>>Yes, I am a big fan of soaking your torches very, very often because you’ve got to remember, it’s not the cotton wicking
that burns, it’s the fuel. I never leave a fire-eating torch going for more than maybe 10 seconds. And if I do, it’s in motion. But here, you can see
that the cotton wicking is actually starting to
combust and you don’t want that because even after you put out the fire, now, this is all very, very hot and will burn your mouth from the inside.>>So how long does one of these last if you make it right and treat it right?>>If you do a good habit
of soaking your torch before every single time you eat fire, something like this, I believe, I made this maybe three years ago.>>Oh, wow.>>And that’s hundreds of performances. The longevity of your
torch is directly related to how good you are about putting it out, soaking it for the next one, and then going into the next part. So look at this, at this point
we’re running out of fuel. Watch what happens when I blow it out. You’ll see that there’s all
these embers and cinders. [a smooth-turned-turbulent exhale]>>Oh, yeah. You’re just ruining it. [sustained exhale]>>Two things are happening. Number one, this will burn you
if you put it in your mouth. [exhale]>>BRIAN (VO): And number two, you’re
destroying the torch itself. So what’ll happen is, god forbid this happens onstage
or during a performance, but once this breaks all the way through, it will unravel on stage
which can be disastrous.
>>[distressed] Oh.>>We just finished a two-hour shoot where we did my full
fire eating performance and over that time, I wasn’t this bad but it does degrade faster
when you’re doing it for minutes and minutes
and minutes an hour.>>Repeatedly, yeah.
>>Right.>>Okay, so this is just
t-shirt material here but what is your base? What are you using for that?>>Any kind of metal skewer
or stick or anything. I made my first out of a wire coat hanger but I figured out really
fast that the thinner the material in any of
the stuff, this is a–>>Is that like a Mortal Kombat
weapon or something? What is that?
>>No, it’s for roasting marshmallows. [laughing]>>Oh, okay.>>So let’s say you cut this off, the problem is the
thinner that the rod is, the faster it heats up. And when you do burn
yourself in fire eating, it’s usually not on the wick material,
except for this. [exhale]
Look, it’s still going. This is why you never let it get that hot.>>You can stop blowing it in my face now. [laughter]>>Sorry.
>>I’d be happy if you did that.>>So in general, the thicker the rod,
the better a heat reservoir it is. The longer it takes because this gets hot and all of that heat is
drawn down through the metal so you get yourself one,
two, three, five more seconds to risk putting your lips around it without burning yourself. So this one is a little bit thinner.
>>Yeah.>>These are my older torches
and I move to the thicker rod which worked much, much better. Okay, so in this case, we’ve got a torch that clearly needs to be rewicked, right?>>Yes.>>So first thing you want to do,
is you want to take off the previous wicking. I like pure cotton t-shirts. ♪ [smooth mellow beat]
You can actually take cotton
and thread and make them. That’s all in the book. I don’t like that because
when the thread breaks apart, everything kind of
disintegrates all at once. If you do it right, you can make a excellent fire eating torch just by using the t-shirt
and tying it off on itself. Even after being burned,
it’s a little tough for me to break this all apart to get back down to the original barbecue skewer.>>Now, is there any type of material you want to avoid?>>Yes, anything synthetic
because synthetic things melt, pure cotton only slowly burns. Of course, if you’re doing your job right, you’re only going to leave
the flame long enough for it to go immediately out in your mouth and then the actual
temperature of the cotton should be totally unaffected.>>Okay, so we take the rod,
we cut the top off, and then make the little
shepherd’s crook right there.>>You want to get the
right wicking for it. So in this case, we’ll
take 100% cotton t-shirt. You want to start with a
wide band and get it thinner and thinner and thinner and let it go as thin as you can for
the longest time you can. You can always cut more of it off later. In the beginning, I used to only use the bottom parts of t-shirts because they were double-rolled-over and they wouldn’t fold in on themselves.>>So if we ever see you wearing a t-shirt [laughter]
where it’s just the bottom is gone.>>Then you know I’ve become so cheap, [laughter]
that I can’t afford to wear a whole shirt, yes. ♪ ♪
[scissors softly snipping] I’m going to cut, like an inch and a half, two inches.
>>Yeah.>>BRIAN: For your very first ones, they work great if you
just use this bottom band. We’re going to do it the hard way, though. We’re going to get rid
of that bottom band.>>JASON: Okay. ♪ ♪>>So here, like, take that
for a beginning thing and I’m going to bet you could figure out how to wrap that around.>>[in disbelief] Well…>>BRIAN: I subscribe to the
probability that the right size for a wick is about
the size of your thumb.>>Okay.
>>Something that’ll fit in your mouth that will give you control, that is not going to be overbearing.>>Now, do you want to make
sure you cover everything? Like even the tip of the crook here?>>It’s not the worst thing
if a little bit of the crook is still there,
but I like to cover everything.>>JASON: Okay.>>BRIAN: You have the one
side of the crisscross, I would do another side of the crisscross.>>JASON: Okay.>>BRIAN: And come around here and
then you start tying it off just like that.
>>Ah!>>The only problem is you don’t
have a very good knot here.>>Okay.
>>So at this point, you want to tighten this really tight. Now, I’m going to do another knot on this. For a baby starter torch, that’s actually not bad because this is not going
to hold a lot of fuel, it’s not going to be too
intimidating for you to use, you’ve got a double knot down here. It’s tight enough that
it’s not going to come off on its own accord.>>And that’s why the crook is important to keep it from coming off.>>Yeah, correct. You want it threaded in there,
wrapped around, and then watch this. At this point, you’ve got this little dangly guy right there. Ideally, you’ll always have enough fuel that this will never burn off but if you’re worried about
making it nice and even, all you have to do, there we go, we’re just going to burn off that edge. Now, you can see, it’s actually lit there.>>JASON: Yeah. ♪ [hectic music fades in]
[forcefully exhaling] ♪ [hectic music fades in]>>And then at that point, it seems like you’re ready to start practicing, without fuel, on the motions.>>So how do I do that? [Brian laughing] I mean, I’ve watched you do it–>>Well here, let me show
you the way I make my torches so that you can get the
more advanced version. It’s not so degraded
that I need to use ♪ ♪ pliers or anything to rip it off. I’m just going to get all the way down and just unwrap everything. You can kind of see,
the original shape has survived.>>Oh, yeah!
>>You can tell I used the bottom of a shirt.>>And you just taper it off there to a point.
>>Correct. Exactly.>>Yeah, for safety’s sake,
you’ve got to be really careful that you don’t have any
little stray bits [squeaky plying]
or threads or anything that are going to fall off because that’s going in your mouth, right?>>Yeah, of course, that’s one of the things
we’ll talk about later is like,
there is no version of fire eating where you don’t burn
your mouth repeatedly.>>[facetiously] Oh, good.
>>So, if you’re not into that part, [laughing]
then fire eating is not for you.>>Well.
>>So you notice that the t-shirt kind of wants
to roll in one direction.>>JASON: Yeah.>>BRIAN: I usually cut it about… yeah, about an inch and a half and you can tell, these are
kind of crappy scissors so it’s kind of garbagey on the cut. But, since it’s rolling in on itself, that doesn’t matter so much.>>JASON: So when you got started, did you ever try to
tie it off with thread? I mean, how did you figure
this out, trial and error?>>Yeah, I don’t recommend anyone learning by trial and error. I’m going to keep it
even but at this point, you can tell I’m starting to taper down and I’m going to get down to
a narrow, curled-over thread. It’s curled over on the
inside on both sides and I want this as long as I can get it so that I can get as
many knots as possible so that it survives without unraveling. That’s the big thing I want to avoid. Keep in mind, all of this
is just my preference. Nobody should eat fire. You should learn from
your local professional. There you go.
Oh, I feel really good about that. You see how it ends
>>Yeah.>>on that tiny thread there? Okay, oh, this is good. So the only thing I would worry about this is that it might not be enough material.>>Oh, really? Oh, because it’s too thin?>>Well, it might be
too thin in which case, what I would do is I
would take a little bit of the old wick and just–>>Reinforce it?
>>Tuck it in middle, right? Let’s just take a bit of this wicking. ♪ [energetic track going buckwild] I’ll use this to kind of wrap it over the top. Biggest thing is I want
to cover all the metal. You want the least amount of frayed edges as you can possibly get. Those are going to burn faster and
it’s not going to last as long.>>Now, is there a
problem if it’s too small?>>No, everything in
fire eating is a trade-off. I described to people,
anyone could juggle in 15 minutes but it just takes a lifetime to ♪ [music resolves to a halt]
be able to nail five balls all at once,
on stage, under pressure, that kind of thing. So to start with,
you definitely want everything to be less than you think
you’re going to need. [bugs chittering in the background] There we go. I’m going to do that same thing
I did to get it nice and tight. A little bit smaller
than I would normally use but I think this will be just fine.>>JASON: [reassuring]
It’s a good size, Brian. [Brian laughing]>>BRIAN: Let’s say I’m done
and I don’t want anymore.>>Okay.
>>That should be a-okay.>>Once you trim it,
we’ll take the lighter.>>Yeah, there you go. Just burn off that excess there.>>JASON: Burn the loose edges there. ♪ [jazzy contemplative beat]>>Beautiful. So there’s only one thing left to do. [stammering nervously]
>>What’s next? What’s the next step?>>Okay, we are going to learn
all of the basics of fire eating.>>Okay.
>>And there is a lot of ways fire eating
can go very, very wrong but, usually what I do with new students to build their confidence
is I get them to do just the babiest of baby flames.>>Okay.>>I quite literally have them do just a couple of drops of fuel. Hold out your torch. ♪ ♪ [quietly]
There we go. Just going to coat it, that’s so little fuel,
>>Okay.>>-that even if you did everything wrong, I’m pretty certain, you can’t screw it up.>>Like, if I put it in my nose or something?>>Well, I mean you might singe a hair. In general, fire goes up, heat goes up, you’re going to tilt all the way back, tongue all the way back. You want it to stick out
your tongue, land it, [gesturing sounds] and close your mouth all
the way around that rod for a good four seconds.>>Four seconds?
>>Yeah. Don’t make the mistake of
opening your mouth too fast or you’ll be like my
friend Justin Robert Young, you’ll light your face on fire. [static and an electric buzz] [distinct Texan accent]
>>Oh, god damn!
Your face was on fire!>>Oh, JURY.>>Okay, okay.>>Also, you’re forgetting one thing.>>BRIAN: What?>>The one important thing that you told me years ago, don’t inhale.>>Oh, yeah. Look, that’s the advanced stuff. Look, there’s so little fuel on here. I don’t know how you can screw this up.>>Okay, okay, okay.
>>Just be fast. No hesitation.>>No hesitation, four seconds.>>Oh, I will say, you
hold it in the middle. You don’t actually hold it by the end.>>Oh!
>>The end, it’s too easy to wobble around.>>Oh, yeah, yeah.
>>There you go.>>Hold it by the actual rod itself?
>>Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right, ready?
Three, two, one. Uh, oh.>>Am I doing it?
>>It was too little fuel. We took too long.
>>Okay. I did it! Oh, no, I got it!>>This doesn’t count. This is not the real instruction. All right, ready and go.>>Okay.>>On the tongue, close your
mouth, close your mouth. One, two, three, four, you did it. See, look at that. ♪ ♪>>That’s nothing. You built a career on this‽ I got it in like 10 minutes! Come on! I’m going on the road! I’m going to write a better book!>>This is only the instruction
on how to make the torch!>>Oh, there’s more?
>>There’s so much more. That’s why I wrote
The Professional’s Guide to Fire Eating which we’re going to make
free again for 48 hours. Normally, it’s $40 but they got
to go to gimme.scamstuff.com and then they can get it free. You got to be 18, you got to promise me that
you’re not going to go up and try this without talking
to a real professional but it’s everything I
know about fire eating. This is what you’re going to learn next.>>Okay.
>>And then, boom, right? And then it’s like that.
>>[whispering] That’s a lot more.>>Like that stuff. That’s the action.>>Okay, so maybe five to six more episodes before we get to that, right? I’ve got a long runway?>>Next episode.>>Next episode.
>>It’ll be fine. I had a dream the other night, dude.>>Oh, do I want to hear this?>>Yes, you do. I dreamt that I was
hanging around the house. I was doing a bunch of chores and I was still learning the entire time. I dreamt that instead of a television, there was a magical waterfall
that filled my brain with 2,400 of the best documentaries and nonfiction programming
with award-winning talent, everyone from Michio Kaku
to to David Attenborough and I dreamt that I got the
first entire month of it completely free by going to
curiositystream.com/rogue.>>Man, in my dreams,
I just forgot to study for a test and I’m naked,
but yours is way better.>>Well I mean, also I was naked and I did study for the test
because I was learning so much. CuriosityStream was created by the guy who founded the Discovery Channel. Remember how television
should fill your brain with amazing mind-blowing
facts and information? You’re not going to do better than going to curiositystream.com/rogue.>>It’s $2.99 per month for
over 2,400 documentaries and nonfiction series.>>Plus, the whole first month,
totally free. CuriosityStream.com/rogue. This is a normal conversation that two regular humans
sitting on a porch would have.>>Absolutely, it is.>>Why wouldn’t we?>>Yeah, talking about–>>I’ll tell you why not.>>Promo code rogue.
>>Aliens.>>Oh, is this because of
the thing that you ate and it got into your brains and all that? ♪ [otherworldly drone swell] [hemming] You’ve been weird.
>>Science.>>You can’t just do that and say, “science.”>>Yeah, [stammering]
you can and you can’t stop me. Science. — CC BY BIZARRE MAGIC — [quieter]
That’s an awful example of what I’m doing. It’s falling apart literally
in front of my eyes. Let me do that– [stiffled chortle]>>Is this covered in
The Professional’s Guide to Fire Eating?>>Failure? Yes.
[laughter] It’s covered in my life. That only happened because
it’s the Modern Rogue. If this was Scam Nation,
it would have been perfect.>>Lock-Picking Lawyer did it better. [Brian laughing]