Vintage Club Stories:
Underground Movement:
Performer: Seraphina

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I have a few names. One of them is Seraphina, that's my show name. I'm part of a fire performance group called Nocturnal Sol. We are based in San Antonio, Texas. I am the resident ninja in the group. I love my friends just as much as food and drink. Combine all three and I'll be the happiest person in the world.

I am originally from a small town in west central Florida called Bradenton. I lived there the entire first part of my life. When I graduated high school, I decided I needed a change of scenery. Let's just say that a town with nicknames like "Bradentucky" and "Borington" gives you an idea of the vibrant life it has. With this in mind, I packed up my things and left the only place I knew as home. I moved to San Antonio to go to college. It was the best decision I made, no matter how hard it was to adapt, in retrospect. I just don't want to do it again.

I graduated with a degree in Communications and Spanish from Trinity University in 2010. During those four years, I managed to do the one thing I never thought I would do: Join a sorority. Now, don't lose me here. It is NOT- I repeat, NOT- like any other sorority that I know. The image that comes to mind whenever I say the word "sorority" is a blonde bitch with an accent that you would rather strangle out of her than hear her say "like" for the twentieth time in the same sentence. Mine is the opposite of that. We are individuals. We are that group of women who are friends with mostly guys and we never let the thought cross our minds that we would be within a social organization such as ours. There were some other ones we know that often make a new pledge (oh, I'm sorry, is that politically correct?) assimilate within their group. I have no idea why they do this. Honestly, it's an asinine and ill-advised endeavor to make someone assimilate and make someone sacrifice one's own individualism. Is it to symbolize dedication? Yet, I wonder, why would you want a zombie when so many people are interesting in his/her own right? I want to kill zombies. I don't want my brains eaten. Hence, by the powers of logic, zombies are bad. People who can think for themselves are good.

So far, I have been looking for a job, but with no results. Being jobless makes me a sad panda. I occupy my time with my friends and my fire group (love those lugs) by either hanging out, going to the river (I'm such a river rat), pretending to be a ninja, or cooking. Some people might give me a funny look when I say that, but nothing gives me more satisfaction after working at school or something else and have nothing on my mind but "OMFG DON'T BURN IT!!"

What do I get out of being a fire dancer/performer? Well... I don't quite know. Right now, I'm not getting that much in the way of monetary assistance, so it's not that. I guess the adrenaline rush along with the statement of being different. Having something under my belt that not many other people have. Also, due to the fact that my mother never let me do much in the way of theater, calling it "fruitless," it's a different kind of performance, that only requires my muscles to react. No lines, no memorization (because my memory sucks). At any rate, I just see this as another form of self-expression that is relatively hard for me to screw up, unlike painting and drawing. You know how people get bored with life and need that spark? This gives me that spark to let me know that I am still alive, that perhaps my life is not so meaningless.

The danger is getting burned, which happens to me all the time. I've gotten used to the sensation now. It's nothing twisted, mind you. As a precaution, we have it covered with insurance and training for every member. We have the equipment, should something happen (Heaven forbid). Not to mention, it depends on the skill of the performer to make sure such mistakes remain minimal. Unfortunately, for some of the safeties, when they are not familiar with my style, it scares them. Just like another friend and colleague of mine within the group, who has another style. It scares me. I just like to be dared. I love the fire simply grazing my skin or touching my arm, for not even half a second. However, the fire sometimes says, "To Hell with you!" and I get burned anyway. It teaches one pain tolerance, which anyone can use. For example, suppose you bump into a corner. It bruises you. Are you going to keep going without a second thought or are you going to sit there, crying like you just got a steel pole stuck through your thigh? Think about it.

Whenever I tell people what I do, it's a "chick magnet," except with both sexes. They all seem so surprised/shocked/scared that I play with fire for fun. At first, when I tell them that I'm a fire dancer/performer, they seem slightly confused. "What is that, exactly?" they ask. "You know what raver kids do?" This is either a yes or a no. I hate it when they say no. It takes more time to explain. If they say yes, then I simply reply, "I do that, but with fire instead of glow sticks." They often display this expression that looks like a cross between a cow chewing and a deer caught in the headlights. I'm sure, after such an exchange, they think I'm more reckless or more of a kamikaze than I truly am. Either way, they seem intrigued by the audacity and the boldness that they think I have. Whether that's true or not is up for debate.

I guess the adrenaline and the ability to do something that not many people are able to do, or are too scared to do. It's like conquering a fear everyday. I go into this hobby knowing full well that I will more than likely get burned or have some of my hair singed (saves money on shaving). However, the near imminent threat of injury does not stop me doing what I love. If we were all too scared to do anything, the human race would not be here today. Now off to conquer my fear of spiders and heights...

By Cynthia Bergen
Edited by Kristie Graf
Desire Rush
The Vintage Club Collections