Me – performing at the Opera

I am not a great singer. Nor a great dancer. So, I was mighty surprised to get an invitation to appear at the Royal Swedish Opera. It quickly proved it was not for performing arts. Instead, 13 of their technicians needed to renew their ”Class A, pyro card”. Only a handful of pyrotechnicians apart from myself are qualified to do this, so with colleagues Johan Harnesk, Martin Hildeberg, and Ulf Nielsen, we offer a three-day combo of theory and practical pyrotechnical info. Students even get to build their own firing box to take home.

The group was a mix of people from departments like props, lighting, and stage technicians. The mood was high and students were great with occasional applause even if there was an intense focus during stories of what could go wrong and how to avoid such situations.

We – the teachers – also gave a handful of tips on non-pyrotechnic solutions simulating pyrotechnics to avoid governmental applications and forms. The tips included solutions like air cannons, propane flames, weapon solutions, non-pyro smoke, and of course – the air squib simulating bloody bullet hits in actors.

All in all a great crowd, and after the 80 minute-test, all 13 students now can boast their very own pyro card. Congratulations!

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AIRSQUIB - SAFE SQUIB

The Air Squib, is a pneumatic squib or air powered simulated bullet hit blood effect, that is mainly used for film, television or theatre productions to create the illusion of a performer being hit by a bullet.

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