Documentary looks at the fiery life of Calgary magician Carisa Hendrix

first_imgAt the beginning of the documentary Carisa Hendrix: Girl on Fire, the magician and fire-eater tells a frightening tale about a stunt that went disastrously wrong a few years back.The Calgary performer, who broke the Guinness World Record for “longest duration fire-torch teething” in 2012, was trying something new involving a fuel-soaked cotton ball that was to be lit ablaze and popped into her mouth “like popcorn.” Unfortunately, when she rehearsed the bit, she wasn’t wearing stage makeup. On stage, she was. So when she lit the cotton ball on fire, flames leapt into her face. Back stage, she surveyed the damage, eventually putting her fingers on the burned areas.“All of the skin came off and wrinkled to one side like a layer of wet tissue paper,” she calmly tells the camera. “I was flipping out. I said, ‘You need to drive me to the emergency room. I think my skin is falling off.’” Login/Register With: Advertisement It’s a fairly compelling opening for Buddy Day’s new documentary, even if it suggests the director may have been a little too on-the-nose with his choice of title. But the further we get into the film, the more apparent it becomes that Hendrix’s fire-eating abilities are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what makes her fascinating.“The fire-eating kind of falls away really quickly,” says Day. “You don’t want to lose it because it is very interesting. Although, ironically, the fire-eating is one of the least interesting things about her.”The novelty of her job, and the world record she broke in Italy at the age of 25, was what first drew Day to Hendrix as a subject for the documentary. He was looking for a followup to his 2015 efforts The Salvation of Todd Bentley, about a Pentecostal preacher who claims he can heal the sick and raise the dead; and Goalie: Life and Death in the Crease, about troubled NHL player Clint Malarchuk. He had heard of Hendrix’s varying talents, which include not only fire-eating but also barefoot walking on glass, stilt-walking, sleight-of-hand and variations of the “human blockhead” spectacle that can involve, among many other things, sticking scissors up her nose. Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img

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