PLAYING WITH FIRE ... And not afraid to get burn

May 24, 2018
Contributed Fire performer Sheldon 'Brains' Donaldson.
Contributed Fire performer Sheldon 'Brains' Donaldson.
Contributed Fire performer Sheldon 'Brains' Donaldson.

After being fired from his job in St James in 2007, Sheldon 'Brains' Donaldson hesitantly decided he would play with fire for a living.

Donaldson, 29, is a fire performer who, time and again, leaves his audience in awe as a result of his jaw-dropping stunts. He controls fire by dancing with it while it rubs against his body, then eating it before exhaling to breathe out the fiery flames.

However, the fearless fire performer admits that he began with very timid steps.

"There was this person called Leroy, he was the one who taught me how to do the fire thing. It wasn't a thing weh mi did really want do, because is real fire that pon yuh skin ... . Mi did fraid a it at first," he told THE STAR.

When he began training to be a fire performer at 18 years old, Donaldson was shocked to find out that performers did not rub anything on their body to prevent them from getting burnt.


"Mi decide say mi nah dweet and get serious, until mi deh deh a look out a space and him (Leroy) used the fire and rub it cross mi belly," he said.

"When him run the fire cross mi belly, mi neva feel it. Suh mi realise is a mind-over-matter thing," Donaldson added.

He noted that the spent a year practising before he could do it on a professional level.

"Some people a do thing and dem no get the proper training, but him teach mi well," he said.

"The skillness and di dancing, mi did done have that already, suh with mi do know fi do dat already," Donaldson, who was part of a group called Star Boyz at the time, said.

He has performed at numerous hotels, parties, weddings and other functions, and has even appeared R&B singer Jeremih in a music video, Feel The Bass.

And with the demand for his service, he has created a company for himself, where persons can hire fire performers, contortionist and acrobats.

Donaldson says he performs at least two shows per day, and sometimes even as much as four, all over the island. He said that travelling to different locations and meeting new people has been the most rewarding aspect of his job.

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