Playing with fire started as a hobby for Cove City native, Amber Babb. Today, she’s turned her fascination with fire into an opportunity to be one of the hottest acts in eastern North Carolina. From a young age, Amber was interested in fire and never really afraid of it–she had an interest in fire that made her mom nervous, but today her mom is one of her biggest supporters.
Growing up in a small town, there wasn’t much of a chance to be exposed to unique hobbies, but after attending a show in Raleigh with LED flow artists she was hooked. Once back home Amber started doing some research online and ordered a set of props to start teaching herself how to use them. Following her success with the LED props, she decided to try her hand performing with fire almost 8 years ago. After many years of practice and gaining confidence with the medium, she started performing at birthday parties and gatherings for close friends and family. This year is the first time she’s expanded into the fair and festival realm. After successful performances at the Pitt and Wayne County Fairs, she’s excited for the opportunity to bring her act to an even bigger stage–the North Carolina State Fair.
Ember Fire Arts is a one-woman show for now, but her husband Michael, a US Army serviceman is always close by. Whether helping set-up the stage or fueling the props he’s always willing to lend a hand–”he’s one of my biggest supporters.”
Each performance is different and tailored to the audience and venue. The music plays a huge role in her performance and helps tell a story–one of faith and not giving up. One of her biggest goals? “I want to inspire younger generations to never give up on your dreams. Keep going and you’ll get there.” said Babb.
There is always going to be a risk when you’re playing with fire, but according to Babb it’s worth it. “Of course I’m scared, but I have respect for the fire and don’t get overconfident in my ability–that’s what keeps me safe.” Injuries are to be expected when performing with fire, but hardly ever more than a blister. The wind plays a huge factor in being able to perform some stunts, but Babb says she is working on conditioning herself to perform in more and more difficult environments. Knowing how to manipulate the flames and move your body around the flames helps prepare for some environmental factors beyond her control. The grueling 20-30 minute performance features fire poi, fire eating, fire breathing–one of the most dangerous stunts, a new prop called a dragon staff that produces a huge flame sure to get the crowd’s attention and more.
When asked about her goals and the future Babb said, “I never expected it to get this big. I really want to perform at a festival in Tennessee, that’s a big goal of mine. I really look up to Grace Good, one of the most well-known female fire artists in the world–I’d love to follow in her footsteps.”
Don’t miss Ember Fire Arts in Heritage Circle, every night at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. And follow Ember Fire Arts on Facebook, Instagram & Tik-tok to see where she’ll be performing next!