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Pryrotechnics (aka Fireworks)


Cutting a cigar without a cigar cutter


For the last 2 1/2 years I've been working with Hollywood Pyrotechnics Inc. as a professional pyrotechnics display operator. I've participated in the setup and firing of over a dozen fireworks shows.  I am currently working on getting my Minnesota and Federal Pyrotechnics licenses.  My current licese only allows me to work with display fireworks when working under the supervision of one of the leads with Hollywood Pyro.

Working fireworks displays is one of those strange jobs that is at once exotic and very mundane.  Although we are working with explosives (at times shells with several pounds of explosives in them) the fact is that 90% of the work involved in doing a fireworks display is boring manual labor.  No small part of which is nothing more than heavy lifting doing things like setting up the mortar tubes, as well as loading and unloading trucks.  For every minute of fireworks involved in a display approximatly 3 hours of work goes into setting it up.

As well as doing fireworks displays I also have a strong interest in making fireworks.  Making fireworks is 75% math and chemistry, and 25% art and creativity.

The first question everyone asks when they hear I make fireworks is "Does that mean you can make a bomb?".  I'll answer the question with a question:  Since you know how to use a steak-knife does that mean you can slit people throats?  The answers to both questions are the same.  Yes I can, but I can't imagine why I would.  To a pyrotechnician making a bomb to harm people would be as abnormal  an idea as a sculpter using their skill to make stone clubs to beat people with.