Fire performer makes ‘complete switch’ to become carer due to impact of Covid-19

Josh Payne

A fire performer has been forced to “completely 360” and take work as a carer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dawn Bryant used to do a large number of international choreographed shows including fire breathing, pyrotechnics and fire spinning, accompanied by music.

Ms Bryant, originally from Southampton, said it was “quite a bitter pill to swallow” when she eventually made the decision to find a completely different job – adding: “There was one week where I remember losing two-and-a-half grand of booked work.”

Now, the 29-year-old practises in her local park in Birmingham as using actual fire requires a large open space.

Speaking about the effect of Covid-19 on her work, Ms Bryant told the PA news agency: “It’s hugely affected us.

“Before last year I was constantly travelling – we did quite a lot of international shows, which was great.

“For the first time I’d found myself as a fully established performer so we were all really excited to see what 2020 could bring to us.”

“But there was one week where I remember losing two-and-a-half grand of booked work in a second and things just haven’t really looked up since then.”

Speaking about her career change, Ms Bryant said: “We’ve just had to completely 360 and look for work to keep ourselves above water basically.”

“I’ve taken work as a carer, doing calls to houses and looking after people so it’s a complete switch.

“I find it’s something that’s quite fulfilling.

“It was quite a bitter pill to swallow to make the decision to find a completely different job.

“You have to make commitments with that job and when you do that, it means you’re not going to have time for training that you would normally have to do to keep up your skill and your trade – let alone turning down potential gigs that could have come through.”

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