There has to be a safer way to make a living that to willingly be set on fire.
For Holly Patterson and Kandice Porter the two women would have it no other way.
Patterson and Porter were both set on fire and sprinted — as best they could — toward the finish line as part of the Dr. Danger Thrill Show that appeared Friday and Saturday at the Devils Lake Speedway.
Patterson and Porter are rather new to the spectacle and made their stage debut Friday.
For Porter it all seems somewhat natural.
“I love adrenaline rushes,” said the 18-year-old recent graduate of Altus (Okla.) High School, who also happens to be on probation in an Oklahoma court after receiving a speeding ticket for driving 101 miles per hour.
“I’d really like to race,” Porter added, “maybe that will come sometime down the road.”
Patterson has seen first hand the preparations that come in putting on the spectacular show. She has spent the past two years assisting Dr. Danger in staging shows throughout the country. She has also witnessed the dangers of donning a pair of coveralls and being set on fire.
“The outfit is very heavy,” said Patterson, who goes by the name Holly Danger, in keeping with her roller derby personna. “Our goal is simply to get to where we need to be and get extinquished ... hopefully we don’t trip along the way.”
“It makes me pretty nervous,” said Cory Duncan, who works with the show and is also the boyfriend of Porter, about watching his girlfriend scamper ahead of a ball of fire. “I trust (Dr. Danger) or we would not be here.”
Duncan and Porter both hooked up with the show during its recent stop in Altus and a midnight decision was reached to join and begin touring.
“It’s been a pretty interesting senior trip,” Porter said.
For Dr. Danger, whose real name is Greg Carpenter, his show is the result 22 years in the making and he celebrates the addition of women to his performances.
“Everyone seems to be enticed by seeing a woman in dangerous situations,” said Carpenter, whose own stunts have earned him four trips on Life Flight helicopters during his career.
“If Evil Knieval had been a woman he would have made a lot more money,” Carpenter added in referring to the stunt legend.
Dr. Danger has appeared on several television shows, including the CBS?Sunday Morning Show and World’s Dumbest Daredevils. He has also been featured in National Geographic.