Circles of Fire Productions

Circles of Fire Productions Circles of Fire has provided complex, reliable & cutting-edge practical playback for major motion pictures in the New York Metro area for more than ten years.

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Operating as usual

After a trip down memory lane due to @molly_c_mccune’s post about our time performing #IntoTheWoods, I broke into the va...

After a trip down memory lane due to @molly_c_mccune’s post about our time performing #IntoTheWoods, I broke into the vault of my “personal files” hoping to find the program of our show and instead I found these “Self Letters.” I remember writing them as a freshman in college... and I remember thinking that I would wait to read them again until I was 40, which seemed like an impossibly long interval at the time. But, uh... I’m turning 40 next month. Your thoughts on what I should do with them? There are about a dozen...

Goodbye, old friends. #yardsale

Goodbye, old friends. #yardsale

There was something about my night stand tonight that just made me laugh. Three cups of water? #yinashell #tryingtorebal...

There was something about my night stand tonight that just made me laugh. Three cups of water? #yinashell #tryingtorebalance #onemalabeadatatime

This is #Lucy and #Ethel each taking a turn at proving to me what good dogs they are in the hopes that I might share any...

This is #Lucy and #Ethel each taking a turn at proving to me what good dogs they are in the hopes that I might share any part of my morning ritual foodstuffs with them — my banana, my coffee, and any of my psych meds, please and thank you. They weren’t entirely out of line — they’re used to me cupping a handful of treats in one hand, like I was then doing with my meds. But it doesn’t change the fact that none of that is for doggers, even ones as chill and obedient and hopeful as these two. #betterlivingthroughchemistry #appropriatelyprescribedchemistry #gooddogs #blacklab #chocolatelab #labradorretriever #goodpatient #compliance

Yesterday’s coffee happened to be my absolute favorite color of brown. It was so perfect I took a picture of it and inte...

Yesterday’s coffee happened to be my absolute favorite color of brown. It was so perfect I took a picture of it and intended to post it immediately to the interwebs. Instead, I photobombed my pic with my foot and my dog’s paw and then became caffeinated and distracted. #latergram

I really appreciate how my friend is having all of us do absurdist games in honor of her pregnancy. (What is more absurd...

I really appreciate how my friend is having all of us do absurdist games in honor of her pregnancy. (What is more absurdist than pregnancy?) In this case, we were asked to put a paper plate on our heads and draw a “crawling baby” in under one minute. My efforts earned me the extraordinary prize of a Donatello keychain. My life is complete.

My dear friend Jacqueline is having her baby shower in a full-on #Xennial arcade and taco bar. She passed out ice cubes ...

My dear friend Jacqueline is having her baby shower in a full-on #Xennial arcade and taco bar. She passed out ice cubes with tiny babies frozen in them — first to fish the thawed baby out of your drink earned a prize. This is how I would always like to celebrate someone’s pregnancy.

I have a more formal altar in my room, but as I bent to pull clothes out f the dresser this morning, I realized that thi...

I have a more formal altar in my room, but as I bent to pull clothes out f the dresser this morning, I realized that this was also a kind of informal shrine to different elements of my healing process. l joked with my mother the other day that this godzilla was the perfect zilla for me right now because she’s soft and fluffy and cute and still ferocious. I need to learn those lessons of coexistence: ferocity AND gentleness, indestructibility AND softness, wrathful AND adored. I’m working on it. Slowly. I have great role models. #Godzilla #GodzillaFluff #healatyourownpace #healinyourowntime #IbowtotheBuddhainyou

Try to remember how actually miraculous glass is as a technology. #fireflies #awareness #illusions

Try to remember how actually miraculous glass is as a technology. #fireflies #awareness #illusions

#GodzillaRose will always return! And this time, with friends.

#GodzillaRose will always return! And this time, with friends.

Yup, so this happened today. Fun times on Twitter dealing with black hat hackers and their TERF cisters...“Hey there Twi...

Yup, so this happened today. Fun times on Twitter dealing with black hat hackers and their TERF cisters...

“Hey there Twitter!

I have a series of accounts that are being wrongfully locked up for “violations of Twitter’s Rules,” when in fact none of the accounts have violated any of Twitter’s Rules.

Unfortunately, a good friend of mine named Michelle Esther O’Brien, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has been struggling with a real life stalker for the last several months. This anonymous person has sent death threats over the phone and over email and in the mail to Michelle and to Michelle’s child. This anonymous person is specifically attacking Michelle because she is a trans woman, and uses known “TERF” (Trans Exclusion Radical Feminist / Trans Exclusion Reactionary Fascist, depending on who you talk to) ideological rhetoric and references in their cowardly and anonymous attacks on my friend. (Full disclosure: Michelle and I were partners ten years ago, but parted ways amicably.) I’ve been following the attacks on Michelle from afar, but then also have noticed the rhetoric of a highly aggressive collective named the Midnight Robber which is aiming to unmask the anonymity of this attacker. That account is also on Twitter under the handle @robbermidnight. They’re here on Facebook too under the person “Janice Robber,” who I think might be their leader? Or at least the face of their collective? And then also there is a page called the Midnight Robber.

At any rate, this morning, to my surprise, my account was targeted for take down for a single tweet in a vehement thread that I wrote a few days ago on June 2 about the despicable nature of TERF rhetoric. In it, I become quite heated, I admit, and I say in a single tweet “And to all TERF humans? Eat shame and die quickly.” I then immediately followed that tweet by saying, “Fortunately for you, no one has ever died of shame! JUST KIDDING. J/K ABOUT THE WHOLE DYING THING.”

I admit, this humor is in bad taste. It is highly aggressive and it seeks to publicly shame the humans who subscribe to the fascism and violence of TERF ideology. But it does not call for violence against any single person or group of people. And it does not harass or intimidate or silence the voices of any single person or group of people. I respectfully refuse to delete my first tweet. To any human being reading my thread or train of thought, it is clear that I was making a very aggressive joke. To a bot who is easily confused or misled by a malicious human actor, like the ones who are under the control of the actual stalker of my real life friend Michelle O’Brien, it might look like I violated the terms of service for Twitter.

But I actually believe your problem is far more severe than that. I received a series of emails in quick succession this morning about my Twitter accounts, and then word from my friends in the Midnight Robber collective — who I am tangentially related to, but not officially involved in — that the @robbermidnight account had been locked, my @circlesoffire account had been locked until I delete this tweet, my @pfenixwings account had been locked for violating Twitter’s Rules, and two project-based accounts that I have created in relationship to a trip I took last year walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain (@ZorroRoja and @DosPeregrinas) have also been targeted for retaliation by this malicious actor. @DosPeregrinas is an account that merely takes a feed off of the associated Instagram account, and has it’s own project-oriented gmail account associated. @ZorroRoja has literally no followers, no following, and no tweets. It’s a placeholder account for a fictional project I have not made public yet yet. Precisely how does an account like that violate Twitter’s Rules? Explain to me precisely which rule each of these accounts has violated. What it appears to be from where I stand is a direct retaliatory campaign against any account associated with my name Emily Millay Haddad and my domain (My website has also been fielding aggressive attempts to hack my system all day. It’s fine and I’m not in danger. Everything is being handled professionally and calmly by me and my team.)

I understand that someone believes that me telling a vicious joke at a TERF’s expense is somehow actionable, but it is not. Especially when any human who can read a train of thought can see that this was a part of a longer monologue and one where I explicitly “take it back” and step back from calling for a TERF to die from shame in the immediately following tweet — and dying of shame is a thing that is physically impossible to do anyway. It’s a metaphor, Twitter. Do you know what isn’t a metaphor, though? The letters that my friend Michelle has received in the mail telling her to commit suicide. Nor are the letters that were addressed to her child and impersonated “Michelle” which said obscene and destructive things. Like Nazis, that is the kind of violence that TERFs enact in reality on trans women and their homes and families every single day. And I don’t see Twitter doing anything at all to protect those women. Not a single thing.

Instead what I see with some regularity is what has now happened to me. A tweet that is thoroughly and utterly defensible under my First Amendment rights to Free Speech has been targeted wrongly, and subsequently all of my accounts on Twitter, personal and professional, have been targeted for retaliation. I don’t really understand how the @RobberMidnight account fits in here because I am only tangentially connected to that collective of people, but Michelle is my dear friend, I have been known to fight TERFs in public and in private over the course of the last twenty years, and coincidentally that account was attacked at the same time as mine.

I respectfully request to speak to a human being at Twitter to get this sorted out. All of my secondary accounts have been put on a timeframe to be unlocked in the next four hours. I would assume the @RobberMidnight account is on a similar clock. I refuse to delete the tweet in question so the timeline for my @circlesoffire account has not yet begun. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I delete that tweet.

If we cannot resolve this issue amicably and promptly, I will be seeking counsel on the appropriate next steps to seek relief from your company’s gross negligence around the ease with which your bots/algorithms are gamed by malicious hackers and for infringing on my First Amendment rights and disrupting my performance art and professional comedy writing across my four accounts: @circlesoffire, @pfenixwings, @dosperegrinas and @ZorroRoja. Your incompetence and neglect has significantly impacted my business, my professional standing, and infringed upon my First Amendment rights as well as my rights to Equal Protection governing public accommodations.

I respectfully suggest you reach out to me promptly. My case number is 85142923. My reference number for my appeal is 00DA0000000K0A8.5004A00001Pn2nJ:ref. As I say, I highly recommend you reach out to me to resolve this issue without involving any other parties. That would be my preference.

All the best,

Emily Millay Haddad
[email protected]

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For those of us for whom it is possible to be out in the streets marching, make yourself ready to do so.

(Feel free to share this widely, with or without attribution. Nothing I’m saying here hasn’t been said before by others before AND better than I am saying it here. The data is free. Share it wisely.)

Here is what “make ready” means in concrete terms:

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: you should carry as little as possible. This is a question of weight and stamina. Most of us are unaccustomed to standing, much less marching, continuously for hours and hours on end. Do not fret. Take breaks instead. When your body needs rest, listen to it and rest. When your body needs food, listen to it and eat something. When your body needs water, you are already past the point of dehydration. Don’t push. Don’t hurry. Be kind to your body. Listen carefully to your body’s wisdom. It doesn’t speak English. Listen anyway. And then do what you’re told as fast as you can.


If you are a fellow concerned layperson who wants to show up and march, THANK YOU. WE NEED YOU OUT HERE.

* Make sure you have a clear plastic bag of some kind that everyone can see into in an unobstructed way.

* Carry water in it, as much as you can stand to carry, but two portable containers will likely suffice (16-20oz). If you are addicted to caffeine the way I am, carry one container of water and one container of coffee/caffeinated beverage of your choice. Coffee is very shelf-stable, though becomes more acidic the longer that it stands. Be aware of this if you have a sensitive stomach already like I do. Always drink the caffeinated beverage slowly and first. (Coffee is mostly water, so don’t worry too much about hydration at first. You have an entire container of pure water for later.) Make the buzz last as long as possible. Consider drinking maté or some other maffeine-based liquid since the high and the drop are less severe and jagged. You won’t crash on maffeine, but neither will you catapult. Be strategic with your drug enhancers.

* Put non-perishable foods in there that have minimal to zero prep to eat — Clif Bars, jerkies, Snickers bars, that kind of thing. Aim for protein over sugar, but in a pinch sugar is always helpful. Sugar is the basis of all biological carbon-based life energy. Never forget that.

* Carry spare handkerchiefs, plastic Ziploc bags and rubber bands. You never know when they’ll come in handy. Carry a first aid kit and an ace bandage.

* Carry three days’ worth of any essential medications you need in an unmarked container, like an old-fashioned 35mm film canister. Be prepared to grab this container out of your bag when it is confiscated by the authorities and pocket the meds. If you’re arrested, the last thing you need is to go off your meds in lock up. We will get you out within 96 hours. Hang in there.

Optional luxuries: a spare battery for charging your cell phone or others’ cell phones. A spare set of quick-dry clothes. Rain gear. Cold weather gear. Hot weather gear. An epi-pen. Spare painkillers. Spare anti-inflammatories. Spare arnica or other painkilling salve. Any magickal/therapeutic items of personal meaning to you that make you feel safe and strong. An umbrella (doubles as a great weapon). A baseball bat (less subtle as a hidden weapon). A slingshot (but only if you’ve practiced and you have good aim). A utility knife that is street legal (blade is 4” or less). A wine key. NEVER BRING A GUN. NEVER BRING A GUN. NEVER BRING A GUN.

===STUPID GUNS (I can’t believe I have to say this) ===

IF YOU BRING A F**KING GUN TO THESE PROTESTS YOU BEST BE PREPARED TO MURDER. If you’re not prepared to do that, you better leave your f**king gun locked up in your gun-approved safe in your vehicle or your gun-approved safe in your home. If you insist foolishly on bringing your gun as a “show of force,” you better not bring ammunition. You better leave the safety on the whole f**king time. And you best understand that I will never trust you or organize with you ever again. Moving on, you cocksucking gun nut idiot...


If you can feasibly leave your cell phone at home and march like they did in 1968 — WITHOUT PHONES OR OTHER TRACKING DEVICES — it is worthwhile to do so.

If you must bring your phone with you, please keep it shut off the whole time unless you are about to use it.

If you must keep your phone turned on the whole time, please install a VPN (my favorite is VyprVPN but any VPN will do — Google it). Turn off your wifi and your bluetooth antennas. (Ask me how if you don’t know how.) Make sure the VPN is fully functioning for your data plan, or just turn off your data for the duration of your march. Turn off location/GPS for the duration of the march. Turn on the shortest duration of auto-lock, preferably one second. Turn on any kind of battery saving “low power” mode. Turn down the brightness on the screen as low as you can tolerate.

If you’re a photographer or videographer, bring a non-networked camera to use as your primary machine. If you have them, bring a spare lens and body. You may need them. If push comes to shove, here is what matters most: YOUR LIFE, THE LIVES OF OTHER HUMANS, the lives of all the Others, then the memory cards, then the camera body, then the lenses, in that order. Drop the camera flat without hesitation if your life is in danger. (Rest in Power, Sister Sarah.)

If you’re a livestreamer, install a VPN. Create a fire-walled digital identity for your livestream. (If you don’t know how to do that, ask me in private.) Bring another person to literally watch your back. That person should be solely focused on your physical safety. A third person should also be present (virtually or physically) to track how many people are watching, what hashtags are being used, and any urgent questions or feedback people have in real time — and be able to give you real time QA that your signal is actually getting out. Never go “live” without back-up (a crew with you) behind the camera. Never show your face on camera. Consider using a “voice box” to muffle or alter your voice if you choose to narrate. Consider affecting a strange voice or accent or manner of speech to disguise yourself. Never expose your crew on camera, so be aware of reflective surfaces in your frame. Never say your legal name or the names of your crew on camera. Never say anyone’s legal name on camera unless they are a celebrity. If someone tells you to f**k off and not film them, stop filming them immediately. Be the consent culture that we want to see in the world. Don’t be an asshole, don’t betray your crew and don’t get arrested. Why not? Because you’ll lose your gear, have your phone confiscated (make sure it’s auto-locked), and it’ll take that much longer for you to get your footage online and do your report back to the beloved community. That’s why.


First off, don’t get arrested unless you are prepared to get arrested. Ideally, don’t get arrested unless you intend to get arrested and have made plans and back-up for the rest of your mundane life to function without you for a few weeks or longer. Think long term and think strategically about this. Is it worth the harm that your absence in your mundane life will cause for you to get arrested? Who is going to feed the children? Who is going to teach your classes? Who is going to do the laundry and the dishes and make the bed while you’re gone? Who is going to do your chores and your job? If you don’t have specific answers to those questions, you’re not ready to get arrested.

When you think you’re ready to get arrested, come and talk to me privately.


And most of all, remember that marches are not about individuals ever. They are disindividuating experiences and are about becoming part of a crowd that becomes one being. For many of us, this kind of intense depersonalization and ego collapse is risky business. Make sure that you come down safely from this altered state. Seek people in your life who know you very well and can help you get grounded back into your mundane life after the action is over. Do life-affirming and even ego-affirming things after the march is over. Sex with a person you know really well and trust is a good option. Watching a very familiar and beloved and comforting film on TV in the safety of your own home is another. Do what your body and your ego want to do for once. And be sure to eat regular meals, drink lots of water and sleep. Pet your animal body until it purrs. Treat yourself like a beloved pet who has just come through a thunderstorm that terrifies them. Feel proud of your service to the beloved community. Feel proud and sleep well.

And dream big, y’all. Dream of liberation. We’re very very very close now.


P.O. Box 25098
Durham, NC


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