A BOOMING BUSINESS

PEOPLE “In my business, if you have a bad day, you just blow things up and it makes you feel great,” says RANDY BECKHAM.

In part, that’s because Beck-ham, president of Carrollton-based Pyrotex, Inc., gets paid thousands of dollars to blow things up. As an indoor theatrical pyrotechnical expert, he creates artful fireworks effects for events as diverse as bar mitzvahs, corporate meetings and Easter Sunday celebrations.

Beckham, 35, says he got into this booming business in 1979 “as a solution to clients’ unreasonable demands.” He was director of engineering for a company that produced audiovisual shows and had a client who wanted a battle scene on stage-“complete with rockets’ red glare,” Beckham says. Even though this staged war was waged against fleas and ticks, Beckham came up with plenty of firepower.

Beckham can light up huge auditoriums, but he says his job is “not any more dangerous than driving on Central Expressway. You just have to know what you’re doing and take your time.”

Pyrotex “shooters” apprentice for three years under Beckham before they do a show on their own. He believes that is the key to his company’s fireproof safety record-not a single accident in its 13-year history.

Although Pyrotex stays booked for fireworks displays around the Fourth of July, September through New Year’s is Beckham’s busiest season, beginning with state fairs, including the State Fair of Texas, and continuing through football, basketball, theater and party seasons. He worked the George Strait show on New Year’s Eve and lit up the Cotton Bowl halftime show the next day.

Beckham looks forward to Palm Sunday and Easter when Baptist churches and Assemblies of God across the country keep him busy. Pyrotex not only recreates hell and tongues of fire, but for Passion plays literally explodes Christ into heavenduringthe Ascension. Now that’s entertainment.

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