Milan Prokes, Jr. was introduced to fireworks by one of his friends and classmates in 1997. Starting at the early age of 11 performing as a stage and close-up magician, he developed sense of appreciation for the arts and entertainment. Following his career as a magician, he remained in the entertainment industry.
Obtained his college Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences in 1991, but his major in Psychology and thought of becoming a counselor was short lived. Commercial art, photography and graphic design is also one of his passions. Milan has been a webmaster and graphic designer to several successful websites over the years including RadioDJs, Screenwriting Portal, Elite Pyrotechnics, and many others. His brief career as a screenwriter for film was taken over by the love of fireworks, and Milan wrote his first fireworks training handbook in 2007, only intended to be released as a training guide for companies he worked for.
In addition, Milan was in the broadcasting industry, not only as a club DJ but radio announcer and music director from 1994 to 2004. His knowledge of art and music helped him to apply this artistic skill to the art of firework display design and choreography.
Milan has been involved in the fireworks industry on a full-time basis since 1997. Thereafter, he quickly climbed the ladder up to the General Operations Manager, then Artistic Director, Display Designer, co-Owner, and of course Lead Pyrotechnic Operator. Milan is a certified shooter and member of numerous organizations such as the PGI, Inc. (Pyrotechnics Guild International, Inc.), the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and WPA (Western Pyrotechnic Association) organizations. Milan just recently became a full-time member of NFA (National Fireworks Association), TFA (The Fireworks Foundation), and ISEE (International Society of Explosives Engineers). He also holds an honorary memberships at other clubs, associations and organizations such as the CJ's (Cracker Jacks), IPS (International Pyrotechnic Society), and RMPG (Rocky Mountain Pyrotechnics Guild) to name a few. ***
At the age of 51, Milan has been involved with writing series of books (13 in total) on pyrotechnics after his lower back injury in 2013 (after a pyro-related accident) while in a long-term recovery. One of the many reasons why Milan has decided to publish these books is to raise funds to help with his medical treatment, huge amount of bills, and funds for back surgery that he now requires. He suffers from daily chronic pain, clinical depression and insomnia. However, this enormous book project which is constantly evolving, has literally and truly saved his life. This task gave him another chance to live and survive, and a goal with a major focus on full recovery.
It has not been an easy road to recovery. I have been in good health until recently. I’m in enormous debt due to my medical expenses as a result of my multiple back injuries (without not having any insurance), plus I’m currently suffering from insomnia and clinical depression since 2010 after my last pyro-related accident.
"Depressed and totally desperate what I can do in this situation, which totally brought me to this health condition, while recovering at home, I knew I had to do something. I couldn’t find a job which would accommodate for my injuries. Not knowing what to do next, I decided to write one large book which eventually was divided into several volumes."
During a long period of recovery time, I have decided to start this project to fill in the time when my pain was not so severe. It began in 2007 but I never truly had time to completely finish it. The first book was only 196 pages long and served as a training book for our company employees. I never intended to release this book to the public and to the fireworks industry. After my third back injury in 2010, I was unemployed and recovering for almost a year. With lots of time on my hands, even though they very painful times, I finally had the opportunity to work on this enormous task, which was essentially a huge puzzle for me.
Through countless nights without sleep, due to insomnia and horrible depression, I have been able to get to this point with the project. However, I could not complete this project without visiting Pain Management Clinic. I was given strong pain medications which are under strict control, plus had to attend chiropractor twice a week. Now I go for procedures for epidural injections and procedure which essentially burns the nerves.
Now after 9 years, I’m left with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and praying that I can repay some of the debts. It’s been a very difficult and challenging time and road to recovery and on top of this the loss of my fiancé, the loss of my father and other family members. On top of this I'm a caretaker for my very ill mother. This has become more than stressful and did not help me much with staying positive all the time. On top of everything else, Medicaid decided to place a lien on our house so it puts even more pressure on me than I already am under. Thus, I am hoping to sell these books to help me out with paying off the enormous debt.
Therefore, the two main reasons I’m selling these publications are to introduce safety to the fireworks industry in a very visual way, especially during these tough times filled with many accidents and mishaps, and secondly, to pay for my medical expenses.
"I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity. Thank you for making this possible!"
*** Due to a miscommunication between my webmaster and myself, statement about the APA and CPSC as was previously mentioned on this bio page, was a webmaster error which indicated that Milan was a member of these two organizations. However, this is not the case, and I am not a member of these fine organizations. We apologize for the error and for any miscommunication that this may have caused.