Shooting models - the 'flaming sword' shoot .

I haven't had much experience in shooting models and recently gave it a go . I have a lot to learn still .
First I need to learn to calm down and not panic when someone looks at me and says " What must I do ?".
Of course it helps when the model has done this before and she just 'gets into it' and all you have to do is take pictures .
I recently tried to step things up a bit and set a sword on fire . I set the ambient exposure to two stops under , and
the white balance to 'tungsten' to make the background look blue . Then I added some tungsten filters on the flash to cancel the blue and add a little warmth to the subject . 

The shutter speed was around 1/1000th in some of the pictures to freeze the flames and I used the Nikon D40 since its electronic shutter allowed me to shoot normal flash at high speeds - the flash was a SB800 triggered via an SB24 on my camera , in SU4 mode .

I'm still making mistakes but learning in the process ......