The Phone Book Interviews
Another addition to the mini-interviews with my inspirational friends. This sunday, have a read about Miss Giddy Heights, the burlesque dancer who braved coming out of Soho to The Sticks for my birthday.
Job Title: Burlesque Artist
The Big Break: My first professional job was at The Royal Oxford Hotel. It doesn’t sound like a huge break but for me it was amazing. Getting paid to do what you love feels pretty darn good!
I do this job for... so many reasons! For a start it’s bloody good fun, it normally involves copious amounts of alcohol and it’s only serious side effect is that there’s glitter fucking everywhere, in bed, in the bath, sometimes I find it in my mouth... But for me the real joy is the huge scope for creativity. I trained as an actress at The Lee Strasberg School in New York and burlesque allows me to explore and develop a whole host of interesting female characters. It amuses me when people miss understand burlesque and think it’s just stripping; for me it’s all about exploring female identity and female empowerment – I think this is perhaps why it appeals more to women than men, it is a feminist art form.
I couldn't get through the working week without... My smart phone, pathetic as it sounds! I frequently find myself in strange towns up and down the country and without my map app, frankly I don’t know where I’d be!
Who inspires you... funny, beautiful women, who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves. Mae West and Joanna Lumley are my two idols
Which moments are most rewarding? When you hear the audience laugh and cheer. Many performers, myself included, are racked by self-doubt and there’s nothing more lovely than knowing you’ve made someone laugh.
What skills are vital for success? An ability to laugh at yourself and a positive self image. My bottom once appeared in The Daily Mail, it wasn’t a good angle, it was daylight and it really wasn’t pretty! I cried for two days! Before realising I was being a self indulgent wanker!
What essentials do you carry in your handbag? Nappy rash cream! It’s essential for nipple tassel-chafed nipples
Best shoes for dancing? I have a pair that I bought off Ebay that I adore. They are so well worn that the name has come off but they are of the ballroom dancing variety, with soft suede bottoms that make you glide around and look elegant!
Where do you get your costumes? I also trained as a theatrical milliner and costume maker so I do make a lot of my own stuff but Ebay is fantastic for one offs and buying bling for embellishing! My favourite dress is the one I wear for my Cruella de Ville routine, I bought it off a drag queen on Ebay!
Best watering hole in London? All dirty dives in Soho I’m afraid! Trisha’s (one of those unmarked doors in Soho that only very hardened drinkers know about) and for something a little swankier.. though not much, Blacks on Dean Street.
And in The Sticks? Undoubtably, The Yew Tree, Conderton, nestled at the foot of Bredon Hill, where I grew up.
Words of wisdom? It’s very important to try. Don’t be afraid to make yourself vulnerable.
Best professional advice? Don’t listen too hard to other peoples advice, just do what you want to do, if you think something’s interesting and funny, the chances are others will too.
The Head's Up: I’ve been doing a regular old school revue night with a host of very lovely singers and musicians called The Soho Hobo at The Soho Theatre. The evening is hosted by a brilliant singer called Tim Arnold and guest acts include Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) Jesse Wallace and little ‘ole me! The Daily Mail have been back to this one and been very nice – so fickle are the press!
The Next Big Thing: I’m very excited about New Years, as I’ll be clocking up a number of exciting gigs but the climax will be at Soho House’s grand New Year's bash, so I’m very excited! I’ve also got a part in Michael Winterbottom’s latest film which comes out in March, entitled ‘The Look of Love’. I share an on screen snog with Steve Coogan!
The Plug: Do check out my website www.missgiddyheights.co.uk I’m available for parties, weddings, events, bar mitzvahs...etc!