Its been a crazy year that has gone in the blink of an eye. Its seems I had all sorts of plans for 2014 and the year is almost over. Watch out for 2015.
This year saw unrivalled support for The All Nude Charity Calendar, and as I sit and write its been 4 days since the launch, which raised an incredible 1350 pounds. This years project started with Craig, The Incredible Hula Boy. We shot back in February as Craig was due to spend a large part of the year performing in Hawaii. Yep Hawaii. Craig really is incredible and a wonderful bloke. Loved working with him.
Following on a lazy day collaborating with long time friend and “sideshow royalty” Missy Macabre at The Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in March. Strangely we never shot together before on our own so was super excited. Was a lovely shoot, wondering around the BGWMC looking for inspiration. We decided on a hallway shot to really show the BGWMC in all its odd variety. Missy is a real talent and needed no direction really. Amazing performer and individual.
Then despite lots of chat and emails, the next shoot wasn’t until June, for the front cover shoot with an open call to the cabaret community. 24 people turned up and we shot the cover, Liberty Pink and Bettsie Bon Bon all in one afternoon. Was a bit of a sensory overload and never got to spend as much time as I would have liked, but really happy with the results. Liberty is a rare person and I have the hugest respect for her personally. She is undergoing cancer treatment and made the shoot in between hospital trips. Steve her lovely guy and her are really an inspiration. Thanks so much guys. Its interesting that the final shot was selected near the end of the shoot and was an error really, a moment in between moments, but it looked great. Bettsie is a real natural in front of the camera and such good fun. Was really happy to work with her, especially as she was absent from the Folly’s shoot last year. Would love to work on something again, but I doubt she’ll stop for long enough to find a date. So again the calendar gets me working with people I wouldn’t normally get to.
Next shoot day was the following month at the BGWMC, with Crisalys, Michael Roulston and Fancy Chance all in one day. Crisalys I’ve never met, although I’ve seen him perform twice. Both times he cut an erie weird character, with high drama and attention to detail. In person he is totally different, down to earth, honest, considerate and easy going. Great collaboration with a true professional. Michael I know through the scene and he is one of the nicest gentlemen in it. A talented musician and musical writer, he’s in constant demand. He is also very wholesome (at least in appearance) so it was nice to work with him on something more noir. Surprising how many ideas Michael put forward with perfect enthusiasm. Loved the end result. And then onto Fancy Chance. As fun to work with as watch on stage, she’s a true original, sent to do benevolent mischief, with impeccable timing. Have known her for ages, since the Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus days when I saw her suspended above the stage by her hair. Brilliant performer with a gift for comedy too. The final idea was all her, Depressed Cupid, brilliant.
Marnie Scarlett and Meth caught up with me at the studio for their shots on different dates in August and September. Marnie needs no introduction, she’s a powerhouse and one of my favourite creatives to work with. Max is always along and a great help. A final outing for Splat before being boxed in favour of new projects. Meth is making waves all over london and is just a beautiful individual. No ego, endlessly creative and on the ball.
Another session at the BGWMC in September with Andromeda Circus and Miss Polly Rae. I’d seen Andromeda a couple of times doing ariel at the Belle Epoque and really enjoyed his showmanship. Meeting him for the first time was struck by his dedication and incredible body. His trainer was along to help him stretch before the shoot and I got the feeling he really throws himself into his projects with passion, heart and humour. Great guy doing very well on the scene. Polly is the sort of performer one rarely gets to work with. She’s at the top of her game, with a history of successful shows she’s run and performed in, and shows on currently in Soho. She’s down to earth and very likeable and supportive and can go from girl next door to burlesque queen in the blink of an eye. So great to work with and effortless in every way. Thank you Polly.
Which leaves Champagne Charlie. We had been talking since March, and originally had a specific idea involving a rowing boat. Busy summers for us both kept putting the shoot day back until finally we did the shoot on a rainy day in October, so outside was definitely off. Loved the shot we came up with though, and was great to chat and hang out with the lovely man in his home. Good listener too, thank you Charlie.
Did you notice I haven’t mentioned the cover shoot? I leave it till last as its influence on this year can’t be stated enough. You get 24 people naked in a room, and thoughts of Facebook safe go out the window. Last year there was very little actual nudity in the calendar. This year from the cover shoot onward, all caution has gone to the wind, with performers and cover stars blatantly no worrying about what was or was not on show. The cover you’ve seen is the outside cover. There is a nude inside cover and the only way to see it is to buy the calendar. Thanks once again to the cover stars. Some are in the calendar, Charlie, Bettsie, and Liberty. The others are made up partly of performer friends, Scarlett Belle, Maiden Voyage, Felicity, and others that work in cabaret, Ruth, Louise, Yvonne, as well as new performers I’ve never met, and not to forget Steve. Oh and an old friend, originally met in Hastings in 2009, Trixee Sparkle. Thanks one and all (and thanks Juliet).
Well almost, it just remains to thank Rose Thorne again for all her hard work this year and for booking the acts and doing the fundraising and everything else. Thank you Rose. And Finally to Warren and Charlotte at the BGWMC, definitely the home of cabaret.
Buy the calendar here
See the launch night photo here or on the Facebook page, click 2014/15 to see launch night and official teasers.
Till next year,