Rose Thorne Above – The founder of Cabaret Vs Cancer with the new Calendar!
The first shoot this year was shot in Hastings, in April, so quite cold for naked beaches. Was lovely to see Sarah-Louise Young again and spend some time with her in Hastings. For those that remember, she was in our first calendar, as a certain American character of hers. Although she’s not one to brag, she works extremely hard and manages to fit in three times the activity a normal mortal achieves. So it was nice to catch up and spend some time on the shoot, with a morning and afternoon dashes amongst the rocks. What she achieves with her work is truly inspiring and she is one of my favourite performers, period. She is also an absolute sweetheart and at the Calendar Launch in November, she worked in a tribute to me in her act, which had me laughing out loud along with the rest of the audience, and meant a lot to me. See her in February with her fabulous La Poule character (yes the one in the calendar) back in London for four nights next year on 16th, 17th, 19th February and 5th March at 7pm, at the gorgeous Zedel in Piccadilly (formerly Crazy Coqs).
The second and third shoot happened on the same day, in May before the Double R Club.
With Matthew Floyd Jones we just used an area of black and the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club to fit in with his moody character Ruthless that he first performed at The Double R and developed over time. We were going for an exploited photographer look from a scene we both knew from the film Fame. It’s interesting to me that this is still very much the sterotype for photographers in some people’s mind. Do look up Mr Jones, he is a rare and unique talent.
With Malik Ibheis, we were past time and had very little shooting time as the cast and crew of The Double R arrived en masse. We bagged our shot (Oh the lovely stars) and then moved downstairs for teasers. Malick is real talent from the mime background, but he creates characters and narratives that are not traditional as well as monsters. Do check him out
Then it was Mid July before the next shoot, with Dusty Limits at Fontaine’s Bar in Dalston. Dusty is a veteran of the circuit and had a very clear idea of his pose for the calendar. We had a nice time and then it was a Cavalcade night a bit later. This is Dusty’s second calendar appearance and he is now one of the official trustees of the Cabaret Vs Cancer Charity.
Couple of days later, its Havana Hurricane at Fontaine’s. We had missed a date earlier in the year, but all worked out perfectly. Brilliant burlesque performer, and although she was a little nervous I think, we had a super fun shoot and were both on a high after. I dropped her at a certain wrestling night at the Resistance Gallery after, both of us all smiles. Love the shots too, although it took a while to decide on the best.
Then a week after that it was The Cover Shoot, which has its own post, but enough to say loads more men this year!
Then end of July wonderful to work with Mysti Vine, at the Calloo Callay, a restaurant venue in Shoreditch. What a great lady, and consummate professional and plain funny. We were going for a 70’s disco feel. Something really lovely about the shots. Had to pack Mysti away a few times as kitchen staff trampled through the set, but hey, they had work to do. Thanks to Mysti for sorting everything out. Mysti has helped loads on the cover shoots, so was nice to spend more time with her.
It was lovely to see Marisa Carnesky, and industry legend on the next shoot in August. I didn’t hear from Marisa until the week before the shoot and she had God’s Own Junk Yard lined up as a venue. Amongst other things, the company make bespoke lighting, and collect it all for display at their showroom in Walthamstow. It is also a café and venue. A friend was kind enough to open for us and once we got going things moved along nicely with some of my favourite shots in the calendar. Marisa has done it all and we have known each other for years. She’s doing quite a bit at The Soho Theatre at the moment, be sure to check it out.
That afternoon I met up with Jonny Woo in Dalston, and we headed over to Abney Park Cemetery. I didn’t have to do much, Jonny pretty much did his thing and I did mine (sunshine is always a bit challenging for portraits). Job done in 30 minutes strolling around. Great to work with and he can trample through bramble in heels like a pro. We did have some confusion about location before the shoot, for some reason I thought we were meeting in Brighton. So I publicly apologise to the lovely people at the Brighton venue Funfair, especially Hayley, who kindly forgave me for the late phone call cancelling the venue despite them making it in to clean up for us after a heavy weekend. The venue originally was booked for another shoot, which was cancelled, but that’s how organisation is with the calendar at times. The venue helped out with Chi Chi’s shoot last year, so thanks again, good people.
A week latter and its to the canal at the back of Stamford Bridge in London, to meet Heavy Metal Pete on a houseboat. Pete is a long time performer that can do anything sideshow related, and we know each other through the Double R Club. His eating glass still turns my stomach despite everything I’ve seen taking photos. It was a very relaxed affair, on a nice day, which meant there was a lot of traffic on the canal, both boats, and people along the canal path. The shoot consisted mainly of avoiding people seeing Pete in the buff. At one point he was just about to expose himself riverside, when a damn boat came into view. By the time that went by, there were mothers and babies hanging around path side, so it was actually quite hard, but we managed.
Eight days later and its Luna Rosa in London. Luna and I know each other from Gypsy Hotel days and she was actually on the bill for my first London Burlesque show in 2008. I didn’t know who she was then, but it filtered through a couple of years later. So I was really looking forward to working with her. Unfortunately on the day the was a traffic accident that delayed me, so I let Luna know to be a little late as I was picking her up from Dalston Junction. This translated to 50 minutes late to the venue, which sadly decided not to let us work there that day. I had tried to let my contact know with regular texts, but the manager said it was just too late. So we had to go and check on Luna’s very ill dog (now sadly deceased) and try to find somewhere to shoot. It delayed things by several hours but finally we got a spot at the Underdog Gallery for an evening shoot and the best part was that Finley could come with us. Luna was easy to work with and needed very little direction. Job done in about 30 minutes in the end. We did need time to change tack so it was probably best the shoot happened later. Luna also does personal training.
About a week later, so we are in September now, the last two shoots happened within a day of each other. First, was Duo Bogof, a talented dark comedy couple doing tech savy performance. Yeah, they are hard to describe so look them up. They happen to have moved close to me in St Leonard’s, and they have a wonderful cobbled basement so we met there. Catia Ciarico was the rabbit, and I take this straight from her Facebook:
I would like to proudly announce that I am once again in the The Nude Cabaret Charity Calendar 2017 for Cabaret V Cancer run buy the brilliant Rose Thorne.
I was featured in the group line up for the 2015 one, but this time we actually have a month – we are the month of May. I say ‘we’ as it was with my dear friends Sue Hart and Matt Bowyer from the Duo Bogof and Sin Bozkurt. It was truly a memorable afternoons photography… 😄
For those that don’t know, Catia is a long time programmer, producer and events coordinator at The Royal Vauxall Tavern, a home of many things, cabaret among them. What she doesn’t say is that both times she came along she didn’t really know she was gonna be in the calendar. In the 2015 line up, she thought she was just helping, then in this shoot, Sue had just said ‘can you come over and dress like a rabbit please’, and her being who she is, just turned up with no knowledge or expectations. Yes, so she’s the rabbit. I arrived, things happened, we didn’t work too hard, lots of tea and breaks. Concept was all the guys work, and it was really nice to edit with Sue after the initial selections.
And then finally, September 3rd, somewhere in central London, 11 of the 14 Folly Mixtures, and disaster. Yep, bad bad traffic despite leaving 4 hours for my journey, still got there 45 minutes late. No one complained but shoot time was down to minutes for all 11, then 2 left to be filmed by Channel 4. We did the behind the scenes stuff after the main shoot with those remaining and suddenly people were leaving. Would have loved more time but that is how it goes.
So there you have it!
As I finish writing this we got news that a close friend and collaborator on the calendar lost her spouse to cancer Friday 9th December 2016, which puts the work we do for the calendar sharply into perspective. Its easy to look at all this and devalue it somehow, a load of creatives getting rude because they can. No.
First and foremost its about raising money and improving the situation the best way we know how. Its so great to see the red buckets at events and so much more growth in the charity than ever before. Fund raising has been going on all over the country, long may it continue.
Thank for reading.
Click the links below for all the teasers and official CvsC Website