Sometimes simply being a model isn’t enough. It certainly helps if you have more than one string to your bow. Missy Von Curse is just such a person. She models and is also a fire and burlesque performer. Plus she has mastered the difficult art of sword swallowing. Gary Trueman chatted to Missy about model safety, working with fire, and her love of horses.
How did you first get into modelling and who were you first main influences?
“I started when I was 16. I did a photo shoot with my friend Chelsea. I wouldn’t say it was the most professional of things but we made it work. Then I left it for four years and picked it back up when I was 20 and went on from there. My main influence is Rebecca Crow. I love her.”
What do you think the most important things are that a model can do in terms of maintaining her own safety?
“Always tell someone where you are going, even if it’s a photographer that you know or someone new. If you’re working with a photographer that you don’t know always take someone with you. When you’re being booked you might get red flags like if it’s a nude shoot and they want free images sent to them. That’s a red flag, just don’t do it. Try to see if you can get any references. If you can get references from past models that have worked with them then that’s great.”
You’re a fire performer as well which seems to go hand in hand in the alternative world. You’re in a new fire troupe too called Black Magma. So first of all how did you learn fire and how would you advise others to learn?
“I taught myself all of my fire stuff. Fire eating, breathing, I learned by myself. I got into fire because I saw Pyrohex perform about five years ago. I just knew I really wanted to do it. I would definitely suggest going to teachers who are skilled in fire performing. There are a couple of people. Shade Flamewater, he’s a very good fire teacher. Also my friend Lolly Watkins, she does fire teaching as well. Definitely find someone in your area that is a teacher. Don’t do what I did and learn by yourself because it’s a bit sketchy.”
Obviously fire is dangerous so how do you protect your skin and hair in particular?
“With skin I tend to moisturise beforehand. I use coco butter. It serves my skin well although some people might say you shouldn’t use it. With my hair I’ll both tie it up and then put water in it or if I can I’ll wear a wig.”
Fire has a lot of skills attached to it but you do find some people will combine it with other things such as pole, aerial and even sword swallowing as other facets of their skill set. Are there any of those things that you’re tempted to try?
“I can swallow a sword. I would like to branch more into the circus side of things. I’ve got a few friends over in America and in Sweden that do a lot of circus performing. It’s something I’m really interested in. That’s probably going to be my next avenue. Pole and aerial would be cool to try as well.”
Another thing that you’ve got in your bag of tricks is burlesque. Is that just another extension of modelling and fire particularly in the alternative sub culture? Do you think the alternative scene is more open to different things?
“Yes definitely. The alternative community with performers and dancers, we are very open and very accepting to anybody, no matter who you are. If you want to get into performing it’s the best thing. I absolutely love my job. Burlesque is definitely an avenue off of some fire performing and mainly performing itself.”
You do often see it combined.
“Yes. Cervena Fox, she does burlesque and fire, so does Rebecca (Crow) as well. There are a few others too. A few of the girls in Black Magma do both but some just do burlesque.”
Tell us a bit more about Black Magma.
“In Black Magma we have Lolly, Jess, Medusa, Niash, Scarlett, Abby and myself. We are an explosive performance collective. We specialise in fire, pyrotechnics, burlesque, and aerial and sideshow circus. We have done a fair amount of festivals and UK based shows. I’m very excited to be a part of this group. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
So let’s talk a bit more about the things that make up modelling starting with make-up. How does your make up differ from a modelling shoot to say going out on a night out?
“It’s very much the same, so what you see in a picture, a modelling photo, is what I would usually look like on a night out. My face will look more or less the same. But I won’t be nude, not walking around town. I might go a little bit more extravagant for modelling and performing but for the most part I do look the same.”
What brands do you use?
“I use a lot of Nix cosmetics or I use Revolution which are really good as well. I do have a couple of Jeffree Star cosmetics. I like his make-up but I’m not particularly keen on him as a person, but there we go.”
You’re quite well known for your hair colour which is a stunning blue/green at the moment and looks beautiful. Are you going to keep that colour for a while as a kind of trademark?
“Yes but what I don’t want to do is come across as copying a certain somebody. I have had a couple of people come up to me saying I’m copying Rebecca Crow. I’m like no I’m really not trying to. Blue hair is something I’ve always been a fan of. Blue is one of my favourite colours. The colour I have now which is sapphire blue on top with peacock blue at the ends is something I think I’m going to keep for a long time. With the dark blue I don’t have to bleach my hair, I can just chuck it on and that’s it. I’ve been bleaching my hair for seven years and it’s taking its toll, so I should probably stop.”
What hair colouring do you use?
“I use Crazy Colour which is the only hair dye that I have used. I know there’s Arctic Fox and Directions but I’ve just stayed with Crazy Colour.”
So you have blue in straight over the top of brunette and it works?
“I’m a mousey blond sort of colour and yes it does usually go over OK. The darker colours go over it quite nicely. But the jades won’t really touch it at all.”
We need to talk about a passion of yours that’s not really anything to do with the alternative world. Horses. How many have you got and what are their names?
“I have two. I have Pred and Rosie. I also help look after a Shetland pony called Teddy.”
A shitland as they’re also known….
“I hate him so much. I love him but hate him at the same time. Ha-ha. Rosie is a 19 year old maxi cob, about 15.2 hands. Pred is a Welsh section D and he’s about 15 hands and he’s nine.
There’s a lot of people in the alternative scene that are animal lovers, it’s actually very noticeable. There are also an awful lot of alternative people specifically into horses. Why do you think that is?
“I don’t know. We’re just nice people. I think it’s because alternative people, we can just fit in anywhere even though we have different clothes and our hair is different, we can always fit in. I think society is starting to be more accepting. A few years ago it wasn’t that easy. Maybe we’re just nice people and horses pick up on that.”
You touched on this already but have you had any interesting reactions from people around the stables when they see you blue hair or find out you do alternative modelling?
“I’ve had people say they really like my hair and others just say oh my God! She must worship the devil. I have blue hair, that’s it. Yes I have a few tattoos but nine times out of ten they aren’t on display. You can’t just judge someone due to their hair colour. Around the stables, everyone there has been really accepting about the way I look and what I do for a job. They support it fully. The thing that freaks them out the most is when I say I can swallow a sword. When I tell them I can also eat fire that blows people’s minds.”
Do you have any other animals?
“I have a Leopard Gecko. She’s called Lola and she’s six. She makes a lot of noise but she’s a cool little creature.”
What are your best and worst traits?
“I think the best trait I have is that I’m kind and open hearted. I can be pretty down to earth too. I’m also very caring and loyal. Worst trait. I can come across as being a jealous type of person, especially if it’s something I’m passionate about. And I can be selfish as well.”
Is there a particular band you would like to perform on stage with? Maybe as a fire artist?
“Either Rammstein, they are phenomenal live and blow my mind every time I see them, or Avatar who are also phenomenal. Also The Last Band who are really cool guys.
What three items would someone need to place into a magic circle to summon you?
“Mango Loco Monster energy drink is probably one because I live on that stuff. My leather jacket because it’s unique to me. And some form of fire or a piece of circus type equipment.”
Interview and Photos By Gary Trueman
Interview Originally Appeared Inside Issue 48 of Devolution Magazine