Well known on the alternative scene in the UK Miss Fortune always puts on memorable performances. She has a knack of combing the beauty of burlesque with the horror of gorelesque all in one show. She’s also the proud owner of a see through bath tub which she uses regularly on stage. Gary Trueman chatted to Miss Fortune about how she got into performing, her unique look, and all things bath shaped.
Let’s start with how you first got into performing and then modelling because you started out on stage didn’t you? What age were you when you started?
“Well I started when I was about 18 but gave it a big break until about three years ago when I was bored with working in a normal job. I decided I wanted to do some performances again and it’s kind of expanded from there. Performance work and modelling go together but I wouldn’t say modelling is my main thing, performance work is, but then people want to photograph you. And I do love doing that as well.”
You do burlesque and are known for your gorelesque work too. What attracted you to that more macabre side of things?
“I’ve always been a little bit more macabre. Burlesque is beautiful, and I don’t find the world particularly beautiful a lot of the time. I didn’t really want to reflect it when it all feels so ugly outside. I wanted to take it and make it strange.”
Do you think that burlesque crosses over comfortably as a more main stream form of entertainment as well as being a part of the alternative scene?
“The very first burlesque artists were counter culture. The whole point was to take the piss out of the establishment. Cabaret and burlesque have always sat together, and of course they were the original strippers which is nice. They’ve always been in counter culture so it makes sense they’d turn up in the alternative scene which is the current counter culture.”
So the gorelesque extension of burlesque features a lot of fake blood….
“Real blood too!…. by request”
Yes real blood too. Where does that come from do you think, the original gore performances, and when did it start?
“I don’t really know. There are loads of people who do it though.”
You recently performed as a kind of art installation at Club Antichrist in your bath. That’s something you’ve become well known for is being on stage in a see through bath tub. What made you decide to get a transparent bath?
“I was walking through my local shopping centre and was thinking that I was sick of drop cloths and clearing up all this fake blood. I make such a mess on stages …. but not any more by the way. I was saying to a friend how cool would it be if I could just have it in a bath, but then no one could see it. But then I thought what if it was clear? Then began a year long process because a clear bath is not that easy to find.”
It’s a bit of a variation on the famous giant martini glass, but maybe a little bit more stable and practical. Was there a lot in the design stage to make your bath stable?
“It quite often gets mistaken for a martini glass, which is fine. It is a lot less tall and a lot more portable. It can be used on a lot more stages. I can’t tell you how much I now know about bath tubs. Did you know there’s a scientific formula to stop a bath tub from tipping over. I didn’t know that until I wanted mine made in a custom size. I couldn’t have the size I sent. I measured my body and the designer said they couldn’t do that because it would tip over because there’s a mathematical formula to make a bath tub!”
Presumably that’s because you’re tall and thin and you couldn’t have a long thin bath tub?
“That’s exactly right. The length to the depth has to be a particular percentage, and that’s what stops it from toppling over.”
Do you have to take any, slosh, into account as well?
“Slosh! Haha! Yes there’s always slosh to take into account. It wasn’t really my problem to figure out the slosh. As long as we’re on a stable surface we’re kinda good. It’s like the bath in your house. You’re not going to get into it and be worried it’s going to turn over. Every bath works on a similar mathematical formula.”
So yours is made out of one piece of Perspex that then sits on a base. Who did you go to for that?
“ Who made it is classified haha, it was a prop maker, but I can’t say who it was. Yes it’s one piece of acrylic. It was interesting getting it light enough to be portable for stage. It took a long time to hammer out all the details.”
So was it machined out of a block or formed?
“I have no idea. I wasn’t there for its birth. I told them what I wanted and they said we’ve got it and then I went to visit it once it was born and gave the OK. And now here it lives.”
You don’t just use clear water in it you often use dyed water as well. Do you have to be careful about staining?
“Yes. I’m endlessly protective of this thing. It’s probably less worrying than you might think. There’s these little tablets that you can put in children’s bath water that change the colour. That’s what I use because they’re non toxic and stain free for toddlers. They work really well.”
You have a very gothic look. What was your introduction to the alternative scene and how did you get involved?
“Good question! I’ve always really liked a filthy warehouse night club so I think my first experience would be Electrowerkz and Slimelight, maybe ten years ago. I wandered in, and fell in love with it immediately. I’d always dressed a bit goth. There was a big goth revival with Evanescence and Him. Don’t judge me…. They were fashionable at the time, actually they’re fashionable again now. I went and found a whole room full of people that were the same, dressed the same, looked the same, and I didn’t leave.”
We ought really to talk about your look more because you have a distinctive style, certainly when on stage or at a club night. So starting with apparel, how do your at home clothing, going out gear and stage wear all differ? Do they ever overlap at all?
“I wish I could say they didn’t overlap! Right now I’m in – black. Massive t-shirt and leggings are my daily clothes. I prefer little black dresses etc for going out and then I do very sparkly large costumes for stage. I’d love to say they never overlap and that I’m always really cool, but, I have worn my pyjamas to a goth club, it was about two weeks ago. It was 2am and I’d been shooting all day and I couldn’t be bothered to get changed into anything nice, so I literally ended up there in my pyjamas. So there’s more of an overlap than I’d like to admit.”
Your make up always looks amazing and on point. So what brands do you use?
“I particularly like Revolution, but anything that is relatively inexpensive. I can’t bring myself to do branded make up. To be honest after I’ve done a show or a shoot I am always wet or filthy and I’ve just washed it all off anyway.”
Obviously with your performance work as opposed to a model working all day, you don’t really need it to stay on for very long do you?
“I couldn’t give a shit. In fact a lot of my performances are about starting out as something beautiful and taking it away, because I’m a little bit bored with the high level of sexualisation of women. I have no problem making myself ugly or horrific and then wandering around for the rest of the night like that. I do regret it when I see the photos though, but I’d rather look interesting and strange. I’d rather walk around with my face covered in blood or black chalk and say I had a really good time.”
Your hair is very long and black. Is that your natural colour or close to it?
“It’s not my natural colour but I’m not sure what my natural colour is. My roots say it’s a strange half blond mousey colour.”
So you’ve been black for quite a while then? And what dye do you use?
“Four years I think. I went dark brown and had a blond phase but I found it didn’t grow until it went to black. I always use the very gentle semi-permanent no ammonia Blend Away Gray dye. They say it only lasts for 18 washes. They lie, it lasts forever, it’s great. Blend Away Gray by Garnier.”
It’s super long too and no fringe or under cuts. It’s fair to say that’s very much your look. And you don’t have any obvious tattoos other than a couple on your legs. Do you think that enables you to reach a wider audience than if you had a more extreme look?
“In some ways I do. I’m a commitment phobic so I can’t bring myself to decide on another hair style or tattoo. The tattoo I have on my butt does mean I can recognise myself in a photo if I’m facing the other way. There is that.”
If you could go back in time and give a 16 year old you one piece of advice what would you say?
“That’s a hard question! I’d probably give encouragement more than advice, to carry on being head strong. To carry on doing the things you want to do. I knew what I wanted to do but thought I was going to be a lot more ‘normal’ than I’ve ended up being. It took a few knocks before I realised that I really didn’t want the life that everyone was pushing on me. So I would say it’s going to be OK, keep pushing, and take dance classes, take them now.”