“I never made a decision to become a burlesque performer! I wanted to be an actress…but I got sidetracked” that was ten years ago when Missy Malone was just 17 years old, now she is one of the top burlesque performers in the country and next month she will be in Nottingham for the latest Gilded Merkin event.
So having ended up in burlesque all those years ago does she still remember that first performance?
“Yes of course! I was dressed in Latex and very excited! It was not my first time on stage (I have been acting in plays since the age of 10) so I was not nervous!”
Having found her way into burlesque Missy has spent the past ten years performing shows across the globe offering her many memorable occasions.
“I have been so lucky over the past 10 years, it is hard to choose!! Highlights include Touring (28 dates in a proper tour bus) with (1st Ever Punk Band) The Damned in 2007, travelling to India to perform in a Bollywood movie, performing at Summer Jamboree in 2006 to thousands of rowdy Italians to name but a few!”
Of course things don’t always run so smoothly and there are the odd occasions Missy would rather forget.
“Falling on my ass in front of hundreds of people at Wasteland in Amsterdam and recently my high heel breaking half way through an act!”
As well as her acting and burlesque work Missy also heads up the touring burlesque troupe Missy Malone & Friends which she describes as “only the best in burlesque and variety” pointing out that she is “super fussy” when it comes to booking acts. The show tours around the UK and offers up a different line up each time ensuring no two shows are the same. It has certainly been a success.
“It is continually selling out and people travel far and wide to see it”
Over the years Missy has developed a number of routines and tells us that she mainly develops them in a similar fashion.
“I am mainly inspired by music. I usually pick the track first and build the act around it.” the range of acts a performer has is something Missy believes is important, “I think it is important to have a good range (of acts) on offer and always to try and up your game!”
So which is the favourite routine in Missy Malone’s current repertoire?
“I love them all. I couldn’t perform them if I didn’t”
Next month Missy will be bringing one of her routines to Nottingham for the latest installment of The Gilded Merkin – taking place at Glee on 3 November – so what can those attending expect from her performance?
“I am delighted to be bringing an act I rarely get to perform (due to stage requirements) my ‘Bride of Frankenstein” act, which I perform on stilts. It is a special treat for the Gilded Merkin audience.”
Missy has performed in Nottingham several times in the past and seems to have taken quite a shine to the city.
“It’s a cool city with good taste. People always seem to be very supportive and encouraging of the burlesque events”.
Speaking of which, does Missy agree that attitudes towards burlesque dancers and shows have improved?
“Yes that’s true. It is more mainstream now and more people have heard the word. It still isn’t for everyone but then I would never want it to be anyway – where is the fun in that?”
When we ask Missy about those that have inspired her burlesque work she tells us “I am constantly inspired by fellow performers past and present!“ before listing off the likes of “past golden girls” such as Zorita, Lili St Cyr and Bettie Page along with “modern day queens” including Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini and Mimi Le Meaux as well as other hard working peers she says she is “proud to call friends” among them Anna Fur Laxis, Vicky Butterfly, Luna Rosa, Gypsy Wood and The Gilded Merkin’s very own Scarlett Daggers.
Having been lucky enough to perform across the globe over her decade in the burlesque industry however there are a few places that the performer would like to tick off her list over the next year or so.
“I have yet to perform in LA, I’d love to add Hollywood to my list, New York City is on my list for next year though so that will do for now. I’d also love to perform in Australia and New Zealand”.
For now though Missy is happy to be performing in Nottingham next month and for those currently wondering whether to come along she has this to say
“Get down (to The Gilded Merkin) for the best quality show in town. Quality from start to finish and a guaranteed awesome night. Come and join the fun”.
I don’t think we could have put it any better ourselves.
Interview by Darren Patterson
Photographs by Cherry Bomb Rock Photography
Missy Malone will perform at The Gilded Merkin on Sunday 3 November at Glee Club, along with Vicky Butterfly, Beau Rocks, Snappy O’Shea and introducing The Tom Show with Des O’Connor as compere – for more information click here