|Ina Glo Photography|
Where did yourstage name, Scarlett Daggers come from?
- It was a bit of a cobbled together name really. I always tend to wear something red every day so Scarlett came first. The Daggers part was an off hand joke that just stuck! But I'm glad it did. It's funny and gutsy and a dainty, delicate name totally wouldn't suit me or my style.
Do you have a signature act?
- I have a few unique acts. A B movie Sci-Fi Queen homage called "Kiss of the Cobra Woman", and a gift wrapped showgirl simply called "The Present", but I think my most iconic act is my "Hot Rod Honey" routine which is inspired by Vince Ray's sleazy 50s pin-ups complete with fishnet stockings, an oil can and a pair of chequered racing flags with red glitter poles!
I'm hoping my new fire act, which is not quite finished and is still under wraps, will top everything I've done up to this point. With big props and another extravagant costume I've set a big challenge for myself. You'd think I'd learn my lesson and make something small and simple after this but I have plans that are only slightly less daft for the summer!
You have recently given up your ‘day job’ to become self-employed, describe your average day?
- Yes after working in the NHS for over 8 years I've finally taken the plunge into full time self employment. It's only been a couple of months and I haven't really got into a set routine yet. The novelty of being able to stay in my pyjamas all day hasn't quite worn off!
After letting the dog out and seeing my other half off to work I'll check my emails and bumble about online for a bit before getting stuck into the typing, emails and phone calls that make up my virtual PA job. The rest of my day is taken up with promotion work for my shows, scouting for performers to book, working on new acts, contacting promoters about my own bookings, doing costume repairs and cuddling the pup (obviously the most important part of my day).
Being self-employed is great isn’t it, I love having time to have a nice breakfast, it really sets me up for the day. What's your favourite thing?
- Ooh my favourite breakfast is jammy toast (with raspberry or marmalade) and a big cup of tea. And maybe a marshmallow for dessert (I have a bit of a sweet tooth).
You have your fingers in a lot of pies, tell us about those pies?
- I do keep myself busy! I produce two shows at the Glee Club in Nottingham City Centre: The Gilded Merkin, which is a big budget burlesque and cabaret show and Dr Sketchy's, a cabaret/life drawing class, which I run with artist friend CharlotteThomson-Morley.
I also perform all over the UK, zipping up and down the country most weeks to all sorts of weird and wonderful places doing shows and parties and the other week a BBC filming workshop! Ontop of that I run my own handmade craft business called Red Anchor Emporium (if I ever get time to get my sewing machine out). I make fabric accessories like bags with bamboo handles, quilted stocking pouches, phone cases, purses and other bits and pieces and am heavily influenced by the 1950s and americana/tiki styles. Lately I've had a few performers ask me to make bits of costume for them so I've branched out a bit. I''ll be making small items like pasties, panel skirts and merkins now too. One of my goals this year is to fill my Etsy shop up with goodies, it's looking a bit dusty and neglected at the moment.
Wow, you had your fingers in a lot of pies! How did you fit it in before you quit your day job?
- I didn't sleep! haha. No, I'm just a really good multi-tasker. I cut my day job down to 20 hours per week about a year ago and as I had no access to networking sites on my work PC my lunchbreaks were usually spent on my phone replying to messages, looking up performers and booking acts, while scoffing a quick sandwich at my desk. Everything's a lot less frantic now I'm working from home and I certainly don't miss the red tape and frustrations of working for the NHS. To be honest I wish I'd done this a long time ago.
You run your own burlesque and cabaret night in Nottingham, The Gilded Merkin. What inspired/ drove you to start your own night?
- After spending so much of my time performing at other great shows around the UK I really wanted to bring something of that calibre to Nottingham and I was keen to get my teeth into producing another show alongside Dr Sketchy's. I wanted a big show with a packed line up of headline acts in a fabulous venue. There was nothing like that in Nottingham.
I approached the Glee Club as I already had a good working relationship with them from hosting Sketchy's there. They had a big stage, a big bar, full cabaret table and theatre seating, food service, a great dressing room and a great atmosphere. They were really keen on the idea and were full of enthusiasm for helping me to make it a big success.
My other half Johnny, bassist in Derby based punk/garage band The Atoms, is to be given full credit for the name of the show. And yes he feels incredibly smug about that.
When is the next Gilded Merkin and what can we expect?
- It's on Sunday 10th February which isn't very far off at all, they do sneak up fast! Doors open at 6:30pm and I strongly recommend booking in advance and arriving early to get the best seats!
You can expect a fantastic mix of burlesque, comedy, circus, fire, music and much more. This month the stars of the show are: Kitty Bang Bang, a burlesque wild child who dances en point and breathes fire; Mat Ricardo, the gentleman juggler who has entertained Royalty and appeared on the Jonathon Ross show; Leggy Pee (and her little friend Charlie), a silent songstress with a totally unique musical cabaret act; Amelie Soleil, the sideshow spectacle known as Britain's tiniest tease; Ginger Blush, the comedy saucepot with a side of slapstick; Em Brulee, a glamourpuss vintage jazz and blues vocalist and me of course.
If you dress to impress you could be in with a chance of winning some fabulous prizes, the biggest of which is provided by our fabulous sponsor Boo Boo Kitty Couture! One lucky lady will win a made to measure dress made by Aislinn's own fair hands. So put your best party-pants on and come to the show!
For details of the next Gilded Merkin, see the facebook event page