Wednesday 9 October 2013

An Interview with the North East Fox Frankii Wilde

Photograph by Jade Photography
A mid-week treat for you all!! Here is my interview with Newcastle based burlesque performer Frankii Wilde.
North east born and bred Frankii Wilde started off in this industry as a professional model where she dabbled in a bit of everything! From fashion to fetish, beauty to glamour & eventually found her passion for the art of the 1940s/50s pin up.

She has countless brands under her suspender belt such as Miss Fortune Clothing, Glamour Bunny & Stockings & Romance to name a few.

This then led in to a natural transition into performance when Frankii was asked to be a resident burlesque performer at her local burlesque club. How could she refuse?

After gaining a few year’s experience in the world of burlesque performance which has taken her to such places as Milan, Italy.

Frankii decided to add something else to her résumé. The Headline Honeys Burlesque Show which Frankii produces in towns and cities over her beloved North East of England featuring some of the UK’s best burlesque talent. 

Photograph by Jade Photography
How did you get into the burlesque industry?

Photograph by Jade Photography
This is a very tricky question that I find very difficult to answer straight forwardly. The only way I can explain it is, it just happened. I started of my career as a Model first off. When I was in control of my own shoots I liked to style myself as a Vargas Pin Up girl. This ultimately attracted the attentions of Burlesque Promoters who asked If I performed/wanted to perform and the rest is history.

How did the name Frankii Wilde come about?

As far as I am concerned Frankii is my name and has been since I was 10 years old. Wilde came a little later when I needed a stage name to brand myself when I was a musician fronting bands etc. I have never ever felt like the girl that my given name was given too so I made up someone else and lived my life as the person I felt I was meant to be. The origin of Frankii it’s self comes from the time when I had to move to an entire new village and leave my life behind where I came from. The first group of children I met decided my name did not suit me and give me a new name which I have embraced ever since and in course you’re wondering it’s short for Frankenstein as I was 5’8 at 10 years old and I loved the name! I have remained the same height ever since though and all those little children soon caught up to me or surpassed my height.

Describe burlesque in one short sentence…

Burlesque to me of course, “outrageously decadent”.

Tell me about The Headline Honeys Burlesque Show and how this came about for you?

Again, everything in my life seems to have just happened. I consider myself to be quite the opportunist. I’m a smart girl and I can spot an opportunity a mile off.

Photograph by Jade Photography
I was still at Uni (studying at Art college) and it was 2009. The year when everyone went crackers over the recession. For 6 months the bookings stopped for  Burlesque and the modelling assignments thinned out. I decided to wait it out of course but get a bar job for the mean time just to get by. The establishment I got a job in was Spensleys in Middlesbrough. I was studying in Middlesborough at the time. Out of all the bars and clubs this was the only one that got back to me. I started just being a regular bar girl until one of the owners asked about me being Burlesque performer which then led to. “Do you want to put a show on here?” I jumped at the chance of course, and with the support and help of my friends and the venue. “The Headline Honeys Burlesque” show was born”. I did intend it just to be a show where performers are hired in but then I met some amazing girls who performed to the same level as myself and we became I guess a troupe. The Headline Honeys. The show ended up having residencies in several towns and cities throughout the north east, receiving corporate and private bookings, Mecca Bingo to name a few. We can be hired as Models, as singular performers or as a show and we have a candy floss machine which is hired out. I really do feel this progression has been brought on by each and every person that has been involved or still is and I am very much enjoying the ride. The Headline Honeys Burlesque show is a self-sufficient show which can be picked up and placed anywhere within reason of course.

How would you describe the burlesque scene in the north east?

I’m sure it’s very similar to other regions in the country. You have the bigger shows and the smaller shows. The larger shows such as The Headline Honeys and The Coquette Collective are pretty much for the forunners of the scene. This comes from experience of course and the fact that most of the performers involved this is how we make our living and we work both international as well as nationally. The smaller shows of course are performers that are finding their feet and providing themselves and other like minded performers a platform to execute their ideas and have their friends and family to support them for which ever reason they choose to perform. It may be a hobby, deeply personal or they may be intending to take it to the next level and perform for a living.

Photograph by Jade Photography
From a performers point of view there’s a show for everyone in the north east not matter what level you consider yourself and the same goes for the audience. If you want to see high production values and outrageously glamorous and decadent golden age show girls and strip-teasers. You would go the larger /well known shows, if you want something a little more intimate seek out the smaller shows.
To say the poor north east often gets forgotten about, in terms of Burlesque we are doing rather well.

Who is your favourite burlesque performer to watch?

Gosh where do I start? It's currently Eliza Delite....she's jut out of this world!

What did you do to earn a living before you started burlesque?

I was in various forms of education beforehand so I didn’t really need to earn a living as such. I think I was 19 when I started modelling professionally (earning an income). I had the odd job in retail during my college years before I went to Uni. I guess you could say I’ve never really had  what be considered a “proper Job”.

What do you like to do with your time off from Frankii Wilde?

What is the time off you speak of? I’m a workaholic, being self-employed makes you very driven. A day off would be typically no photo-shoot or show however there is much more involved that leads up to these things. I have general maintenance, hair, skin ,nails and my body. Then there’s the admin, the promotion and I also started a little floral hair accessories business called “by frankii” and I have gone back to college to train to be a personal trainer. No rest for the wicked they say. When I am forced into having a day off (by my partner) we’ll go for a meal and spend time together catching up on TV shows etc. I’m lucky that my friends are involved in either Burlesque or modelling so most of my work involves my friends. Two birds with one stone.

Photograph by Jade Photography
You are on stage and being photographed a lot of the time. Looking after yourself must play a big part in your life. What are you favourite beauty products and why?

I’m not really big on beauty products. I use an oil based make up remover by Garnier, a cleanser/toner and a moisturiser with SPF. Similar thing with my body, use an exfoliator body wash and use a dove moistening body lotion.

Do you have a set beauty routine?

Nothing out of the ordinary, when I wake, I cleanse tone & moisturise and the sleep again before I go to sleep or if I have had a photo-shoot during the day I will remove the make up when I get home, cleanse tone, moisturise  and then do it again before bed.

Who is your beauty idol?

It always has and always will be Gwen Stefani.

On that note how do you keep yourself in shape for your performances?

I try and work out as much as I can like to visit the Gym a minimum of 3 times a week however sometimes my schedule can interfere with this. Whenever I take my dog for a walk I run instead.

What is your diet like?

Sometimes it’s fantastic, sometimes it’s not especially when I have to travel a lot and I am away from home. Whenever I’m home I try to eat clean.

Photograph by Jade Photography
What are your must have pieces of make up?

My eyebrow pencil by collection 2000 and a Red lipstick.

Do you style your own hair yourself?

I do, any previous attempts by professionals to achieve the vintage set I create…ends in disaster.
I have a professional to colour and cut my hair but I will never let one set my hair again if the brief states 1940s/1950’s hair style.

Do you have any hair tips to share to get your glamorous look?

Always make sure your nails are neat, it really does make all the difference.

Everyone no matter what shape or size wants to feel confident and happy about themselves. What advice would you have to feel glamorous and boost your own confidence?

There’s nothing better than a good shade of red lipstick. It adds instant glamour.

What is your favourite perfume?

I had a favourite perfume, but it was discontinued. I’m currently trying to find my signature scent.

Photograph by Jade Photography
What is your approach to fashion?

Throw a little glitter on it honey then your good to go!

Where are your favourite places to shop, both for burlesque goodies and for yourself?

In regards to clothes, I haven’t had a good clothes shop in years. I am very fortunate that I model for a lot of clothing companies and lingerie such as Glamour Bunny, Miss Fortune, Tallulah Love and Lingerie by Annette so I very rarely need to buy anything new. Perks of the job. I used to constantly be shipping Stop Starring over from the US before it became more accessible and I was quite fond of Topshop.

What are your biggest inspirations and why?

I am inspired by so much especially film/music, fashion photographers work , history and of course the golden by gone era of mid century America. From spending around 7 years at Art College, you are actively encouraged to research and take inspiration from things that have been done before you but take it to another level and make it your own.

What advice would you give to a girl (or guy) reading this interested in getting into this industry?

You are responsible for your own success. No one is going to write out a handbook for you. Go out there and take it. Don’t know how or where to get started? Find out. Research is key.

What else is coming up for you?

Who knows, I have been modelling for 10 years and that keeps getting better and has taken me so far. I guess something new is the fact I’m training to be a personal trainer and I plan to bring this together with Pin Up, Burlesque and fashion. Watch this space, clichéd I know but you’ll have to wait.

Photograph by Jade Photography
I would like to thank Frankii Wilde for her time with this interview.

No comments:

Post a Comment