If ever there was a princess of the 'Pleasure Seekers' it would be the delectable Miss Miranda !
Miss Miranda doesn't need an introduction as she is an internationally published model and award winning burlesque, cabaret and fetish performer.
Many of you will recognise her as the face of retro lingerie label What Katie Did or regular performer at the very cool Torture Garden. Performing since she was 17, Miss Miranda is as well know in the USA as she is over here.
On my radar for some time now, self styled and incredibly graceful Miss Miranda has the ability to bring a sophistication to any shoot wether that be fetish, retro or fashion.
We're privileged that she's taken time out of a very busy schedule to answer some questions for us. By reading this you'll get an insight into a very intelligent woman who knows what she wants and goes about it with aplomb.
Your Grandmother used to be an actress in the 40's and your great great great uncle J.M Barrie wrote Peter Pan, both incredible and inspirational. Has your family had much influence over your decision to perform and drive to achieve ?
Definitely. I'm very lucky that my family has always been incredibly supportive of my creativity - they've nurtured it ever since I was a baby really! My Granny has always encouraged my love of performance, and one of my parents' best friends was the late Robert Tear, a wonderful opera singer and artist. He was a great inspiration to me growing up as well, and really helped me believe in my creative abilities. My parents completely supported my passion for art, even when I was finding it hard to believe in myself. They even encouraged me to move to a different school that better supported the arts, and I'm so grateful for that.
How did you get into performance art ? At what point point did your career take a turn into the fetish scene?
I've loved performing all my life, and have always been fascinated with costumes and creating characters and roles. In my teens I started to develop my own distinctive style of dressing and learned to make my own clothes... When I discovered the emerging neo-burlesque scene in London around 2002 it instantly drew me in as it combined so much of what I was already really into. Through the burlesque scene I discovered London's Torture Garden club and got into fetish modelling after being asked to model in catwalk showcases there. I had already been drawn to fetish aesthetics since a young age so I felt very at home at TG! I remember seeing Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman when I was about 8, and begging my parents to get me an outfit just like hers! They sweetly bought me patent doc martens when I was about 11 which went a long way towards satisfying my wish for lace up leather, but I had to wait a lot longer before they'd let me wear heels!!
The fetish scene is so accepting of difference and diversity, how important do you think it is to explore and embrace your own sexuality ?
I think it's vital. Whether people choose to admit it or not, our sexuality is a massive part of who we are, and trying to hide, change or ignore it in ourselves or in others can be extremely damaging to both individuals and society as a whole. Our sexuality is an extension of our personality, and learning to understand it and how to acknowledge and satisfy it in a safe and healthy way is fundamental if we want to live happy, fulfilled lives.
When you were 20 you took yourself travelling around Japan after learning the language. That's pretty amazing! Do you believe that anything is possible with the right attitude ?
Have you a story you can share from your travels that has maybe contributed to the person you are today ?
I think I do! Of course we have to be realistic sometimes, but passion and hard work can truly bring about the most amazing achievements! The first time I went to japan I actually won the trip in a competition. When I entered, I explained how fascinated I was with the language and culture and how much it would mean to me to be able to go there - and that's how I won! I never thought for a second I might win, I entered on a whim really but just decided to be very honest in my entry letter. I think that taught me how much people respond to a passionate attitude and how powerful that can be. One of the most memorable things from my travels there was when I met a Buddhist calligrapher at the Horyuji temple outside Nara. He was very interested to hear that I was studying Japanese - I'm certainly not fluent, but we had a wonderful (if slightly stilted on my part) conversation about kanji characters. He was a very old chap, and had never seen one of the electronic dictionaries I used to help me learn, so I showed him how it worked. It was so bizarrely wonderful to be able to share a conversation with someone not only from such a different culture, but from a different generation as well. I showed him the kanji characters I use to write my name in Japanese, and he wrote them for me in traditional calligraphy - it was a truly magical moment.
I had a really tough time in my teenage years, struggling with bullying and quite serious illness - before getting to Japan I never thought in a million years that I would find myself thousands of miles away from home seeing things and meeting people unlike anything I'd experienced before. It really helped me see that your dreams can become a reality and that that's worth fighting for. I am so happy that my work allows me to travel so much and explore the world - it can be very hard work and stressful sometimes but it's so, so worth it. :)
Your performances are incredibly artistic, how do you start the creative process when preparing a new show ?
Thank you so much! That's tough to answer actually... Often it isn't really premeditated. Inspiration can come from anywhere - a piece of music, a photograph or painting, even just a colour. I've been inspired to create a whole new act simply by discovering a fabric trim I absolutely love, for example!! I think for me it's about all the right elements aligning together. I have a lot of ideas for acts I've not put together yet - often what pushes me to bring one to fruition is hearing about or being invited to an event that I think has exactly the right vibe to suit an idea that I've been considering. For example, visiting New Orleans and hearing about their burlesque festival is what pushed me to create my Santa Pimienta chilli goddess act. I'd wanted to do an act based around chillies for years, but it wasn't until I saw Bustout Burlesque at House of Blues and felt the atmosphere in that place that I knew exactly how I wanted to do the act. It was incredible to be able to come back and perform it on that very stage, finally bringing the idea I'd been playing with for so long into reality!
I love the way you recently teamed up our Renaissance Sleeves with Atsuko Kudo latex. The different textures worked extremely well together. You know how to nail your style with such chic effortless ability. Have you any advise to someone wanting to experiment with their own style, maybe adding a touch of retro or fetish ?
Thank you again, that's a fantastic compliment! Hmmm I'm not sure... I'm very interested in textures and the tactile quality of fabrics and materials, so it's something I always consider when putting together outfits and costumes. I would say that if someone is interested in experimenting with wearing latex that accessories can be a great place to start. Belts and harnesses can be worn over clothing or directly on the skin so you can experience the feel of latex as much or as little as you like while making the most of the glossy aesthetic of it either way.
The future looks incredibly bright for Miss Miranda. Have you any future plans you can tell us about? Where do you see yourself in ten years ?
I hope so! I've just got back from performing at a run of burlesque shows in Atlantic City, and have been back at Bustout Burlesque in New Orleans - I hope to be returning to both those productions again very soon. Since I now have a US performance visa, I'm planning a bit of a tour of the US in 2014 and hope to be able to take part in the Viva Las Vegas burlesque competition in April too! Contestants are chosen for it by public vote, so if readers would like to support my work this is a great way to do it - I would SO love to perform at this event! :D
Vote here: http://www.vivalasvegas.net/burlesque-competition
It has been announced that Miss Miranda is a finalist and will be performing in Las Vegas.... Darkest Star wish her the very best of luck !
Always a Pleasure
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