The following interview is somewhat of a departure for this blog. It’s with the leader and driving force behind a group of ladies that is rapidly growing in stature and recognition. I’m very happy to introduce the figurehead of the Cyanide Girls, the wonderfully named, highly talented and gorgeous Doll Facee! The Cyanide Girls are a performance group who specialise in extraordinary displays of sheer sass and glorious stunts. They’re the bevy of beauties who entertain audiences with their own brand of dance numbers, fire breathing, body burning… and they even incorporate an angle grinder! I was over the moon when Doll Facee (Cyanide Girls founder, manager and performer) reached out to me via my blog. Not only was I drawn into the insane world of CG, but I was introduced to a passionate, ambitious and industrious lady in Doll Facee. She’s a talented model in her own right but combines this with a flair for performance, and a talent for playing with fire, which is a showpiece that regular followers of this blog will know I love! I was thrilled she gave me the time for an interview, and I really feel lucky to be able to introduce people to Doll Facee and her Cyanide Girls. They are a close-knit bunch that are going places fast, and I advise we all go along for the wild ride!
Q: Welcome Doll Facee. You’re the Cyanide Girls founder, manager, promoter, as well as a performer, and you’re also a model. Can I ask where you began your journey on the modelling/performance career path?
Doll Facee: At University I got asked to be a model for my friend’s photography course project, I was a bit nervous at first but I loved it! She suggested I build a Model Mayhem profile, so I did and have been modelling ever since. I used to be in a girl dance group, I did a few shows with them but they were bitchy, rude and unorganised. I thought to myself - I could do a better job with more talented girls, so I came up with the Cyanide Girls and started it with a few close friends who were talented.
Q: You’re not just pretty faces by any means. The Cyanide Girls are unique in that they are largely focussed on performance. You are all gorgeous women of course, but individual talents and skills seem paramount to your success. How did you go about recruiting your current crop of Cyanide Girls? Did you hold auditions?
Doll Facee: At first I asked a few friends who could do fire poi and pole dancing if they would be interested, and it worked for a while then they had to leave for various reasons. I then put out a post on Facebook and Gumtree and managed to audition some awesome girls! I had to ‘click’ with the girls I auditioned, they also had to have a good personality and talent! We are like a big family now, I love my girls.
Q: The range of skills the troupe provides is very impressive. You yourself are an accomplished fire breather, pole dancer and body burner. I’ve got an intense soft spot and admiration for those who work so creatively with fire live on stage. Can I ask you where you learnt the skill, and what is it like working with fire on a regular basis?
Doll Facee: My housemate at University learnt how to fire breathe from his friend, I saw him do it one night in the back garden and thought I HAVE TO LEARN THAT! It looked so awesome! I did poo my pants a little bit when I was first learning; it’s quite scary seeing massive fire balls that close to your face!
Q: As a group you’ve already performed a number of shows and events, but can I take you back to the early days of the CG. What do you remember about your first performance, where did it take place and how did you feel in the lead up to that first show, and immediately after?
DF: It was a show in Woking (Surrey) at a rock night called Schism. I was so nervous I grabbed some random boys drink and necked it right before I went on! It was such a rush when I got off the stage, I knew I had to get back on it.
Q: The truly impressive thing about the Cyanide Girls is your adaptability. You pride yourselves on being able to match client’s particular requirements. Catering for anything from music videos to “Coyote Ugly” style performances at bars. Is it tough being so flexible, or do you enjoy the challenge of offering such a varied service?
DF: We love most music types between us. We have performed at chart music nights, drum and bass nights and rock nights. It’s always good to have something different, we love our rock nights and they are always the best crowds, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change. Being so adaptable means we don’t have a specific type of audience or night we can perform to, we don’t want to single ourselves out.
Q: Choreography-wise, a CG show is always full of energy, and the interaction onstage is spot on. Many of the girls are dancers, so is the choreography something you all share and contribute to? Or is there someone in particular with seniority that plans out the shows and the dance segments?
DF: One of my girls (Kimbull) is a choreographer, so she contributes a lot to it. Saying that, her and I always get together and come up with a dance between us then teach the others, when a move doesn’t look right or fit, one of the other girls will say something and we change it. Everyone pitches in. Sometimes we like to just improvise and go with the music doing our own thing.
Q: Your musical influences are vast, and you can set a routine to any piece of music. Where do you draw your inspirations from for performances? Is it sometimes hard to engage with a piece of music, or is it all about being in the moment and working with the rhythm?
DF: We like watching videos online to see what’s out there and looks good, but we also do it from our previous dance experience and bring it all together for a routine. Sometimes we want to do our own thing to a song, so we do.
Q: What’s it like on stage as a Cyanide Girl? From an audience perspective it looks like a lot of fun and expression. But is performing a more regimented experience, hitting cues etc? Or do you like to keep your shows more improvisational, working off the crowd’s energy?
DF: It’s an amazing feeling!! I once had a man from the front of the barrier propose to me while I was on stage, that was weird. We like to mix it up, so some songs we will have a routine to and some we will do our own thing. Sometimes leading up to the show we will discuss what we want to do and add crazy things like champagne to spray over the audience or attacking people with marker pen.
Q: Each girl in the group has an incredible physique. Do you all have a regime you stick to at all, or does each individual look after her own diet and exercise routine? I guess your performance pieces keep you in good shape anyway, but do you have to work at it to maintain your incredible figures/performance energy?
DF: To be honest I think we are all too lazy to go to the gym or anything. I like to call myself “energetically challenged”. I know some of the girls like to watch what they eat but I’m a total fatty, I’m just glad a have a really high metabolism!
Q: You were most recently seen at the Great British Tattoo convention, in what I thought was a break out show for you girls. What was it like performing at such a major event, and how was the crowd?
DF: To be honest we were the most scared for this show, not because of the audience, but because we did it in daylight! Club nights are dark and the lights are flattering, in the daylight everyone can see your imperfections. We did enjoy it a lot; it was so much fun and a great experience.
Q: The majority of the girls have tattoos, and with performing at the GB Tattoo convention it’s clear you all enjoy the art form. Personally speaking, could you run us through some of your own incredible ink?
DF: I got my first one when I was 17, it’s a swallow on my hip saying “Live Life”. I got it for my Nan as she gave me a massive heart-to-heart speech about leaving the nest before I went to Uni. I have 2 pink bows on the back of my calves which I got on my holiday in Spain, diamond on my wrist, rose on my shoulder, ship on my foot, umbrella on my finger and of course my MASSIVE side piece of flowers, leaves and lace. That was my biggest and longest (10 and 1/2 hours!). People say ribs hurt, but I was giggling through mine.
Q: The Cyanide Girls are quintessentially alternative in my opinion. The style, attitude, audience, ambition, it all screams alt. As the group’s founder, what do you think the word alternative means these days? Is it a style that can be adopted, or do you have to have the right character and personality to pull it off genuinely?
DF: I think alternative people are just like anyone else, just with a different style. I guess most people see alternative as rock music, piercings, tattoos and hating everything mainstream. I personally quite like some mainstream fashions and music, but because I look the way I do I’m classed as alternative. I think people should just be who they want to be and leave the labels for the soup cans.
Q: With your shows being so frenetic, and involving some pretty dangerous stunts, have you ever had any mishaps, or “interesting” performances?
DF: Ha-ha, funny you should stay that! Up until the Great British Tattoo Show we had nothing go wrong, but backstage our water towel (to put our flames out) got too much paraffin on it and set alight! We were so scared because the whole stage could have gone up but fortunately someone put their wet towel over it all!
Q: Your work on YouTube really shows a great bond between the girls. Is it somewhat of a family or sisterhood away from the stage? Do you spend a lot of time together day to day?
DF: We all live in different towns and some have full-time jobs, so it’s quite hard to see each other. We have our own little private Facebook group where we talk everyday, sharing new ideas and things! I do see the Cyanide Girls as my family, we all get along and have a laugh, they are some of my best friends.
Q: You’re always on the look out for prospective Cyanide Girls to add to the team, what is it you look for in new recruits? How large would you like the Cyanide Girl sisterhood to get?
DF: I like girls with personality and talents! I don’t have a particular ‘look’ I go for, some of my Cyanide Girls are curvy, some are slim, it all depends on how well I know we’d get on. I’d love to go national and global, but at the moment we are a strong group of 7 based in the South East.
Q: If I could bring the other girls into the interview on this question please Doll Facee. I wanted to ask them what it is like being a Cyanide Girl, and what they each thought it takes to be a part of this wonderful band of bombshells?
Kimbull – Being a Cyanide Girl is like being in a storm. Our shows and lifestyles are big, loud and fast paced, and it’s very hard to keep up with any of us. We each have such different personalities and traits that we bring to the table which in the end makes for one hell of a rocking show. You have to show individuality within the group, we can’t just have 5 girls that all do the same thing, look the same etc. It’s hard work but totally worth it and the best group in the world to be in. We are truly a family not just a performance group.
Missy – When I joined CG I had no idea what to expect. I think a lot of girls see other girl groups and imagine a lot of bitching must go on, but it’s the opposite for us. I was pretty relieved to find all the girls were completely nuts in their own way, like me, so it wasn’t a case of making way for each other, it was more that we all complimented each other’s talents. Obviously to be a CG you have to be tough to criticism as well. People out there want to judge you, for me it’s that “she’s a stripper” card, and it just makes me laugh because at the end of the day we’re the ones out there making waves, not the ones at home wishing they were doing it! It’s been awesome so far, I love the girls. Like Kim said, we’re a family. I want them all as bridesmaids at my wedding, and then to burn the church down.
Amanda – Joining CG for me was exciting and is still! When I met the girls (ones I’ve met so far) they were definitely the kind of people that you want to spend your time with, crazy, funny and special ;) like me ha-ha. The group makes you feel empowered and beautiful as a woman, and I can’t think of a better way to show the world that regardless of size or shape, we girls are definitely sexy, and we are going to take the world by storm… So watch this space :)
Becca – CG is just so fucking cool! I can 100% be myself around these gorgeous chicks. When we’re on stage it just feels like we’re all totally on the same wave length and we just kill it! We’re all confident and sexy no mater what our background and always ready to help each other out. I love them with all my heart!
Q: Finally Doll Facee, could I ask what shows and events you girls will be performing at next? Where can your ever growing fan base catch the next CG set?
DF: Our next performance is at Facedown, at the Scala, Kings Cross, London on the 4th of May. All our shows are posted up on our website so fans can see where we will be next! We have several club nights planned, and even a wedding!
Q: Would you mind answering Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire on behalf of the Cyanide Girls please Doll Facee?
What is your favourite word? Moist
What is your least favourite word? Safe
What turns you on? Tall guys
What turns you off? Bad shoes
What sound or noise do you love? Popping bubble wrap
What sound or noise do you hate? People clicking their bones
What is your favourite curse word? Penis
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I have a degree in Advertising and Brand communication, so I wouldn’t mind being an art worker
What profession would you not like to do? Shovel poop
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “DDDDAAAAMMMNNNN GIRL! Your life looked epic!”
It was a real treat talking to Doll Facee for this article, and I really appreciate the time she put into this project. I’m also thankful for the cameo from some of the other Cyanide Girls, and hope this interview has sparked an interest in the wonderful experiences these women are producing. I do believe these ladies have the ability and appeal to do very well indeed, and their shows are pure energy and raw enjoyment. Check out Doll Facee’s pages and sites below for more information and dates, and get along to a live appearance if you can.
Doll Facee modelling: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Doll-Facee-Model/234602083267652
Cyanide Girls FB: http://www.facebook.com/TheCyanideGirls
Cyanide Girls Tumblr: http://cyanidegirls.tumblr.com
All images above were supplied by Doll Facee and used with her permission.