Miss Alternative UK
We talk to Missy and d.Void, organisers of Miss Alternative UK 2011. Can we expect baton-twirling at this year’s MAUK? What kind of alternative activities exist at Club Antichrist? And… Is there anything better on TV than Time Team?
Ladygirl Missy and daemonboy d.Void are both very pretty – as you can see from their photos. Intelligence glints in their eyes. We get to see those glinty eyes up close when we meet in a select London spot. We cannot tell you if it is in the rooftops of an old warehouse, or in the basement of a deserted underground station. We can say only that the decor is dark and sumptuous… until, that is, you switch the lights on and see the satin cushions drip with moth-eaten decay. We are surrounded by peacock feathers of ill omen and robot waiters with blank faces. Ooh, it’s just like the 1920s, this secret place! But with robots.
Between them, Missy and d.Void have achieved so much. They’ve brought up their lovely daughter, Rose-Iris (now 2). Missy co-runs The Alternative Community (online) and Club Antichrist (IRL) along with d.Void. She’s been an .alt stripper and band stageshow dancer. He’s a digital artist immersed in doing websites and band art. And yet they’ve still had time to set up the alternative beauty pageant, Miss Alternative UK 2011. Let’s hear more about that!
Guys – what inspired you to get Miss Alternative UK off the ground? Sit on grandma’s knee, dear children, and whisper quietly in our ear…
We were looking for a fresh challenge, something big and exciting to do. We had toyed with the idea of a Miss Alternative competition before, years ago, but had too much on our plate with AC at the time. A chance conversation last September reminded us of our idea, and we thought the time was right! We’ve had a great reaction from the entrants, and from people who are excited about attending the finals in May. We have had a few people grumbling that they didn’t think the idea was very alt, or that it was gender prejudiced to only allow females to enter…but we know from experience that you can’t possibly please everyone, all of the time!
It’s all us really, we have taken on a press agent, and some other helpers to do some of the admin, but otherwise it’s just me and d 🙂
What sort of things will you expect in the MAUK talent contest at the live finals? Ukelele renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner?
Since the ladies in question are alternatives, I don’t expect to see any baton twirling! I imagine we’ll get some singing or dancing, maybe circus skills like juggling or fire eating…I hope to be surprised!
Between the 2 of you you’ve founded Miss Alternative UK, The Alternative Community and Club AntiChrist. What draws you to keep creating new .alt community ventures?
It’s been a natural progression for us. We started with Club AntiChrist – creating the kind of club that we wanted to go to, but didn’t exist at that time. The club’s website had a forum and shoutbox which were so often used that we thought we’d see if there was a demand for an alternative community online. Turns out there was! We always say that we run for the scene and by the scene – and that was the inspiration behind MAUK too, we like celebrating the alt lifestyle and culture, and that’s what draws us to create new alt ventures. We’re trying to provide places to go for the alt community, places that didn’t exist before…
Would you say .alt communities are pretty proactive, on the whole?
I hummed and haaed about this question for a long time… The best answer I can give is this: the Alt community, while looking different, and being perceived as being set apart from others, is like any other community. Some people in the community are pro-active and others aren’t!
Would you say you’ve picked up a strong .alt family outside of bloodkin on your travels through life?
No, I’m afraid not. We don’t have time to maintain friendships because we’re always too busy working! Sad, eh?
Can you recall the transition from .alt on the inside to .alt on the outside? Did you get stick for it? What were your survival tactics if so?
I can’t! I was always strange at school – I remember a mufty day when I was 15 and everyone wore jeans and t.shirts or tracksuits, and there I was in flowing flowered hippy gear with a daisy chain on my head… And yes, I got stick for it – I was bullied from the age of 8 or so until I hit college. I used the age-old ‘ignore’ tactic which had limited success. I think what got me through was the fact that I genuinely didn’t care what they thought of me! I didn’t care if they said I was ‘sad’ or took the piss out of my clothes or my hair… My indifference meant that the bullying didn’t hurt me, it was more irritating than anything. The word ‘bullying’ always sounds like such a nasty thing, but it just went over my head!
What can peeps expect to find once they put on their finery and pass through the doors of Club Antichrist?
Nothing scary! We’ve heard that some people haven’t yet been because they’re worried it’ll be some debauched party where everyone is required to take part! It’s not like that at all! The best way to describe AC is this… imagine you’re in a club that plays gothy/alt music..maybe Depeche Mode followed by Manson followed by Sisters of Mercy…there are chains and coffins decorating the walls, and a couple of hundred people dancing all dressed in pvc and corsets and New Rocks and lace… THEN you can walk to the room next door and watch some shows – maybe a burlesque dancer, or fire eating, or human suspension or goth bellydancing or a live band. Later, this room is full of lasers and smoke and UV, with stompingly good industrial music and mad visuals on the video screens. When you get a bit tired you can go for a sit down in the Chillout room and have a bite to eat. If you DO fancy it, you can have a peek into the dungeon – spectating is very much allowed – and if you’re feeling brave you can ask the monitors for a demo 🙂 If you DON’T want to be involved in the alternativey side of things, simply pass this room by! The smoking area is always good for a chat, and as everyone is so friendly you can venture out alone and come back in with new friends!
A night at AC is a lot of fun, we rarely hear any negatives at all about our nights! You can always solicit for feedback on the community forums if you’re still unsure!
You each get your own Kingdom, to rule in benign despotic fashion as you please. How nice! What one rule do you pick for your Kingdom’s citizens to live by?
Missy – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Everyone knows this phrase, but rarely do I see it fulfilled. It’s such an easy rule to follow too, with just a moment’s thought before any action.
d.Void – “everyone must have a Mohawk.”
Missy, we want to know. But only if you want to tell us. Your experiences as an alt stripper?
Haha! Back in my dim and dusty past… I used to really enjoy it actually! I never did a lapdance though, I just used to love being on the stage, enjoying the power that comes when people are paying good money just to see you take your clothes off! There aren’t too many alt strippers though, it’s been very hard creating and maintaining Satan’s Strip Shows at the Club… I don’t have any mad experiences to recount, sadly. It was pretty much turn up, put underwear on, take underwear off while dancing, get paid, go home! I did spend those years with permanent bruises and carpet burn on my knees though…very hard explaining why to Mother…
What marvellous venture would you like to plan next, if you get round to it? You seem like tremendously planny people.
We do have several things in the pipeline actually! We’re launching a new club in November, called ‘Excess’, which will also be held at the Colosseum. Then if Miss Alternative UK does well this year, we’ll be running it again next year to include ‘Mr’ and ‘Ms’ (TV/TS) Alternative categories. Submissions will be accepted from October 2011. And then there’s a really BIG venture that we’ve been working on for 2 years, that may or may not reach fruition next year! Oh! and we’ve just re-launched the community with lots of upgrades. It should now be faster and much easier to navigate 🙂
Workwise you’re cats with 9 lives – darting from one .alt profession to the next. Is variety is the spice of life?
Yes! Although we’re adding strings to our bows, not replacing them. As we start each new venture, we make sure the previous ones are secure 🙂
Is there something we should have asked you, but were really too selfish to do so?
“Is work really all you do?”
No, of course not! As well as working 120 hours a week between us, we also look after our 2 year old daughter Rose-Iris full time, walk our 3-legged dog Bogie in the woods each day, I go swimming and do aerobics 3 or 4 times a week and d usually manages to squeeze in an episode of Time Team before bed!