An avant-garde adventurer, I advocate creative personal development. I believe this is achieved through positive risk-taking and honest reflection, resulting in authentic self-expression.
I create, I help to develop others in their creations, I produce workshops and upbeat variety shows – and I write.
My underpinning mission is to encourage the exploration of true diversity… the misunderstood, the overlooked, the unusual and even controversial things in life (with a mindset of non- judgement) because no-one is truly ‘average’ and normal is a mean illusion. Sticking to the status quo keeps us tied to tedium.
I can uniquely lead this model of progress because I’ve developed it organically over time with direct experience and creative diversity. In addition to various academic and professional accolades in psychology etc, I am that risk-taker. I have been on many such adventures challenging the status-quo, creating all sorts of havoc (oops) – but also simulatneously creating new opportunities, that just weren’t there before.
I have been the first to tread new or unknown paths riddled with peer dissention and social risk, tabloid scandal and surprising harassment – paths that many others now follow as ‘safe’ accessible hobbies with burgeoning social communities and supporting scenes e.g. burlesque theatre, ‘fetish’ modelling and paranormal investigation. I’ve also repeatedly (accidentally!) invoked policy and procedural change in academic institutions.
Resultantly, I really appreciate how a deep sense of curiosity coupled with an attitude of radical openness to perspective can lead towards self-actualisation – and away from an anxiety-driven life of self-doubt. This is what creative personal development is all about.
“Everyone grows in the avant-garde(n) of life.”
I have found that we can live and thrive in what I call the ‘avant-garden’ of abundant wonder; embracing all that we are, and seeing all circusmtance as opportunity for growth regardless of social ‘norms’ or expectations.
It just takes a moment of Alice-like curiosity to take a little risk and follow our own paths of adventure.
Curious? How can I help you?
Working with all sorts of people and groups including mainstream media and publishing, arts companies, beauty and fashion brands, schools, wellbeing centres, mental health clinics, private groups and individuals, I most often explore issues of creative expression, gender identity, self-awareness, happiness and sensory advancement. I provide three main services (which are reflected through my ongoing ‘official’ projects):
- producing live shows and workshops.
- personal mentoring.
What insight do I have to impart to others?
I believe that controversy is the drive behind social evolution.
Because I have a life long habit of going against the grain, throwing out the official script or calling BS on established practice that excludes people from opportunity or makes biased assumptions, I’ve been assigned all sorts of monikers and labels such as ‘maverick’, ‘rebel’, ‘queen’, ‘Infamous’ ‘fearless leader’ and ‘eccentric’. I’m sure I’ve been called lesser eloquent things too, but I’ve never directed myself to be any such thing – I could just never take ‘no’ for an answer, not without good reasoning. Instead I tend to hear ‘not this way’ and go about finding (or making) an alternative route.
Some people have found this attitude to be an ‘act of rebellion’ or a ‘dangerous’ challenge to the status quo but I believe that being curious and provoking open questions is healthy and also the socially responsible thing to do.
Often experiencing harsh criticism, personal harassment, exclusion and even tabloid scandal, I have not been put off by others’ greed or fear of change. In fact, it has made me all the more determined to help others shine in their own spotlight and speak for themselvles. Here is one of my favourite quotes ever (…now put it in your phone or notebook or, write it on your forehead backwards so you see it every day in the mirror):
“When the critics disagree, the artist is in accordance with himself”
I’d like to spend a day as advocate for the devil’s advocate. I’m fascinated by the infinite reflections between two mirrors (have you ever really examined this? Go do it! Look for the ‘you’ that might be doing something different…). I’d like to explore the space in Space and be deafened by silence for a moment.
I’ve always asked questions about why a certain thing or idea might be avoided, maligned, feared or considered strange, weird, improper, not worth thinking about or simply “wrong”. ‘Why so? Says who? What does it mean? Is it inherent? Is it contextual? Why is psychological discomfort often so appealing – and can we please take a closer look, with an intact sense of humour?’.
To get satisfaction, I have trained myself through risk and sought both knowledge and direct experience on those taboo things that I’ve stumbled across because knowledge is power but experience is also empowering. Being as you are – in the Now – is the only true identity you will ever have. I for one, am never perfectly presented – and never will be – because I am not a finished product.
I’ve come a long way since investigating haunted buildings for private concerned citizens, tour groups and for TV, posing as a ‘professional vampire’ and touring the globe as a latex and corseted fashion model, as a director and burlesque comedienne. I have been personally successful in the arts despite the odds being stacked against me always taking an alternative route, but perhaps more importantly I gained insight as I travelled.
The result is that I have created recognisable brands that tens of thousands of men, women and children have now directly experienced – and through which they have been delighted and ignited, often to their own surprise.
Another favourite quote for scribing on another body part:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Neale Donald Walsch
For those who like formal accolades… I also have a complement of certificates, a university degree (Psychology BSc Hons), post-grad diploma in parapsychological research (ESP was my focus) and post-grad certificate in advanced practice mental health interventions from prestigious universities – and other professional development certificates. But to be honest, these are no-where near as interesting (nor useful) as my positive risk-taking experiences have been.
I am an ailurophile and keep a pair Royal Pythons too – I take much of my inspiration from these animal companions.
I have a number of rather unusual certificates and serious interests too, reflecting where I try to develop myself or have challenged myself to try new or fringe ideas, e.g. I’m a reader of moral and existential philosophy, ancient and comparative religion, I am a “Sekhem Master” (I have formally studied the placebo effect and autonomic healing), free diving ‘mermaid’ (even though, I’m a confirmed land-critter and hate being under water!), amateur taxidermist (because it used to make my skin crawl), amateur many things arty (see blog!), sacred geometry fan and conch blower, collector of Victorian mourning ephemera and ‘memento mori ‘…
“Absolutely fascinating… possibly one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met in my life.”
Katie Martin, BBC Radio Solent
“..her research, writing and vast knowledge of subject matter, make her an asset to her profession”
Anthony Caulfield, Nightfall Films
“…she is a committed, diligent writer and sparkling storyteller.”
Karen Gregor, Producer – BBC R4
J Mclean, Founder – EPS Publishing
“Visionary. Her shows are an elegant masquerade of the past and an homage to taste and irony.”
La Repubblica Delle Donne, Italy
“The Movers & Shakers of the burlesque world”
“academic boffin… no ‘shrink’ing violet”
“I entered the class as a sceptic and suspected Kirsty was possibly slightly mad…I actually left suspecting Kirsty was in fact a bit of a genius.”
“Breaking New Ground”
Time Out, London
(on Victorian Values)
“Eccentric, edgy and sensationally witty”
Portsmouth News (on Victorian Values)
“The Movers & Shakers of the burlesque world”
“The doyenne of feline femininity – that is the ever-so-charming Kittie. As Britannia, she puts her own twist on the pomp and pageantry of the days of Empire, Her Majesty would be proud.”
Henry Northmore, The List
“Kittie is phenomenal as an outrageous swirling, bustled Boudica”
Irene Brown, Edinburgh Guide
“a beautiful opium-addled vision of Britannia”
“A true miracle of mother nature….the sexy pinup doesn’t cease to amaze”
BBC Spokesman to Sun Journalist.