Meet The Fuel Girls: Hayley
The countdown to The London Tattoo Convention is well and truly on, and we can't wait to watch the phenomenal Fuel Girls perform their brand new acts live on stage!
This week, we caught up with fire performer Hayley to find out more...
When did you start performing with fire?
When I was studying sports and PE at Leeds University, I used to support myself financially as a club dancer; I tried fire one day, and never looked back. I could earn great money travelling the world and having fun and have never stopped since. Perhaps one day I'll go back to using the degree!
You also work a lot with pyrotechnics. Have you ever been afraid on stage, or is it easier than it looks?
Performing with pyro is fun and reasonably easy when you know how, but you need the knowledge to use it safely and to know what to do in case of unexpected mishaps. You need to make sure you, your team and your audience is safe and looked after, as there is a lot more to think about than when you are just using the fire alone.
You are part of the Fuel Girls. Do you like working as part of a group?
As much as I love being a solo artist, I love being part of a team. I'm really proud to stand alongside other talented women and to watch them and think, "I am part of this team". We go to shows all over the world and I was so surprised at how many mums and dads approach us and say thank you for inspiring their daughters. It's really enlightening and refreshing that our sexy shows are seen as a way of free expression and that women are inspired by it and not intimidated or threatened.
If you had a million pounds, would you stop performing and relax?
I would definitely take a holiday, and maybe see some of the countries we have flown in and out of that we haven't really had time to see while performing there. Then I would come home and buy some awesome costumes, take some private professional training, and buy a tonne of new pyro equipment for the Fuel Girls shows!
Is there another Fuel Girl that you find particularly inspiring? Why?
That's hard, as each girl is inspiring in their own way. Jasmine May, our newest addition, came on board about a year ago; she was thrown in at the deep end and is now probably one of the stronger girls of the group, performing with the Fuel Girls in a show in Las Vegas called Inferno. We are all quite big personalities in the Fuel Girls, so joining such a strong group of big, loud girls would be daunting for anyone. But she came in and it felt like she had always been there.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to learn fire performance?
If you are considering becoming a fire performer, bear in mind there are hours and days of preparation that nobody sees, before that 5 minutes of stage show. When I tell people what I get paid for my shows they will say' "you get paid XXX for a 5-minute show???" Well - it took 4 days of planning and preparation. Be prepared to work hard. It's not glamourous backstage when you are changing in small spaces and covered in dirt and fuel from the equipment.
You work with different themes in your shows, what theme have you not done yet that you would like to?
We have done some pretty cool themes so far; super heroines, military, movie themes, brothel, biker chicks, vampires.
I'd love to do a whole Game of Thrones theme or maybe a whole theme in an era. Like the Great Gatsby, 1940 era. Both of those themes would be really fun to dress and choose music to.