I started out working in theatre. Amongst other things, I ran The Room Above The Pub in Richmond, made giant strap-on penises for a production of Lysistrata, and assistant stage managed around the world with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In 2001, I began studying photography. Three years later, my graduation exhibition was commissioned by Bloomsbury and in 2007 became the book My Celebrity Boyfriend. To fund my photography habit (and pay my mortgage) I became a PA, leading to me working with Michael Boyd, Artistic Director of the RSC as his assistant, and then with David Lan, Artistic Director of the Young Vic.
I’ve been a stills photographer for film and theatre, worked with refugees and asylum seekers, taught literacy and creative writing, and qualified as a children’s shoe fitter. The Billy Ray? Project, a study of sons of preacher men and what they can teach me started in 2006, and has carried on despite all these other things getting in the way.
And on 6 Jan 2021, I finished The Everyday Lore Project, a year long challenge looking at ways to include folklore, superstition and tradition into my everyday life. And in October 2023, my second book Everyday Folklore: An almanac for the ritual year is being published by Murdoch.
Portrait of me © Betty Beston – she’s ace.