Krystal Chandler – this gurl is on fiyurrr

About 3 months ago now, I had a chat with one the lads on the catwalk from The Great British Tattoo Show (which you can read here). Back then, I had no idea who or what The Dolls UK were. I would’ve just assumed it was some bizarre collectors club filled with old men who spend way too much money on some toys that probably come alive once you leave the room (please note, I may have just watched Toy Story and it’s made me paranoid as shit)! Turns out, they’re a travelling troupe of fire obsessed females who play with DIY tools and candles while looking rather hot doing so! One of these misleadingly named ‘Dolls’ was walking up and down the catwalk at the tattoo show so I thought it’d be a good idea to ask some questions and hopefully make it a little clearer. Who are these dolls and why are they on fire?!

So you’re a member of The Dolls UK. What do they do exactly?

So The Dolls UK is an exclusive group of performers, mostly tattooed and all unique. Each of us brings something different to the table. We cover everything from fire to burlesque, drag and aerialists, dancing and angle grinding; for various things such as tattoo conventions, nightclubs, festivals and corporate events. We cover the whole of the U.K. and we also work internationally. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of it!

I was born a performer! I’ve danced since I can remember

What got you onto your path of being a performer? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?

I was born a performer! I’ve danced since I can remember and started taking dance gigs at various nightclubs for a bit of pocket money. I went from that to managing various entertainment residencies at different nightclubs all over Wales, so I kinda fell into it before performing all over the U.K. as well as internationally. I joined the Dolls as I wanted something different and that’s exactly what it offers.

What’s the day job?

By day I work in car insurance, it’s something I actually enjoy doing! I’m extremely chatty, so you could say it’s the perfect job for me talking on the phones every day. Although sometimes I talk so much, I often lose my voice which makes the role a bit difficult! My work colleagues find me hilarious; I’m often coming in to work coming from or going to a dolls gig with big suitcases packed full of costumes and of course lots of equipment!

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What’s the craziest thing you’ve witnessed at one of your shows?

I’m not sure it gets much crazier than standing on stage wearing nipple tassels, breathing fire or pouring candle wax all over myself but I’ve witnessed some crazy stuff over the years. One time a customer managed to get past a security guard and came from behind me, obviously I had no idea this woman had made her way onto the stage area, and I spun around with my angle grinder in my hand! Thank god for quick thinking because an angle grinder embedded in a customer’s head is the last thing you need!

What advice would you give to the young ones who want to play with fire?

To not do it! Haha! Jokes! Health and safety is paramount and a lot of people I feel neglect it, there are so many people wanting to be in this industry they just pick up some fire sticks and don’t consider how dangerous it is. The advice I would give is to be completely clued up on the danger of the act, know your health and safety inside and out and practice practice PRACTICE!

How long have you been a performer for?

16 years this month! I never thought I’d still be doing it this far down the line, but I love it far too much! And there’s no sign of me slowing down just yet either! It’s far too fun! I mean come on?! My job kicks ass!

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Is there any particular style or person you base your style on?

I wouldn’t say a particular person. I really do have my own style! I like to mix vintage pieces with modern up to date pieces and a lot of people say my style reminds them of pin-up or burlesque, but I don’t follow fashion and just wear what I like, not the ‘in’ thing to wear at the moment. I do however like Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani, Florence  Welch and lastly Lady Gaga for her individuality; she really doesn’t care does she?! She wears what she wants and looks completely different every time you see her!!!

A lot of people would say that going up on stage and shaking your ass for money is a lot like stripping. Do you get a lot of these comments as a performer?

I get a lot of these comments, and there seems to be a lot more of them as the years go by. Of course, men are going to look, a lot of what we wear is at a minimum and sexy but to say what I do makes me a stripper is completely narrow-minded and uneducated. They are both different in their own right, and both should be respected accordingly. To do this job for so long and dedicate so many hours of practice for it and it not be respected for what it is leaves me feeling disheartened.

What’s your favourite scary movie?…

I’m a huge horror fanatic! For me, classic horrors can never be beaten. It’s hard to produce a modern day horror film without a storyline which hasn’t already been done. My top three are The Shining, The Amityville Horror and The Omen (Original).

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So there it is. The insurance selling fire doll has spoken! I had a ball talking to Krystal (I’m so sorry #notsorry) and remember, you can check out The Dolls UK at their website which will link you up to all their relevant social media. Make sure to catch Krystal and her crew up and down the UK when you can! Just… Don’t piss them off yea?

 

words by Elliott Stubbings

TKTWords does not own the copyright for any images above

 

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