As a City bond dealer my job was to fathom the mysteries of the financial markets. Nowadays I go on stage as a comic character, The Singing Psychic, to read the hidden songs in people’s hearts and reveal their secret desires.
After leaving the world of finance I became an actress and did quite a lot of cabaret. What I found that audiences responded to best was when I chatted to them. As a vehicle for this I developed a number of characters.
The Singing Psychic, who is rooted in my cultural background, seemed to mystically take shape pretty quickly as a character. She is about to fly into the Edinburgh Fringe from her yurt in Poland’s Białowieża Forest to sort out people’s lives. And she does this by singing the songs she sees within them and dispensing advice.
It’s a license to be delightfully outrageous. But, like a lot of the comedy I enjoy, it’s got something extra. She has the special liberty that court jesters had to expose realities through laughter. Because what’s turned out to be the oddest aspect of the Singing Psychic is that her readings, intended to be utterly bonkers, can be spookily accurate.
So last year in Edinburgh I sang a Queen hit to a woman of around 20 and her gobsmacked mother announced that this was the song was playing at her daughter’s birth. I sang Let’s Dance to a giant of a man and told him to buy red dancing shoes. He turned out to be a dance coach who had just been trying to order his favourite shoes online and found they were only available in red.
As you can imagine, it’s great for the comedy when that seed is sown in people’s minds, that this might not just be silliness. We have an inbuilt fascination for the mystic and The Singing Psychic sets it twitching.
The original Singing Psychic nominated for the 2016 Funny Women Awards Best Show. This time round I’m taking it a step further and have created The Singing Psychic Game Show. It’s full of the games learned at Medium School, where she honed her psychic abilities. There’s one where someone picks four cards, each with a song title, and she reads the past, present, future and the obstacle to whatever they want advice on in their life.
Everything is in glitzy 70s style and there are audience prizes. And some of the games add an extra frisson by revealing whether the audience members also have hidden powers.
The weird thing for me is that I made a complete career switch from the City to the stage and it’s still all about fortunes.