Danny Beard is a Manchester based Cabaret act is best known for being Britain's Got Talent Semi Finalist 2016 and Drag Idol UK Winner 2015. Many of our customers throughout our Barbers Birmingham are keen beard keepers, popping in for regular appointments to keep it in good shape - However Danny Beard's beard maintenance takes it one step further. We caught up with him to find a little bit more about his iconic look.
"I like to play with the boundaries of gender and to me one of the most masculine features of man is the beard." - Danny Beard
Danny Beard, Can you tell us a little about yourself for those who may not be familiar with you?
I am a performer, singer and cabaret artist from Liverpool who is lucky enough to work all over the UK and some spots in Europe.
We've seen in the media that growing up you were subject to bulling, could you tell us a little how you feel this has impacted your life and anything you've learned from the experience?
I think all young people at some point in there life go through some kind of trouble, after all its part of growing up. For me it was bullying and things got quite serious quite quickly, things got physical, and it impacted my whole families life. My parents took the decision to move us from our family home in Liverpool to the Wirral and we re-started life as is were. Today I look back and release that that experience made me stronger. I made a decision at the age of 13 that I wasn't going to hide who I was anymore, that I would do the things I liked and not let anyone else dictate how i was to act. I started Drama classes, I took music lessons and behaved in a way that was true to myself. For the first time in a few years i was truly me. I think this experience really set me up for future events. I ended up following drama and acting, and it took me to Manchester, and more specifically Salford university studying contemporary performance.
And what advice would you give to anyone currently experiencing bullying?
The first thing to do is to ask yourself how its making you feel?
Then ask yourself is this how you want to continue to feel?
If the answer to the second question is no then you need to talk with someone. I bottled things up for two years out of fear, and it wasn't until I was attacked and hurt that my parents found out the extent of what was happening to me on a daily basis. If I could go back to year 8 me and tell me anything it would be to confide in someone, anyone that I trusted. as that's the first step to making things better.
"If i'm honest I never want to see my chin without hair on again for a very long time." - Danny Beard
What are you up to at the moment? Any interesting projects you can tell us about on the horizon?
I perform regularly in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, & London and also do lots of Cabaret sets around the UK. Coming up I am performing for the Ben Cohen Stand up foundation in May with lots of famous faces. I've got Sitges Pride in Spain in June and I have just signed a very big secret deal for the end of the year, that i'm dying to tell everyone but can't at the moment. I've probably said too much already.
You have a very recognisable look - how did you come up with it?
It was in university, I took lectures in live art and was really inspired by 80's club kid culture and more importantly Leigh Bowery, I started playing there really and it just developed into what you see today.
Traditionally acts such as you self don't tend to keep a beard - what made you work it into your look?
Firstly I hated clean shaving, but secondly I liked to play with the boundaries of gender and to me one of the most masculine features of man is the beard.
Your beard is very much a huge part of your persona - would you ever shave it off?
I did once recently to turn up at a gig as "Honey G" from the X-factor. But if i'm honest I never want to see my chin without hair on again for a very long time.
Do you have any help keeping your beard in check?
I'm very particular when it comes to beard maintenance, I go to the same barber every Thursday when I'm at home in Manchester and get my head shaved, sculpted and hair died. Then get my beard trimmed and shaped the exact same every time. When its a big part of what puts bread on the table I have to make sure it looks good.
What tips do you have for any guys out there who want a beard like yours? What beard grooming techniques do you use?
The skill of the glitter beard has been mastered by very few. Unfortunately many people, especially around Christmas time, think a bit of beard oil and a pot of glitter will cut it. Well guess what, is doesn't, it might work for some guy on Instagram for 20 mins while he gets the perfect picture but if you want it to last you need a special kind of glue. Unfortunately one of the only people who knows what that glue is is me. I have been asked by everyone how i glue it on and at first i jokingly wouldn't tell anyone but now 2 years on I think I enjoy the guessing game of how to do it. One thing I will say is that you need a short beard for the glitter to get into and you need to use makeup to block the area out first!
So there you have it. Although Danny Beard's look might not be everyone, we think it's great! It's all about what you feel comfortable with, whether you want a clean shaven look, a bit of designer stubble, a neatly groomed beard or a Disco ready Glitter beard - pop into your local branch of Kings Barbers Club and we'll make sure you get exactly the look you're after!
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