The club's resident chanteuse takes us on a behind the scenes tour
Time Out staff
Aimée Sophia from The Act Dubai shares her stories from a life on stage.
Singer Aimée Sophia has been involved in Dubai’s cabaret hot spot The Act since its inception in March 2013, as the venue’s resident ‘chanteuse’. The British-born singer has been performing, she tells us, ‘ever since I was a little girl’. Having trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Musical Theatre in London, she has worked in London, Miami, Ibiza and now Dubai.
Her act, she says, is diverse: ‘It ranges from a Marilyn Monroe- inspired number, to singing Marilyn Manson’s version of ‘Sweet Dreams’. We’re always evolving what we do at The Act and thinking of new ways to shock and surprise the audience.’ While the songs Aimée performs are cover versions, she explains that the music is remastered at a studio in New York, to create a version of the track, specifically suited to her voice and performance style, so that she can give it her own individual interpretation.
‘It’s important to me to keep my balance as a performer, and so I do a lot of yoga and take care of my voice. Honey is particularly good for that. I always head to the [Balques Honey] boutique in The Dubai Mall, where they sell excellent local honey from Yemen. Once I told an audience member how much I love this honey, and I arrived at my hotel room to find it full of Yemeni honey, sent to me as a gift!’
Costumes are also ‘immensely important’ to Aimée’s act. ‘I have several pieces that have been made especially for me by UAE designer Effa Walla. One of my favourites is a ’50s vintage-style dress, with bustiere and full skirt, made entirely out of white snake skin’. This outfit is a good match for Aimée’s performance partner Aurora the snake, who often appears on stage with her.
As chanteuse, Aimée is part of a small but tightknit group of resident performers that includes the MC and two dancers, as well other performers brought in from around the world. Aimée describes the atmosphere backstage as vibrant and hectic. ‘You’ll find bras flung across the dressing room’ she jokes, as performers get ready for their segment. There is a good camaraderie between the performers too, she says. ‘There’s a great energy. Before each show we gather in a huddle to prepare. It’s something they always do at The Act in Las Vegas too’. But new performers to the line up do not disturb this connection. ‘As artists we also welcome the addition of new energy,’ she adds.