Credo: Amy Saunders

Aka Miss Behave, sword-swallower, 31
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The Independent Online

I believe...

I've always been pretty orally fixated. I sucked my thumb until recently. I love eating and drinking. Sword-swallowing just appealed. There are only about five female sword-swallowers in the world.

I was a very angry young girl, so anything self-destructive fuelled me. I got tattooed, I liked heavy metal. I didn't have any respect for danger, because I didn't think I was going to live past 25.

I would have died had I not been young and healthy when I had my one big sword-swallowing accident. I had massive internal bleeding. It scared the daylights out of me.

I don't need to be the focus of attention; I like being a host more than a star. When I was younger, I wanted to be a brothel madam; it's all about helping people have a good time.

A performer should be able to play to three people and make them cry, laugh, throw up – whatever the desired effect is. You should approach it with the same attitude as you would with 3,000 people.

Bill Hicks changed my life. He was the first person I heard speaking my truth about society, hypocrisy, life, love.

My family are proud of what I've done with this party trick, but my granny, who is 93, would love me to stop.

All entertainers are whores, to some degree.

The obsession with celebrity upsets me. I can't watch reality TV or read gossip mags. I can't imagine wanting that kind of fame; it doesn't give you anything.

Partner-dancing should be on the national curriculum again. When I go dancing, I look for the oldest guy in the room – as they're the ones who know how to dance – and get him to foxtrot me around.

As a performer, you can be either an artist or a hack. I'm a hack sometimes, I'm an artist sometimes.

Miss Behave's Variety Nighty is atT he Roundhouse, London NW1 (0844 482 8008, www.roundhouse.org.uk), from 31 July to 24 August

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