Val Wiseman

Location: Twickenham, West London
About Me...

Leaving the Black Country to seek my fame and fortune in London during the ‘swinging sixties,’ I soon learned that fame can be fleeting and fortunes can falter! Choosing a show-biz life was not without its challenges and my talks describe the ups and downs I encountered as a singer as well as the rewards. Overall, I feel my whole life has been enriched by my experiences and I wouldn’t change a thing!

About my presentations...

My presentations last between 45 minutes and an hour to suit requirements.  They can be Stand Alone, though if the  venue carries a PA system, I can illustrate them with snatches of recorded work.

Fee:

My fee is £100.00 plus travel expenses outside Richmond Borough and Greater London.

My Contact Details:
Phone:

020 8744 3915

The Passionate Brontës

Public Speaker and singer  in Middlesex  Val Wiseman presents her talk The Passionate Brontës

The appetite of Victorian society to obtain the novels of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell when they were first published in the late 1840s was insatiable. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall with their wild, passionate and violent themes caused a sensation. Even Queen Victoria was known to keep her copy of Jane Eyre in the royal bedchamber! Who were the authors? Were they brothers? It was discovered that they were in fact the three daughters of an impoverished Yorkshire clergyman; Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. How on earth did they come to write such powerful novels and why did they hide behind their pseudonyms? My talk reveals how their personal lives coloured their stories and the impact they have had on writers, artists and dramatists ever since.

Singing My Way to the Stars!

Public Speaker Val Wiseman from Middlesex presents her talk Singing My Way to the Stars.

My Dad certainly didn’t heed the words in Noel Coward’s famous song, “Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage” because that’s exactly what he did! Having patiently taught me to recite a poem, he entered me in a local talent contest, long before Simon Cowell was on the scene! I recall his words of encouragement as he gently nudged me onto the stage and the look of horror on his face when I announced I was going to dance. Round and round I skipped, happily flapping my arms up and down with no idea of style or co-ordination. The audience responded with good natured laughter and gave me a cheer as I took my curtsy and for a few moment I felt like a star. It was where I wanted to be. I was four years old! Fast forward to the present time and I look back at my life in show business with fond memories. My career as a singer has been eventful, frustrating and rewarding all rolled into one. I’ve known hard times, I’ve worked with celebrities and brushed shoulders with royalty, but I’ve never forgotten that little girl who dreamed of stardom all those years ago.

Photo:  Me with Earl Spencer

American Songbirds

Public Speaker in Greater London  Val Wisemanpresents her talk about American Songbirds, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Anita O'Day.

My talk celebrates the lives of four female singers from the Golden Age of popular music. Their stories are all different – sometimes upbeat and positive – other times poignant and heart rending.

Ella Fitzgerald: from orphan to bandleader: Born 1918 in Newport, Virginia.
In 1934 a terrified teenager stepped onto the stage of the Harlem Opera House. It was talent night and she was about to demonstrate her talent as a dancer. Fearing the rowdy audience practically baying for blood that night she changed her mind and began to sing instead!

Peggy Lee: from Cinderella to princess: Born 1920 in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Reared by a feckless father and brutally beaten by her sadistic stepmother, Norma Deloris Egstrom dreamed of stardom a world away from her traumatic childhood. She got her first break singing on a local radio show. A name change followed and Miss Peggy Lee began to realise her dreams.

Anita O’Day: from dance queen to jazz diva: Born 1919 in Chicago, Illinois.
During the depression years, the young teenage Anita became a full time contestant in a touring Walkathon show – a kind of endurance contest where customers placed bets on the last couple standing. Lucrative for the promoters; hard going for the dancers, but listening to the musicians gave Anita a better idea!

Billie Holiday: from red lights to bright lights: Born 1915 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Reared in the ghettos of Baltimore by uncaring relatives, young Eleanora Harris joined her mother Sadie who was working as a maid in New York. Influenced by the easy money the street girls earned led to a conviction for prostitution. Re-inventing herself as Billie Holiday the singer, led to a life changing career.

Val Wiseman Contact Details:
Phone:

020 8744 3915