When people think of someone who works in the law profession, they automatically conjure up an image of someone who is staid, serious and maybe a little bit boring.
However, Kim Braysford, 32, who lives in Ashton, Preston, and is a paralegal at Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors in Fulwood, is anything but solemn and business-like.
By night she takes to the stage as her alter ego Eva Fox as a burlesque singer.
And tomorrow night, she will be taking part in the final of the Furness Building Society Charity Challenge at Lancaster Grand Theatre to try to secure a cash prize for her chosen charity of the SPACE Centre in Preston.
Kim – a former pupil of Worden High School in Leyland and Runshaw College before going on to study law at the University of Central Lancashire – has always enjoyed singing and sang in a number of bands throughout her 20s.
However, when she discovered burlesque singing around four years ago, she knew she had found her singing style.
Kim explains: “I went to a burlesque and cabaret style show in Manchester in early 2010 and I just fell in love with the style of music and the ambiance of the night.
“I had never been to a burlesque night before then, so I did not know what to expect.
“It was highly entertaining and not seedy at all as you would expect from a strip thing.
“The burlesque singers were more classy and had a comedy persona which I loved.
“The lady I saw was Coco Malone and she was wonderful and watching her inspired me to do my own spin on it.”
Kim came up with her alter ego Eva Fox who is her comedy persona for burlesque and cabaret shows and Kim admits performing as Eva allows her to say and do things she wouldn’t dream of in real life.
She admits: “As Eva Fox, I am quite feisty and shoot from the hip and have no brain-to-mouth filter and am a bit risque.
“You can get away with doing things at a burlesque show that you could never do in the real world.
“It is like having an alter ego and Eva Fox is a big exaggeration of me as a person.
“When I am on stage, I can get away with saying all sorts of things. I love to shock people and see the looks on their faces I perform.
“It is all done for comedy value – not to hurt or upset. It is all done in humour.”
Kim, who is also a single mum to one-year-old Mya, works by day as a legal assistant to Sahida Ahmed, the head of family at Marsden Rawsthorn. A few years before having her baby, she worked as a lawyer at the firm’s civil litigation department.
Kim, who is now training to become a legal executive and wants to go into family law, believes that people do hold stereotypes when it comes to people who work in the law profession and says that if people saw her on stage, they would never guess what she did as a day job.
Kim says: “I am very hard working during my day job in law. But I am not always serious and am definitely the joker of the department.
“I do try to keep my two personas very separate. However, I like to think I am quite a bubbly person all the time.
“I guess you have to be to some extent in my line of work. My day job is a challenge and I love it because of that.
“I am lucky that I get to do a bit of everything that I love and that I have the support around me to enable me to do these things.
“My main aim with everything I do is to be a good mum and role model for my daughter and show her that she can do and achieve what she wants. At the moment, her main goal of a day is to try to get me to give her some cheese – but I hope her aspirations for the better things in life will come in time!
“She is a very happy and confident little girl and she makes me very happy – especially with her mash-ups of songs as she loves singing too.
“So I juggle work full-time as a paralegal during the day in a very busy family department with being a single mum and singing for fun in cabaret shows.
“It’s no wonder I barely get to brush my hair most days!”
Kim being selected as a finalist in the Furness Building Society Charity Challenge came about after her friend who is a volunteer at the SPACE Centre in Preston asked her to submit a video entry.
Kim was initially nervous and had some reservations as she had never put herself forward for being judged before.
However, she wanted to do do something to help SPACE so eventually submitted her video and was selected as a finalist.
The winner will secure £1,000 for their chosen charity with a second prize of £750 and a third prize of £500.
n Tickets: £5 from Lancaster Grand Theatre box office on: 01524 64695 or by visiting: www.lancastergrand.co.uk.