His ignorance of everything but this and his ambiguous appearance made a career impossible except in the arts. He therefore became an illustrator and a designer of book covers. When he could no longer bear constantly being given the sack, he tried freelancing. From time to time he wrote books on an assortment of subjects-on lettering (a craft which he had never mastered), on window dressing, on the Ministry of Labour (with which, at the time, he had never had any connection except as an applicant for the dole).
At length, almost by chance, he stood in for a friend who was an art school model, and finding that the effort did not cause him to collapse, he took up posing as a career. With this way of life he struggled on for thirty five years. In the middle 1960s, on a British radio channel to which no one listens, he uttered a few words that led to his being invited to write his autobiography, The Naked Civil Servant. The synopsis of this proposed work caused the man who had commissioned it to faint dead away, but another firm, Jonathan Cape, agreed to publish it in 1968.
This was an offer that Mr. Crisp could not refuse, because he was paid in advance. Upon becoming a resident alien of the United States in 1981, he moved to New York City, vowing never to leave. Having been unsuccessfully a teacher of tap dancing, an occaisional writer, and a minor televisionary, in the winter of his life he described himself on his income tax forms as a retired waif.
He died in 1999, just as his show 'Resident Alien' reached the stage. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more