Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monsters, Make-up & Me

"The monster was the best friend I ever had." ~ Boris Karloff

This is me in my Mom's makeup.  

I love monsters!  In fact, I am a monster or at least I have the soul of one.  

I was born the only grandchild on both sides of my family and for 15 years, maintained that coveted title.  Being an only child in a world of adults had a dramatic influence on me and I developed rather precociously.  Before I ever began school, I read at a 3rd grade level, stood over 5 feet tall and developed a plus size figure.  My folks settled in a small town where the community was predominately Scandinavian immigrant descent so when I walked into Kindergarten, I was a raven in a flock of doves, standing almost a foot taller than the other children and outweighed the biggest kid by 25 pounds.  To say I stood out would be an understatement.  My different-ness was my doom, ensuring torture from my peers.  It wasn't until I caught a Saturday afternoon Creature Feature that I was finally able to understand.  As Boris Karloff's monster ran fearfully from the raging villagers, I recalled myself running from classmates wielding sticks & rocks on the playground.  It had never occurred to me till that moment that I was ... a monster.  

Lon Chaney Sr.

After Frankenstein, I began devouring every monster film I could catch on TV.  Each time, relating to the poor, tortured creatures' pain then sobbing at their demise as the final credits rolled.  

The Book Mobile was a traveling library/bookstore that shuttled from school to school when I was a kid.  I have always loved to read and was so excited to board the bus with my allowance and see what wonderful paperback I could purchase.  One fateful day, I spotted a book with my beloved monsters on the cover.  "Movie Monsters" by Alan Orsmby changed my life.  The beginning was full of  famous monsters and the actors who portrayed them.  The last chapter was reserved for something truly special - full instructions on how to build your own theatrical makeup kit from common household items, along with details on how to recreate monster faces.  I had found my bible and Lon Chaney Sr. became my Messiah!

Author:  Alan Ormsby   

A little poster paint, some Elmer's Glue, Crisco shortening and a burnt cork became my best friends.  Along with a pair of plastic fangies, I could transform myself into anything I could conceive!  No longer an unwilling victim of being different, I chose what people saw, I chose to become a monster!  My makeup kit wasn't just dress up for Halloween either, although it became the perfect excuse, I wanted to be just like Chaney, I was the "Kid of 1000 Faces"!   My love of monsters and makeup evolved into a deep passion for cosmetics and fashion.  I was "Goth" before anyone ever thought of the term.  Enhanced by my education and experience in theater, being a monster is tattooed on my soul - I like it that way!

Elsa Lanchester as The Bride Of Frankenstein  

Fast forward to now - here I am - Ms. Angel Demon!  10 years ago, I created my webzine, Tenebrous, because I wanted to reach out to other monsters like myself.  Soon, I plan to launch a brick & mortar fortress for dark merchandise & create a venue for alternative tenebrous artists to share their craft.  The sky is the limit and I'm not stopping until I reach my monstrous nirvana!  Through it all, my most important objective is to let kids, who feel different, realize they are beautiful.  The scars I bear from those days on the playground are what make me special, my driving force to reach as far and as high as I can.   Yes, I am a great big, gorgeous, monster and wouldn't want to be anything else - grrr-arrgh!

Me as The Bride Of Frankenstein


Me as the Editor Of Tenebrous Magazine

No comments:

Post a Comment