Ken Hermann's Behind The Mask Collection Will Leave You With Mixed Feelings

Our favorite characters unmasked... - 4 years ago by

It’s a well-known fact that the people in Disneyland that are dressed as our favorite characters from our beloved shows cannot at any point during the day take off their costumes or at least their masks no matter what. Now some of may say that that’s a little harsh decision and may even start thinking of the Disney executives as tyrants but have you ever imagined what will happen to your 6 year old daughter or son if they see Mickey Mouse’s head come off while he is enjoying the time of his life. Believe me no one wants that kind of emotional damage!  

But for Ken Hermann this became very interesting. He was sent on an assignment in Los Angeles and while he was there, all those masked people pretending to be the characters we all adore, who spend their days on Hollywood boulevard taking pictures with tourists for money made a great impression on him. He then had the idea to shoot the series called “Behind the Mask” in order to show everyone exactly who is under the costume.

Here’s how he described the inspiration for his fascinating work: “While in Los Angeles, I stayed at a hotel close to the Hollywood Boulevard. Walking down the Boulevard every day I became fascinated with the street artists who work as impersonators dressing up as Hollywood icons and pose with tourists for tips. I became curious about who these street artists who spend so much time and effort imitating someone else really are, and my idea for the series ‘Behind the Mask’ came to life.”

Getting to see the faces behind the masks of some of the greatest movie and comic book characters of all time like Superman, Darth Vader, Spiderman, The Mad Hatter from Alice in wonderland and even Minnie Mouse and Chewbacca is both amusing and bemusing, kind of messing with the senses but is definitely an experience like no other. 

 

Darth Vader — Joe

“Joe is a full-time actor and dresses up like this to get some extra money”

 

Spider-Man – Rashade Rouse

“Rashade is one of the many Spiderman-dressed people on the Boulevard, but the only black Spider-Man on a skateboard you will ever see.”

 

Superman — Javier Francisco

“Javier comes all the way from Spain, and he has had quite a lot of problems — there’s another Superman on the Boulevard and they’ve been been fighting for the coveted position for a long time now.”

 

Bumblebee — Victor Borboa

“Victor is a full-time electrician and he is just doing the whole costume thing for fun. The whole idea came from a competition that his son had in his school. He's been doing it ever since at least twice a week!”

 

Charlie Chaplin — Tobias Santiago

“Tobias is pretty old — he was one of the first characters on the Boulevard and has his own corner. He’s been acting there for 15 years and is very well respected by the others.”

 

Popeye — Ramses Zavola

“How do you comment that..?!”

 

Chewbacca — Jabari Farrow

“Jabari is the youngest of them all. He is 21 and is a full time student who is just looking for some extra help with cash.”

 

Minnie Mouse — Milagro Aguiar

“I chose her because I wanted some of the classic characters. The funny thing is that Milagro didn’t remove the head until before the actual pictures were taken…which took me by surprise.”

 

Captain Boulevard — Jason Huges

“Captain Boulevard is a homemade superhero character who told us that him and his friend Solar Flare (another homemade super hero) was living on the street.”

 

Mad Hatter — Jason

“Jason was already acting in Australia and moved to L.A. when he won the green card lottery. He now has a full-time job as an impersonator, where he plays different characters — like the Mad Hatter.”

 

Marilyn Monroe — April Q. Russell

“April goes by ‘Black Marilyn of Hollywood Boulevard.’ She only does this part time; she’s a full-time producer.”