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278 points / 30 people
SITE RELAUNCH 10/30/09
Hey, my name is Manzin. Manson and I go way back. I won't get into the dick-waving of who's been a fan the longest, but I've been a Manson fan since Sweet Dreams was in high MTV rotation. I didn't look quite so much like him then, but as he and his music grew on me, they grew in me too. I started out dressing as Manson for Halloween and for parties and people would come up to me on the street, so I thought I could encourage this sort of fun but increasing my attention to detail. After all, Manson is such a complex and carefully made creature himself that any copy of him needed to be a damned good one to do him any justice at all. I'd seen some really shit Mansons out there, people with the pancake clown white and the black scribbled lipstick as eyeliner. When I was starting out, I sucked and I have the pics to prove it. But I hit a growth spurt, lost weight, and kept practicing the makeup until I got it right. By the time I had the makeup and the clothes down, it didn't seem to matter whether I was wearing them or not. I could walk outside in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt and people would call me Manson. I considered it an honor and I tried to always behave somewhat appropriately to how I felt he would behave, or at least in a manner that wouldn't make him ashamed to have me doing what I do. That was my greatest fear, that he would be offended or find some fault in it. I did have the opportunity to meet with him in 2004 and while I don't want to say much about that, I will say that he lay all my fears to rest in only a few minutes' time.
My site initially launched in July of 2004 and was moved to www.manzin.net in May of 2005. The first photographs of me as Manson were taken in 1999 and the site is comprised of photos taken by myself and by other photographers over the past seven or eight years. By and large I do my own photography though I'm not averse to being photographed by others that I feel will capture what I set out to capture myself. I do my own makeup, design and update the site, and often make a good percentage of the clothes. I've also started to dabble in making short videos, which are viewable on YouTube. The most complicated of my costumes is the Archbishop from Disposable Teens (the embroidery took months) followed by the mesh Rock Is Dead bodysuit, which needs to be redone. I wore that outfit for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame's Rockstar Lookalike Contest in Cleveland in 1999 where I took first place. I'm not entirely sure where this will take me. I work as a photographer's assistant and also model in non-Manson venues, but I'm making no long term plans to "do" anything with my talent. Unfortunately though I do have his looks, I wasn't blessed with his singing voice, so a tribute band is out of the question for me and Manson isn't someone the Vegas impersonators groups would be interested in. Their loss, really. But I'm determined to make myself known.
It isn't easy to look like him. There's far more to it than just slapping on some makeup, as anyone can do that. You have to have a little something under your skin to make him really come through, to really shine. I've always felt a special kinship with the man, something that's grown stronger over the years and has been accentuated since my move from my hometown in northeast Ohio to Canton four years ago. There's a unique atmosphere here and almost everyone has a story about Manson or his family. (Note - I moved out of Canton in 2006 after a breakup with my ex.) Not everyone likes what I do. You would think I'd have a lot of supporters among Manson's fans, but I have almost an equal amount of people that seem to hate me for the way I look and for what I do. I've faced some pretty stiff opposition from some petty people who would love nothing more than for me to disappear. This has exactly the opposite effect and it only makes me more determined to take more pictures, to make more friends, to develop my photography and my video to greater heights, to reach more fans and to take them back to the time where Manson was less fashion and more filth and fury, and then to turn around and throw a little Holywood at them and finish off with a tailcoat and kid gloves. Manson has never failed to keep us entertained and now that his catalog of looks has grown over so many years, we need a reminder of where he's been to make us more grateful for where he is and who he is today. And I am that reminder.
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Friends and fans of MM are welcome to comment, add, and link to me as they see fit.
Marilyn Manson, androgynes, makeup, people who dress well, brain activity, horror novels, porn, various fetishes, photography, erotica and true crime novels, popcorn, meat, free thought, free will, subversion, perversion, drugs, sex, and everything my mother told me I shouldn't like.
Most people, militant religious types/vegetarians/, anyone who feels the need to tell me how to live my life, people who have rolled their eyes at any point up until now, those of you who will inevitably put me on one of those pages where you mock people like me, unemployment.
Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Bauhaus, Peter Murphy, Covenant, IAMX, PIG, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Radiohead, NIN (before With Teeth), She Wants Revenge