“DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS” Behind The Scenes of Monroeland
This is the time of year to be thankful for all that we have and our successes. This year, I want to acknowledge and express my appreciation for everyone that makes Monroe-land Mag possible.
First off, I would like to thank all the followers of my work. Your constant support fuels me everyday to create the imagery I produce.
Secondly, every single model I have ever shot and those I will shoot in the future. You display such confidence working with me and allowing me to bring my images to life. This thank you letter would not be complete or even necessary without thanking my staff. Their hard work, amazing talents and long hours make what we do so successful.
My assistants Bridger Clements, Josef Jasso and Jarett Fajardo. The various members of my glam squad Melanie Mason (MU), Eric Allan (MU), Mike “The Make Up Guy” Mosser (MU), Candice Chan (Hair), Lisa and Lee Berczel (Body Painting), Nelly Ricchia (Body Painting) and Marina Toybina (Fashion Designer).
An extra special thank you goes out to Mark Sutherland our number one Monroe-land fan
Lastly a very big thank you goes to all those that have given me public exposure through there publications and online publications. My sincere gratitude to Beautiful Mag, Gay Times, Whats Happening, Odyssey Magazine, Frontier Magazine, Pulp Magazine, Ester Goldberg, QueerMeNow, Perez Hilton, Ethan Says, Muzophile, Dudetubeonline, Queerporn Nation, Parisian Boys, Tony On The Web, and Micheal Kane. I look forward to sharing more of Monroe-land with you in 2012.
Monroe-land’s interview with Make up Diva Eric Allen
JM: Out of all the different artistic avenues you could have chosen, why did you chose make up as your profession?
EA: When I was a child I always dreamed of being a fashion designer. I would sketch gowns for my girlfriends and critique my mother’s outfits. That dream was consistent through my college years studying at FIDM and then onto Otis Parsons as a fashion design major. Unfortunately, there was only one problem; I could not sew or create a pattern to save my life. Production pattern making was my nemesis. I loathed it so much it completely changed my desires to be the next great couturier. So I sort of stop going to school in my third year; oops! When my parents discovered that I as M.I.A from school the first words out my father’s mouth were, “You must get a job!” . Luckily, I good friend of mine was working at an up and coming hair care company named Sebastian International. She got me a job in customer service and in between my phone calls I would peek downstairs at their artistic team playing in makeup with glamorous models and such. I was hooked! I could nurture my fashion dreams yet use my artistic skills I honed at Art school. So to make a long story short, makeup chose me I did not choose it.
JM: Have you ever done Drag? If yes, what was your drag name?
EA: Yes I have been known to work a lash now and then. Back in my Dragstrip 66 days I was known as “Chocolate Shake”.You and I have done many shoots together my friend, Infact we have grown up together what is the best and worst part of working with me?
Well let’s start with the worst. Your imagination is the Sodom and Gommorah of the modern age and when I get a graphic oration of what will attempt to shoot together I say yes yes but then when I hang up the phone I say out loud to myself, “Did he just say he wanted me to paint the baby Jesus as Ziggy Stardust?”. But what I must say is that the worst is also the best because you challenge me out of my world of pretty makeup and strict standards of beauty into a world that I could never imagine on my own.
JM: What celebrities faces have you painted? and whos face do you dream of making magnificent?
EA: I’ve worked with Jennifer Holiday and Kimberly Locke,; videos for Chris Brown, Bow Wow, Usher, Sean Combs and with Katy Perry’s camp for AMA’s to name a few. I would love to reinvent Sade’. She is perfect as is but with her bone structure being so lovely, the possibilities would be endless.
JM: What do you think was the most outrageous look you have had to pull off for one of our images or another photographer?
EA: My favorite shoot with you was the Three Little Piggies shoot where I gave them sparkling black big heads complete with snouts. I loved that day especially when one of the models covered in urine and saliva after the shoot said, “I understand the piggy concept but why did you paint us black”, and I said , “Because black piggies have bigger cocks”. Good times.
JM: On a serious note, I know last year you unfortunately lost your father, where do you find the strength to keep moving forward and keep his spirit alive?
EA: I never thought I would be a survivor of a parent who committed suicide. In one moment I was in a family unit complacent and comforted in the roles one has grown into over the years and then a moment later those roles were destroyed. I had to tell my mother her husband had took his life, take care of a sister who had complications that we dealt with the previous year, and take over intricate finances my father solely handled. The last words my father said to me was, “You are the man of the family now”. I did not understand those words at the time or rather I thought it more of father son banter. This was the most traumatic time of my life but looking back at it all, without thinking, I pretty much dealt with everything; honestly I cannot remember much of that time. My immediate family including my close circle of friends whom I consider family kept me very busy and did not leave me time to think there was any other option than to persevere. The one thing that lets me sleep at night, although there is not a minute in the day I do not see my father’s face in my mind, is that I was able to spend intimate time as an adult with him. He was brilliant; an actual rocket scientist and not the proverbial one. My cousins would always joke with me because they thought my father was a spy because he worked with government contracts about which he could not speak. There was a slight distance between my dad and me in my teenage years with the whole gay thing. But the two years I was able to spend with him through his illness allowed me to like him as a person and not only love him as my father. He also gained a new respect for me and considered me his pal. This time with him man has given me strength to carry on.
JM: What would you say has been the happiest moment in your life?
EA: I truly have too many to pick the happiest. I will tell you one in honor of my dad. When I swam AAU my best stroke was butterfly. I did well at meets for my team but there was this boy Bobby Beldocci who was the Michale Phelps of the circuit at the time. He would always beat me in every heat I raced against him. One time I was part of the 100 im relay and he was swimming my stroke for the other team. During the relay our team had a slight lead and when I dove into the water my father was on the sidelines yelling stroke, stroke, stroke. Each breath I took I could see him following me down the length of pool yelling go, stroke. I had never seen this before. He was so understated and reticent in every situation. He was with with me the entire race. When we ultimately did not win my father ran over to me put me on his shoulders in front of everyone and told me how proud he was of me. I was trying to be a cool pre-teen and I acted like I did not appreciate his spectacle of me but I was elated. I was able to tell him this story not too long ago and he smiled with a twinkle in his eye.
JM: Who is the love of your life?
EA: I think I’ve been an open book through this interview. Some things I like to keep private.
JM: What inspires you to do the type of work you do, where do you pull your inspiration from?
EA: I pull my inspiration from food, I love to cook; nature, I am closet horticulturalist; weird stuff like the shape of someone’s nostrils or their nailbeds; color, or the lack of color. Most importantly, I am inspired by all things that are not related to makeup artistry. I like to take myself out of the cosmetics and into the shapes and the person in front of me. I am inspired to do what I’m doing because it’s always new and sometimes when I pick up my makeup brushes I plan for my creation to look a certain way but then it morphs into something else and I dig that.
JM: What is next for Eric Allen? What are we gonna be seeing next from you?
EA: I like to go with the flow. I’ve been shooting a lot over the past few months. You can see some of my work in Vogue Italia this coming spring. I taking a cruise in October and I’m open to what life brings me when I get back!