Thursday, December 12, 2013

madame tussauds wax museum, hollywood


  

omg guys, wax museums are so weird. it's a museum filled with these totally life-like, life-sized famous people, and while the whole experience is unbelievably creepy, i kind of loved it. 

when we were in los angeles a couple of weeks ago, we made it a point to visit madame tussauds wax museum. rcg has a friend who works there, and not only would it be a good opportunity to visit with him, he was also excited to give us a personalized tour. the whole thing was amazing: we got to ask him questions about the wax figures and their celebrity counterparts and we saw some of the behind the scenes magic, including a not yet released wax selena gomez! (her head is huge, btw.)


 

 

   

here are some of the things we learned on the tour:
  • the wax figures are completely life-sized -- which means there are a lot of celebrities that are shorter than you may imagine (lady gaga, ryan reynolds, robert pattison) and some that are much taller (julia roberts, nicole kidman).
  • the wax figures come in parts from the original studio in london. 
  • many of the bodies are made from fiberglass, while the hands and faces/heads are made from wax.
  • all tattoos that the celebrities have are painted onto the wax figures as well, unless the figure is portraying a specific point in time or character, and then the tattoos aren't painted on so as to maintain that.
  • some wax figures have full genitalia (charlton heston) while others don't; they're more like a ken doll (david beckham).
  • all wax figures have on bras, underwear, socks, etc. where appropriate.
  • each wax figure has a look book, so that the artist can make sure to make them look as real as possible. the look book will have measurements, clothes samples, pictures of the celebrity, and paint chips. 
  • many of the wax figures are painted with outdoor paint so that it lasts longer without retouching.
  • because people can touch the wax figures as they walk through the museum, each morning, the artist at madame tussauds has to walk the exhibit and makes sure each figure looks good. if the figures need touching up, they're brought into the studio and fixed and put back on the floor. if they can't be fixed easily, then they're pulled from the floor entirely until they can be fixed. 
  • each wax figure has extra hands/arms and feet, and they're all lined up in the studio for easy replacing. they even have an extra head for toto, dorothy's dog.
  • it takes over 800 hours to create a wax figure. 

   

i know it's a weird thing to say, and not one that i ever thought that i would personally say, but you should definitely check out a madame tussauds, whether it's in hollywood or elsewhere (they have them all over the world). it was creepy, but awesome. the wax figures are like no other art i've ever seen, and they are most definitely art -- the skill and time that goes into making each masterpiece is amazing. i'm totally in awe of rcg's friend; he doesn't make the figures, but he maintains them, and that's definitely impressive.


 

6933 hollywood blvd
$26.95 /$19.95 for adults/children
(discounts for purchasing tickets online)
open 10am-7pm mon-fri, 10am-8pm sat & sun