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Human Drag

Human Drag

Tomorrow I start my new job as a living history professor with The Maritime Museum of San Diego. The position appealed to me, in that it both requires one to act as an educator and a thespian at the same time. We recreate life aboard a 19th century sailing vessel (namely San Diego’s own Star of India) for students, who spend the night aboard. Each student is assigned the role of a green hand sailor, and is treated to all the rigors that a real hand might have known during a sea voyage in days of yore.

In my day to day life, I generally prefer to wear masks, rather than attempt to blend in with the human populace. However, this position does not afford me that luxury. It is for that reason, that I’ve spent the week experimenting with human drag, or trying to make myself look passably human. It requires a tremendous amount of patience, and grease paint, but I’m pleased with the end results.

I searched the internet in the hopes of finding tips and tricks, only to sadly discover most make-up tutorials largely focus on making oneself look like a living doll or other such nonsense. This of course was unacceptable. Finally, I stumbled upon this vintage Yves Saint Laurent ad, and I said to myself…now there’s a dapper lad!


Of course, finding a reference picture is the easy part. The real challenge comes in actually recreating the effect on an admittedly less than ideal canvas. The results are as follows:

Here’s the before:marcosmile

and here’s the after.

Photo on 10-1-13 at 11.03 AM

Yes, I know, it’s far from flawless, but hopefully it will prove passable enough to keep the youngsters from running in fear. The most difficult part is the hair, which has to be painted on with a latex and acrylic blend in three different shades. I may splurge and buy myself a nice hat instead. I do so love hats.

Photo on 10-1-13 at 10.59 AM

So, wish me luck in my new vocation. Hopefully, I’ll be able to transition seamlessly in as one of the crew.



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