Fantasy Art with a Horror Twist
Sunday, July 8, 2012:
I make the hour-plus journey to conduct my first ever live interview. Not with one person. Not with a horror tandem. I’m headed to meet the incomparable Death Maidens. And I am nervous as all Hell.
What should I expect? What if they don’t like the questions? What if they aren’t very talkative? What if we never get there because the Mapquest directions completely sucked?
Pulling into the parking lot, my independent film enthusiast friend Eli and I made our way to the Death Maidens’ studio. And only a half hour late!
As we ascended the steps, the voices that would be greeting us in a few moments grew louder.
“Holy shit, there are going to be a lot of people here…” I muttered as I heard the door around the bend open. I wiped my palms on my jeans and took a deep breath.
Much to my relief, the other three questions digging into my mind like a rusty nail were answered instantly. And should I have expected anything less? We’re independent horror family members, damn it!
The effervescent Kaitlyn Sears, a member of the Death Maidens’ pioneering quartet and photographer, met me at the door with a smile that didn’t fade all evening and an invite into the studio.
Death Maidens co-founder Brandon Sears’ apartment actually doubles as the Death Maidens’ studio, and upon entry, I was immediately envious. With its incredibly high ceilings, double balcony lay-out and one of the living room walls consisting solely of brick, the place was the perfect site for a photography studio. The possibilities are endless and with the announcement that the Maidens would be working with not only the green screen but also props and backdrops in the future, there’s no doubt they’ve got the space to pull off some awesome future shoots.
I finally met Heather Dorsch, the proud mother of the Death Maidens, who I had gotten in touch with after Chicago’s Monster Mash-Up (June 22-24) and arranged this awesome interview with.
Dorsch and Sears, affectionately known as Koopa, are proudly representing the independent community. It isn’t about financial gain. It’s about doing what they love. As I chatted throughout the evening with them, the sparks in their eyes were flaming- these were two artists who had a deep affinity for their craft and a drive to carve their niche nice and deep into the art scene.
While the hors d’oeuvres and pleasantries were passed around, I quickly learned what the Death Maidens are all about- they are some of the kindest, most outgoing and dedicated women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Make no mistake- while the Maidens are all physically stunning, there is far more than meets the eye with these ladies. The Death Maidens represent a visually striking appreciation to the horror and dark fantasy genre. This isn’t a group of air-headed gals running around taking pictures haphazardly. Each lady has serious aspirations within the Death Maidens. As a staunch supporter of Women In Horror, it was an absolute pleasure talking with such extremely intelligent and career-driven women.
When the group was corralled into the living room to begin the interview session, I realized I was in my own little horror nirvana. I was going to spend the better part of the next hour discussing horror and independent determination with like-minded people who were just doing what they love.
If there was a cooler group of friends assembled on Sunday anywhere on this planet, I dare anyone to prove it to me.
Maiden models Nicolette Morí, Kaitlyn Sears, J.B., Brenda Perez, Diana Fernandez (lead make-up), Nina Soto, Shannon Dunne, Amy Porter, and Dollie Scanlan were joined by Brandon Sears, Heather Dorsch, Jonathon Santiago ( who portrayed Santa Clause in the Maidens’ 2011 Christmas Card ) and international horror enthusiast Morgan Legars for the chat. Camera woman Cameron Gibson is in the process of editing the interview she filmed for the Death Maidens’ official website and you can be damn sure the second it becomes available, I’ll be proudly posting in on here for all to see!
We discussed everything from the beginnings of the Death Maidens to the obstacles a photo shoot presents for each member of the shoot- model, make-up artist and photographer. I also learned that Shannon has ingested more fake blood and liquid latex than any human probably should.
Favorite horror films were enthusiastically rattled off ( from Hitchcock to Killer Klowns From Outer Space, while the topic of Dead Snow and Insidious dominated the evening off camera ) before the group hinted at some big events coming up in the near future. Be sure to keep an eye on the official DM website as well as here for the big announcements!
Brandon and the ladies also talked about their amazing shoot at the local haunted house, which just so happens to be in the same building complex as the Maidens’ studio!
Check out the first picture released from the ladies’ journey into ‘Dracula’s Castle’ at Elgin’s Psychosis Haunted House!
As the interview wrapped up, I sincerely thanked the ladies and gentlemen for their time. They had just made this horror junkie’s dream come true- his first live interview, and what an interview it was!
I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to Brandon Sears for his hospitality, Heather Dorsch for her making this interview come together, the Death Maidens for their enthusiasm and time, and Jonathon Santiago for the mutual affinity we share for awesome horror.
Be sure to check out the Death Maidens on Facebook!