Friday, August 12, 2011

My own scissorhands

I was the kid that was always chosen last for P.E. class teams. It wasn't for a lack of trying to be athletic. In fact, I joined several team sports growing up. At 6, I did soccer and scored for the other team; at 12 I played softball and never once hit the ball; at 14 I joined the freshman basketball team and froze whenever anyone would pass me the ball during practice which won me the bench every single game; at 16 I joined the track team where I was forced to run the 400 and would be at the head of the pack for the first 300 meters until I ran out of steam and consistently placed dead last. I was just a klutzy scrawny daydreamer--never qualities any sports team is looking for. If benching it had been my only problem, however, I wouldn't have searched for acceptance. I was emotionally tormented for my athletic shortcomings and made to feel insignificant. Eye rolls and jabs at my intelligence left me humiliated and barely able to stand the locker room pretentiousness. I knew I had other talents, but telling the other kids about these other gifts was pointless. They were determined to make me feel like an outsider, and it became up to me to invest my time into an avenue where I could succeed. I found my acceptance as an actress with the other theater rats.

I was 11 when I went with my Mom to see the movie Edward Scissorhands. I remember wanting to discuss every detail about this movie. I was astonished at the imagination of the creator of this film. I found Edward so beautiful...and it wasn't because he was Johnny Depp. It was because he seemed violent and awkward to the outside world, but his heart was gentle. There were certain people in the community that refused to see him as anything but a deserving outsider, but his kindness and naivete warmed the hearts of others. They recognized him for the unique talents (i.e. ice and topiary sculpture) he did have as opposed to rejecting him for what he lacked. This man that made such a wonderfully vulnerable robot character was Tim Burton.

Discovering that Tim Burton was having an exhibit at LACMA, I decided a peak into his bewildering mind would be such a fascinating time. A career of sketches beginning when he was 16 filled several rooms devoted to his art, and other rooms had sculptures molded and painted into some of the creatures he had doodled. My favorite room, of course, was devoted to the development of Edward Scissorhands with the crowning focal point being the original costume. The detail was incredible--numerous fabrics, strings, ribbons, zippers, buckles, safety pins, brackets, and even key holes with old fashioned keys on the back of his boots. These intricate elements of his costume translate the complexities of his character. Sometimes it's the distinctive things we wear that relay the specialness within, but usually it's a sense of acceptance that allows our individuality to shine.

Apparel for my museum outing: 1980's vintage turquoise and cream striped tank sweater; black COOP skirt from Urban Outfitters; white anklet socks from American Apparel; leopard heels from H&M; 1950's black and cream straw purse.

Close-up on heels

LACMA view from Wilshire Blvd.

Exhibit entry

Tim Burton

Chronology of this creative director and artist's career. 1971-present.

Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp.

Tim Burton's sketches as he was creating Edward.

Edward Scissorhand's costume.

Amazing details...I could have looked at this for an hour.

Edward Scissorhand's hands.

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