Grunge: Day 3

It was my last day in grunge but I wasn’t going to end this project quietly, I was going to go out with a bang!

Encounter 1:  I had a busy day ahead of me full of traveling, helping with photo shoots, and studying for finals somewhere in between.  I was on the road by 9am to help Mike set up for a shoot in Lakewood.  He failed to mention that this shoot was 1.  A family portrait  2.  Was at someones house  3.  And old people would be there.  I was in costume at a random persons house and I probably scared Great-Grandma.  Yes I was mortified…  I eventually got over my embarrassment and helped set up the backdrop and lighting for the family portrait.  Great-Grandma kept eyeing me, I caught her numerous times!  The lighting had to be tested so I was the guinea pig, these were taken as sample pictures I did not pose nor did I expect these to make it to the final cut.

When I go grunge, I only do it on the weekends and I make sure that I scare Great-Grandma in the process by Mike M Images

Smeared makeup, high waisted jeans, Pearl Jam t-shirt… Yea, I think I finally nailed it. By Mike M Images

The shoot went by really fast, it was the setting up and breaking down that took the longest.  The family (minus Great-Grandma) did not give me funny looks or treat me any differently, they were all really nice.  Before I left I told them I was in character and don’t normally dress like this.  I think they were relived to know that I was not a crazy person.  After this shoot we had to go to Downtown Disney (next to Disneyland) to do another photo shoot, yes another freaking family portrait.

Encounter 2:  So we’re in Downtown Disney, OK I AM DEFINITELY GOING TO GET WEIRD LOOKS HERE right?  I went up to the hostess at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen to test out my theory.  I got minor elevator eyes but was seated promptly in the bar next to the live band in front of a pillar (wtf).  I left to use the ladies restroom.  When I came back out to wash my hands, the lady next to me said I was missing Mickey ears on my beanie.  Eh, I’m at Downtown Disney valid point.  As I walked back to the table I scoured the room for sour looks.  I got none in return.  The waitress had served Mike promptly but took a while to come back and get my order.  It was busy, not jumping the gun here.  Needless to say the only thing interesting here was the live band.

Pillar and live band to my left, bar to my right.

After brunch we waited for the next family at the Disneyland Hotel….and waited….and waited…  And then something amazing happened!  I ran into one of my buddies from Sacramento!  It was a relief to see a familiar face but at Downtown Disney of all places what are the chances?  I didn’t take a picture with him but a candid one was taken of me while we (you guessed it) waited.

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, Disneyland has gone grunge!

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, Disneyland has gone grunge!  By Mike M Images

It was really hard for me to leave my makeup alone and not touch it up but by the third day I was golden!  By Mike M Images

It was really hard for me to leave my makeup alone and not touch up but by the third day I was golden! By Mike M Images

Turns out they didn’t know there were two different Disney hotels but we eventually met up with the family at the California Lodge to take their portrait.  They were younger and had smaller children than the last family.  I was relived because this time there was no setting up and breaking down just shooting.  My sole job was to hold the flash.  Winning!

Encounter 3:  The Mom noticed my shirt and even complimented me on it.  I was caught off guard and I even think I said something like.  Really?  She went on to say that it was one of her favorite bands.  I admitted to her that I was in costume and was a Pearl Jam poser.  A few minutes later after the Dad was done getting the baby out of the stroller he mentioned that I would get along with his wife because we both liked Pearl Jam.  D’oh.

After the portraits, Mike and I headed back out to Downtown Disney to take some final shots before the grunge outfit goes into retirement.

The beanie was itchy, and the shirt had to come out.  I was so ready to be done for the day.  By Mike M Images

The beanie was itchy, and the shirt had to come out. I was so ready to be done for the day. By Mike M Images

I have no clue what I'm doing but I obviously got someones attention.  By Mike M Images

I have no clue what I’m doing but I obviously got someones attention. By Mike M Images

This is my favorite picture.  Going out with a bang, Semper out!  By Mike M Images

This is my favorite picture out of the whole project I look genuinely crazy.  By Mike M Images

Places visited:  Clients home (Lakewood), Downtown Disney (Anaheim), Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen (Anaheim), Disneyland Hotel (Anaheim), California Lodge (Anaheim).

Total:  5 hours 30 minutes

I spent a total of 20 hours in character but most importantly my poor stomach survived the whole weekend being stuck in those jeans!  Even though the weather had been overcast and rainy, Los Angeles has yet to get cold enough for layers hence this being a popular look for colder areas like Seattle.

I learned that grunge really isn’t as dramatic as it was depicted out to be and I was not treated differently.  People did not look twice at me and I blended in for the most part.  I did find it funny that a lot of people on Facebook liked my “grunge” look better than what I normally wear and I was amused when I got checked out twice by two different men.  I also got a lot of complements from my friends when I wore black eyeshadow on day 2, I guess less isn’t more.  Interesting fact:  I heard a few different renditions of Nirvana’s 1991 hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” everyday I was in costume, talk about freaky!

So, would I do it again?  Yes but I’d rather do a different subculture of rock like goth or punk so I could get the full experience of what it’s like to be stared at and feared by children 🙂

Shout out to Bel Kazan, Mike McKay of Mike M Images, Sara Villegas, my Facebook friends and my followers on Instagram.  I couldn’t have done it without you, THANK YOU!

Grunge: Day 1

I’m on the far left and to the right are my two best friends.  This is what I normally look like.  My look consists of thick bangs, ombre hair, minimal makeup, jeans, t-shirt, and statement making sneakers.   Keep this in mind while reviewing my alter ego project.

Semper n Lindas

It was overcast, raining, gloomy and I was in no mood to get out of bed.  I had my internship today so I had to get up and make my way to Echo Park.  Good thing I was short on time because I was forced to put 80% less effort into getting ready.  Showered (against non-written grunge rules), blow dried my hair and messed it up with hairspray (another no-no), put on eyeshadow with a q-tip (finally got something right), and put on my costume for the day (yes they were clean, don’t haze me).  Ok, game face on.  LET’S DOOOOOO THIS!

The outfit:  Punk legend black t-shirt, white long sleeve shirt worn underneath, oversized plaid button up long sleeve shirt, GUESS high waisted jeans, and black high top Converse.  The whole outfit came from three different thrift stores (Goodwill Pasadena, Salvation Army Pasadena, Goodwill San Diego) and cost about $20 altogether.

Semper in Grunge

My jeans are so high and uncomfortable that I couldn’t help but laugh.  Awkward clothes, and an equally awkward smile

Encounter 1:  Walked to my car.  Someone I have never seen before was watching me, hard!  It was very uncomfortable but I looked right back at him  -____-

Encounter 2:  I did not tell anyone at my internship that I was going to dress up.  I used them as my guinea pigs, sorry guys!  I kept quiet and hoped they would say something…  Nothing.  The excitement was too much so I asked the executive assistant if she noticed anything different about the way I was dressed.  Her reaction, “you got a haircut?”  I do give her the benefit of the doubt because my hair was full of volume instead of being straightened like I normally do.  But no, I did not get the reaction I hoped for.  She did admit that I looked like a chola.  I laughed, then realized my costume was a flop.  Still determined, I stayed in character and waited for the owner to show up.  Like before, I stayed quiet and did my work.  Waited, waited, waited…  Nothing.  Gahhhhh!  So I finally asked my boss if I looked different.  She also said that I looked like a chola.  Ok I suck at life, 2 chola responses and no grunge guesses.  I must be doing something wrong!  I thought about it and I have come to this conclusion…  I was dressed in a oversized brown, black, white plaid shirt and Converse.  Total chola!  Wrong plaid Semper…  Even though today was pretty much a fluke I was able to test out the costume and work out the kinks.

I’m famous!  This is the same picture that was used in my internships blog post, check it out here!

Semper in Grunge

I started off the day with my hair down. As soon as I started working it had to go up. I look more hipster than grunge in this picture. It was the buns fault!

Places visited:  Burger King (Echo Park), Bel Kazan (Echo Park), and the Post Office (Alhambra).

Total:  9 hours



For my final project I will be embodying grunge!  I chose to embody this music subculture  because of many reasons…

  • I was in elementary school when grunge was at the peak of its popularity so the closest I got to experiencing it was through movies and music.  For me it was “Wayne’s World”, “Clueless”, No Doubt, and Alanis Morissette.  I never really got into Nirvana or Sound Garden, yes, seriously.  I was born in 1987, so I didn’t get to experience the 90’s as adult, now I have the opportunity to do finally do it!
  • It was my culture shock when I moved to Los Angeles.  The first bar I went to in LA was called Cha Cha’s in Silverlake.  I felt like I had walked into the 90’s, it was very surreal…  It made sense later when someone told me it was a hipster bar but I still don’t get what a hipster is.  That was another thing I wanted to look into.  If I dress in grunge, will I look like a hipster or a bum?  For those of you who don’t wtf a hipster is click here.
  • It wasn’t until recently that I found out Marc Jacobs was influenced by grunge and brought this to the runway.  Grunge made a fashion statement that went from the street to the runway.  So I’m curious to see what inspired Jacobs and where grunge stemmed from.

Cliff notes:  I will immerse myself in grunge, learn about the history, music, and influence it had on pop culture.

I am currently working on compiling my costume.  Believe it or not, Levi’s from the Goodwill cost $16.  Yes, even if they’re ripped and have the same cut like they did in the 90’s.  Also, Doc Martin lace up boots are back in style so they’re fetching for a pretty penny.

Inspiration for my alter ego…

The band Hole, front woman Courtney Love

The band Nirvana

The band Nirvana, front man Kurt Cobain

Marc Jacobs interpretation of grunge

Marc Jacobs interpretation of grunge, is that Naomi Campbell?

Waynes World, the perfect bridge between metal and grunge

Waynes World, the perfect bridge between all genres of rock

Please note, I am not going for Courtney Love heroin chic it’s more along the lines of Kurt Cobain Seattle grunge.