|"Live from the Los Angeles county morgue,
The Late Marilyn Monroe"
||My oldest son was staying with my mom one weekend. She was
turning her calendar over to August; it is one of the Marilyn
Monroe the ones that are sold at Wal-Mart every year. Sid stops
to look at it after he noticed that it had a new photo.
I was told that he looked very serious and ask his NaNa:
"Is that Amanda?"
NaNa asks "What?"
"Is that Amanda" he repeated.
"Your Mom?" NaNa said.
"Yes" said Sid, "Is that her?"
"No, that’s Marilyn."
"Who is that?"
"Well, your mom looks like her sometimes"
Sid turns back to the photo. "I've seen her with her hair
like that. Are you sure that is not her?"
"Well," NaNa started, "Have you ever seen your mom
with clothes like that on before?"
Sid looks very closely and replies: "Well, I know she has
never had any shoes like that!"
I love him so much.
||I once had a mental health professional tell me that I had a
"Marilyn Monroe" complex. I thank her and told her that was
one of the nicest things anyone had every said to me!
And she replied: "Dear, you do know that’s a bad thing?"
The one comment I remember getting about my "looks" the
most growing up was my "Beauty Mark". As long as I could
remember someone has notice that I have the same signature
mark. I got so upset about the regular comparison, that I scratch
it off one day when I was about six! My mother was so afraid that
I had "disfigured" my face! But to her joy, and my aggravation, it
came back just the same as it was before. But few people ever
notice is that it is on the opposite side of the face.
When I was eight years old, I woke up in the middle of the night
to find my mom sitting in the living room watching an old
"Marilyn" documentary. So I climb into her lap and saw the most
beautiful woman I had even seen. The next day I gave my first
performance as "Marilyn Monroe"! In a pink 70's prom dress
and with neon blue plastic 80's "pumps", I danced around the
kitchen while singing "Diamond Are A Girls Best Friend".
By the time I was ten, I had seen all her hit movies and could sing
her most known songs. And I didn't stop with her movies. My
mom would tape any documentary or movie based on her life. I
knew all about the men in her life. Jim Baker, "Uncle" Joe,
Johnny Hyde, Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, John F. Kennedy,
Bobby Kennedy... But most of all I knew that the one man she
wanted in her life was her father, as did I.
So many things in my life were so similar to things that haunted
her in her life. And this is what made me fall in love with her.
Down in Galveston, right off of the "Strand" is The Peanut Butter
Warehouse. And on her lunch breaks, my mother would go and
buy me Marilyn prints, lovely glossy photos of her to hang in my
room. Once she got me the Marilyn paper doll book. It had an
outfit from every movie she had ever done. I begged her to cut
them out for me to play with. But she said that it wasn't really to
play with, just to look at. But I begged her so much that she did.
And I still have them put away somewhere.
I would spend hours playing with my paper dolls, or laying in my
bed looking at the beautiful glossy black and whites.
One day my mom found a dress that looked just like Marilyn's in
"7 Year Itch". And she spent the next few months trying to talk
me into dress up as her for Halloween. But after seeing "Finding
Graceland", I saw how Bridget Fonda looked nothing like her,
but made a very convincing "Marilyn Monroe". So at the last
minute I got up my nerve and went out with my mom. As she
dragged me from contest to contest, I won one after another.
And started a new "job" as a "Low Rent Marilyn".
I would dress up for birthday parties to sing "Happy Birthday". I
waited tables at less than respectable night clubs. (Usually in my
bare feet) But I was a young mother with a little one to feed, and
this was a fun way to pay the bills.
I had a lot of fun being her for the night. I loved to come back
into the club after I performed in my "every day" clothes, and no
one knows it was the same girl. I never did think I looked a lot
like her. But I had always dream of being her, and knew how she
moved, talked, and sang. And all of that together gave a real nice
effect. Even with that terrible wig! But more so I think it was just
the aura of "Marilyn" that people found so convincing. Just
representing who she was and what she still means to people was
all I really need to fill her dress.
(Note about the wig: I joke that the more you look at the photos,
the worst the wig gets over the years! This is mostly because the
first time I dressed up of Marilyn it was so last minute that we
had no time to find a good wig. I couldn't use my own hair
because when my first child was a baby, I kept my hair shaved or
very short. With a new baby and working, it was much easier
that way! And at the last minute all we could find was one that
was no longer in its package and looked like it had been kick
around the floor! I finally left that wig on the floor of the The
Fabulous Satellite Lounge.)
But I always felt like I was "nude" in her skin. I would spend the
night trying to very nicely tell men to keep their hands to them
self. Having to keep them from putting their hands where they
shouldn't, stop them from looking up my dress or trying to kiss
So, I became sick of it. And at the same time I thought how sad it
was that her image was remember in this way. As if, by becoming
her it was okay to act in this manner! This is how she is thought
of? Just some dumb sex pot? Was this how she was treated? I
knew she was much more than this.
It always amazed me that someone so beautiful and talented
could think so little of herself. And maybe this had a little to do
In 2001 I met Kali Verra and Johnny Ace. I signed on to the "1st
Annual Kreepy Kustom & Kasket Kuties Show". Kali asked me if
I would ever think of doing a "Dead" Marilyn... And I had for
some time! But had never found the right "place" to do it. So, she
was born! The love child of His Ruin, Wip Kitten Amanda and
the Mad Doctors at Johnny Ace Studios! With the help of
SeveredThreads "Dead Marilyn" sang "My Heart Belongs To My
Deaddy" with a bloody hole in her chest and a bleeding heart in
All proceeds of the show went to help abandon and abused
This Marilyn isn't to make fun of the late Ms. Monroe. I "killed"
her to put the end to the "dumb sex pot". To "killed" the image
that has been used to exploit her over and over again. I wanted
to kill the "Hollywood" Marilyn. That’s what really killed her in
life... Dead Marilyn is a one woman show, (With the help of a few
friends!) And the can be booked for any undead event!
*Wip Kitten Amanda works in and around the
Houston, Texas area