Vincent Impersonators










Lisa Gould


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests.

I've always done artwork; I enjoy working with clay and other 3D media to create sculptures.


Do you have a background in costume design and/or make-up application such as theater?

I’m a self-taught artist, including doing costuming and prosthetic makeup. All my costumes and makeup were made by myself, by the method of trial and error. Over time, I found out what works, and went with it until I got the makeup and costumes the way I wanted them.



When did you decide to impersonate Vincent and why? Was there something about Vincent's character that prompted you to impersonate him? Which process did you follow to create the makeup and the costume?

I had been doing Star Trek cons for quite some time (before B&B) and did a Vulcan make-up and costume for those cons. When I saw B&B for the first time, I was immediately drawn to Vincent. Why was he so different? I never found that out, but I thought he looked really neat! Then, after a bit, I wondered if I could do the lion-face. During this time, I watched B&B regularly and kept working on the makeup. There were very few good photos to use as references, but I finally got a face I could use. Then I concentrated on the costumes. I’ve done several that I consider re-creations and others that have a “Vincent feel” to them, as something he might have worn. Also, I must say that it was an experience to make all of it–masks, gloves, teeth, and costumes. I hand-sew everything, and I learned a great deal about sewing, as I used no patterns. The most difficult aspect of costuming was finding accurate colors and kinds of fabrics and leather. So, while most of the costumes are re-creations, there are some parts that are not quite exact.


What materials, appliances and make-up do you use?

Unlike foam latex (which is lighter) silicone sealant is much stronger, so that is what my masks are made of.


How long does it take to transform yourself into Vincent?

The make-up process is about an hour–the teeth go in first, then the mask goes on. After that, the wig and gloves (since Vincent has furry fingers). I also use blue contact lenses.



Click on the picture to see step by step, 

the process that Lisa follows to create her Vincent.


When the transformation is complete, how do you feel? Is Vincent there with you?

It’s kind of weird, but as the make-up process goes on, I can gradually feel a change in myself that begins to reflect the character of Vincent, with the mannerisms, walk, and actions of the beast we all identify with. I believe that, to a great extent, “the clothes make the man” or, in this case, the beast.



Did you or do you participate in any costume contests at the BATB conventions or elsewhere? What is that like? If you participate in things other than Beauty and the Beast events, what are the responses there?

I have worn the Vincent costume at Star Trek cons in the past, and reactions were favorable–as it is at the B&B cons.


Can you tell us a little bit about your general experiences at conventions? What was the most memorable experience you’ve had dressed as Vincent? The funniest? The most bizarre?

The most amusing thing is what reactions I get when I walk into the ladies room! An unexpected visitor from the mundane point of view. People generally expect the person under the mask to be a guy, and are at least surprised it isn’t. At South of Oz, I got to meet Ron Perlman while in makeup–even he thought I was a guy!


When was the last time you impersonated Vincent?

I do Vincent at each B&B con. I enjoy the fact that it makes the con more enjoyable for others. After all, what’s a B&B con without a few tunnel people?



Stu Shef  



Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests.

I was born in Hollywood, CA. My first home is now under a runway at Los Angeles International Airport. After that we moved to Pacific Palisades (the cliffs over Malibu CA), and then to Newport Beach CA (in Orange County -- the O.C. on TV). Then my family moved to the Washington DC area in 1970. My Dad was a rocket engineer (nosecones, rocket motor exhaust, and tailfins), my older brother became an electrical engineer, my mom was an artist and Realtor -- so I got a dual degree in Architecture and Planning.

In 1967, I was in a pilot program to teach computer programming to students and was 'hooked'. In the distant past I have run restaurants, managed electronics stores, sold computers, and even owned a car 'detailing' shop (blah phooey). In the eighties, I was the 'Architect for the CIA' (yes the spy guys) in which I provided architectural services and project management for the headquarters building and a vast array of 'out buildings'.

In the nineties, I focused on computer programming and analysis -- typically working on FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and Military contracts. My software is at every military site in the country and had[has?] been supporting airports like LaGuardia, JFK, National/Reagan, and others. In addition some of my software tracked all of the Air Traffic Controllers for Congressional review after the PATCO strike in which Pres. Reagan replaced all of the controllers.

In 2001, I shifted to another new career -- Real Estate. This permitted some flexibility in scheduling my work hours as we prepared to adopt a child. Deborah and I had been looking into adoptions since the mid-1990's -- we first worked to adopt an eastern European war refugee child, and later focused on Russian adoptions. But, my security clearances stopped all of that from proceeding. Then in 2002 we aimed at local/domestic adoptions. We spent years getting approved and selected. First, for 3 boys in Connecticut -- but our local intermediary stopped the deal as they thought three boys was too much for new parents. Then a brother and sister in Florida -- but in the middle of the night the kids were shuffled off to the 2nd family in line when one of the foster parents went off to the emergency room gravely ill (the authorities did not know that we were only 40 miles away on vacation, and preferred to send the kids 400 miles to the 2nd family rather than 700 miles to our home). Then we worked with a little girl from Florida -- after months of biweekly visits to be with her in Florida driving 1600 miles round trip each time, she came to stay with us, but the contractual details failed to be resolved between Florida and Virginia and the deal was called off to our disappointment and the child's despair.

I was called back to the FAA in early 2006 to cover for a gravely ill programmer/analyst/DBA who eventually succumbed. So I can basically say that I am working full time with the FAA and doing Real Estate on the side now.

My interests are photography, my 5 dogs (4 American Eskimos and an adopted ShibaInu/Pomeranian rescued from a real estate divorce case), computers, trains and model trains (with a little car restoration thrown in). I have also spent the last 10 years renovating our home -- I do all the trades -- structural and finish carpentry, drywall, plumbing, gas, electrical, tile, HVAC and ducts, and custom cabinetry from scratch.


Do you have a background in costume design and/or make-up application such as theater?

I did set design in high school as an offshoot of architecture. I was also lead on the light and sound crews in high school. And, did theatre lighting while in college in the 70's at the University of Maryland. While there, I bought the theatre's old 'theatre' (pipe)organ for $200, and had it carted over to the dormitory. I then spent the next 3 years of spare time restoring it -- left it there after I graduated as it was way too big to bring home, and then sold it a couple of years later. It was said that I 'had the biggest organ on campus' -- I never did figure out why there was so much giggling and pointing at me!


When did you decide to impersonate Vincent and why? What do you most enjoy about it?

By the end of the first half hour of the first episode I knew that the 'noble savage' within the Vincent character was something that had appealed to me throughout any literature classes that I had taken -- and that this was a character that was in me just under the surface.


Was there something about Vincent's character that prompted you to impersonate him?

The interaction that Vincent has with the world above attracts me most. The longing to enjoy what others take for granted has a bittersweet appeal.


Who designed and made your costume?

I designed and fabricated all of the items that come together as Vincent. Everything is from 'scratch' including all of the appliances (face, nails, hands, teeth, hair (another story), etc. The only items purchased partially 'fashioned' would be my contacts, the soles of my Vincent 'classic' boots, and various thermal shirts that were carved up for various applications. Originally, I used a wig, although even it was a combination of several wigs and hairpieces removed from their original netting and reassembled onto a new netting. Even the pants I wear are stitched from raw fabric on bolts.


How did you decide which costume to duplicate?

I started with the 'classic' Vincent 'promo' outfit similar to the studio photos (gray corduroy pants, blue thermal shirt with white neck and white arm extensions, gray vertical ribbed vest, cummerbund, 3 strap belt with brass tipping and equine fittings, tall boots with seams, various straps and pads, cloak with dangle), although my work predated any photos I had seen. Later I extended my collection with several 'bedroom' tunics and mukluk boots. Then I went 'outside the lines' and created some fantasy sets that Vincent might have worn at Masquerade (like an elaborate tuxedo set). Then I created a set to mimic Beth Blighton's Tarzan Vinnie and was working toward a 'Last of the Mochicans' Vincent (but never completed the buckskin pants). I have 'round about 12 shirts, 6+ vests, 3-4 cummerbunds, 3 belts, 4 satchel necklaces, 3 wigs (out of service), various gauntlets, bands, straps, several boot sets, and 2 cloaks. THIS DOES NOT include any of the many studio costumes that I own ( I do not wear them). I still prefer the 'classic' set.


What was the hardest article of Vincent's clothing to replicate?

Each piece has its own challenge. The classic belt is the one I relish most as the fabrication of the brass tips, stitching the leather into the three strands around piping, and getting an appropriately massed rings and clasp was tough. The fittings all came from a horse 'tack' shop.

The boots present structural issues as they include 3-4" of lift yet must be appropriate for me to be able to climb stairs and even drive my car in them -- they must also be set up so that I can get in and out of them while I am wearing my face and hand appliances (all of which limit mobility and sight).


Vincent's signature piece is his cloak. How did you re-create it?

Ah, the cloak. The dangle. The hood. The leather. THE COCKEYED ASYMMETRIC SHOULDER AND ARM SLOT ? Go figure!

Mine is fully formed with an inner liner, and an outer shell for the entire cloak and hood. The front and lower edges are hemmed in rayon silk, with additional banding on the front edge of the hood. The dangle is a trade secret! The leather patchwork is quilted on and there is significant leather fringing and knot work throughout.

I'll let you in on a secret -- I have several pockets inside the cloak, each one purposely formed to fit my 'tunnel helper above' persona. There is a pocket for my glasses, wallet, spare adhesives, contact lens kit, dental appliance storage, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY a pocket for my personal straw -- very important when you're encased in latex!



How long did it take to design and create Vincent's facial features?

The process to design and build the facial appliance took many months.

It starts by making a life mask. The following should be done by two or more people but I managed to do it myself. I prepare my hair in a bald cap, form a 'table' of corrugated cardboard with a hole the size of my face that I wear so that my neck, ears, and rear scalp will not be molded, lube my skin with skin conditioner, and stick 2 inch long straws up my nose. I also now insert the dental appliance into my mouth that will be worn later when using the final appliance (this sets the mouth and lips into a position that is more appropriate for the entire appliance, when complete). The life mask is made by mixing a very fast setting dental 'alginate' that hardens to a Jell-O consistency in 4 minutes. Next I lie back keeping stacks of towels and various tools within blind reach and apply the mixed alginate over my face. In four minutes the exercise might be over - but I continue by blindly layering on pre-wetted gauze/plaster cast material (used for setting broken bones). I will rinse my hands blindly, while reclining, and wait out the 20 minutes until the whole thing sets (not good if you are even slightly claustrophobic). Then I proceed to sit up and then wiggle out of the cast.

The life mask must IMMEDIATELY be set in a support like a box of sand (or packing peanuts) and a VERY hard type of plaster-of-Paris called Hydrocal is used to completely fill the life mask impression. I use a special acrylic mixing media with the Hydrocal powder to make it even stronger! A handle MUST be fashioned in the back of the setting plaster using a plastic 1 lb deli storage container and a stick of wood (the handle is KEY later in the process). Once the Hydrocal sets, it is removed from the life make (this will usually destroy the alginate mold).

ONLY NOW the artistry begins.

Non-air-drying clay (sculpty) is now added onto the 'positive' Hydrocal master and sculpted to form Vincent's face - always working to keep the eyelids, chin and lips of the master clear since these must remain outside of the final appliance. Remember, any clay that is used represents the final appliance. It is also important to avoid steep undercuts in the final shape of the clay as these will make the appliance hard to remove from the final mold. I used as many photos as I could find to model the face, but I relied on two specific 'promo' shots for the major elements. It is important to occasionally review the partially completed work in a mirror, and upside down (like Vincent suspended from the ankles) -- You would be surprised how much this helps catch defects, and clear your mind -- or get a second opinion! It took me nearly 2 months to sculpt my master.

Now a strong, open top watertight container must be [used?] that is about 2 inches wider than the sculpted master AT ALL POINTS. I used pieces of Plexiglas, but plywood would work just as well. This will form a 'negative' mold casting. Apply a mold release agent to the sculpted master. Suspend the sculpted face (face-down) so that when you flood the watertight container with plaster it will completely cover the sculpted area, up to, but not over the back of the master. Make a batch of the acrylic and Hydrocal plaster, fill, and let set.

Separate the two masters ('positive' and 'negative') and remove and clean all clay from both sides. IF YOU CAN FIND a 'Teflon' release agent (try a local woodworking shop or plastic sign shop) that is used to lubricate circular saw blades spray it on all the working faces of the new mold masters -- otherwise consult the manufacturer of your latex or silicon that will be used for the appliance.

This master can be used many times -- Note that if a professional latex appliance is used (very flexible but delicate) you will make a new appliance FOR EACH USE.

I use a professional 4 part theatrical foam latex mixture (available at a theatre supply house and special effects supply houses) that must be measured, tinted, and whipped on a super precise time schedule measured in minutes and seconds and VERY dependant on temperature -- then poured into the negative mold with the positive mold 'forced' into the negative so that the excess squirts out. Within 30 seconds the latex sets!!!!!

The whole assembly now weighs about 50 lbs. and is the size of a large turkey. Then the whole rig is baked in my oven at 275 F. for 2 hours to cure.

As it cools to about 150 F, the molds are separated. That's where you really need a handle built into the back of the life mold casting. It takes incredible effort to separate the molds.

When cool, I trim and paint the appliance. Painting is done with a mix of hobby craft paint mixed with latex. I do some of the tinting by hand, and some with an airbrush. Blushes and mascara are used once the appliance is on me, to effect the final 'mood' I am seeking.

When dry I add the bridge and brow hair and apply the cheek fuzz. The nose bridge and brows are industry standard #27 color (also known as Clairol 74rg) and are applied a few hairs at a time. The cheek fuzz is a custom mixture that includes natural and synthetic fibers that are blended and chopped in a Cuizenart food processor and then passed through a sieve for size. The fuzz is glued to the appliance. Later the same fuzz will be glued to my exposed face to cover the seams. When the appliance is on me I get a final rough shave to blend the fuzz at the seams.


What materials, appliances and make-up do you use?

See the answer to the prior question. In addition, I use the same process to construct a reusable set of 'hands'. It is actually harder to make the hands as they end up as gloves. Each hand (left and right) is made up of three molds - negative palm, negative back, and inner positive (forming the space for my real hand to fit). Each hand gets tinted, and hair is applied across the backs.

Each 'nail' is custom formed from the same material my dental appliances are cast from. Each was originally formed around a small light bulb to create the inner curve and hand laid-up and carved from dental materials. A mold was made of each master. Duplicates are cast from dental materials. Professional nail materials (acrylic powder and solvent matrix) can be easily substituted. Readily available glue-on nails were a disappointment as they do not have the mass or shape to be semi-claw-like.

Each 'hand' goes up past my wrist and includes a hidden zipper since with all the hair, nails, and delicate foam latex it is hard to just 'slip out of them' like regular gloves. These gloves last about 5-8 uses.

The dental appliances are formed in a similar way to the way dentures are made. Upper and lower molds are made with dental trays and dental alginate (available from dental and theatrical supply houses). Then a plaster cast is made representing my real teeth. Then clay or wax is sculpted on top of the cast to form a very thin 'copy' of my teeth. Next material is added and the fangs are sculpted on top of everything else.

Now a mold is made of the sculpted teeth. When set, the molds are separated and cleaned of the sculpting material. The void produced will form the shape of the dental appliance.

Dental materials or professional nail acrylic powder and resin are mixed and applied to the negative mold. Press the positive into the negative and let set, then separate. The gums are tinted and the teeth polished with a dremel tool. The teeth last indefinitely and are strong enough to eat with if removal is not possible.


Can you briefly take us through the process of applying Vincent's face?

I start by using a good astringent on any areas of my skin that will receive adhesive. These areas must be oil free and very dry when I start the application process.

I use an adhesive known as 'ProsAid' -- which either stands for 'prosthetic aid' or 'professionals aid' (you choose) -- it is available from medical and theatrical supply houses. I have tried 'spirit gum' in the past -- it's OK, but over a long day it tends to get 'crispy' and lose its adhesion. ProsAid is a companion to latex and gets stronger the longer it is on.

I typically insert my dental appliances and contacts first. The mouth is distorted by the fangs and the appliance 'hangs' better if my skin is pre-stretched for the fangs. The contacts are easier to insert without the added overhangs of the brows, cheekbones, and all the extra hair.

I paint the outline of the appliance on my face with the glue (including around the lips, nostrils, and eyes. Then the appliance gets the same and both air dry for a few minutes. The ProsAid is a contact glue and when glue touches glue the joint is instant.

Starting with the nose and bridge, I work the appliance onto my face. The eye areas and jawbones are last. Did I mention that I pluck ALL of my eyelashes out (upper and lower lids)? Otherwise, one stuck lash and its all over!

Once applied, I use more ProsAid painted on the exterior to close the seams at the eyes and jawbones. I use blushes and mascara to adjust as needed. My chin and jawbones get painted to receive beard fuzz. The excess is then brushed and rough shaved away.

If I had a wig it would go on last, after ALL other costuming -- however, you have all seen me using my own hair! I do use a very small bang appliance to help cover the seam on my forehead.


Do you have blue eyes? *grin*

Sorry to disappoint :-(

I cannot tell a lie . . . The blue you see . . . is not me . . . .


Is there a "finishing touch" that makes a big difference in your transformation?

I have got to say that without the dentals, and contacts, I still see me. But the moment both are in and the hair is fluffed to fall both front and back I lose myself and see only Vincent!

On special occasions, I have also added prosthetic hair to my lower neck and exposed chest -- Up close, it has been a winner!


How long does it take to transform yourself into Vincent?

It's about 1 1/2 to 2 hours from start to finish, including laying everything out (costume and appliance kit) through final costume tweaks. By the way, I tend to have the lower half of my costume on before I do the appliance application. It is VERY hard to look down to fasten things. It is also extremely HOT inside the appliance, so every effort (like pulling on pants or boots can be an effort. Most of my upper costumes that appear to be 'pull-over' actually are zippered in the back! That is how it is done in the theatre so that makeup or appliances are not disturbed.

The real question is how long does it take to get out! Even with tunnel togs that are tricked to appear multi-layer but are really pieced together to form only a single layer, I may be wearing several combinations of pieces -- so I am ultimately encased in multiple layers. Boots over pants and socks; cloak over vest over cummerbund over shirt over dickey (neck shirt). Add the insulation of the foam appliances, glue and facial hair on my face and hairy glove appliances on my hands, the contacts, the fluffed hair, and the restrictions to breathing with the dental appliances and feline nostrils -- and you can see that it is a hot place to be. As a matter of fact, I have made arrangements in the past to sit in the hotel restaurant's walk-in refrigerator to cool off. I will also spend lots of time outside during Winterfest activities (the snow and ice is great for me).

Its about 15 minutes to get out of costume, and then about 30 minutes to peel out of the appliance. Then another 30 minutes to get all the glue off without ripping off all of my skin. After that, another 30 minutes to sort, fold, and clean up (the sink ends up being an ugly mess of beard fuzz and hair, blush, tan face powder, matting powder, glue, and glue remover!


When the transformation is complete, how do you feel? Is Vincent there with you?

He is there -- the dental appliance instantly forces that voice too :-)


What is the hardest part of becoming Vincent? Is it the physical part, such as the costume and make-up or is it capturing Vincent's mannerisms and behavior patterns?

It took several false starts to get the appliance and costume right. I have one picture in 1987 where I kind of looked like the 'Burger King' king with a melting face and fur stripes on a torn cloak.

At one time I had also tried to use silicon instead of foam latex - others have been more successful with that material. It was always rock hard when set and broke the mold, or didn't set at all and had to be scooped out sticky wet.

The hardest part is the prep work to create each foam appliance and bake it. The hands are the worst - I may fashion several before I get one that is usable. When the molds are cured by baking in the oven the process is vulcanizing the latex and it stinks like sulfur.


Did you or do you participate in any costume contests at the BATB conventions or elsewhere? What is that like? If you participate in things other than Beauty and the Beast events, what are the responses there?

I have participated in many BATB cons. In the early years, I tried to avoid having people recognize that it was me under there. I have also attended many Sci-Fi cons. I love 'lurking' in the shadows and having people surprised to find their warm and familiar 'hearts companion' in and amongst the Klingons and Robotica.

I have brought Vincent on stage at many Sci-Fi cons to receive several Firsts and Best-in-Shows.


Can you tell us a little bit about your general experiences at conventions? What was the most memorable experience you’ve had dressed as Vincent? The funniest? The most bizarre?


Did I mention claustrophobia and agoraphobia? Being encased in all of that and then surrounded by loving fans CAN be terrifying. I was fortunate to be under the care of a cardiologist (for other reasons) and was prescribed a medication that is ALSO used by actors use to reduce stage fright -- it also causes short and mid term memory loss, and has been known to effect the loss of vocabulary -- guess what, I can't remember the name of the drug, and I am having a hard time finding the words to say how good it was when I was taking it! It worked for me then, but I don't use it now!


I try to do the costuming on site. I even have a kit that unfolds and can be used in a stall of a public bathroom -- but its crazy close and hot to do that! A hotel room works OK if the AC is running full blast.

But many times, it is worth the extra time 'in costume' if I do the prep at home, and then drive to the site. Ever see Vincent driving a car? Apparently its a hoot! I will get cars driving along side of me taking pictures! Did I mention that the licence plates on my two cars read VINCENT and TUNNELS? It does feel out of place, especially as I get out of the car in a parking lot, I don't like a lot of people seeing Vincent getting out of a car -- so I will try to park at the back of a building out of sight.


We recreated Beth Blighton's Tarzan Vinnie for the Austin, Texas con in (1993?). :You know -- Vincent in a loincloth. We did a photo shoot in an inner courtyard at a pool with some interesting Tahitian landscaping. It was 3AM and we figured everyone was asleep -- oops, all of the rooms of the 5/6 story hotel faced the inner courtyard -- but we thought we were the only ones awake. WRONG. I am pretty sure that some fans have some pretty suggestive photos -- I sent my favorite along.


When you gotta pee, you gotta pee. Ever try it in tunnel togs and latex? Let me give you a hint. I have a special zipper with an extra long leather strap for my pants. The leather strap just looks like all of the other fringework -- don't pull it -- limited vision over my appliance cheekbones, and furry latex glove appliances that are hard to remove make it a relative necessity! I won't even suggest some of the other hygiene issues.


Don't Kiss The Fake Vincent. You'll regret it. I have learned that Vincent is best kept at a distance. Although the latex foam is soft to the touch just like skin, it is not warm like skin. Worse, even though it is flushed and rinsed repetitively after being removed from the mold after curing, it maintains a small amount of raw sulfur locked in the foam. Heat and sweat release it -- it ain't no picnic inside of it but I am used to it -- and you can't smell it at social distances. But , cheek to cheek . . .

Hmmmmmmm, maybe it's why there was that tinge of unrequited love, or why Linda Hamilton left the show . . . .


When was the last time you impersonated Vincent?

I had Vincent last out about 4 years ago. I had been bringing him out about 3/4 times a year before that (Soween, Winterfest, BATB cons, Sci-Fi cons). But, during that adoption process (see above) the little girl we were adopting had been abused by her father (now in jail for life w/o parole for the abuse), and when she pointed at me and said 'you have a ponytail just like my father' mine came off the next day! I also gained weight and lost about 2 1/2" due to a collapsing disk issue -- nobody likes a fat, short, crew cut Vincent.

I have grown the long hair back, lost some weight, and added more lift to the boots. Vincent isn't back yet, but this Halloween, I did everything except the appliances, and brought my Tunnel Stu character to the FAA and to my Real Estate Office -- most folks were very shocked when they finally realized it was me -- shows how much just the fluffy hair (instead of my tightly wrapped pony tail) intense blue eyes, and different teeth, with tunnel togs, can mask me even without the facial appliance.


Do you have any advice for possible future Vincent impersonators?

Do not attempt this yourself, professional driver on closed course . . .

Don't try this yourself, I think I'm a professional . . .

I'm not the Beast, I don't even play him on TV . . .

^ Just kidding.

Stay in character -- Its like Walt Disney demanded -- staff was a 'cast', and everyone else was a guest. It's always showtime.

Do not speak using compound words (no appostrophe's).


Is there anything you would like to say to our readers about yourself, your Vincent impersonation, BATB or fandom in general?

All joking aside, this is a first. I have never revealed the efforts I go through to bring on Vincent -- it is a labor of love. I really do not want fans to look at my Vincent and say 'How did you . . . ' -- I have failed.

I aim to have the fans just pause for a moment to consider the . . . possibility . . . of the reality.




For those that don't know, or don't remember, I have a large number of original, authentic costume pieces from the show (on the order of 100), including several classic Vincent sets. I also have an original Vincent cloak and boots. I also have a Father, Pascal, and Mouse set as well as many individual Vincent pieces and assorted tunnel togs. You may not be aware that every 'costume' was actually duplicated and exists as approximately 3 original copies. That way, if one is damaged or being cleaned, a duplicate is immediately available. In some cases I have the multiples of the pieces as well. If there are any fans out there that feel that they too have 'the original' and are surprised that a similar piece is in the hands of someone else, be grateful that you are still in the minority and the keeper of a 'studio original'.


I can tell you that if you see me in costume, it will always be something I fashioned from scratch, not the studio pieces. All of the originals that I have were preserved for fandom and any may be borrowed for display or forensic study - contact me.



Wayne Kelley


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests.

My name is Wayne Kelley, and I currently reside in Cleveland, OH. I'm married to my wife of 15 years, Anna (better known back in the day as Anna Deavers, of the Northern OH BATB Fan Club), and have a 12-year-old son, Griffin. I currently make a living doing light factory work, but I'm going to night school to train in court reporting. My interests include most forms of science-fiction and fantasy, costuming and makeup, role-playing (on paper, in cyberspace, or live), music (anything but country or rap), puzzles and games, bowling, and just hanging out with other intelligent and interesting people.


Do you have a background in costume design and/or make-up application such as theater?

I had no background or experience in costuming or makeup when I first entered fandom, but I did have a long-standing interest in both. It was the kind of thing that I dreamed of doing, but never thought I would have the chance. Anna studied some theater classes when she was in college, and had been designing and creating costuming for other people and fandoms for many years when we met.


When did you decide to impersonate Vincent and why? What do you most enjoy about it?

"When" actually requires two answers. After seeing the pilot episode, while I was still just a wishful thinker, I said that if I ever got the chance to do a character costume for myself, that I would like to do Vincent. It was in 1991, however, that Anna and I met; she already had some experience in recreating the character (see question 5). After our trip to Tunnelcon I together, we decided to find a way to allow me to portray Vincent.

Why? We could write volumes about that! Boiled down, though, for me personally - I wanted to get inside of the character, and experience things from that place. I wanted to take Vincent everywhere I could, into as many different situations and environments as possible, and experience them through his perceptions. I enjoy role-playing, of any kind, because I enjoy the spontaneous interactions with other people. What I enjoyed most, and still do, is to become that character, and have others interact with him, rather than coming up and saying, "Hi, Wayne, nice costume..."


Was there something about Vincent's character that prompted you to impersonate him?

I like to believe, and have been told by others, that I share many of Vincent's best qualities. I also feel that I have shared a lot of the emotional struggles that he was depicted as having. He has great gifts, and overcomes great obstacles, and found great love - all wonderful things to role-play.


Who designed and made your costume?

All of my costuming was designed and created by Anna, my wife. When we first met, Anna and her friends in Cleveland had already created a full-sized soft sculpture version of Vincent, complete with costuming. The first couple of outfits that I wore were actually made for him; fortunately, we were about the same size.


How did you decide which costume to duplicate?

Anna's sculpture (aka The Big Guy), already had a replica outfit from the pilot. When we decided to tackle having me portray Vincent, we recreated the cloak to go with it. We then did another first season sweater outfit, followed by the dress costumes from "Masques". After that, we put together other pieces for original outfits of our own creation.


What was the hardest article of Vincent's clothing to replicate?

The hardest of the costumes from the show to replicate were the party costumes Vincent and Catherine wore in "Masques". We poured over photos for months, and Catherine's dress was actually harder to build than Vincent's outfit. Anna built the entire dress by hand, starting with corseted brassier and working outward, fitting each section to her measurements by hand. She also recreated the sequined owl on the front, and the owl mask to go with the dress. Vincent's outfit was about four weeks worth of work, but the dress took three months. But, they did come out looking as much like the pieces from the episode as we could manage.


Vincent's signature piece is his cloak. How did you re-create it?

Anna spent months pouring over photographs to discover what each piece was made of, its color and shape, and then duplicating it. The leather work was extensive, and expensive, and it made the cloak very heavy to wear over all of the other costuming. We were rewarded for all the hard work, though, when Kim Clark, who worked on the set as an extra, told us at a convention that it was the most authentic reproduction she'd ever seen. Most of our cloak is black wool material. Anna tore apart old leather coats to create the black trim on the hood and right arm side, lacing all of the pieces on with thonging by hand. The left side sleeve was made from two large pieces of leather reaching from shoulder to wrist. Our only real 'cheat' on the cloak was the patchwork stitching on the left shoulder, which we did with fabric paint instead of embroidery floss or thonging.


How long did it take to design and create Vincent's facial features?

When we began attempting to make me up as Vincent, we had no access to anyone who could do prosthetics. For my first few appearances and photos, we purchased and modified the slush-mold latex masks that were sold through Starlog Magazine at the time. A few months later, we met a gentleman at a regional sci-fi convention who had designed a prosthetic for someone else that was no longer interested in it. We went to his home, where he took a casting of my face and adapted his design to fit me. We used his design for several conventions, and later Anna created one of her own that we used only a couple of times before we stopped going to conventions regularly.


What materials, appliances and make-up do you use?

The facial appliances we use are made of latex foam rubber, exactly as used on the show and in movies. The color is a combination of latex and acrylic paint, and goes on both the mask and my skin so that everything blends together. We use hair from a number of different sources for the facial hair, including some clipping from me back when my hair was the right color. We used two different wigs, and I colored my own hair to match, and actually pulled it through the netting to blend the hair together and keep the wigs in place while wearing them. The facial appliance was stuck to my face with medical adhesive. I had upper and lower fangs made that clipped over my own canine teeth in pairs. We also created hands by painting cotton medical gloves with flesh-tone colored latex, and adding hair and claws.


Can you briefly take us through the process of applying Vincent's face?

On the day before we do the makeup, I shave my face and neck, including the sideburns and temples, to keep as little hair as possible from getting glued under the makeup. As we start, I tie back my hair and strip shirtless. Anna sprays medical adhesive onto the main areas of the back side of the prosthetic, then carefully positions it onto my face and sticks it down. She then uses a small paintbrush to apply adhesive under all of the edges. If the mask is not already painted, we apply a mix of latex and acrylic paint over the mask and my skin at the edges and onto my neck, blending all the visible surfaces. Then we add hair and eyebrows, and some shading and detailing to make everything as realistic looking as possible. Then, I put in blue contact lenses, and add the wig.


Click on the picture to see the pictures that show how Wayne's face becomes Vincent's



Do you have blue eyes? *grin*

No, my natural eye color is brown. I purchased colored contact lenses to wear with the costuming for Vincent.


Is there a "finishing touch" that makes a big difference in your transformation?

The finishing touch for me is when the makeup and costuming are completely in place, so that there are no consequential bits of "me" to be seen. Although I can portray Vincent in less than a complete costume or makeup, it doesn't seem to carry the same weight.


How long does it take to transform yourself into Vincent?

We had instances in which the entire drill took 4-5 hours, and other times when it came in at around 2 hours. A great deal depended on how much advance preparation we were able to do for an event, and how carefully we worked to make the look realistic. The times generally got shorter with practice over the years, and with better and better materials.


When the transformation is complete, how do you feel? Is Vincent there with you?

Being a fan of the show, and being a role-player for many years, and being an aspiring writer who has written stories and poems based on the show and characters, all make it very easy for me to step into the character of Vincent. I can empathize with him on many personal levels, and as I came to know him during the series, I could imagine his childhood, and his actions and reactions to things outside of what we were shown. He became one of my all-time favorite characters very quickly, and remains so to this day. Vincent is within me everyday, as a personification of many wonderful things, and I can call upon him anytime I wish. Being transformed into him physically, through the costume and makeup, just makes his presence stronger. When I portray Vincent, I become him, as much as is possible for anyone to do so.


What is the hardest part of becoming Vincent? Is it the physical part, such as the costume and make-up or is it capturing Vincent's mannerisms and behavior patterns?

There are a number of things that are difficult about portraying Vincent - The costuming is very hot to wear, as is the makeup and wig after a time; the logistics of moving about in the costume without destroying it or injuring myself; dealing with negative reactions from people who don't watch or like the show. But becoming Vincent, for me, is not difficult at all.


Did you or do you participate in any costume contests at the BATB conventions or elsewhere? What is that like? If you participate in things other than Beauty and the Beast events, what are the responses there?

Yes, Anna and I both competed in contests at cons and other events. Going up before an audience and being judged is a rather unnerving experience, and for Anna even more so than myself, since she had no mask to hide behind. We did well in some contests, and not so well in others, and it wasn't always because of our efforts or lack thereof. Competing at other events was something of a gamble, depending on the venue. We've seen some very unpleasant Halloween parties, but we also won prizes at a couple of them, too. And we've been to a couple of ren faire-type events, which were mostly pleasant experiences.


Can you tell us a little bit about your general experiences at conventions? What was the most memorable experience you’ve had dressed as Vincent? The funniest? The most bizarre?

Another question I could write volumes on...or maybe do a chat about. General experiences - most of the cons we went to strictly for BATB were well run, very entertaining, and our costuming and character portrayals were well received by most. Most memorable experience in costume - meeting most of the actors and watching their reactions, which ran the gamut from amusement to amazement. Funniest - pulling up to a McDonald's drive-thru window in my car in the full gear, and watching the girl at the window jump when she sees me, sending my chocolate milkshake over her shoulder and onto her manager (He forgave her when he saw me, and we did get our food.). Most bizarre - going to the observation deck of the Empire state building in costume, and hearing "Vincent" in several accents from other areas of the country and several foreign countries - or maybe being mistaken for having some sort of birth defect at a con where the hotel was also hosting a nursing convention during the weekend - or being chased down a New York street by a man who wanted Ron's autograph for his wife ( I told him if Ron's agent found out I was giving out his autograph to unsuspecting fans, he'd kill me) - I can tell you a lot of stories, if you want to look me up this week and ask....


When was the last time you impersonated Vincent?

Halloween 2004, for a costume contest at the factory I was working at in southeastern Kentucky where we lived, followed by Trick-or-treat with our son and some friends. Almost no one at the factory knew who Vincent was, nor did they know who I was under the makeup until I told them, and I wound up winning 3rd place. Trick-or-treating went better, though, and we had a lot of fun. We lost some of our makeup supplies when we moved back to Cleveland recently, but we are in the process of replacing them, so that we can bring Vincent out to play again soon.

Do you have any advice for possible future Vincent impersonators?

Try to keep the makeup and costuming as comfortable for yourself as possible. Learn the character inside and out from the show, and from your own life experiences that can put you in touch with Vincent. Try to get all of the identifiable details right - the eyes, the hair, the voice, the words. Once you are in character, stay in character, even if other people don't want to play to you in character. And enjoy the experience - if you can't enjoy it, it probably isn't worth it.


Is there anything you would like to say to our readers about yourself, your Vincent impersonation, BATB or fandom in general?

Anna and I have had a lot of experiences, good and bad, with this fandom and with our endeavors connected to it. We still have a deep and abiding love for this universe, and these characters - they brought us together, and we are together still, after 16 years, in part because of what we learned from BATB and its fandom. We have other interests, and do some other things with our time now, but we will always be connected to this phenomenon, and we will always be glad to share with all of you in whatever way we can.



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