Well, it’s Election Day. You’re probably trying to decide between voting for Obama or Romney (though I suspect most of you have already decided pretty easily). But to be fair, you don’t need to vote for either — you could just vote for Elias Taylorson.
Taylorson is a local actor and theater entrepreneur who, even since he was confined to home temporarily following a childhood head injury, has entertained himself by playing dress-up in the mirror. (Well, he is an actor.) As a kid, it was cottonball wigs, flesh-toned Band-Aids to create saggy eyes and eye-pencil moustaches … plus plenty of mugging for the camera. Over the years, he says, he has continued to mug, but the process has become more formalized.
“The technique is just makeup and hair pieces — I don’t rely on Photoshop face morphing,” he explains. “I take the photo myself standing in front of my bathroom mirror.”
To create the 2012 Presidential candidates, Taylorson, who is white, employed a variety of techniques.
“For the Barack skin tone, I had that leftover [makeup] from [I show where I played] the Crazy Cajun. Barack’s hair is actually a nylon wig cap that was sprayed, then I cut the band away. I made the ears stick out by using a sponge makeup wedge. I used two-sided tape to bunch tightly like a crescent roll the stick behind my ears,” he says. “I actually had to draw Barack’s ear onto my jawline and create a new jawline to make a skinnier neck and face.”
“For the ‘Rominator’ stare, I acutally used the same two-sided tape to remove my ‘eye-white’ — the area between your lids and brow,” he explains. “The rest is colored sprays and a hair piece for Mitt.”
Then comes the process of not just looking, but seeming like the candidate. He searches for photos of the subjects he’s mimicking and takes loads of photos until he has the look and expression just right. Then he posts them to his Facebook page, where his friends are agog.
Ironically, this year Taylorson was elected a precinct chair and will be serving as a polling-place judge today. “Well, me, Mitt and Barack,” he says. Gotta be bipartisan, after all.
Below, see some more pictures of Taylorson — including as another president, Dick Nixon (which may be his best), with his brother Jimmy doing an early transformation and a “making of” his Barack Obama.