Finding Marilyn on Hollywood Boulevard

This evocative photo of a Marilyn lookalike was taken by Ken Hermann as part of a series, ‘Hollywood Street Characters’, now showcased on Mashable.

“Hollywood Boulevard is full of whimsical characters, but it’s not often that we stop and take a look behind their makeup and masks.

Street performers walk along this major thoroughfare of downtown Los Angeles every single day, dressed as everything from old Hollywood celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe to pop culture characters like Darth Vader and Thor.

But it was these performers’ private lives that inspired photographer Ken Hermann‘s raw and honest photo series, Hollywood Street Characters, which captures these entertainers off the clock.

‘After talking to several of the impersonators it became clear to me that many of them are, or once were, pursuing the American dream of becoming someone special and famous,’ Hermann told Mashable. While many of the performers, like a woman who impersonated Marilyn Monroe, made their living as lookalikes, others relied on costumes and makeup.

However, Hermann discovered that working on Hollywood Boulevard requires a big personality, too. ‘The success of the street characters wasn’t about being the most perfect look alike — it also depended upon acting as the most hyped or popular characters or maybe just having a funny or crazy attitude,’ he said.

‘Many regard the impersonators as failed actors, people who tried to make it big in Hollywood but couldn’t … However some of them are living out their own version of the American Dream.’

‘So even though many of them do this because the dream did not go as planned not all of them are fallen stars,’ Hermann added. Next time someone walks around downtown L.A., Hermann hopes they take a moment to appreciate these characters and the private lives they lead.”

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