"Celebritease" is a photo re-enactment series I began in the late spring of 2016. I was drawn to reproducing photographs of celebrities less out of a desire to be in front of the camera than because I was feeling an intense need to find some humor and frivolity in my world, which had just been shattered by the news that my father, who was living 3,000 miles away in France, had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor.
Of course, I wanted to drop everything and be with him, but that was way easier said than done. I was living in New Jersey, had a business to run, a family to help take care of, and a cross-country project coming up, a project that had been planned for nearly a year, with events that had been booked for months. My siblings thankfully had a bit more flexibility and were able to come and spend time with our father, and I flew in to see him in the small windows of time that I was able.
After I returned from my visit, I happened across Australian comedian Celeste Barber's hilarious photo re-enactments, as well as for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" actor Tommy Lenk's celebrity photo hijinks, and soon after I began experimenting with my own versions, adding the hashtag #celebritease. I decided to try and keep things simple, using relatively spare images to work from, and alternating between female and male celebrities as my subjects. That summer and into the fall, I posted my "reproductions" on Facebook next to the original images themselves.
My father passed away in early April of 2017, and in late June, after a long hiatus, I've begun again. I'm discovering once more the healing power inherent in the creative process and how it can connect us to joy in ways that we never expected, but deeply need.
I'm about to embark on the latest iteration of this project through Patreon, a site that helps creatives more sustainably develop and share their projects . Please visit my page to learn more about how to participate.