Reconstructing Grimm is a photo series created by myself and photographer Perry Heideman several years ago as a side project to escape from the boring of everyday life. When we started it wasn’t anything other than a simple way to have fun on the weekends with a few friends and a lot of imagination.
Almost four years ago, one very dull summer day I was working as a telemarketer by day and an actress by night. I decided to start looking through some craigslist posts for work when I spotted a local photographer looking for an artistic director for a narrative photo series, any one who had an idea should contact him and pitch an idea. The post wasn’t a paid gig, just a trade for photos deal. I had always wanted to my hand at throwing putting together photo shoots. I also figured it couldn’t hurt to start building a modeling portfolio in case I ever decided to do print work.
I thought for a moment and thought that the perfect route would be fairy tales. Those were stories that already existed and were just waiting to be re-imagined. Keep in mind this was almost four years ago, before the Hollywood dash for all things fairy tale based, prior to Once Upon A Time, Grimm, and of the Snow White adaptations. At the time it was a novel concept that hadn’t been really touched at that point. I emailed the photographer with my idea and a few days later on one of the hottest days that summer we did our first shoot. Snow White. I thought it turned out pretty well. I had made a dress from curtain panels from Goodwill, ransacked my apartment for props, and called a friend to come in and play the Prince. When the photos when up on Facebook my friends went crazy for the photos and started asking for more.
Perry and I kept going. I would scout the locations and cast the models. I also took care of either sewing or pulling the costumes as well as doing hair and make-up. Working in small theater companies had honed my skill set for such tasks. People started to take notice. After a few months we booked a gallery show and got some coverage in the local paper. Then after about a year we were featured in the 23rd issue of the nationally published Faerie Magazine.
As an actor I became recognizable and synonymous with all things fantastical. I got some costuming work and offers for shows I never thought I would ever be considered for. Almost two years ago I was given the opportunity to expand Reconstructing Grimm and start producing fully realized theatrical plays. In a year I had a trilogy of Sherlock Holmes plays produced here in Milwaukee with Perry doing the promotional photos that stayed true to the heart of our work. In the next week I’ll have my first Christmas show premiere based off movies of the 1940s.
Reconstructing Grimm was a funny little whim that started on a boring summer day a long time ago. But sometimes those funny little whims can turn into so much more and boredom can be the best thing in the world. Being bored makes you look for something to do, something to make, something to imagine. At least it did for me. I would like to share my work with you and I hope that these pictures might inspire you to take a chance on a random day and make something that makes you happy. Thank you.