2013 Holiday

Holiday Story: My Alter Alias, @chrliechaz, and Her Feline Domestic, Ampersand, Wish You a Happy Holiday

If you hadn’t noticed, my online alias is @chrliechaz. This idea originally came from a character makeup I did back in my undergrad days when I was studying costume design and makeup.

c 2001, me doing a character makeup as Charlie Chaplin. Notice the gorgeous trim along the collar lines of the coat.

I actually ventilated* the mustache myself from some of my own hair (from a braid cut off earlier, not plucked individually from my head).^ I also checked out a wig from the costume shop and Chaplin’s signature hat—a bowler—so that I could be truly stylin’.

The stippled beard looked surprisingly realistic, but, note that you don’t want to use purple makeup when giving yourself a beard shadow. It tends to look bruisy (technical term).

When you didn’t have the flip option on your phone camera and had to take a selfie in the mirror. What trying times! Also, looks like I left the beard stipple off this time around!

Mustaches were also having a serious cultural moment at this time, at least in the more underground counter culture. I think they will always be classic, but they were highlighted in moments like Movember (getting men to grow a mustache to show awareness for prostate cancer) and other such things.

The full makeup along with my signature frames. Eyeglass frames really are one of the best accessories.

Merry Holiday Wishes Yo’

The tagline, Merry Holiday Wishes Yo’, was just a holiday greeting mash-up intended to invoke a laugh, or at the very least, a smile. This was in the years right after the pop-culture phenomenon Breaking Bad, where one of the main characters, Jesse, says “yo” after almost every sentence.

The conceit made me laugh, and I couldn’t help but pass on the cheeky affectation to others.

The Photoshoot

I shot these photos on a digital SLR as well with a timer. I got up and down from the chair so many times to check whether or not I had gotten the pics I wanted that my thighs were sore for the next couple days.

You can also see that I used wrapping paper for a backdrop stretched across my massive bookshelves. I played with photo frames held up in front of myself as a portrait, but I couldn’t get the camera to focus on me when I was holding a frame. That was a definite fail!

Lighting is also minimal. Definitely needed to do something about that.

Card Inside

I called my apartment at the time #chezchaz, or House of Chaz, of course with the now ubiquitous hashtag.

Ampersand had also come into my life at this time and was almost a young adult. While it’s hard to see, he has on a sequined bowtie and collar specially made for his uncle Taffy Cat. He was not necessarily a great model, and in the picture I’m trying to get him to look at the camera.

I left a card out for my co-workers with some cookies. I don’t think they, as yet, quite got the zeitgeist that was Jen/chrlichaz, but don’t worry—that time was coming.


The back of a card is always a good place to include an image you wished you could have fit in elsewhere. It’s like a footnote, film credits, or that last fleeting glance at a moment you particularly want to remember.

Book Recommendation: Btws, I would highly recommend the autobiography of Charlie Chaplin. It was a fun read (though it might be a bit long) and such a great dive into the Edwardian period and the ’20s.

Go back to the main page.

See 2014. See 2012.

*Ventilating is a method of tying individual hairs (or two at a time) onto a piece of lace (miniature net). This technique is used for mustaches and beards and wig fronts. It gives a softer blend line along with a much more realistic appearance.

^Did you know that Charlie Chaplin’s mustache so inspired Hitler that he determined to imitate it? When I was younger, if you saw a mustache of that shape, you thought Hitler first and Charlie Chaplin second, but, thankfully, those associations have started to fade.