UC Irvine MFA Graduate Joshua Romero on Playing Statue

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UC Irvine MFA graduate Joshua Romero works for an events company that requires him to stand perfectly still while painted to resemble marble, bronze, or gold.

Photograph by Priscilla Iezzi

I can hold a pose for, the max, 10 minutes. You’re trying to breathe and relax. It looks easy; but you really want to shift your body, and your muscles are tensing up.

A lot of it has to do with my ballet training—I can stand on one foot and hold a position.

People think I’m a real statue. I can hear their voices when my eyes are closed like,
“Oh that’s not a real person!” And sometimes we can jump out and freak them out.

I have to shave my arms and legs (and apply) body lotion before the makeup.

I’m not wearing very much clothing: usually a wig and white fabric. (I’ve had
people) poke my butt. And then they’re like, “Oh no, he is real! Don’t touch him!”

Are there different statues/costumes that you’ve done and if so, which one was your favorite?
There are many different statues, and my favorite would have to be the bronze “thinking man”.

How long does it take to apply all the makeup?
Depending on how much makeup you have to apply it can take from 30 minutes to and hour.

How often are you allowed to take breaks?
Breaks are usually every hour.

What was your favorite event that you were hired for and why?
My favorite event was the Sylvester Stallone party I believe. I was able to scare people.

What do you find to be most challenging about your work?
Most challenging is the not moving. It hurts the body more than you know

What do you do when you aren’t posing as a statue?
If I’m not working as a statue, I am either dancing, teaching, choreographing or working out.

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