Masuimi Max graces the cover of our one year anniversary issue, and takes time out of her crazy busy schedule to talk Playboy Mansion parties, Hollywood, shoes, David Lynch, and marriage.
Interview: Shoshana, Photos: Morat
Q: Though you were born in Arkansas, much of your early adult years were spent in Dallas, and that’s were many Pin Curl Readers first fell in love with you. Take us through the early incarnations of Masuimi Max, from nightclub stripper to fetish model, burlesque performer, and actor.
I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and my father was in the air force so we moved around a lot. I lived all over the place; Korea, Philippines, Florida, Phoenix, New Mexico, California, Guam, Hawaii. My father retired in Las Vegas where I spent my teenage years. I lived in Dallas for about 5 years. I was stripping part-time and traveling a lot for my modeling. Although I lived in Dallas, none of my modeling jobs were there. I was flying all over the place and a lot of my work was either in London or Los Angeles. I ended up moving to LA, I don’t think I could bear the weather in England! Ha ha!
Q: Your relationship with you parents and your childhood were less than desirable. How did those early years & early independence (moved out at 17) shape who you are now?
Those early years weren’t that great, but hey everyone I know has had it rough, why dwell? All I wanted back then was to be free and now I am, I enjoy my life and the fact that I make my own decisions now and I don’t have to go to bed early!
Q: Being of Korean and German descent, you were born with unusual and striking features, and you also added to them as an adult via tattoos and plastic surgeries. What have you had done in the form of physical modifications and what do your view on the body as a canvas?
I have my boobs done… and just love them! I got my nose fixed recently, I broke it twice, once when I was a small child and the second time a few years ago…if I had it my way I wouldn’t have had anything done to my nose. As for tattoos, my back piece is a cover-up of some awful work I had done when I was younger. Luckily my tattoos are finally where I want them to be, I plan on getting more color on my back and maybe something on my arms.
Q: Speaking of body as a canvas, you are also a skilled make-up artist, often doing much of your own make-up for shoots. Including all creams, make-up, lotions, etc.- what are the seven beauty products you can’t live without?
Creme de La Mere, Creme de La Mere eye concentrate, Lumiere eye cream, Revale Coffeeberry night cream, Super Antioxidant creme, Proactive face wash, Proactive repairing lotion
Q: Control seems to be a reoccurring theme for you. I’m thinking in particular of an interview I watched in which you were explaining a situation in which the original person you hired to do your website tried to screw you over, so you taught yourself HTML and now maintain the entire site yourself. What advice would you give to new performers/models who are looking to manage themselves without becoming overwhelmed?
If you are just starting out you can manage yourself a few different ways, social networking sites like Model Mayhem, Myspace and Facebook are good ways to showcase your portfolio if you have don’t know or have time to learn HTML. Also, there are new programs like WordPress blogs that allow you to update your site without knowledge of HTML. All you would have to do is buy a domain name, find a hosting company (usually where you buy your domain name is where you can also include hosting with your package) and have them install WordPress.
It’s simple to use, after you get the grasp of using something like that you will naturally pick up a few things then when you realize you can search for tutorials or scripts on Google or Yahoo you start learning things you thought you never would have known. Baby steps! Also, since you are starting out, you might have to pay photographers to shoot you to have something to show when approaching photographers to see if they do TFP work (trade for pics). Once you have professional photos you can then approach the company you want to model for and apply this strategy to other stuff too like if you are a burlesque dancer you have to find someone to film your shows, so you have something to show when you want to get hired…
I think one of the most important things ever is you need to always show up to your jobs! Unless something crazy happens… like once I was getting ready for a really big shoot and while getting ready I stood up I split my head open on a cabinet door (I’m accident prone). I asked my PA to hold apply pressure on my wound while I continued to put my makeup on. My PA took a photograph of my head to show me that you could see my skull and that was all I needed to convince myself to go to the hospital, I got 6 stitches! That was a good excuse to reschedule the shoot! Oh, and keep your mouth shut about other models and performers — it just gets back to them and you end up looking like a drama queen. Life is great and can be a lot of fun without the backstabbing, rumors and lies. Just focus your energy on moving your career towards a positive direction rather than waste time trying to hurt someone else’s career.
Q: Has anyone ever tried to screw you over with payment on a gig, and how did you handle it?
YES. First, I try communicating. If I don’t receive the amount that I agreed to I explain what I will do if I don’t get paid. If I’m ignored I will call my lawyer. I’ve dealt with a few shady promoters in the past, before I had a lawyer — most of the time I would get paid in the end. But if I didn’t I would make it public. That way they can’t rip anyone else off!
Q: After a brief first marriage, you were single for quite a while, before marrying again in 2006 to journalist and photographer Morat, who shot the cover photo of this issue. Do you have a traditional marriage arrangement? Do you enjoy married life; and how has it changed your personal and business life?
Ha ha! I don’t think anyone would say we had a traditional marriage! We got married fast! Basically, Morat asked me to marry him the night we got together, I said yes, then 2 weeks later we got the papers from the courthouse permitting us to get married and we got married!
We lived up by the Hollywood sign and we had a big backyard with a pool. I wore a red gown with a big fluffy skirt and walked alongside the pool (covered with rose petals) lined with lit tiki torches. I walked down the “aisle” to “I Walk the Line” by Jonny Cash. Since we got married in a fever (hee hee), we didn’t have our wedding rings yet! I was supposed to pick up some temporary ones the day of the wedding and with everything going on I forgot! But I immediately had a plan, I grabbed my silver and brass knuckles and we used those.
Morat was so cute, he wore a black pinstripe suit. Our friend became an ordained minister the night we told him we were getting married (that night) and he wore an Egyptian pharaoh ensemble. A lot of our friends that could make it were there (we didn’t give much notice), there was a lot of drinking and people swimming, I ate some fire in the pool –it was a really big party, it was a fun night!
Morat is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I love being married to Morat! I didn’t really have a personal life before, I don’t really like going out. I’m sort of a hermit, but Morat loves to go out and it’s a good balance. I actually have a personal life now, ha ha! Business is always going to be good when you’re married to a talented photographer! We work well as a team and we have fun together — especially when shooting. I just finished creating his website, it’s a customized wordpress blog that he updates on his own. You should check it out — Morat’s been shooting some great stuff since ’92. www.MoratPhotography.com
Q: How did you first break into acting, and is this something you would like to pursue further? What are your most memorable film set experiences?
It sort of just happened! Everything I have done in the way of tv/film was never planned…when I did the tiny part in that movie State of the Union I got that because I became friends with the director and his girlfriend after meeting them at a party and I had no idea what they did for a living! They just called me up one day and offered me the part!
That is sort of how it happens with most of what I do. Even the David Lynch movie I did, Inland Empire, I had a really small part, but same thing, I didn’t try out for the part, they contacted me. Maybe it’s the universe telling me that I need to do more film? I am working on a few projects right now that I am not able to talk about just yet!
Q: Who are your favorite high fashion, pin-up, and fetish designers now?
My favorite pinup inspired fashion would definitely be Pinup Girl Clothing! I love their stuff and I’m their spokesmodel! My biggest fetish is corsetry, I have a few favorite designers, Jupiter Moon 3 Corsets out of Houston has made me a few gorgeous corset outfits, I have a few new outfits coming soon.
Also, I model for Bibian Blue out of Barcelona, they just sent me some new designs that I can’t wait to shoot in! I have a really big thing for shoes, I just modeled for Bordello, the new burlesque shoe line by Pleaser. It was heaven to be surrounded by that many shoes! You can get these shoes at Pinup Girl Clothing.com and get 15% off with this coupon code: cciamtrouble
Q: What is your greatest extravagance?
OMG SHOES!!! Did you see that silly music video? Heh heh! My greatest extravagance…Oh dear, I can think of three — shoes, weed and face creams!
Q: If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
Marilyn Monroe, ever since I can remember she was always my favorite gal. I collected all of her movies and when I was younger I bleached my hair and fashioned my hair like hers and did my makeup like her, I was a little Asian Marilyn, lol!
Betty Page, because she is the girl that broke all the rules! She had dark hair, she did racy pics for the time, she didn’t pose like a “model” she was a character, a sexy animated bad girl. Marilyn and Betty, they balance each other out don’t they?
Hunter S Thompson, because this man lived in his own universe…I can only think of 3 right now and in general, I sort of shy away from meeting people I admire because I would rather avoid finding out that the person was a wanker.
Q: As you grace the cover of our birthday issue, you recently had a birthday yourself. How did you celebrate?
I haven’t quite celebrated yet. I have been working non-stop the last few weeks, seems like months! My birthday was Friday and I had a burlesque event on Saturday; I didn’t want to have too many birthday drinks and not do a good show so I stayed in. Also I take a lot of pics with people when I do events and I didn’t want to have giant suitcases under my eyes! The event on Saturday was a lot of fun and my friends did give me the most awesome cakes!
Q: What does the future hold for Masuimi Max?
I don’t really talk about stuff I’m working on because I feel like I’m going to jinx it. I can say that I am constantly working on my site, updating it with new photosets, diary entries, and I also do prize giveaways for the members of my site. This month, I’m giving away 2 tickets to the Stars & Stripes 2010 event held at the Playboy Mansion, I am doing my fire burlesque act again (I performed at the event last year)! My site is pretty cool…I designed it, I maintain it and that’s it.. it’s just me slaving away, haha! Although my site is classified as adult and there are a lot of nudes, a lot of my members are girls! Which I think is really cool!