Ladies and Gentleman, allow me to introduce to you all Masha Masquerade. I have seen Masha a few times at the Graffiti Warehouse and I never got a chance to work with her. Finally, at the event in Epharta, PA we got to it. While modeling and talking with her, I found her to be very intriguing and I decided it was a must I interview her. Before we start as always here are her stats:
Let get to that interview…
Your name Masha Masquerade, what’s the story on the “Masquerade”?
The “Masquerade” part of my name is a personal reminder to myself to keep perspective. I believe that we all hide behind a mask that the world sees us through. Some embrace it; others spend their whole lives trying to shed it. But its still there. It is a mask made of clothing, attitudes, abilities, and even our own skins. We can alter it, but we cannot control how other people “see” it. It is a curse, that our own sense of sight, or developed social understanding, can blind us so easily to the fact that there is more to each person than the perceived self. There is more to the story, in every case. We are not our skins, our mistakes, our successes, our confusions. I need to remember that every person has value, every pretty face is just a mask. The disguises trick us, but its the true person on the inside that we need to seek to see.
I like that, next question: Where were you born and when did you move to the USA?
I was born in Ukraine. It is a country in Eastern Europe, a country once held in the grip of Soviet Russia, and now held in the grip of relative poverty. I was six when my mother decided to leave for America, and I was eight years old when she flew me over many countries, and an ocean, to come live with her in America. It was a bit of a shock all around. I had stayed with family while she was here, raising money for me to come over too. So coming to America, leaving all that extended family behind, and being immersed in a culture barely understood, trying to speak a language mostly unknown to me, was a bit difficult. But I got through it!
Well, I am glad you made it to the U.S. Why did you choose to model? How long have you been doing it?
I decided to get into modeling because I want to raise money to go visit my family in Ukraine. I miss them terribly. I have not been back since I left them as a child. I had wanted to model before, but had decided against it, until I thought about the possibility of this being a way for me to accomplish that goal.
I have been modeling since October 2011. I had done a couple of photoshoots with people I knew before, like one I did with a friend of mine who was in college for photography at the time. Then I guess August 2011 was when I technically began this, but in October was when I started to take things really seriously and it began to move forward at a faster pace.
What goals do you wish to achieve in modeling?
My goals that I wish to achieve in modeling, aside from raising money for visiting Ukraine are: To get pics of my modeling into tattoo magazines and other publications. To create truly moving, thought provoking, innovative images, to express myself in ways that I can’t in a normal way, to overcome my fear of trying.
I think your doing pretty well. Speaking of publications have you been published before?
I have! Its on a small web mag, one called Goregous Freaks. I am in issue #5. It even has a small bio, written by me.
If you could create the most perfect shoot ever what would it be?
The most perfect shoot ever? That’s a difficult question. The answer may vary depending on my mood, what I might have been contemplating the moment before, on a lot of things really. It would involve a respectful, talented photographer, a great, inspiring setting, and a theme that I could truly “feel”. I want my images to feel like they are stills from a movie, capturing a story, conveying emotions and ideas. So a perfect photoshoot would be one where all these things could be realized.
What is one misconceptions people have with you?
One misconception that people have about me is when I get into a debate with someone, they may think that I am actually angry with them. You see, I am a very opinionated person, and I get very passionate about certian subjects! And when i get passionate, I can get loud! But it does NOT mean that I hate the person. I can have a heated arguement with someone, and then go to hug them and laugh with them afterwards (even if we didn’t see eye to eye in the end). Also I use sarcasm alot, but its a coping mechanism. It helps me get by. Either you laugh at it, or you let it destroy you. Or, at times, you just have to mock it for awhile until you feel better.
Give me one good and bad experience since you have been modeling?
One good experience was when my modeling group, the Syber Cyrens, went to New York City, to be a part of a runway show that our friend Nikki was one of the designers of. We got to wear some of her line (No Human Intentions) and we had funky make-up and all around that is just a kick ass memory for me.
A bad experience was when I went to a certain Meet and Greet type event (one where models and photographers interact with each other, meeting and “shooting” on the spot. Its a good way to make new contacts in the industry). I was there the whole day, and worked with many photographers, but even though I got their cards, some photographers never got back to me with the pictures they tock of me. Some cards that I was given had inactive websites on them, and they never responded to my emails! I was really pissed off. Its something that we as models have to watch out for: photographers that don’t respect this as a business. They are sometimes unproffesional, and they will treat you and the photos in much the same way. Its a pain in the ass working with them.
During this shoot we talked a little bit on your opinion on photographing nude, come to find out we share the same opinions on it. Can you share your opinions about it?
I have decided to steer clear of nude and implied photography. I do not mind others doing it. There are alot of artistic pictures of nude models, a lot of talented people in that whole section of the modeling/photography world, but its just not for me. I have my limits, and I expect others to respect them, just as I must respect other peoples limits as well.
You are a Syber Cyrens, can you tell me what that is?
The Syber Cyrens are a modeling group, with the head of it being a Miss Becki Downs, a long-time professional model, and a Mr. Chad Geist, or creative, hyperactive manager/head photographer. We are a different type of modeling group. We are not of a standard size, or of a standard modeling height. We are not much on being typical, and we come from different places in life, and from different backgrounds. But we all share a passion for what we do.
What is your favorite genre of modeling?
My favorite genre of modeling? Hmmm, oh, but I have many! Can’t settle on just one! I like glamour, fashion, runway, story/concept, romantisisum, and well, all kinds of things.
Are there any photographers or models out there that inspire you?
There is a multitude of images that I draw inspiration from. I try not to focus on just one model or photographer as my sole source of inspiration though, so as not to wind up ripping on them. Also, it is a good thing to learn from many different people.
Agreed, I have a mentor, but I am fan of many and learn from there work as well. Next question: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
If I could change anything about the world, I think that it would be our understanding of each other and the world around us. I would have us all learn to live in synch with each other, to stop hating. Work together at seeking truth, happiness and peace. So, much hate is based on misunderstanding and refusal to come to a peacful, reasonable solution to a given issue. I also wish that we knew more about what the world around us really is. I believe that there is so much more than meets the eye, more than what science has already discovered.
I like that answer. If I turned on your Mp3 Player right now, what I would be listening to?
My MP3 player would probably be blaring Mudvayne at you if you randomly decided to confiscate it from me and turn it on. I have plenty of Coheed and Cambria, and Metallica on it too, so those are the more likely choices that would come up. There are way more bands on it than that, but those are some of my top picks for quality music.
I would have took you for a Skrillex listener. LOL! Thank you so much for allowing me to interview and photograph you. What is the best way for people to contact you to work with you?
The best way to contact me is through my Facebook,
Thank you Masha. Hope to work with you again soon. Please have a
look at some of the photos from her shoot.