Hollywood is a place where dreams are made and dreams are broken
Milk was a Bad Choice
We were rummaging through the Bargain T-Shirt Rack in a small market off Hollywood Boulevard and finding some real nuggets like the FBI T-Shirt (Female Body Inpector) shirt that Babay was ready to wear out of the store.
When I turned around, I saw SuperMan buying a small bottle of milk. This just wasn’t any SuperMan but SuperMan played by the famous Christopher Dennis – the longest running SuperMan impersonator in Hollywood for over 20 years. It was 95 degree on the Boulevard and he had obviously stopped into the market to get something cool to drink – I must say, “Milk was a bad choice.” but apparently he was craving it for some reason.
I gave him $5 bucks and asked if we could take a few pictures with him. He was sweating so much that it was pouring through his heavy wool tights and drenching his costume. I felt really sorry for him. Sorry that he had to work so hard for a few tips that passerby’s would give him. I’d seen his story before and many people would take pictures with him and then just walk away, perhaps not leaving a tip at all.
Babay proudly wears his Female Body Inspector Shirt
Confessions of a SuperHero
In 2007, Confessions of a Superhero was released which followed the life of Christopher Dennis and other impersonators that work Hollywood Boulevard for tips in exchange for photo opportunities.
The documentary was low budget. It was a quirky, amusing and depressing and at times inspirational story of how Hollywood dashes hopes.
The film makers follow Christopher Dennis, who has been impersonating SuperMan for over 12 years, and is offbeat lifestyle which includes living in a 700 square foot tiny apartment which contains over 15,000 separate SuperMan memorabilia – he claims the largest collection in the world.
I had also watched an amazing little 10 minute short on his character called Dazed, you can catch it here – Dazed. It is definitely worth the 10 minutes.
An Artistic Strength of Steel
The story of Christopher Dennis was both sad and inspiring. He was born an Orphan and lived in Los Angeles. He claimed to the only son of actress Sandy Dennis who died but her family denies that she ever had children.
What what makes him so interesting and unique is how he embodies Superman, studying every aspect of the story so that he can impersonate it flawlessly on Hollywood Boulevard. It just seemed to me that he was hopelessly dedicated to impersonation that it had taken over his life. He even claimed that he had chosen his 15,000 pieces of memorabilia over his wife who he had recently divorced.
When I walked away from him, I couldn’t help but feel this guy was a bit of a tragic hero but his pursuit to be the very best at something was admirable.