DarkSiderSteve is also known by some as SL-9167 of the Dune Sea Garrison of the 501st Legion. He describes himself as a "12 year old in a 26 year old body. A perfectionist, who may, and most likely will get frustrated and fed up on route, but gets there all the same."
He works in lighting to pay for his Maul costume upgrades and make-up and also to feed his cat 'Sweetpea.' He also says he's "loyal and dedicated to his craft and his lady." (Sorry Sithsters ... he's taken!). He adds, "training is not an option for me, its a must. In other words, I like to work out."
DMEB2: How long have you been costuming?
DarkSiderSteve: I started costuming as a kid...mainly for Halloween...as I'm sure everyone has. I can remember dressing up as a pirate, Dracula a few times, and a devil- which isn't too much of a stretch from Maul. Halloween always was and still is my favorite holiday. More recently I got back into costuming in 2002. Believe it or not, it came to me one night in a dream. Seriously, I don't think it was any one thing that sparked my interest again. I just knew it was something I wanted to do again. The Maul character was a big inspiration and it was full throttle from there on out.
DMEB2: Do you have any other Star Wars or non-Star Wars costumes??
DarkSiderSteve: Maul is the only costume I personally own at the moment. I put together a Storm and Niobe costume for my girlfriend. However, I'm currently in the process of making a Vegeta costume from Dragonball Z for the up coming Anime Expo. I thought about other Star Wars costumes, but I don't think I would get the same satisfaction as I do from wearing the Maul. However, when asked to choose another SW costume, I would probably be a Sandtrooper. They do all the work! ;) Though it'll probably never happen. Maul is my character.
DMEB2: Why Darth Maul?
DarkSiderSteve: Although it took me a while to warm up to the newer trilogies, I always felt Maul was the coolest character to come out of the Star Wars universe. I don't believe that Episode 1 would've survived without him. The look and prowess along with his martial art expertise really drew me to the character. The comics also give a lot more insight into just how ruthless Maul is. Not to mention that I'm around the same height and body type as Ray Park was at the time(he's more buff now), I knew I could fit into the part well. Still, obtaining the look of Maul proved to be more difficult than I thought.
DMEB2: How long did it take you to complete the Darth Maul costume?
DarkSiderSteve: Originally I had put together a cheap version of the costume. Not knowing of the 501st at the time, Halloween was the only event that I could wear it to. Spending a large amount of money just didn't seem logical for something that would only be worn once a year. This version took about three months and consisted of the official "Rubies Maul Costume" for the belt and outer tunic, an old Kung Fu uniform for the inner tunic and pants, then some biker boots and gloves that barely resembled Maul's. The horns were cut from the Don Post mask. I say "cheap" version, but I still put about $200 into it. It did make a good 'poor mans Maul' however.
Then when I found out I could wear my costume 12 months out of the year, I decided a far better Maul was in order. I have to admit that most of the research had already been done for me, making pieces of the costume a little easier to obtain. It took me probably a total of 5 months to get my costume to the stage its at now.
DMEB2: Trick Question... Are you done with the DM costume yet?
DarkSiderSteve: .Actually no, not yet. I don't have the cloak. I do plan on getting one eventually, but with an already hot costume and the 100+ degree weather in AZ, I'm not sure how much use it'll get. Besides, I always like to be in "combat ready" mode... in case I'm attacked by multiple Jedi. ;) One accessory I would actually love to have is Maul's wrist link and maybe a Maul saber with EL blades. And I may need to get a new outer tunic with all the wear its been getting.
DMEB2: What was the hardest part of the costume to find and/or make?
DarkSiderSteve: Well, it wasn't something I had to find or make- but shaving my head was definitely the hardest part. The bald cap thing just doesn't work well for me. My costume was already complete and it was the night of Halloween. I was at the point of no return... so I got out some clippers and went to town. For someone who has never shaved his head, it was quite a shock at first- for me and my girlfriend. It's grown on me though (pun intended).
DMEB2: What are the boots?
DarkSiderSteve: The 'Holy Grail' of every Maul's costume. While some say they are the Apollo Gore 102's, I believe they are the Titan 101's. The boots I use are a newer model Frank Thomas and are fairly similar to the boots Maul wore. Having the Frank Thomas double 'V' in the front helps. I did add some mock straps to the sides to give them more of the look the Titan 101's have. Having no other option since this particular model was out of production; I was forced to buy a pair that is a size too small for me. What we won't do for the pains of costuming. The exact boots are still on my 'want list' however.
DMEB2: Do you have the ear stud?
DarkSiderSteve: No, and some might say I need one to completely make my transformation to the Darkside. Although I am no less 'Maul' without it. I don't currently have any piercings so it's not really something I'm looking to do any time soon.
DMEB2: Makeup - Is it hard to apply? Can you do the whole make up-job yourself?
DarkSiderSteve: The first time I applied the Maul make-up it took about 8 hours- and was way too sloppy for my liking. I had never had any experience applying make up- which proved to be more difficult than you might think. While I did have help the first few times, I was able-with lots of practice-to get to were I can do the whole paint job myself. There's also a tendency to make each line perfectly symmetrical. As you know, Maul had a slightly different paint job every time he appeared in the movie. So I try to make mine own a little different each time and not so "perfect" as to be little more movie accurate. But as you'll see in some of my pics, its hard to deviate away from that mentality.
For the make up I use the water based Ben Nye clown series brand. While I had considered trying out Reel Creations that was used in the film, after my last experience at the Phoenix MS Walk, I think I'll stick with what I have. It hasn't failed me and is also easy on the wallet. Although, I have to say that as many times as I've done Maul, its gotten easier each time, but it still provides a challenge and requires lots of patience. Now, on an average day I can get "Mauled" in just under 4 hours.
DMEB2: With the horns did you make them or buy them?
DarkSiderSteve: They were actually molded from a lightweight plastic that is pretty durable. I then painted them and modified the bases a little to conform to the bumps and points of my head. I've been lucky to never have one fall off (knocks on wood). That has to be every Maul's worst nightmare! It certainly is mine. Spirit gum hasn't failed me yet- even with some heavy sweating.
DMEB2: Do you "BECOME" Maul when you costume as him?
DarkSiderSteve: Most definitely. I think its hard not to become Maul once in full attire. The fear practically oozes out of you at this point. Plus the fact that I'm usually up at 5 a.m. (sometimes earlier!) applying make-up, always makes me a little meaner. It's actually a pet peeve of mine to always stay in character when photographed.
DMEB2: You mentioned you were into "some" martial arts? What kind and for how long?
DarkSiderSteve: Shaolin Kung Fu- I've been involved with it since about '99 (before Episode 1). I'm currently without a teacher but still keeping up with the training. I believe Shaolin has all the elements needed for training, thus eliminating the need to branch out elsewhere. There's even a light saber routine I put together for a masquerade I participated in as Maul. Having some training doesn't hurt in making me a more convincing Maul. :)
DMEB2: How do you envision Darth Maul's character? Do you think Maul would have just stood there and let Obi-Wan slice him in half?
DarkSiderSteve: Calm, yet filled with an undeniable rage. Once given a task, he lives only to complete it. He's the biggest bad ass there is and he knows it.
No. As Obi-Wan leapt up from the pit, Maul would have whacked his head off before he even made it out. It was quite obvious to me from Maul's display of skill earlier in the fight, that he wouldn't have just stood there and been killed. It was kind of a cop-out finish.
DMEB2: What sort of reactions do you typically get when you costume as Maul? What was the most memorable? What do you like best about being Maul?
DarkSiderSteve: Kids always want to know if the light saber is real. I usually say that I've deactivated it so that no one gets hurt. Every now and then a few kids get freaked out and don't want to be anywhere near you. Most people ask about the horns, contacts, and "how long does it take you to do that?" I usually play dumb and ask them what they are talking about. And of course there's always those few who like to point out how Maul died. I just tell 'em I had a really good surgeon. : D.
My most memorable experience would have to be the first time I met the guys from the Dune Sea Garrison. There was a small local Con holding a Masquerade. I figured I could get another use out of the 'ol Maul, so I went (and won btw). While there I noticed a few guys walking around in Sandtrooper armor (not hard to miss) who informed me about the 501st. This of course was a great opportunity to do something I love year round. I joined up with them and the rest is history. San Diego ComiCon was a great event last year. I almost felt like a celebrity with all the pictures I had taken of me. I'll be going back for sure!
Pictures are always fun and the interaction with the children and fans is great too. But it's always better when we're doing an event for charity though, getting to do something you enjoy and helping others at the same time!
DMEB2: How long have you been a member of the 501st? Do you think your Garrison buddies will give you a hard time about the pages you'll have on the DMEB2? Or will they be jealous?
DarkSiderSteve: I joined up with the 501st in April of 2003. I've never been teased by the guys or ladies- every Garrison needs a Maul to mix things up. I think they may actually have sympathy for me due to the prep time that's involved for each event. But I've managed to make every event, except for two. It can be a lot of work but also a lot of fun in the process. I always look forward to doing events with the Garrison.
DMEB2: Do you have anything specific to say to the ladies (and gents) of the DMEB2?
DarkSiderSteve: The ladies (and gents) of DMEB2 have really done a great job of keeping the memory of Maul alive. He was taken from us way too soon. But thanks to all of you, he will always be remembered. If it wasn't for everyone here, guys like me might not be able get away with dressing like Maul all the time. And for that, I thank you.
DMEB2: How did you hear about the DMEB2? Did you use our site at all for reference material for the costume? ?
DarkSiderSteve: I came across DMEB2 when searching for Maul costume tips. Scott Maul's interview was a big help. He answered the majority of my questions right off the bat. And the many Maul pics were and still are a great reference piece. It's almost like a one-stop shop for all things Maul. A rare find indeed.
~ Finis ~
We are a 'rare find indeed!' ;-) Thank you DarkSiderSteve! All of us here at DMEB2 wish you the best in your costuming pursuits and look forward to meeting you sometime in the future!
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