Meet Marcus “The Creature” Boykin from AMC’s Freakshow Reality TV Show

Tonight (February 14, 2013) AMC will be airing a new reality TV show called “Freakshow”, all about the Venice Beach Freakshow. The cast member who may be of most interest to ModBlog readers is Marcus “The Creature” Boykin, tattooed head to toe and wearing a face-full of self-pierced metal. The name “Creature” comes with a double meaning — he’s not just a creature in the monstrous sense, but also “create-ure” in the sense of creating himself as an artistic invention, a body that is “all original, unlike anyone else’s”, in the hope that he’d be able to not just entertain, but inspire and let people know that no matter how impossible something seems, you can do it.

Here’s the official video profile of Creature from AMC. Following that is a brief chat that we had yesterday letting you know a little bit more about what makes Creature tick — but if you really want to see what he and the rest of Venice Beach Freakshow are all about, don’t miss the show, which begins tonight on AMC at 9:30, 8:30 CST.

** What made you want to move from being a kid into piercings to someone at the “freak end of the scale” — and how did your family react?

My family are hard core Christians, and my mom is still in disbelief, but my dad supports me to the fullest in the craze of body art and piercings. My inspiration came from historical pictures like the Great Omi… warriors receiving scarification, like the great Shaka Zulu, and slaves chastisement as they got whipped and scarred and burned — also Jesus Christ himself suffered out of this world piercings and was scarred beyond any recognition — it goes reallly deeeep…

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** How did you get into the industry professionally?

When I was a kid I always was attracted to the arts, and now consider myself a multi-disciplinary artist. I was someone who was always into creatures — that’s why my name fits so well. I first got educated on the industry by going to the store and grabbing ink magazines. I saw the abnormal things featured in magazines like Tattoo Savage, and these influenced my young mind. Even as a kid, I always wanted to entertain, from the art of popping, locking, and breakdancing, and being a creature known as Gizmo and Raver Dayn, as Yoshi, and rebel dancing as him toooooo… I’ve always been into the strange and unusual, so I’m not surprised by my profession. I believe I didn’t choose it — it chose me.

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** Why do you have so many piercings specifically on your face? Do you have issues with rejection?

I have a lot of piercings on my face because I want to fill it completely with surface piercings. Ear stretchings, lips, nipples… a lot of the mods just takes time. Of course I suffer rejection but that’s just a part of the game. I’ve been piercing my own face and tattooing it for years now, and things just keep on improving in the industry so there are endless possibilities. The future holds many new creations in my body mods. It won’t be done until I am dead.

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Creature with one of his many young fans

** What are your future body modification plans? Are you interested in going for one of the “most piercings” type records?

As my mods go, I am still adding more and want to continue to lead African Americans in this art form and represent the endless possibilities of our body. That’s very important to me, and in addition to my facial work, I want piercings over my entire body surface. I already hold the record as the most tattooed and modified man in America thanks to my layers of ink, mods, piercings, and stretchings but I’m going for more — of course I will keep delivering the blow! Art has endless possibilities, and I express that through the body as the Creature.

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** What can we expect from you on the show?

Before I started body mod I did body balance circus tricks and planking, part of a world-wide crew I started called “The Freakshow”, and advancing to the world famous LA Breakers, tattooing and evolving my skills and receiving mod work to advance my power. Now as a tattooed man, following in the footsteps of the Great Omi, famous in the sideshow, I love what I do because of the influence I can have on children, telling them to be themselves — that’s what’s it all about.

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** Have is been difficult walking this path due to your ethnicity?

Yes. I believe there is a big separation in piercing for minorities versus whites. Blacks in particular, because in modern times they don’t generally do these things, is why I felt I had to lead and do it personally. I believe we as African Americans come from the first culture to do these things historically, especially in the extreme categories like head shaping, lip plates, septum expansions, plugs in ears, lips, upper lips, nose, and of course also scarification and branding… As Americans, blacks have had to walk a straight edge to get jobs, so mods are uncommon. We are forced to look acceptable to work…

** Have there been positive aspects as well?

All the movies I watched growing up were about being black and proud, and I want to express that through my ink. Like everyone, I have an inner warrior, and I found mine through needles of ink and piercing, as well as through modifying my hair… I had my face fully tattooed at age twenty-three. My race helps me with this struggle because there is no one leading in the mod world as a black male, and I wanted to be the real first extreme real black make in the body mod community.

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In addition to being in the sideshow and inking himself, Marcus has also worked as a tattoo artist in a classic urban LA style. Here’s a collection of the ink he’s put on others — click to zoom in for a closer look. Don’t miss the cartoon in the bottom right which wears the same nose jewelry as Creature!

23 thoughts on “Meet Marcus “The Creature” Boykin from AMC’s Freakshow Reality TV Show

  1. interesting interview. personally i would not let this man come near me with a tattoo machine, or a piercing needle.

  2. I wish he would use high quality jewelry not acrylic crap and do his surface piercings properly with surface bars not curved barbells it’s such a pain to see and he’d suffer a lot less rejections, unfortunately these people on TV lead by example to so many people. I wish there was more encouragement from the community to practice safe piercing. :(

  3. zakk, those just look like curved barbells with large spiked ends…

    and jade, i completely agree. If you’re going to lead the mod movement in any way, i think your mods should be a shining example of things gone right, not wrong. i’m glad he’s happy with them, but for every person out there self-piercing with shitty jewelry…i’m not happy he’s setting that as something that’s safe/normal…

  4. This is so awesome. It’s cool to see black people getting into the mod culture. I’m sick and tired of people telling me my piercings and scarification is a “white people thing”. My lord, african tribes (Practically all indigenous people) have been doing body mods for centuries.

  5. Another vote for “wouldn’t let this dude near me with a needle if my life depended on it”. His work is *terrible*!

  6. yeah those tattoos are pretty horrible, to my eye. But sometimes i wonder if people dont realize how a lot of the old school carny tattoos hold up in comparison? Like now that so many tattoo artists are art school grads or former graphic designers( and im not knocking that btw) the ideas for what makes a beautiful tattoo has completely changed, it seems more about the ever perfect design elements than ever before? Classic flash will always hold up regardless, bt some of that stuff would have definitely made badtattoo hastag somewhere on the internet. I don’t know… but I definitely would never let this guy touch me with a tattoo machine.These look like scratcher tattoos….good luck to him though. hope it all works out good for him.

  7. I could appreciate this a lot more if any of those piercings looked even remotely well-done or healthy. Sweet christ, this is just a clusterfuck of awful. The ones that aren’t actively rejecting & hanging by a thread are crooked & badly placed, and it all looks like cheap, shitty, acrylic flea market jewelry. I want to hold this guy down, forcibly remove all this bullshit, and re-pierce him using anatometal or industrial strength surface bars. This could have turned out so neat if it had been done properly :(

  8. While the piercings may not be professional, I think the take away here is that he describes himself as “a work in progress” . He has taken something he’s passionate about and stepped outside of society’s comfort zone. I respect him for that.

  9. Not my style, which is symmetrical, stainless steel and…well, planned. But this guy’s a carny, folks, more Elaine Davidson than Samppa Von Cyborg. He’s rocking fake fur and Hello Kitty headphones. It’s a completely different aesthetic. Whenever I see something along the lines of “most facial piercings ever!” all I can think of is how amazing it would feel to one day remove all that metal and just rub my suddenly unencumbered faceflesh. Not my thing at all, but then I’ve only got one thing because I’m just one person out of seven billion or so. Me, I get nervous when my lobes angry up because I didn’t stick to my saltwater soak regimen. He doesn’t.

    There are different economics at play here as well…I remember a college-age pierced friend of mine wincing when I casually mentioned I spent about $35 a pop on my not-particularly-heavy gauge segment rings. Not as big a deal for me, apparently, as it was to the Ramen noodle set. So, yeah, it’s all well and good to wish he’d use high quality jewelry, but who’s paying for it?

  10. First, totally agree with not letting this guy near me with a needle! If your going to do it, do it right. And why is he even on the show? What is he doing that anyone else couldn’t do? He’s not special, he’s not unique, he doesn’t have any special talents. He mutilates his body and calls it art. I am not against tattoos or piercings, I have several, but this does not make me special. He’s avoiding having normal responsibilities by calling himself a freak. You have a kid that is scared of you, why isn’t that important to you?

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