How did I get started making wigs?
Meet Maurice Neuhaus
Oh... you would like to know a little bit more about me? OK, let me see…
For as long as I can remember, I have always been creative. As a child I was drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting, playing the piano, setting the table for my parent’s dinner parties and so on... I also love to figure out how things work, and the techniques behind them. That’s why, when I saw Germany’s most famous drag performer “Mary” on TV for the first time when I was 11 years old - oh yes, I forgot to tell you; I was born and raised in Germany - I couldn’t believe that it was a man dressed as a woman. I became fascinated by wanting to learn the craftsmanship behind transforming yourself from a man into a woman with the help of makeup, wigs and costumes.
Since I also loved performing and wanted to become an actor, I started doing drag myself when I was 18 years old.
Two days after graduating high school in Frankfurt, Germany, I packed my two suitcases, and moved to New York City. I had never been there before and I was beyond excited to start my journey in show business.
While studying acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I continued my quest to improve my makeup skills as a drag performer by devouring every makeup book that I could get my hands on and practicing my makeup several times a week.
After a couple of years of perfecting my makeup, it was now time to improve my wigs. I wanted to have handmade wigs, but there was no way I could afford them at 22 years old. So I bought all the necessary wig making tools, and showed up at Bob Kelly‘s wig shop in Times Square unannounced. I asked Bob, to teach me how to make handmade wigs. After refusing several times, I was able to convince him and he agreed to show me how to knot hair into a wig. This process is called ventilating, and is the foundation of wig making. He saw that I was making good progress and offered me to come back to learn more. Over the course of the next year in between acting in plays in small theaters around New York City, I went back to Bob Kelly‘s wig shop to work on my drag wigs.
I loved living my New York City dream, working as an actor and drag performer, and enjoying all the amazing things that city had to offer.
But after 12 years, it was time for a change of pace and a different quality of life. So I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to continue my journey as an actor and Wig Maker.
For the next four years I worked for Renate Leuschner, and Victoria Wood, two of the best Wig Makers in Hollywood.
Having been fortunate enough to have learned from the best in the industry, it was time in 2015 for me to combine all the knowledge and techniques and start my own business. Now, one of the things that I enjoy most about my work, is my relationship with each of my clients.
Everything seemed to fall into place in my thirties. In 2013 I met the love of my life Robert and our four-legged children Perry and Eleanor, our English Springer Spaniels. My desire to always learn more, and of course my love of food, prompted me to start learning how to cook and bake. Baking especially, is now one of my big passions in life, along with caring for my little family, hosting dinner parties, hiking, working out and trying my best to add to the Love in the world.
Maurice has been hired by Broadway wig designers Tom Watson and Charles LaPointe to build wigs for numerous productions such as:
The Color Purple
Rock Of Ages
Little Shop Of Horrors
Guys And Dolls
A Raisin In The Sun
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Anna In The Tropics
The Coast Of Utopia
110 In The Shade
Much Ado About Nothing
In My Life
Martin Short - Fame Becomes Me
The Apple Tree
Cyrano De Bergerac
Sunday In The Park With George
A View From The Bridge
In The Heights
Sondheim On Sondheim
Million Dollar Quartet
Brighton Beach Memoirs
The Royal Family
Accent Of Youth
The American Play
A Man For All Seasons
A Tale Of Two Cities
OPERA AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Metropolitan Opera (Wig Designer: Tom Watson)
Saturday Night Live
Step Up 3-D Walt Disney feature film
The Cove Hotel at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino
Wicked, National Tour (Wig Designer: Tom Watson)
Wicked, Chicago, starring Ana Gasteyer (Wig Designer: Tom Watson)
Wicked, Los Angeles (Wig Designer: Tom Watson)
Wicked, London (Wig Designer: Tom Watson)
Wicked, Australia (Wig Designer: Tom Watson)
Jersey Boys, San Diego, CA (Wig Designer: Charles LaPointe)
The Color Purple, The Alliance Theater, Atlanta (Wig Designer: Charles LaPointe)
The Maids (Wig supervisor)
FILM AND TELEVISION
Maurice has worked on wigs designed by Renate Leuschner and Victoria Wood for celebrities such as:
Barbra Streisand, Viola Davis, Halle Berry, Bette Midler, Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Ben Stiller, Charlize Theron, Samuel L. Jackson, Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas, Stanley Tucci, Lisa Kudrow, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristin Chenoweth, Sigourney Weaver, Tyler Perry, Jessica Lang, Melissa McCarthy, Anette Bening, Kristen Wiig, Allison Janney, Anna Faris, Felicity Huffman, Jennifer Hudson and many more.
"...his wig possesses an exceptional degree of realism...”
The New York Times