Thinking about what I’d like to do on vacation, top thing on my list was a visit to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum at the Opry Mills Mall in downtown Nashville. It was such an awesome experience and I highly recommend everyone who loves music, visit this one-of-a-kind music themed museum. I met with Stephanie, the Marketing Director, who shared a short history of the founder and creator of the museum, Marie Tussaud. Marie Tussaud was an inspiring woman entrepreneur who grew up in the 18th century. Her parents created and used wax figures to teach anatomy to students over the years. As an adult Marie used the same techniques that she learned from her parents to establish the first wax figure museum in London. Many of the same techniques are continued to be used today to make the life-like wax figures for wax museums all over the world. Marie Tussaud was a talented woman whose life story is associated with the such mysteries as the Chamber of Horrors, The Hempstead Tragedy, Sherlock Holmes and Alfred Hitchcock. There are many gory yet entertaining tales behind the woman who enlightened the world with wax.
The wax museum has multiple rooms each with a different music genre theme displaying over 50 music celebrity wax figures. For instance, they have a soul room, a rock bar, your favorite pop, jazz, R&B stars, and Country Singers displayed as real-life figures along with an interactive stage. To mention a few, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder sitting in his famous singing position at a piano, Kid Rock, Elton John, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Minnie Pearl, George Strait, Hank Williams, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Ozzy Osborn, Bob Dylan along with many other music icons. Alvin, Simon and Theodore, the three animated cartoon chipmunks are also displayed remembering their contribution to music after being created in 1958.
As we walked through the museum, we entered my favorite room, the WSM Radio Broadcasting room. It displayed a lot of the old radio equipment used back in the early 20's through 50's prior to television becaming popular. Before television was invented people would sit around their radio and listen to different programs, plays, news, sports and even the "Grand Ole Opry" which continues to broadcast on WSM Radio to this day. I enjoyed comparing the equipment for years ago to that in my present studio.
While walking through the various themed rooms we saw Darius Rucker's figure and watched a video clip of how his wax figure was designed and created. I was absolutely in AWE when the PR director described the process from start to finish to create the figure and just to see how realistic the wax figures look. All life-like wax figures are designed, molded and created in London. The celebrity is involved in the entire process and works with the design team to mold and construct a rendition of the celebrity down to the tiniest of details. The process begins by the celebrity participating in a formal sitting where the design team can take measurements of the artist along with thousands of photographs in all positions. The design team is all about detail and include tattoos, moles, scars, freckles, a perfect model of the celebrity’s teeth, smile and expression. Each strand of hair is individually threaded in the scalp. Even their eyes are a perfect rendition of the celebrity. Madame Tussaud works closely with the celebrity and their team to choose their positions, hair style, outfits, jewelry, accessories, guitars and other instruments. I was amazed and would say 99% of them you couldn't tell they were wax figures that's how real life-like they look.
The final stage is the launch on national TV and social media of the life-like wax figure where the celebrity appears with their figures for a side-by-side reveal. The figures are so life-like, that many people do not realize which one is the wax figure.
While at the museum, I didn't see one of my favorite country artists, Taylor Swift, so I asked about her. Her wax figure was in the process of being updated and was in the lab area in back in their studio. I will say it was a little creepy seeing a bunch of wax hands that looked so realistic and Taylor Swift's head sitting on the desk. I asked what they were going to be updating and was told she was getting a total makeover with a new look, new outfit and new hair style. The design team was waiting to hear from Taylor's team to tell them exactly what Taylor wanted changed. I can't wait to see what they come up with! So, whether you are in NYC, Los Angeles, Los Vegas, San Francisco or Orlando, and are looking for an awesome experience, don’t miss out on an opportunity to get up close and personal with your favorite celebrity icons by visiting a Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and relive your favorite memories of attending their concerts, connecting with your favorite artist, or remembering your favorite song or movie. We loved taking photos with all the wax figures and enjoyed the interactive and photo opportunities the museum offers at the radio station, special genre rooms and the concert hall, where you can perform on stage with the celebrity icons.
Here are a few photos from our experience!