Erl Van Aken
|Brewer, Maine, USA
|Jan 17, 2013
Erl Van Aken was a "modification pioneer" in the 1980s and 1990s, having several of the first known piercings such as his namesake the Erl (a Bridge piercing) usually via Gauntlet. He also had a large Bipedical flap created on his stomach, documented by Body Art Magazine.
Erl was also a character actor with bit parts in movies such as The Cableguy, Austin Powers, Thunderdome, and Blade (as Lord Von Esper). He was on television shows such as Mad TV, The Single Guy, and even The Newlywed Game. He was also an ordained priest and trained in stage combat.
Erl maintained a website, where his bio reads (in part),
Born,1939 Earl Douglas Van Aken II in Brewer, Maine. Came to Pasadena, California on a troop train in 1943. Soon moved to the Orange County area. Completed grade, high school, and some Jr. college. Rather an unpleasant area to grow up in, Fullerton to be exact. A very narrow band of perception. And being a person of "different" thinking, not subject to peer pressure, I was not well.... tolerated. I survived, so did they.
In the early 60's I did work for NASA, Bell Labs, JPL, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. and others of similar ilk. I worked on our first satellite, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo. I also worked on the Rover vehicle, in that sense I'm on the moon! I left that area of work to become a multi-media artist. I was soon unable to supply my demand in various art forms as lost wax jewelry, junk sculpture, stained glass, furniture, hardware, clothing and accessories, leather works, "smoking accessories" and much more.
I'm sure there are those who will remember Angel/Mindshaft Co. From the 60's. I did some motorcycle riding and hell raising during this period as well. You know sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. This carried over into the early 70's, and became a lifestyle all its own, nearly costing me my life on more than one occasion.
In about 1996 I started doing fine art, costume and animation modeling. This in time led to work in film, tv, video, and commercials. I very soon was a member of the Screen Actors Guild or SAG and The Federation of Radio and Television Actors or AFTRA. Following soon was representation by the Coralie Jr. Agency, an old established company in all aspects of entertainment.
Erl passed away January 17, 2013.