Monster Midian Crosby is as unique as her name suggests, but we recently learned that once upon a time, she was “Jessica”. “Midian” isn’t a stage name, though—here’s the story of how she got it in her own words:
I have been fascinated by and love all kinds of monsters and so called “things that never were” for as long as I can remember. I also never liked my given name, Jessica (the second most common name for girls my age in my hometown of Boulder, CO).
At two I asked to be called Casper (the friendly ghost) and later if anyone called me Jessica (and not Jess or Jessie) they got the brunt of my anger.
When a friend of mine changed her name I began thinking about the possibilities and searched name books for ideas. Around this same time my brother had loaned me a book by horror novelist and painter/filmmaker Clive Barker. I began devouring his work, including one called Cabal which had a place called Midian peopled by amazing monsters. These monsters were, for the most part, the “good guys” in the story. In Barker’s work, no one is all good or all bad, it is a more natural mix of the two.
When I was about 13, the film adaptation of Cabal (Nightbreed) was released (rated NC-17 for brief nudity and general subject matter, I think) and I so badly wanted to see it that my parents lied to the theater people and said I was 17 so I could see it alone while they went to see Henry V. I was mesmerized by the sympathetic, beautiful (and sometimes ugly and frightening) monsters of Midian. I spent a year+ thinking seriously about Midian as my new name, and when I was 15 (the Summer before I started high school) my Mom helped me go to court and file the paperwork to legally become Midian.
My Mom had chosen Jessica for no special reason and was not especially attached to it, but was unsure if a horror movie name was a good idea until a friend mentioned that it is also originally a biblical name (old testament). Midian was the fourth named son of Abraham, who was outcast, started the Midianites who then almost destroyed the Israelites had GOD NOT STEPPED DOWN AND CRUSHED HIM. Midian means habit, strife and destruction (my middle name means singer and my last means the crossroads…). Heavy. But hey, not JUST from a horror movie, right?
I have yet to physically meet another Midian, however, a fiend of mine recently told me that there is a little girl in her son’s kindergarten class named Midian. I think there might be a couple others out there, but it is a far cry from the hordes of Jessicas.
I have never once regretted the change. Midian IS me. I surround myself with and also make monsters. They understand being different, being weird.
Helping bring The Mold to life as a puppeteer for Motivational Growth felt like bringing a new monster buddy into my world. The Mold is one crazy, manipulative, funny, scary, weird and oddly charismatic fellow. One I am so happy to have gotten to know.