I will never be a model.
I say this not because I’m overweight (which I am) or because I’m too unattractive (which is also likely) but because today I endured a two-hour photo shoot and I enjoyed no part of it.
Let’s back up. Today, I was at a photo shoot because I needed some updated headshots. For anyone who doesn’t know what they are, think of them as business cards for actors. It’s a way for the director to remember your face once you’ve left the audition and it’s time to cast. Or sometimes, it’s a way for folks to give you a call when they’ve never met you just because someone showed them your headshot and you look like the person they might want to use.
Anyhow, it’s been a while since I’ve had any professional ones done and today was the day. I refuse to run another fall audition circuit with a headshot that I know isn’t up to par. So today I moseyed across town to hook myself up with the city’s best headshot photographer. Let’s call her CheeChee.
Man, did CheeChee hit me with a nice dose of reality.
The very first thing she said when I sat down in the makeup chair was “what are we going to do about that eye?”
For those of you who may not have read my post on my problems with my eye, feel free to catch up here. But if you want to skip all that, suffice it to say that I have an eye that is noticeably smaller than the other. It’s somewhat noticeable day-to-day, very noticeable when I smile, and downright glaring in photographs.
I didn’t have an answer for her. Naturally. Given that I was born with an asymmetrical eye, it didn’t really occur to me that I had any options. Thank heaven I had already written a post to make peace with said eye problem or by golly her just blurting it out like that would have given me a hard time. CheeChee spent the rest of the makeup session working to camouflage it. Deep shadow on one, light on the other. Curl the lashes on one, don’t on the other. Line the bottom of one, don’t the other. The light the living bejeezus out of my right side and pray to God I don’t look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in the prints.
At one point she said “well – soon they’ll have some sort of surgery to correct it, I’m sure.”
Very comforting, CheeChee.
It was a rough day. I didn’t realize how exhausting it can be to just have someone take pictures of you. But then again – I’ve never been given such specific directions. In each photo, I was attempting to accomplish a variety of tasks, mandated to me by the Cheester. Straighten my back leg, bend my front leg, flex one arm and put it on my hip, bring the other arm softly to the front. Turn head toward window, look at camera, chin up, cock head, and throw out a pleasant smile.
A pleasant smile is pretty difficult to muster with all that other business going on behind the scenes.
But that wasn’t enough for CheeChee. Unhappy with how my eye was turning out under pressure, she decided to ask me to correct it. As in – close one eye slightly so that it matches the mutation of the other. All while keeping the other completely wide, one arm stiff, one arm soft, one leg straight one leg bent, my face toward the window, chin up, and with a cocked head.
And of course, I had to smile.
But not too much. When I smiled too much, the eye became very evident and my horse teeth started to show. At least they must look like horse teeth because when I smiled “with teeth” per CheeChee’s command, she instantly grimaced and asked me to show less teeth.
There’s nothing like faking a fake smile.
So I’ve decided – I can’t possibly be a model. I left the place with a raging headache and only a modicum of hope for my future. If anyone ever did want to use me for print work, I’d have to let them know that it takes about 200 shots to get one where I can squint with one eye while keeping the other perfectly open and achieving whatever they want me to do with my body will be entirely secondary from stopping my face from falling back to its natural Quasimodo state.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom mirror and begin my daily affirmation.
“I am not a monster. I am not a monster. I am not a monster.” ♣