Every now and again, Garry needs a new “head shot.” Back in the old days, this was almost always a black & white head and shoulder pictures. Black and white because these were often inserted into newspapers which until lately, were all black and white (except for that special “Sunday Section.”) Passport pictures had to be black and white too and school pictures were always black and white. Now, though, with everyone owning a printer and some of us with pretty expensive printers, much of that work gets done at home. Me, I have an inexpensive printer and I never print photographs. I send photos out for printing. They use permanent ink, non-acidic paper, the right glue, and have it all back in my hands in a few days. Usually framed.
You would think that Garry, the man who was on TV for more than thirty years (he says 40, but I wasn’t counting his whole career, only the years he was on the air), would not have a problem getting his picture taken, especially by me since I pretty much always have a camera in or near my hands. If you point a movie camera at him, he’s ready to rock and roll, but for reasons he doesn’t understand either, he freezes in front of a still camera. It’s why I have so many pictures of him from the side or back. At least he’s relaxed.
Still, sometimes he really needs a new picture. He isn’t happy about getting older. None of us are exactly thrilled about it, but he looked young for so long, the realization that he ain’t young no more has struck him a bit harder than others. I suspect all performers deal with aging a bit differently than the rest of we mortals. I look at the lines in my face, imagine what a little minor fixer-upper face lift could do, then forget it and move on. How I looked was never one of my strong suits anyway.
Sometimes, you just need to see a face. Personally, I like his face and am always trying to find something he can say or do that will relax him enough so he smiles — really smiles — for the camera. A smile takes 20 years off his features. Tension doesn’t make you more lovely.
Usually I can cajole a grin or a giggle, but this time, he was balky, stubborn, and didn’t like the way he looked. Mind you, he looks younger than me despite being five years older.
Also, there’s a “good side, bad side” issue. His good side is where his cochlear implant is, so all his gear is stuck to his head on that side. I point out that it’s not exactly a secret that he doesn’t hear well. He has been wearing hearing aids his entire life, but this is not a day where commonsense is either common or sensible. And beside, the old aids were invisible unless you peered into his ear. These are firmly stuck to his cranium. I suppose he feel about them they way I feel about the implants that are sort of my breasts these days.
Eventually, we get the photos done and he still decides to use a ten-year-old picture. He had more hair then. His hearing aid was invisible. Ah, vainglory! It is a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury, signifying that I’m going to do a lot of work for no special reason and he won’t even notice it. All those unemployed actors waiting for the COVID siege to end must be driving their families totally wacko. Where’s the audience?
I am the audience. I am the camera. It’s just me, baby. Just me. And the cameras.