I’d rather go grey than go bald…

22 Aug

[ADVISORY: Started this entry on 3 July… expect tenses to get a bit jumbled….]

I’m not an especially vain person I don’t think. Well, I hope I’m not. Yes, I do sometimes think I’m rather better than either I or anyone else gives me credit for in my professional life, and yes, anyone that blogs, or writes about themself is in some small way vain, but generally…

My confidence is lacking for the most, and I lack conviction in myself when it comes to my physical appearance. I made the mistake of looking at photographs from just a few years ago today, and my gosh have I put on weight. I’ve yo-yo’d these last seven years. From svelt to huge to slim to huge to just a bit less than huge, which is where I am now. I have a naturally big frame, but my gut sticks out a mile and it kills any sense of satisfaction in my appearance I may have had.

I can’t grow facial hair properly either. My beard is a rather pathetic thing at the best of times. At the moment I’m sporting a rather unusual shape of facial hair – something that wouldn’t look too out of place in the 1970s or the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Let me explain…

I’ve talked for ages now about how I want to get back into performing. I haven’t done it regularly for a long time, but I’ve gotten so detached from the scene I have no idea how I’m supposed to go about finding out about casting sessions or opportunities to act. My occasional talks around the country are about as close as I get most of the time. Of course, I had another radio slot the other week on BBC Radio Ulster’s Arts Extra – talking about Woody Allen for a change and not anything to do with creaky British horror movies. They seemed pleased, and I was pleased, but it could be months before I get invited back. [Actually it was a fortnight – I was invited in again to talk about Coppola’s Tetro – but nothing much since] If I’d been smart I’d have got my chums to start a writing campaign to the BBC to see if they would bring me in more often. Frankly I love it. And I think I can get a good rapport going.

I also submitted a sample of my voice in an attempt to get some voice-over work at a local production unit. I rather suspect they aren’t that interested in using me at all which really is a shame. But I’m finally putting myself out there again slowly.

I even went to my first casting session in years. Probably some sort of karmic revenge for when I was a teenager and started making films. I still have the videos somewhere of those casting sessions – putting people through the auditions for our short films, which nobody ever saw. I last remember auditioning during my first term at university – a really physical workshop for a play, and the workshop ended up being filmed by the BBC for a documentary about life at university. Didn’t get the part (I was told they already had someone of my ‘type’ in the company… bastards). After that I gave up really.

This summer HBO started shooting a series in Belfast. Never ever happens, but they called an open casting session and were looking for men with facial hair growth. So I’ve been growing my face fuzz and my hair for the last couple of months – when normally I’d be chopping it all off by now cus I’ve grown bored of it. I’m cursed with a ginger pubic blight on my face. Not terribly sexy – unless you like ginger pube faces, or bears.

At any rate I trundled down with a couple of friends to the open casting at the Holiday Inn in town. Filled in the questionnaire in rather more detail than they probably need (and I know my declaration of having worked on both sides of the camera before, and comment that I ain’t terribly body confident, will put me in the reject pile), stood against the wall and had a snapshot taken of my mug. And that was it. They’re shooting to the end of December so I’m meant to keep my face fuzz until then, and so far I have (see yesterday’s blog entry for proof). The friend I went to the casting with, who has no interest in performing at all, got a call the other week and ended up with a week’s work on it, so maybe there’s hope. Probably not. I should have adopted the Ollie Reed approach and slept with the casting girls…

The nostalgic reappraisal has continued this last month, with me digging out old videos of myself too – but I’ll blog about those another day.

I don’t mind growing old. I don’t mind many of life’s changes to be honest. But my hair has always been shite. Aside from my ginger growth, my head hair is very fine and sparse enough. So, having been dealt the blow of not much hair (and virtually no eyebrows) I’d like to keep it thanks. My grey hairs are increasingly apparent, especially in the beard, but I embrace them. Maybe they’ll make me look like Gandalf the Grey George Clooney [a boy can dream]. But being follicley challenged I don’t want to go bald. It would be hideously unfair – what with going through life with a fivehead already.

Ultimately, I think the ladies might just tolerate a bearded greying man. They won’t go for a bald fat man. And so I need to get back to something resembling normal weight. Not that I’m looking for love exactly… but I don’t want to put it off. To apply for my love….

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2 Responses to “I’d rather go grey than go bald…”

  1. Holger Haase August 22, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Haha, I know where you’re coming from re grey/bald. All the men on my father’s side were prematurely grey or white; all the guys from my mother’s side were bald. So the genetics were made clear to me from an early stage and I was always hoping that if I have to lose my blond hair at an early stage it was preferable in exchange for grey/white hair as opposed to bald patches. At least that worked out.

  2. avalard August 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    Mum’s side of the family are all bald… Dad’s side are mixed. Neither side has fantastic hair.

    Its a silly thing really, but I’d much prefer the grey look. Don’t know when or if I’d start to dye it…

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