Unphotogenic

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For this summer, I’ve kissed any possibility of ever having a social life goodbye when I was cast to be in a play and when I, in a fit of ongoing insanity, accepted the part.

Rehearsals began just this past weekend, so I have been lustily procrastinating (ignoring?) the idea of being in the spotlight - albeit a very tiny, very dim and at times even a flickering, spotlight – because well, for a girl who hardly leaves the house by day, it’s difficult to fathom such a concept without wanting to hurl and break into hives.

So imagine my unpleasant surprise when I was told at last night’s rehearsal that we were going to be photographed this evening!

I kicked, I screamed, I lied (how do they know that there is no such thing as an allergy to all sorts of lenses, tripods and cameras? I could be the first and therefore as yet undiscovered case!), but to no avail, and after a sleepless night (nothing like a night of insomnia to enhance your look for pictures!) and a day in which I desperately tried to lose fifty pounds (now there’s an improbability!), I showed up to the theatre looking like a frazzled lamb being led to slaughter.

My cast mates, who are already impossibly beautiful, turned it even further up for the occasion and they were all slinky and sexy in little black numbers, healthy glows and cooperative, shiny hair.

Even the male lead, who also posed in a dress and make-up in a few shots, made a far sexier woman than I could ever be!

And as soon as I was awarded my costumes, I relinquished any further hopes of trying to look even remotely appealing.

I may have neglected to mention that my character is nine months pregnant. (So all ye mothers out there, I need tips, please: When with child, how does one walk (waddle?), hold one’s back, breathe, contract, and, how does one feel about the man who did this to one?)

So I knew that I wasn’t going to look all designer-like ala Gwyneth Paltrow when she was still digesting her Apple (couldn’t resist, sorry! And actually, she did kinda look like she had merely swallowed a whole apple when she was pregnant, ‘didn’t she?), but that didn’t stop me from secretly fantasizing…

What they ended up giving me to wear far exceeded even my worst nightmares, and I’ve had plenty of those, almost always involving floral printed muumuus. In fact, when I was handed my outfit, I actually started praying for a muumuu, that's how bad it is!

For, girls and boys, ladies and gents, what they gave me was… a pair of shorts. With floral print.

With my stubby white legs!

A plastic bag filled with something soft but lumpy and stuffed under my shirt turned into my belly for the occasion. I had to enlist all my female cast mates (three) and the assistant director, the costume designer AND her assistant, to um… knock me up convincingly. The process involved a lot of prodding and poking and punching of the bag to get the lumps out.

Considering that it was only the third day I had ever seen any of these people, I guess it served as a sufficient ice-breaker.

For the photo, they had me flat on a table and I’m making all sorts of “lovely” laborious faces with the male lead (who was his ever handsome self even in hospital scrubs) looking slightly faint. And I’m not convinced that he had to fake very much to get that expression!

And alas, after all that they STILL weren’t done with me. Our sadistic kind director decided that we had to have a wedding picture, which meant that my five “assistants” had to help me out of the pregnancy gear and then hoist me into a wedding gown and veil. I looked and felt very much like a very large cream puff, and I’m sure my resemblance to the pastry will be confirmed in the photographs.

Although I REALLY don’t want to know...

6 Comments

Lisa said:

If your portrayal in the play is half as funny as your description of your photo session, I'm sure you'll be a hit! Being a bit of a drama queen (I mean, theater buff) myself, and having "emoted" (read: "been cast as comic relief") once or twice as well, I am impressed with your effort to put as much realism as possible into your role. No part to small for the spotlight, however often it may flicker. ;)

waterlily said:

so what's the play called? or have you mentioned it already?

kellen said:

being in a wedding dress can't be all that bad. imagine all the single girls who drool over bridal magazines, you will probably make them jealous. :) i definitely think we should get to see a shot of you with the belly.

Michelle said:

Post some pics!!!!

As for tips on looking/acting pregnant - I guess it was sort of waddling when I walked. The best way to imitate it is to stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, lean back slightly (like you're trying to stick your tummy out more), and then slide your feet along the ground. Every so often, I'd reach back to rub my lower back or support it with one hand. And I rubbed my tummy a lot. I felt like I was cuddling my baby when I did that. I hope this helps!

And I don't know a lot about costumes in plays but if there's any way you can change your outfints, you can find inexpensive maternity wear from OldNavy.com and Target.com. The clothes are pretty cute and most importantly - its not floral!

kdeweb said:

ugh! taking pictures is not my thing either. but to be trussed up like that must be a nightmare.

martha said:

i want to see pictures...

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • martha : i want to see pictures...... [go]
  • kdeweb : ugh! taking pictures is not my thing either. but to be trussed up like that must be a nightmare.... [go]
  • Michelle : Post some pics!!!! As for tips on looking/acting pregnant - I guess it was sort of waddling when ... [go]
  • kellen : being in a wedding dress can't be all that bad. imagine all the single girls who drool over bridal ... [go]
  • waterlily : so what's the play called? or have you mentioned it already?... [go]
  • Lisa : If your portrayal in the play is half as funny as your description of your photo session, I'm sure y... [go]
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