Thursday, April 5, 2012

Don't Take Pictures of Yourself in a Mirror and Expect To Get Paid For Doing So

So, every now and again, I get an e-mail from this woman in Chicago that gets regular-looking folks modeling gigs, right? I hear from her 2x one month and then she disappears for 6. And then she comes back. That's been happening for about four years now.  More often than not, I don't get the gig. It's no big whoop. It's not how we put food on the table.

When I do get the gig (I've gotten three), it's a little extra in the kitty for the month and a little boost of my self-esteem.

I got an e-mail two days ago indicating that based on a photo that was taken four years ago, I'm on hold for a gig (national, I think?) that would give me a pretty big chunk of change for 5 hours of work.  And by chunk of change, I mean, it could almost make last week's unplanned purchase of the MacBook Pro a non-issue. 

There is no guarantee I'll get the gig, but since I don't have to audition, it seems like a good idea to throw my hat into the ring.  All I have to do is send them a recent picture. Recent as in, taken within the last month.  Doesn't have to be a glam shot or a professional glossy -- it can be done with a cell phone: it just has to be 'recent.'

My cell phone is filled with pictures of Rick Crapster, food that I've prepared, pictures of the running gear I've acquired and my kids. I have a few pictures of me wearing a blonde or red wig and covered in fake blood. I've got a few pics of my various treatments (tape and needles) for running-related injuries, as well as a few of me stumbling out of a lake wearing a wet suit and a latex swim cap. That's it. The last photo I have of me was circa Thanksgiving.  As it works out, I take the pictures in our family: I'm not featured in them.

I spent more time than I care to think about this morning fixing my hair and putting on make-up so that I could spend additional time taking pictures of myself in the bathroom mirror with my (dated 3GS - it doesn't have the lens on both sides) cell phone. In addition to feeling like an asshole for taking at least a dozen pictures of myself in a mirror (I'm too old for that shit), I looked like an asshole, too. 

An absolute asshole in front of a shower curtain.

cell phone pictures in mirror
Yeah. A winner. I can do this with my arms AND you can see the package of Advanced Healing bandages on the shelf. Razor sharp elbows and blistered feet: who wouldn't hire me to represent their company? The only thing missing in the shot is a picture of a turd floating in the bowl of a toilet.

So I moved into Little Guy's room, where the sun was aplenty and tried taking shots of myself via "Photo Booth" on the Mac.  I achieved a slightly better series of photos, although the background shows a giant Batman logo and a hockey pennant. I picked one and sent it to the woman.

She responded, within the hour, and asked for more.


Wardrobe change. Hairstyle change. 

I asked daughter to take a picture. She's been sick, so holding still (e.g., steadying herself against a decent case of the spins) proved tough: all of the shots she took of me were blurred. 

So, I grabbed the computer again and headed to a new 'location' (the bedroom) for a second shoot.

All that produced equally ungreat photos. I sent them in anyway and apologized for not having a stash of photos of my most recent self stored away somewhere. I may have been apologizing for not having colored my hair recently and being waaay overdue for a haircut. Should I have also apologized for having one sick kid last who tossed and turned and moaned all night long, and another kid that just couldn't sleep so that I was pretty much awake from 11 pm to 3 am and that's why my eyes are super-squinty slits hovering above dark brown pools of saggy eye baggage that all the concealer in the world can't fix?

Or would that be too much information?

How is it, that on a normal day, I can get up, do the minimal amount of stuff and feel pretty good about how I look, but if someone asks me to look good for them, I fuck it up?   I won't prove it with a picture, but I currently am wearing a Jack Daniels t-shirt and my hair is fixed into two low pigtails: I look like I just walked off the set of Hee Haw. 

And beyond getting angry because I'm not looking like I think they want me to look, I'm pissed that it is 1:46 pm, and I still haven't figured out what the  'one thing'  I should be doing today should be.

I'm going to take a nap. That might be the absolute best I can do today.


  1. That would be great if you got that job! And she sounds interested!!
    I am totally unphotogenic and wouldn't attempt a mirror shot, I would probably look horrible.
    Honestly, yours didn't turn out bad!
    Hope you can get a better one!
    And sorry about your daughter being sick :(
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. After watching Spirit of the Marathon and then reading this, I have come to the conclusion that you have the same elbows as Deena Kastor.

    This bodes well for your race.

    Hope you got the job!

  3. 6 weeks from now:

    MLR to wife, shaking head in confusion, "I don't understand why she decided to run 26.2 miles on her elbows..."