Here’s my account of getting new headshots taken by my friend Brian Landis (he prefers Lando Kalrissian) Folkins.
He would probably tell a very different story than the one I relate here. He would likely say something like, ‘Who is this tight-assed, tense bitch I thought I knew as an actor? Where is his swagga, the swag I know so well, because he was an obnoxious, outgoing DICK when I worked on ‘Bug’ with him...’
So that might be Brian’s story. You’ll have to check with him on that.
But, seeing as this is my blog, I will write my own story, thank you very much.
And this is how I remember it, and what I learned about myself upon viewing the results of our afternoon of ‘work.’
I only put quotations around that word because I had so much fun hanging with Brian that it didn’t seem like a chore at all. He has a pro photographer’s uncanny knack for instantly seeing when you’re phoning it in, or are thinking about something else, or are not engaged somehow with the camera. Calling me on my bullshit may have resulted in numerous giggling, grinning, unusable photos, but it also got me back in the game. You can see the light die in my eyes as I go away, and you can see it come back whenever Brian grabs my attention again.
Major props to you, sir.
I’ll take my kickback now, in the form of sixteen beers and shots. :-)
That said, the end result--which requires you looking at yourself and your own fakery and duplicity and bone-deep phoniness, broken only by the occasional odd, off-moment when the photog somehow catches you looking like YOU, and not some fake-ass, dead-eyed catalogue model--believe it or not, going over and over pics of your own face is disconcerting.
It is so disconcerting that I have compiled a list of Important Thoughts to help you understand what a weird thing getting your pic taken professionally can be. (FYI, I have taken artistic license here to post some of the more awkward and goofy-looking shots. Brian did a fantastic job, and I will be posting some of the finalists for my actual headshot on FB and probably on here very soon. There are a lot of excellent shots to choose from; just not in this post. :D Sorry, Brian.)
1) You spend your whole life worried that your teeth might be yellowed and coffee-stained. But WHY didn’t anyone tell me my teeth are crooked as a crack whore’s? Shiny-white though they appear against my farmer’s tan, I am a snaggle-toothed, Jewel-looking motherfucker.
2) Apparently, if anyone spends a couple hours with me, the vast majority of expressions they are going to see are going to be completely insane, buoyed by a smattering of squinty-eyed giggles, and one or two moments of normal-ish looks. Sorry about that, everyone who has ever known me.
3) To reiterate: 99 percent of the time, when I am not as dead behind the eyes as a Kardashian, or obviously and blatantly thinking about food, boobies, and/or beer, or all three at once, I am quite clearly a fucking dangerous psychopath. This is according to most snapshots of my face.
4) Crow’s feet? Really? Why didn’t anyone over the many, many years tell me to stop smiling so much?
5) When you try to open your eyes wider, it just looks freaky. ‘J. Dahlmer? Paging Mr. J Dahlmer, party of one...’
6) DOUBLE FUCKING CHIN??? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW, UNIVERSE? FUCK YOU, TOO! MY NECK IS FAT?? WELL YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!
7) And seriously, I have FUCKING DUMBO EARS?? Why wouldn’t my good friends at least let me know, even in a mean-spirited way: ‘Hey, Brighton! Can we catch a lift with you? How? By Elephant Airlines, of course! Haha!’ or maybe, ‘Hey Kurt, put your ears away; here comes a Hindi. Ganesh might get jealous...’
Dumbo ears and crazy eyes all rolled into one bonus horror pic for you.
8) I suddenly have a tremendous amount of empathy for Michelle Bachmann. It’s really really fucking hard to avoid showing crazy eyes when a camera is pointed at you and you’re trying to smile.
9) Pro-tip for wide-shouldered, big-headed guys: chin fucking forward. You look like a sandworm or a particularly weird, ugly muppet with the guy’s hand way forward in your throat when you pull your chin back even slightly.
10) MY GOD I LOOK LIKE A THUG!!!
11) The other thing is I can easily identify the pics are those moments when Brian finally had to say, ‘breathe. Gotta breathe..’
12) And seriously, now, when did my left nostril drop down like half an inch?
13) Never knew until today that I am the Leather Muppet.
And there you have it. Have a good time, kiddies, getting your headshots done!
Me and this dog are separated at birth, I think.
More to come!