Photos of my face

I’m sitting in Hampstead trying to remember what I’ve done today.

I met Chris Mann for headshots in the morning. Once, many years ago, we worked together as actors. We were paid £75 to do an incomprehensible murder mystery in the home counties. I was the lord and prime suspect. He was the deviant stable boy and arbitrary murderer. Neither of us were paid enough to style out something that didn’t work. Both of us chalked it up to experience and drew a line under murder mysteries. Now he’s taking headshots and I’m still throwing myself head first into the plate glass. He was exactly the right person to take my photo. He’s taken a lot of vibrant, forward photos. I need to be allowed expression to thrive. On a film set nobody says “Angle your head like X. Do Y with your lips.” But an astonishing number of headshot photographers do just that. Is it a hangover from celluloid, where you can’t waste too much film on crap photos?

Anyway my job isn’t to be pretty, nor has it ever been. My job is to try to be honest. I think I might have just got some honest shots. Even if my shaved face looks weird to me.


I took my weird bare face to a meeting, and the director said “I hope this isn’t the wrong thing to say, but you have a tremendously vulnerably quality.” My brother described me as “haunted” a month ago. Looking at these photos, where I was having a lovely time, some of the shots I’m drawn to see that haunted thing. I don’t feel haunted. But that shit has got into my eyes. Is that a useful thing considering it doesn’t affect my behaviour on set? Fucknose.

After yesterday and today if I’m not extremely busy from June forwards then people are idiots. Which means I must get onto the comic selling ASAP as I’ll want a holiday before it all kicks off. Once it’s locked in. Which it will be.

Meantime this evening I went to volunteer with a company called Scene and Heard. Today was just a start. We will be working with brilliant kids from a particular part of London, helping them write plays while providing positive role models as best we can. Today we did a writing workshop with them. We created an animal, and worked out names, family and many circumstances relating to their daily life – their hopes and their fears.

As I was doing all of this, the headshots came through for review. Ping. Superfast. There are some great shots, I think. I don’t much like looking at my face. But hell I wonder how many times I’ve written the word “I” in this blog. It surprises me that nobody has yet called me “narcissist” to my face for this incomprehensible repetitive excursion into vanity. So surely I can spend a few hours looking at my own mug.

Anyway, that’s my shit piling up right there. I’m at a friend’s house. I just clocked out socially to stream this down. Now I’m going to clock in again.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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