I’m trying to figure out which photograph I want to use on the back of my paperback book cover. It’s one of those last minute decisions I neglected to make earlier in the process of being an independent author. Nevertheless, I asked my daughter to take a few shots with my new Nikon. We were testing backgrounds.
When I saw the photo of myself, I stared. Do I really look like that? I must have a trick mirror at home, because when I look at myself in it, I still see a 30-year-old, not the more mature me that I’ve become. I’m already dreading my upcoming birthday, though we won’t get into that at this time. Satchel Paige will undoubtedly be making another ghostly visit to me in August when the moment presents itself. It’s his kind spirit that calms me down. If you haven’t been following along with my dislike of birthdays and aging, you can catch up on the former post I wrote on my dreaded day.
To further add insult to injury, I volunteered to be an actor in Stevenson University’s sitcom the film/video students are making. My colleague, Chris Reed, the chair of the film department, and I play husband and wife. He is the star of the sitcom, and luckily for me, I only have a supporting role. I learned a valuable lesson during this process—that while I am so very happy to have been included in the project, I realized that I am a writer and absolutely not an actress. The point I am trying to make here (I know, it’s taken me a while to get to it. My apologies…) is that I’ve had to watch myself on film as well. It begs that question again: Do I really look like that?
I know I am not alone when it comes to grasping how we look or sound on film or video. People often ask the following: Do I sound like that? Do I look like that? Is that me?
The hard, cold fact is this: yes, it is. You do look like that. You do sound like that. You do have a little wrinkle above your brow.
My mother loves to say that getting older isn’t easy, but it sure beats the alternative. I know she’s right.
Next time, however, when the cameras start to roll, I will insist that the soft lighting is used on me in my scenes, just as Meryl Streep demands it. And, I plan on becoming best friends with Photoshop.