Once, a few years ago I was doing a stage show. I had a makeup lady do my makeup to help me achieve a particular "look" for a particular character. This is what "may" have happened...
I am sitting in a makeup chair waiting for the elusive Makeup Artist. There's no sign of her- a gal that I'll call her Bernice because that is NOT her real name. I flip through a couple of magazines all the while checking my watch. Finally, I smell a waft of cigarette smoke and in enters the makeup artist. I'll call me- "Actor" because you know my name already.
Actor: Hi Bernice. I shake her outstretched palm. I was just sitting here trying to “find some calm”. You know. Before I "go on". I look at the lit end of her cigarette and the smoke pooling above our heads. Ummm. Could you extinguish that cigarette, please, Bernice?
Bernice: Oh Geeze, you're one of those types, eh? Yah, well sure. Be back in a sec.
She leaves the room and I hear a distant toilet flush. Just like all those other Actor types. So you're trying to keep calm eh? Pre-show jitters Dear? Have you moisturized? How old are ya hennaway? Anyone ever tell you ya look like Christopher Plummer. I once made him up ya know...so what is your name Hun?
Actor: Um...Let's see- yes, no, yes, 60, that's interesting and Rob.
Bernie: Doesn’t feel like it. That you've moisturized I mean. Feels dry. Did you colour this hair recently, Hun.
Actor: Well, A couple of weeks back. Just a little wash. A bit of blonde maybe.
Bernice: A couple of weeks back. Some colour eh?
Actor: Well... yes. A bit- I guess. My hair was starting to look tired.
Bernice: A bit. Honey this hair was more than a bit tired? Christ on a Cracker- where’d you get the stuff. Dollarama? Geeze, it looks real cheap. Well, it fits, I guess.
Actor: That isn’t very nice.
Bernice: Oh settle it Hun, I mean your stage persona. (aside) Short fuse or what. So, you claim you moisturized some too?
Actor: Yes I did- before I left home. I said already…
Bernice: Well that’s something anyway. Good God your hair feels like frickin’ prairie wheat. Now, let's get a bit of foundation on that mug of yours and maybe all those freekin’ age spots will disappear. What the Hell is that all about?
Bernice: So, what are ya like 63 or somethin’?
Actor: 60. And a half....
Bernice: Listen Hun. I got to tell you. Up front and personal. You know “Mano a Mano”. You don’t hide your age well.
Actor: What? I don't. I think....
Bernice: But don’t you worry. Bernice is here to help. I am. I mean that. Now if we makeup artistes weren’t here for you, you can well imagine what you’d look like going out on that stage. ~Hah. Hah. Hah.~ She slaps my left shoulder with a stiff palm and red-lacquered fingernails.
Actor: I can’t imagine.
Bernice: You’d look like Hell. Pain and simple fact! Sorry for the profanity but I speak the truth. Now, I know you actor people work hard to bring those characters to life but you know we are here to help move you along and just in time for your sake. ~Hah. Hah~ She slaps me again. Now just relax. She rubs the back of her hand along my right cheekbone. Did you say you moisturized Hun?
Actor: Yes, I did. We’ve been through that.
Bernice: Oooh. Touchy. So, listen I have a galfriend. Now look, I don’t mean I’m one of those dollies from the Isle of Lesbos or nothing. Oh God Honey, I have had my share of menfolk in my day. Don’t get me wrong now. I am not one of them loosy-goosys like you read about on your Facebook and Instaham...
Bernice: ~pauses~ Whatever Hun. No, I pretty much keep to myself these days. Well, you have to- dontcha? What with all them SID's and stuff.
Bernice: Yes, well whatever Hun. Now Hun, sit up straight here or your manboobs will be on your stomach before your next birthday. So this galfriend of mine-who just so happens to be an artiste of makeup like myself, tells me last week that that actor fella who does those movies- you know who I mean? Oh Christ on a Cracker- y'uh know...
Actor: No, not really.
Bernice: He’s that funny guy with the big-
Bernice: He’s that funny guy with the big-
Bernice: No. No. Head. Big Head...
Actor: I have no idea..
Bernice: So he sits across from my galfriend at the restaurant he’s got a bit of the white powder under his nose. Ya Know Hun?
Actor: Powder? White? Whipped cream?
Bernice: You are sweet Dear but you live in another world. I mean drugs. You know. Powder under the nose? Coaltrain?
Actor: Oh. Cocaine.
Bernie: Exactly. Terrible waste. But good gosh apparently Hun, he has the temper. Not very nice at all. So what’s that gonna get him? Nothin! Did I ask you if you had moisturized.
Actor: Ummm. I. Have. (I spoke through clenched teeth.)
Bernice: Never mind. Too late now Hun. So can you imagine? This actor-fella makes all that dough and he can’t get up in the morning without snortin’ his life away. Good God that’s sad. Really sad. ~pause~ Good Lord in a bateau!
Bernice: You have some nasty-looking split ends here. Get yourself a good conditioner Hun.
Actor: I’ll look into that. Glancing at my watch. I'm kinda in a hurry now. I need a bit on my eyebrows.
Actor: No. eyeliner!
Bernice: Now leave your face to the professional Hun. That’s what I am her for. So, eyeliner on the brows. Good Gosh. You need more than a bit. The audience wants to see those brows jump and twist and turn and twitch now- don’t they? Don’t you worry Hun. I’ll have you looking spiffy before you know it.
Actor: I’m not sure if “spiffy” is what I’m looking for…
Bernice: Well I’ll be the judge of that Hun. As for what’s happening below the neck, I couldn’t give a fat fanny. Me. I am just from the neck up. She makes a cut-off motion with a cut below my neck.
Actor: Well at least we know where we’re at. You’re here I motion across my throat and up and the neck down pointing down is another department. I understand that.
Bernice: Well, I am not surprised. You seem intelligent but you'd be surprised at those that don't have any sense of direction. Not one iota! Oh Hey, she slaps I remember one time I had a director say to me- Bernice, what do you think of that pink sweater vest for Veronicia in Act Two, Scene 1? Mr. Babcock I says to him. That was his name- Mr. Babcock- funny eh? She slaps me three or four times as she's lost in several loud guffahs. So, Mr. Babcock I say, you had better ask Gladys in Costumes because I am just concerned with here up. She motions.
Actor: What did he say?
Bernice: What could he say? Hah! I said it all. Geeze. What a loser. I mean that Hun! She applies a few final, deliberate brush strokes and wallops my cheeks with some powder piled on a white duster. Ok that’s it for you. Now have a nice day Hun- will ya?
Actor: I’ll try.
Bernice: And remember to put on some moisturizer next time for Christ's sake!
Actor: I give up.!
Bernice: aside Geeze, nice fellah but skin’s dry as toast.