Sunday, October 01, 2006

Why I'm Better Off On Radio

Provocative statement? Perhaps. The truth is, the reason I’m better off on radio has a whole lot to do with, well, my face. Now don’t get me wrong. I like my face just fine. It’s a fine face, and does all the things that a good face needs to do. It serves as a gateway to food (perhaps its most important function). It delivers an array of expressions which allow me to function more or less normally in society. It serves as a kind of vehicle for my facial hair (also an important function). In fact, you’d never know there was something dramatically wrong with my face by just looking at it. The problems arise whenever someone tries to take a picture of my face.

I can’t explain it. But anytime someone tries to take a picture of my face, I completely lose control of it. It’s like a pack of tiny demons inhabit my facial muscles, compelling me to: blink, squint, grimace, snarl, drool, leer (well, that one could just be me...). At my first wedding, there were so many pictures of a half-lidded, sleepy-looking, doltish nincompoop standing next to my wife (me...get it?) that my then-bride selected a wedding group photo for mass reproduction that featured 20 out of 21 people with glorious smiles and big bright eyes. I, of course, looked like I had briefly fallen asleep right as the flash went off, but that didn’t deter my first wife. She said it was the best picture overall, with the most amount of alert-looking people. Never mind that I was the GROOM, for Christ’s sake...
But I digress....

Recently, I had to have a photo shoot for an album that I recorded with my friend Marvella. There were three of us: Marvella, Rouke, and myself, all standing outside on a bright summer day. Rouke and Marvella remembered sunglasses. I, of course, didn’t, and came armed with only my face. We took a number of photos, but all I really remember was trying to keep my eyes open while looking into the sun. (It’s possible that some of you may see where this is leading...) Marvella called me a week later and told me that the photos really turned out well...except for me. My eyes were completely shut in most of them. This didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was what she said next. She and the photographer tried to “fix” my eyes. And this is where it gets kinda weird. Their solution was to graft (via photoshop) Marvella’s eyes onto mine. Which is what they did. Which is a great idea, except it’s crazy and makes no sense at all. Marvella’s eyes look really great on her (that’s why they're called “Marvella’s Eyes”). They made me look like a zombie. Then they went and added “light glints” to make Marvella’s eyes look more natural on me. But that just made me look like a zombie with someone else’s eyes in proper lighting. So they settled on photoshopping Rouke’s ray-ban sunglasses on me. Not a bad solution, I guess, except that now Rouke and I look like the Bobbsey Twins. Plus, when Rouke found out that I was to wear his sunglasses in the photo, he complained that at least I could ask him before I borrowed his stuff.

The clincher to this whole fiasco came later. My current wife, around whom I really try to keep my eyes open, looked at the photo on the back of the C.D. (now in print...) and declared that not only did I have Rouke’s glasses, but that I had his nose as well. Apparently, that was the only way to cleanly photoshop his glasses on to me. All that trouble, to fix my damn face for the back of the album. I suggested to Marvella that it might have been easier to just graft George Clooney’s head on my shoulders. Might even sell more albums. But she just smiled, and told me to keep my frigging eyes open next time.

And that, fair readers, is my self-effacing story of myself, my face, and my self’s FACE on my last photoshoot. Let’s hope to god it is in fact my LAST photoshoot. And now, back to the radio....

Photo courtesy of Wire Moore.


Jonpaul said...

Couldn't they have just Photoshoped a mutton chop across your eye's and make it look like a giant uni-brow or hairy sunglasses?

the moxiest said...

Lets see, what other creatures claim they can't be, vampires! are you a vampire, ralph? You: work primarily at night, know how to play the organ (which makes that creepy "imminent doom ohgodjustrun" kind of music, and perhaps most telling, hang out with ACTORS. Methinks this whole (oh I can't get a decent photo of me" crap is just a front.

The Unknown said...

A face for radio? What are you talking about? Look at that long neck and the graceful curve of your face... err...wait.
Umm... never mind.
I was looking at the cello.
My bad.

TYLER! said...

Next time try a couple of dots on your closed eyelids with a sharpie. Problem solved. Or slits even, like a cat...or one dot and a dash, like you're winking.
I look forward to seeing your photoshopped nosejob