Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finger-Clipping Good

I've been acting in a small film recently. Since my scenes were shot on multiple days scattered over some two or so weeks, an issue of some importance has been to maintain continuity. When scenes are shot in that way, and out of order to boot, deliberate effort must be made to make sure that things shot on Tuesday match up to the way they were Thursday. If one's left arm is in a cast on the earlier day, then of course the same arm must be in a cast subsequently. That's probably more elementary than requires explanation, but it felt like I ought to say so anyway. What's been on my mind is continuity of a kind that has some impact on the rest of my life.

What's been easy has been my facial hair. The mustache is as long and full as it can be, so there's no issue there at all. A little trickier is the beard area. Since I haven't had two shooting days consecutive, it's been simple for me to shave every day except the day of the shoot, granting me a bit of stubble which helps my characterization of an ex- Confederate soldier out on the trail. Nothing was ever said that I had to do this, but it seemed like what I ought to do. If there were not days off between my days on set, I would have to figure out how to not shave all the way as I always do. I suppose an electric razor could do that, but I have never used them.

Initially not a bother but progressively becoming one has been my fingernails. I've just let them grow, which I suppose is not more helpful to continuity than to keep them trimmed. I'm not some old pro as an actor. I'm still learning, doing some things the hard way and making mistakes on other things when my instinct is counterproductive. That may be so in this case, but it's really just very interesting to have long nails as women often do. They're not incredibly long, but may be more so than they ever have been. They get in the way. I wear contacts, and putting them in and taking them out becomes an even longer process when I have to make sure I don't scratch the eyeball with a fingernail. Typing feels kind of odd with the nails clicking on the keys, which then themselves click. I sort of like the sonic quality of clicking the nails, often for no reason but to devastating effect when I seek to convey that I'm bored and impatient.

Well, my final shooting day has come and gone, and with it any excuse to put off the clipping any longer. I didn't want to keep them, and yet I will miss them in a way. I had to clip them even so. I fear what might happen if I let them go too long. I've seen those pictures of record-holders. I think that when they get long enough, the body starts building up infrastructure of a kind to support them, and then perhaps I'd have to see a doctor to get them off. I didn't want that. Anyway, it was rather stimulating to clip them off. In my mind I felt lighter and refreshed. When the movie is finished, I'll finally get to see whether my gesture of going through that was worth it. I certainly hope so.

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