With the promise of the acting assignment in “Endgame” coming up, we pondered the inclusion of Jimmie’s 30-year-old headshot in the program and cringed. There is nothing sadder than seeing someone’s program pic looking a generation younger than they currently look, right?
And yet, to actually embark on having head shots taken at 89 is daunting. If the truth be told, I had considered it important when Jimmie was 75 or so- just goes to show you what an excellent procrastinator I am. Henny Youngman’s lines came unwittingly to my head when I considered the task and I quickly banished the thought of organizing it:
She is so old she won’t even buy green bananas. And…
He is so old when he orders a three-minute egg they ask for the money upfront.
Confess – you are thinking a lot less of me as I trample my way through various protected catagories with the abandon of a small child tromping through puddles. And yet, you are saying to yourself, I can see why she/they postponed the task.
And yet, here we were, with rehearsals looming, and requests from the press office at CTG for bios and head shots, sorting through the candids that I have taken over the years of my darling husband, and here, with the most current headshot being one that I think he had taken back in the late 80s or early 90s, hardly suitable for a man of his stature.
So a few weeks ago, when another of my creative friends invited me to their promotional page, I found myself perusing some new photos of a USC colleagues taken by recent USC MFA Alumna, Elmira Rahim, and found that I liked her style. I hit the button to endorse her page, then messaged her about the likelihood of getting her to shoot Jimmie’s head shots. She agreed, and we set the date for last Saturday, an impossibly busy day for me, what with a donut run, and two techs, but it seemed vital to get these head shots taken sooner rather than later.
Saturday came, and we were to meet at a studio downtown in the arts district. I had the address as well as very detailed directions about parking and getting buzzed into the building, using the right door, etc. Part of me wondered whether she gave everyone those detailed directions, or if at my age, I’ve dropped into some rabbit hole where it is perceived I need them more than I would at 25. But let’s just say I appreciated the specificity of them, both as a stage manager and a boomer navigating a nearby but unknown segment of downtown Los Angeles.
Parking was tricky, so, as I frequently do, let Jimmie off, then went to park the car. I ended up parking pretty far away, after telling him to meet me at the corner. When I came back, I didn’t see him waiting for me by the door, so buzzed up and went up to the third floor, where Elmira was waiting for me in the hall.
Is he here with you?
Oops. Let me go find him….
And back down I went to the street, turning to the left of the entrance door, where he was sitting on his walker right where I had told him to be. He wasn’t alone. Standing in front of him were two young men, both with old fashioned cameras, one sporting an old fashioned handlebar waxed mustache; they were both snapping away at him with their box cameras like he was royalty. Granted, he was looking pretty spiffy in the new pink checked polo shirt I had bought him for Easter.
I approached laughing.
Jimmie, we are here to take pictures, but not here, here.
They told me how surprised they had been to see him sitting there on the corner in his hat, and pink shirt, and how they had asked if they could shoot his picture because he looked so great and distinguished (and abandoned, I thought). I completely get it – I frequently want to take Jimmie’s picture. He’s adorable.
We parted company, after receiving my business card, they said they would send me the pictures. We went back to the actual studio to meet Elmira, and I left Jimmie there, having arranged a ride home (not included in the head shot service), and went on my way to tech bearing 8 dozen donuts.
Rehearsals have begun for Endgame, and I wish I could be folded like a playing card and tucked into Jimmie’s pocket to listen in on the process, but I must be contented to hear about rehearsals from him instead. Yesterday he had a wonderful exchange with his Ethiopian USC Alumnus Uber driver; they talked the whole ride about their passion for marathon running, comparing times, and the cities they had run. It’s a wonderful adventure. And meanwhile, we have the Endgame head shots, ready for the work ahead. Try out Elmira Photography!