I really need new headshots.
I keep putting off getting new ones until the magic day when my hair is trimmed, I’ve gotten enough sleep, my skin has stopped being weird, and I have the right outfit to wear.
On the train into NYC today, across from me were two girls. They boarded somewhere on the shoreline with their mothers, and took out binders that had their headshots slid into the clear pockets on the outside. My first emotional reaction was the familiar self-disgust I feel when someone who should have fewer survival resources than I do accomplishes a simple task that I have yet to master (yes, I feel that way a lot. A LOT.) They were teenagers, though, and were being pretty cute about agonizing about their 16-bar cuts, so I smiled to myself while I tried not to eavesdrop too obviously.
The mother of one of them was little more vocal and a little more vulgar, and she proceeded to harangue her daughter for her choice of 16-bars, criticize everyone the four women knew, and conclude by saying “your hair looks like sh*t” to her daughter as they exited the train. Charming.
I’m pretty sure my mom never told me my hair looked like sh*t. In fact, I’m pretty sure my mom never gave a sh*t what my hair looked like. I had the opposite of a stage mom. She and the rest of my family were always my biggest fans and continue to be, but they never bought into the myth that any sort of recognition or even success really matter. They made sure I knew how to tell a joke, do a crossword, push in my chair, enjoy a book. They never got me headshots.
In some ways, I paid for it. Whenever I was trying to really pass in music circles during high school or college there was a lot I didn’t know. I missed out on some training I can’t make up for (for instance, I’m sure both of the tweens across from me on the train are better dancers than I will ever be).
Still, I’ll take it. Being perfect, being a star, is overrated. There are things I’ve lost and things I’ve gained because I didn’t have an artsy upbringing. But what I have is better than what I can imagine.