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Feb 13, 2018

It's a stretch.

I can't believe how good I look.

I only say that because sometimes in my head I’ll think I look good and then I’ll see myself in a mirror or a picture and suddenly realize I’m a weird little troll.

But these new pictures -- taken by my good friend Beth Dubber -- capture me looking appealing, approachable and radiant with reflected light. They’re how I want to look, all the time. I know I don’t look like them all the time, but I do look like them some of the time.

I'm not having any retouching done -- I know my eyes are permanently bloodshot, my teeth are a little yellowed and I have blotchy skin, but I'm not about loving a picture of myself that's been doctored. I love these pictures because they're me, on a good day, with great lighting. That's how I want to be remembered.

I needed new pictures because A) I want to get back into going on auditions – I never got far as an actor professionally but I’ve had many years of fun with it – and B) I’m losing my job of the past seven years. I have six weeks left on my contract and then that’s it. So I needed a work picture for LinkedIn and general professional use.

As I understand it (and as I reassure myself), being let go is all part of a company-wide restructuring that has nothing to do with me, but I still feel lost, sad and scared about it -- I am not a young man. I am telling myself that this frees me up to new opportunities and 'it's never too late' but it’s always in my nature to be both hopeful and terrified. That’s why I’m usually cheerful to the point of panic.

This morning I woke up asking my Dad for help. He’s been dead since 2003 but I woke up to hear myself saying out loud, “Dad. Daddy. Dad. I need help. I need your help. I need a job. I need to be successful at something. Please help me."

I kept at it for about ten minutes; thinking about him, trying to direct my thoughts toward his spirit, hoping he heard me. The picture with the glasses – I look a lot like him. As I get older I see more and more of him in my looks and that feels promising. I couldn’t look this much like him and not have a little bit of success in common, could I? Wouldn’t seem logical.

I’m now 51 years old, turning 52 in May. I’m not getting younger, but I am thinking about it a lot. About being younger and feeling bulletproof and not caring about tomorrow. Then I snap out of it to remember I’m 51 and facing a job search. That's not the most enviable position to be in, if you were to ask many people.

I got new pictures and want to get myself out there for everything. Regular work as well as creative things -- I start my intermediate voiceover classes next month, too. I see myself thriving but I also see myself losing everything. I'm what you call "pragmatic."

A psychic once told me I’d make a living with my voice, but a lot of people have told me that. When I was a teenager, I read a book about leveraging your speaking voice and it got me to learn how to sound calming and expressive whenever I'm called upon to read aloud. But as far as psychics go (I’m like this: I believe in a little bit of everything but never rely on anything) he’s apparently foreseen a lot of things that actually did happen.

Of course, he made that prediction about twenty-five years ago. Even if this comes true, when?

Ten years ago, I was 41. Twenty years ago, I was 31. Ten years from now, I’ll be 61. Twenty years from now, I’ll be 71.

Like Bette Davis said in ‘All About Eve’… “Those years stretch.”

Categories Work/Life