I’ve been back on my book game recently, reading up on everything of interest, and trying to find anything that could help me in the multitude of projects I’m involved in right now. When you scour the book stores not looking for anything in particular, you tend to find some books you didn’t expect to see. One of said books is called “In Character Actors Acting” by photographer Howard Schatz. Schatz took the simple idea of photographing actors one step further, placing actors in a series of roles and dramatic situations to reveal the essence of their characters. I had seen the book before, but never took a deep look into it until today. Check out some of what you’ll find.
Left: You are a hostage in a desert prison camp, overhearing your buddy being tortured in the adjacent room, knowing you’re next. Center: You are a four-year-old boy at a new, “realistic” dinosaur theme park, getting a lick on the head from a 50-foot-long mechanical brontosaurus. Right: You are a heroin addict begging your dealer to give you a fix, promising you’ll pay him later, really.
Left: You are a dedicated father who, with your wife, has just sat down to dinner with your 15-year-old daughter, who is defiantly announcing that she’s pregnant. Center: You are a fashion designer on the morning of your big runway show, realizing that nothing in the collection is ready or fabulous. Right: You are a blustering, pompous member of the British Parliament, giving a speech that is being broadcast on the BBC, and you’re thrilled at the sound of your own voice.
Left: You are sneaking a peek, in the middle of the night, at your sweet new boyfriend’s computer and discovering e-mails to and from his three current “other” girlfriends. Center: You are a Park Avenue matron, paying your husband a surprise visit at his office and discovering him on the couch in flagrante delicto with his secretary. Right: You are a disoriented homeless woman being arrested for loitering.
Left: You’re a middle-aged woman at your mother’s hospital bedside as she hovers near death, remembering the quarrel you had with her when you were last together. Center: You’re a perky gal in your 20s whose boyfriend of two years has asked you to close your eyes because he has a very special surprise for you! Right: You’re a six-year-old at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for the first time, startled by a bang from a huge cannon and the sight of a sleek, silver-clad woman flying high above the crowd in an arc.
: You’re the surly 14-year-old son of a single mother, steeling yourself as she awkwardly, haltingly begins a belated and unnecessary “birds and bees” talk. Center
: You’re at your daughter’s college graduation, and the pretty classmate of hers that you’ve been secretly ogling has just said, “Mr. Lefkowitz, you can’t be 58 you’re too cool!” Right
: You’re the valedictorian of your high-school class, having just been introduced to give the speech of your young life and your mind has gone completely blank.
Left: You’re a finalist on America’s Next Top Model who is hearing Tyra tell the other girl she’s out and you’re prepping to give your nemesis a “sincere” hug. Center: You’re a stand-up comic performing at a Toronto showcase packed with S.N.L. and HBO scouts and your “lesbian chickens” bit is utterly tanking. Right: You’re, like, 15, and he’s, like, 17, and even tho U have only ever said, like, “Hey” in the hallways, he’s just texted 2 ask U 2 B his D8 @ the prom!!! the prom!!!
Left: You’re a child swallowing a spoonful of medicine that your mom promised would taste good, and now she’s telling you that if it didn’t taste awful it wouldn’t work. Center: You’re at a social dinner with your work colleagues and their spouses, desperately trying to signal your partner to stop talking so freely about your shared sex life. Right: You’re a bunny-level skier who has decided to try a black-diamond slope, and now, with no idea how to stop, you’re headed straight for a tree.
Left: You’re a broke, struggling screenwriter emerging from a pitch lunch at a Beverly Hills restaurant, just in time to see a landscaper’s pickup back into your borrowed Lamborghini. Center: You’re a stoned, purely mercenary substitute teacher telling your third-graders, “Anyone who makes any noise while I’m resting will be sent home to Mommy in several little boxes.” Right: You’re a nerdy 11-year-old video gamer surrounded by BlizzCon posters and fellow nerds, and you’re taking this particular session of World of Warcraft waaay too seriously.
Left: You’re the new longboarder on the secret beach with the famous break, preparing for the onslaught from the territorial locals. Center: You’re a suburban car dealer demonstrating in your three a.m. ad slot how much your customers $$$AVE when they come to you! Right: You’re a Romanian gymnastics coach, exasperated at the failings of your 12-year-old star pupil, screaming, “You are imbecile!”
Left: You’re the office toady, having a dutiful laugh over your boss’s latest racist joke and all too aware that everyone else at work hates you. Center: You’re a Miss Universe finalist in the nanosecond between being named fifth runner-up and remembering to flash your best I’m-so-happy smile. Right: You’re the school doofus, blissfully unaware that your having just been named prom king is a cruel, Carrie-style stunt by your classmates.