A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Bronwen Marsden - Actor
Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Bronwen Marsden - Actor
Me and my (Red) Face


I have been told I have thin skin. Blood capillaries close to the surface. Or something. Whether or not this is in fact true, the story does explain why I blush so easily. And, lordy, do I ever blush easily. All it takes is a hint of self-consciousness, or a faint whisper of embarrassment, and my ears turn to fire, my neck and cheeks fill with a lava-like substance and, if it's really bad, tears spring to my eyes. Suddenly, I find that my neck is holding up a tomato, not a head.

This has given me all kinds of grief. In early high school, it meant classmates could accuse me of having crushes on people I'd never once considered attractive, and have those accusations confirmed by my physiognomy. Nowadays, it leads people to believe I have rather Victorian sensibilities. Sometimes people like to make a party game out of it: "Who can make Bronwen blush first?"

It's an irritating and easily misinterpreted window to my heart.

For a long time, I didn't really know when I was blushing. Then, I became familiar with the sensation, but the awareness led to a deepening of the crimson. Now, though, I am starting to get a better handle on my reddening: I know when it's happening, I know what triggers it, and I have a method for restoring my natural colour a bit more quickly.

But I've begun to wonder: why aren't actors expected to flush on command? After all, "Can you cry on cue?" is almost the most-asked question by non-actors (second only to "How did you memorise all those lines?"). Crying at will isn't the most difficult part of acting by a long shot, but it is a neat trick, and most actors have a way of getting to it. So why not blushing? It's a physiological reaction, like crying. Strong emotion brings it up, like crying. It has certain triggers, like crying. Can it not, then, be accessed by the same sort of mechanism? Surely someone, somewhere, has worked out a way to do it. I think even I could, if I put a bit of effort into it.

As an actor, being able to display the inner workings of my mind and my emotions is prized. Where once I wished I could hide everything behind a smile, I now actively seek truthful expressions of my inner self. And, for me, that includes the reddening of my face.

But the question I have is, if I were to master this part of my physiology, would anyone even notice? Or would it be invisible on stage, and too red for HD cameras? Would it be prized by directors? Or despised by makeup artists?



David Baines
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart
Sandrine Cassini
Meredith Kalaman
Juliya Kate



     

Previous Posts
And All Is Dross That Is Not Helena

Rooted They Grip Down & Begin To awaken

Snow Falling And Night Falling Fast

Lauren Mimics The Alex Face To Perfection

Alexandra & Hilary In La Conner - 1988

David Baines - Columnist, Vancouver Sun

Tony Swain, Hot Shots, & Generation X Makes Its Fi...

Michelle Porter - Bertolt Brecht - Culture As Subv...

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

The Cloer Crepe Maker



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11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17