Character Shoes

So I haven’t mentioned it here yet, but one of the reasons postings have been so sparse in the last couple of months is that I’m working on an independent feature film.

Yay! My first time really acting for the camera, where I’m not trying to sell anything but the story!

Last weekend we turned a corner in the film… headed for the home stretch, if you will. A stretch in which my character gets progressively aggressive, manipulative, and just flat out crazy in some bits. (It makes sense with the story. You’ll see. ) And, as I’m pulling on the crazy, I’m also pulling on other pieces of heavy disguise. For most of the film, I’ve been in very low key makeup and hair. From here on out, it’s a bizarre vintage glam parade.

Wigs in all colors! The hugest fake lashes you’ve ever seen! Bright, flammable polyester dresses!

It’s silly, but this is actually the most “at home” I’ve felt in the filming… it feels more familiar to me in that I’m allowed to be a little bigger, as I would for a theatre audience. Especially because I have these exaggerated “exterior trappings” of my character to pull from and emphasize.

Yes, yes, I know all about my character’s arc, my backstory, and where I’m going internally… but I just always find that certain important aspects of my character are directly derived from how I look… that is, a combination of how I feel when I look that way and–the more tangibly practical–how what I’m wearing makes me move. Hey, Lawrence Olivier knew what I’m talking about here.

As I’ve said far too often, I’m sure: I know who I am when I know how I walk.

Maybe it’s due to my love for shoes off the boards, but I really believe shoes say a lot about a person.

Who would buy that pair? How do the shoes change the rolling heel-toe heel-toe? Do I have to prance between set pieces? Am I casual and quiet in playful, unassuming sneakers? How does my posture change in these slingback pumps?

I’ve got a pretty fun array of platform boots and heels, and some little white keds for this project. And each pair informs the person I’m trying to create on screen–even the one-size-too-small, and incredibly painful black strappy velvet sandals. I mince, but loudly, and with authority. I take my time getting places, and my scene partner will damn well wait for me to get there. I don’t move unless I have too– I stand my ground.

These are all choices I could have made easily, sans shoes… but so much easier with them.

And in this case, well… knowing exactly how this pulled-on, fabulous Louise Brooks bob swings across my chin in a sharp, reactive head-swivel… that’s pretty useful too.

...the false lashes don't hurt either.

...the false lashes don't hurt either.

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