Yesterday was the day I got to be the demonstration model web author for an online ad agency publishing project.
I knew there was a video camera involved and that I couldn't wear colorful stripes. No problem. I don't own any stripes.
In fact, I barely own anything worth being seen in, much less anything colorful or striped, I realized, as I surveyed my wardrobe on Friday morning. I pulled on a worn-out purple shirt that I bought at Oxford Street Selfridge's in 2002. I need new clothes, I thought for the thirtieth time this week.
I headed to the agency, where a sweet young woman met me at the front desk. She offered me strawberries and water, and then someone showed me where to go to get my makeup done.
Eh? Makeup? Before it registered completely, I was seated in front of a cool Italian woman who was smearing various powders and goos all over my face. She expertly applied lip liner and mascara.
"You plucked too close," she said of my thin eyebrows.
"They're just blond and thin, it's not me doing it!"
I had eyebrows a moment later, after she went to work with her brow pencil. Then she turned my blond lashes to brown.
"They're long, but you can't see them," she muttered.
It seemed so unfair. Hair on head not blond enough, eye hair too blond.
She told me I was beautiful, then whisked me into the studio, where a producer, director, question-asker, sound guy, camera man, and the makeup artist all worked to make me look damn good. I read a passage from the first chapter of Dik-Dik, answered questions, and then answered questions in front of a green screen (they'll key in photos). My flyaway hair was a problem, and people were fussing over me and flattening my hair constantly.
"You're doing great," they'd say. They were so nice. I felt like a star!
I was nervous, but I think it worked out fine even though we had to do four takes of me saying "My name is Marie Javins and I am the author of Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik, One Woman's Solo Misadventures Across Africa" because I couldn't remember the subtitle. The entire process took two-and-a-half hours and will be edited down to two minutes. I left feeling like a celebrity. I'm great! I'm a star! Earth to Marie! Someone was paid to powder my nose today!
Then I got home to my first negative Amazon review.
My moment in the sun was gone, and suddenly I had no eyebrows, old clothes, and a lot of boxes that needed unpacking. Diva Marie didn't last long. I was back to earth in a flash.