Quite often there is that moment when I realise that there is a good chance my Director will want me to grow facial hair. The reverse is also true, that if I have been rocking the designer stubble and just gotten it to look half decent, the Director will then of course require me clean shaven!
This is by no means a criticism of Directors, I am more than happy to do whatever is required for the role, but you would be surprised how facial hair changes you as an actor.
This time round, I have developed a new gesture that I had never used before! A subtle rub of the facial hair down the jaw-line. Watching our performances back on a rehearsal video, I realised this addition to my default setting and thought; Oh God – that’s another thing I’m gonna have to look out for!
The growing of the beard itself takes some adjusting to as well. As I mentioned before I like to crop the facial hair quite short with the clippers when it gets to the itchy stage, so having to withstand the ongoing (but minor) beard related trauma has really thrown me!
My wife thinks that I look quite distinguished ( and, dare I say sexy) but I think I look like someone who really shouldn’t have a beard! The raggedy and coarse hairs wind their way out of the pores in any direction that takes their fancy and what’s worse is I look like a reverse Dalmatian with the spots of grey that have appeared intermittently across my face!
So for the role I will keep what the Director wants, but after my last show, the ceremonial king of shaves hyperglide will be used to ensure I stop this flipping itching.
Ah the life of an actor!