Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Who are they?

LIKE MOST OF MY MYSTERY SHOOTS FROM THE '90S, I'm pretty sure these guys are actors, appearing in a local theatre production. I shot a lot of actors back then; NOW put real effort into covering independent theatre, so I would end up at Tarragon or Factory or the Theatre Centre or the Bathurst Street Theatre or some rented hall or improvised space to get portraits of cast members or (more occasionally) a director or writer, just as their production was beginning its brief run - one or two weeks, with no more than the promise of Equity wages (hopefully) to show before everyone was cast back onto the churning waters of theatrical unemployment.

It seemed a rough way to make a living. I'm sure it's even rougher now. With this in mind I always tried to be nice when I had local actors as subjects, even if (or probably because) I knew most of them would burn out on the lifestyle in a few years, leaving a few handbills and programs along with some clippings illustrated with my photos to remember their career on stage.

Guiltily, I'll also admit that I used my shoots with local actors as a chance to experiment with some pose or lighting trick; used to taking direction, they were far more malleable than some politician or celebrity and especially moreso than an actor who'd been bestowed with a bit of celebrity.

Near as I can tell I found these guys near a nice source of natural light and got them to invade each other's personal space as much as possible - something actors do more eagerly than almost anyone else - to fill the frame and leave as little dreaded shadow or black space in the frame as I could. I did individual portraits, but with two guys who looked so much alike as subjects, this sort of thing suggested itself.

I wonder where they are now?

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