Time to toughen up, Princess!

Annex - Loy, Myrna_16Hello angelic ones,

Pictured above is Myrna Loy, glamorous? Undoubtedly. Comfortable? Well let’s see, her eyes are taped, she has a twenty pound headdress on, she probably spent four hours in makeup, and that heavily brocaded and sparkling gown looks – itchy. So, in answer to my own question – she probably is nowhere near comfortable – and I haven’t even mentioned the blistering hot kilowatts creating that oh-so-special aura.

I don’t know why, but that image of Ms. Loy always makes me want to peel away a few layers of illusion. A friend, an assistant director, provides the perfect reveal:

I was in Mongolia with local extras. They were tribesman of the Steppes. Very nice people, and very earthy in a way that didn’t involve deodorant. Everybody chain smoked. Mornings would usually involve a gaggle of extras standing in a big circle smoking, hawking, and spitting up phlegmy globs we called “oysters.” For some reason, one morning I came around the corner from base camp and saw a ten foot diameter fairy ring of oysters quivering on the ground. I don’t know why that particular morning it got to me. Maybe it was the breakfast burrito I’d just finished. I broke into a sweat, doubled over, and threw up.

An Australian Prop Man came up as I wobbled on my feet and wiped my mouth. He handed me a bottle of water, rested a steadying hand on my shoulder and said, “Time to toughen up, Princess!”

Here’s the dealio my darlings, making movies is arduous and the patina of glamour is hard won. The stuff that dreams are made of? Time to toughen up…


  1. Glamour is in fact an interesting word with a few shifts of meaning over the years.Once upon a time it was a commonplace to speak of a witch as- casting a glamour- over someone, that is a spell which decieves,via an illusion.I have consulted my memory on this,but think that I am correct.Appropriate perhaps to your written comments on the picture,as well as the nature of Hollywood -The Palace of Spells.

    • I like that definition of glamour, as in spellbinding – it seems very apt. It reminds me of word I heard, gaucie (sp?), that meant big and dazzling and beautiful – and it isn’t in any online glossary but I bet it’s in the OED.

  2. George Kaplan

    Hmm. But one doesn’t want to become too tough a cookie, or one may become inedible as rock, metaphorically speaking 😉
    As for those oysters : stomach, heaving…
    What was it with Myrna and those roles early on? She played Fu Manchu’s (Boris Karloff) daughter, too. Probably her delicate, unusual face.
    I must say that her headdress looks more pain in the ass than glamorous, anyway! Nice dress though…
    The thing is that in the end all the hard work is worth it when you make something great… There’s the real *glamour* behind the created, and that is indefinable. Ahem… Blah, blah, blah!

    • I was just thinking of all the hairpins that must have held that headdress in place – talk about a headache! And, she had multiple roles where she was cast as vaguely Asiatic – I can’t figure that out at all.

    • George I dont mind at all,although I dont think you are being pontifical.Could the glamout you are speaking of as a true aura be closer to that much overused word charisma.I love the way the meaning of words shifts over time-a study in itself.

  3. George Kaplan

    Edward, glamour does have the meaning you describe. A “witch’s glamour” in the sense of a spell of illusion cast. However, my favourite twist on that definition of “glamour” or “a glamour” and the one I tend to use (because I’m “special”, ahaha!) is connected but slightly different. Glamour as a *true* aura, an enchantment but not an illusion. An indefinable “something” that a woman (or, a man, I suppose!) might have, that is nothing to do with make-up or anything like that. Yes, I love that archaic meaning, it’s, literally, magical 🙂 Boy, I’m in a pontificatory mood tonight!
    Ooh, I just reached for my Concise OED and its primary definition (as opposed to the archaic, which, as we said, means “enchantment; magic) of glamour/glamor is “an attractive or exciting quality, especially sexual allure”. Crumbs! So, there we have various versions of real glamour. Hmm, they’re all *magical* really aren’t they?! This has been George’s Glamour/Glamor Corner 🙂

  4. Sadly this Englishman must leave the interchange to return to bed.I must sleep as I need my strength for a day ahead that may be less than beguiling and far from anything of glamour.

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