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…

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  1. April 27, 2013

    No matter how wonderful, blissful, peaceful or just downright beautiful things appear, there’s always a funny smell.

    • April 27, 2013

      Have you noticed how certain beaches smell like salt and ancient oyster shells and kelp? It’s not horrible, but I wouldn’t bottle it…

  2. April 27, 2013

    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.

    • April 27, 2013

      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.

  3. George Kaplan
    April 27, 2013

    Hmm. But one doesn’t want to become too tough a cookie, or one may become inedible as rock, metaphorically speaking πŸ˜‰
    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!

    • April 27, 2013

      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.

    • April 27, 2013

      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.

    • April 27, 2013

      And what of beguile?

  4. April 27, 2013

    Indeed Dearest V
    As the grandmother of a friend of mine was known to frequently remark ‘Beauty bears a pinch!’.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • April 27, 2013

      Thinking of the beauty rituals of the past it’s no wonder where that phrase came from… Ouch!

  5. George Kaplan
    April 27, 2013

    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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

    • April 27, 2013

      Hey! Do you still have your OED out? Can you look up “gaucie”???

      • George Kaplan
        April 27, 2013

        Hi Vickie, sorry, I’ve been off line. Gaucie aka Gawcie wasn’t in my concise edition but the definition is apparently portly, jolly, or healthy looking! πŸ™‚

      • April 27, 2013

        Gawcie… I like it! Thank you πŸ™‚

      • George Kaplan
        April 27, 2013

        I thought you would πŸ˜‰

  6. April 27, 2013

    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.

  7. April 27, 2013

    This photo makes me admire Myrna Loy even more. That headdress looks so stinkin’ heavy, and yet she looks poised and serene – as though she’s just been to the spa.

    • April 27, 2013

      I agree, beautiful — I know nothing about her personal life but she certainly projected calm and professionalism.

  8. April 28, 2013

    Well, glamour is a painful business. Like my mother used to day when she put on her girdle…”Beauty knows no pain.”

    • April 29, 2013

      Thank god we don’t have girdles anymore, oh wait, what about those Spanx???

  9. April 30, 2013

    Oh, nonsense. I’m wearing a headdress now, and I hardly notice I have it on.

    • April 30, 2013

      You DO carry it off with grace and Γ©lan, darling! xox, V

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