A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Carmen Aguirre - Vancouver Bombshell, Actor, Director, Playwright
Thursday, November 29, 2007

It seems that it has been a long time since I last sat in a bar with friends Les Wiseman and John Lekich and discussed our favourite topic, beautiful women. We would ignore the exotic dancers performing in such downtown bars as the Austin or the Cecil and write our top ten lists of the most beautiful women in the world or in Vancouver. More often than not Lekich would have a list of women of which the majority had been dead (Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck) for years. Wiseman, who was more into the media and esoteric magazines, would name unknown (to us) body builders and porn stars. We always had a fondness for our Vancouver Top Ten. If we were to repeat these sessions I would immediately place Carmen Aguirre on the top of the list.

I first wrote about her here but on Monday when I wrote my blog on the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. I had a chance to look into my Carmen Aguirre files. I photographed her many times. The first time it was for the Georgia Straight in 1999 when Aguirre was directing a play she had written about Latinos ¿Qué pasa con la Raza, eh? which was going to open at the Firehall Theatre.

I photographed her with actor Oparín Ortiz (right). After almost 24 years in Vancouver I had forgotten the sex appeal (a visceral impact) of a Latino (Aguirre was born in Chile) woman. Aguirre was wearing a killer mini skirt and had legs that kept me speechless for most of the photographic session.

Through our mutual friends, the Argentine painters Juan Manuel Sanchez and Nora Patrich, (one of the pictures here features one of Sanchez's murals) I photographed her many times. My favourite sessions involved pictures of her with the cast of the Electric Theatre Company's production in 2002 of Donna Flor and her Two Husbands.

Carmen Aguirre is an actor, a director and a very good playwright. My favourite play of hers was an adaptation of one of Argentine novelist Julio Cortazar's most famous short stories Final del Juego (The End Of The Game) into a play in English which opened in Langara's Studio 56 in November 2003.

One of Aguirre's most endearing qualities after an infectuous laugh is her candor. During a cast shoot for one of her plays that I was shooting in my studio she said, clearly in her beautiful Spanish, "Size does matter." Whatever plans I might have had to divorce my wife and propose marriage to her were all but quashed


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