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


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On Monday Rosemary watched Hillary almost cry on BBC. Rosemary wasn't convinced but I was. If anything I almost consider myself an expert on women crying. At least four actresses have cried on demand for me in my studio and Rebecca, my granddaughter knows I offer next to no resistance to her when she cries. She can cry on demand with the panache of a seasoned actress. I remember the first time someone cried on demand just for me.

In April 2001 director Richard Wolf and playwright/asistant director Tim Carlson (both of Theatre Conspiracy) approached me with a unique proposition. I was to photograph the cast of Patrick Marbler's play Closer (a Vancouver premiere on June 7) and provide the pictures for the program and also display them at the opening (Performance Works, Granville Island) in large framed prints. The play is a about a complex relationship among two couples. One of the women is a photographer and the other is an exotic dancer. I immediately thought of Toni Ricci's Marble Arch as the perfect location for our session.

It was fun and rewarding for me as it became patently obvious that actors can act. One thing is to see them in a play but it is altogether more satisfying when they act just for you (for me). The actors Michelle Harrison (Alice seen here crying), Steve Griffith (Dan, kissing Anna), Kurt Max Runte (Larry, standing extremely jealous and watching Alice strip) Sarah Louse Turner (Anna, the photographer) were a professional bunch and more so as they had never yet rehearsed. Their first time together was there at the Marble Arch.

I asked Michelle Harrison to cry for me. She turned around and said, "Wait a moment," and then looked at me with a dispair that broke my heart and soon tears began to pour. Michelle Harrison is a professional, Hillary is an amateur. Hillary was genuine.

My Hilary cries


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