You never know when you're going to get the call. All you know is that from the second you pick up the phone and those words come out of the speaker, your life will never be the same.
I need you to pick up some mime makeup for me.
Younger slackbrother j. was stuck on set - he's in search of that elusive and magical third SAG voucher, doing background work and going on auditions whenever he can. He got a call while working on NUMB3RS that someone needed a mime, stat.
He had a confession to make: he had dabbled in the mime arts.
I knew this, of course. I'm his older sister, and we just know. But it was years ago, back in acting school. Walking on the mime side was practically a requirement. It's one of those things we all do, and sometimes laugh about, and then let waft away in those silky filaments of memory.
You're going to...I took a deep breath...mime?
Yeah, he replied. It's for pay.
I swallowed the lump in my throat. If that's what you want...
I'm stuck on set and won't be able to make it to Hollywood Toy & Costume before they close.
I felt like I was trapped in an invisible box of my own, but I agreed to go and hung up the phone. Sometimes you just have to be supportive. My brother, the mime.
It would take some getting used to.
I drove up to Hollywood Blvd. and parked in front of the store. Younger slackbrother j. had told me that they sold "mime kits," so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. I could just grab a kit off the shelf and take it up to the counter, making sure to pay cash so there would be no record of my transaction.
I walked the aisles of the store with a sinking feeling in my gut. There were no mime kits.
I was going to have to ask someone.
A man stepped behind the makeup counter. Are you looking for something?
I cleared my throat. Um, do you sell mime kits? I stammered.
Mime kits? he asked.
You know, for, uh, miming. It's not for me, it's for a friend, I added hastily.
He shook his head. Nope, you'll have to buy the makeup separately. He started to take pots of white greasepaint and spread them across the counter. How often will he be miming?
It's a one-time thing, I said loudly, hoping I was right.
I selected the smallest tub of paint, grabbed a can of cold cream and added sponges, a black eyeliner, and some red rouge. I thanked the man for his help and forked over $30 for my wares. I wasn't even going to take them out of the bag - they'd just be waiting in a nice, neat pile for when younger slackbrother j. picked them up.
Which he did, at 9:45 that evening. I let him in and handed him the bag of makeup.
I need to send the guy photos tonight, he told me. And I don't have a digital camera. And I don't know how to do makeup.
Will put his headphones on and suddenly looked very involved at whatever he was looking at online. younger slackbrother j. looked at me, preying upon my big sisterly good graces.
You can change their diapers and sign their permission slips and send them off to college, but if they want to mime, you have to sit back and let them. Maybe it's a phase. Maybe it's a choice. Maybe they were born that way.
I sighed. Get in the chair.
And with that, I aided and abetted a mime.
I'm the slackmistress. And my younger brother is a mime.
And I love him anyway.
But dude, you still owe me thirty bucks.