Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Girl With No Forehead Hair

Mom was going through her files and found a large one filled with letters from me. She kept the letters but mailed me the things she found inside them. I'm fairly certain I enclosed a hundred dollar bill in each of the 240,000 letters I sent her over a lifetime but she begs to differ.

I have no idea when I sent her this but she was in Paris at the time and I was living in Washington D.C. I was in the experimental stages of figuring out how to spell my name as you can see from the SUSY. I wonder if I sent her any 4 leaf clovers that said, "FROM THE NEIGHBOR'S YARD ACROSS THE STREET, THE ONES WE DON'T LIKE. Picked by Susie!"

This photo landed me in the office of a big commercial agent in New York. I walked in and the first thing he said was "Oh dear."

I can still feel my heart sink to my stomach from that day.

"Your picture led me to believe that you'd be a perfect character actress and I was so excited because I knew you'd get lots of work. However, in person, you're not funny looking at all. You're actually too pretty to be a character actress but YOU'RE NOT PRETTY ENOUGH TO BE THE STAR."

You know how some critiques stick in your head forever?

I have no idea where this picture was taken. I'm wearing a long black leather coat that my sister bought me in Istanbul, Turkey. I also have no other pictures that would give me a clue so...welcome to Long Coat Black Leather Suzy.

This is one of the only pictures of me where I don't have bangs. Again, NO IDEA where it was taken or where I was at the time. I want to say it was taken in Paris because after I left San Francisco I showed up in Paris with a very short hairdo. So this might have been the growing out phase?

That pin on my right lapel, a little diamonique star, left as you're looking at the photo, was given to me by the heroin addict that was my boyfriend in San Francisco. I didn't know that he'd stolen it from his mother until I wore it to her house one day and she informed me it was hers. I immediately removed it and offered it back to her but she wouldn't accept it. I told her that her son had given me other pieces and described them and they were all hers. Her son was such a troubled person that I believe she was just happy he had someone in his life who loved him. I still have the pin, and the other pieces, all from the 1940's.

Many years later he went to prison.

Looking back at pictures, the first thing I do is assess my hair. Long Coat Black Leather Suzy hadn't started bleaching her hair yet so the ash blond looks dark and goes with my coat. The Oh Dear Suzy had curled her stick straight uncurlable hair and the result was that both sides looked so different that the photographer suggested I put one side up so that it wouldn't be so obvious. Meanwhile, back at Obvious Ranch, it's SO OBVIOUS.

Forehead Free Suzy doesn't even look like me. When it first tumbled out of the envelope I wondered who it was. I see my Russian grandfather in that photo and later pictures of my mother, but to me it looks like someone else. Someone who could be the star of the show IF SHE DAMN WELL PLEASED.


  1. I LOVE that first photo of you!
    And the last one, you don't look bad but you definitely look different without bangs. Not bad different, good different...

  2. How ridiculous to say you're not pretty enough to be the star. What an idiot. And once he pasted that label on you with crazy glue, you were stuck. Well, you're a star to me.


  3. Is that where I get my huge forehead? From the Russian side of my family? So glad I have someone to blame.

    And...letters? What are those?

  4. -->I like the "Cybil" multiple personality half curl / half straight Suzy picture.

  5. This is a great posting I have read. I like your article.

  6. You're pretty and charming.

    A character actress, I can see the spirit right in that face.

    How could he think you were too pretty to not be charming?

    You are pretty, and have such an impish hint in your eyes.

    He's a dummy.

  7. Wish I could wear bangs. But I have a cowlick that makes it pretty much impossible (not for lack of trying).

  8. I'm going to start saying that my hair is ash blond. With silver highlights.

    TOO pretty? I'm sure you've heard that all your life. Because it's true.

  9. Love these photos, and didn't notice the curled/straight unmatching hair until you pointed it out. Big surprise.

    You're gorgeous.

  10. Damn, woman. Stunning. (This is of no surprise, of course, because you're beautiful in person, too. AND NO I DON'T MEAN JUST ON THE INSIDE.)

  11. Anonymous6:37 PM

    In reference to your schizoid headshot, I held my hand up over each side of the photo and determined that the left was "movie star" and the curly right, "Character actress".
    Unlike your hairdresser, agents and talent scouts have no imagination.
    X David

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