The problem with being in a theatrical production is that at some point somebody other than you or your mother is going to form very strong opinions about your hair, and you will lose all constitutional rights to it.
I come to fully realize this every year as Tabor College gears up for its annual homecoming production. This year it is (this is not an advertisement) Harry Gilbert and George Sullivan’s comic operetta “The Pirates of Penzance,” which will not only be of high quality and entertaining, but also the cultural event of the year at which anybody who is anybody will be attending.
Not that I would ever consider for a second shamelessly plugging it.
Opening night is only a couple of weeks away, and it’s getting to the point where my hair has the potential to be excessively long. And when I say “potential,” I’m using it in the sense that gravity has the potential to make something fall down.
I haven’t had a haircut since last April, and even then it wasn’t an exceptionally short haircut. Since the show was cast I have dutifully refrained from cutting my hair.
I heard the word “pony tail.” We’ll see.
When you think about it, hair is a really disgusting thing to have sitting on top of your head. It’s similar to the composition of skin cells, and since all the hair that you see on top of your head isn’t technically alive, we are all essentially walking around with dead skin cells hanging off our scalps.
But it doesn’t really bother me that on top of my head is a mop made of the same molecular recipe as porcupine quills, rhinoceros horns and approximately 40 percent of your household dust. What bothers me is that this is all currently dangling in my eyes.
Limboing somewhere between a blessing and a curse is the fact that my hair is curly. This means that when it gets long it coils up above my eyes. But it also poofs out like a seeding dandelion when it’s windy.
Generally the curls keep my hair out of my eyes. But right now it is swinging into my eyes. If I were to straighten my hair (this is a completely different story) my bangs would actually hang below my nose.
Insert your own “nose hair” joke here.
As I said before, this isn’t the first time I’ve grown my hair out in the name of the drama department. (Its name is Steve.)
Two falls ago Tabor did the popular musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which a poor, traditional Jewish man suddenly comes to realize that the USD 410 auditorium is much more spacious and convenient than constructing a makeshift platform in the TC chapel.
Not that I’m making a point.
For that show, I was instructed the spring prior to not cut my hair until the hair/makeup/costume people could get their hands on it for production week. So I obediently spent the summer under a stuffy mass of hair.
When it came time for them to fix my hair for the show—perhaps this is what is known as “dramatic irony”—they chopped it off to the shortest length it’s been since I was 5 and a little bit over. (If you know “Pirates of Penzance,” you’ll think that last statement was funny.)
That hair experience wasn’t nearly as bad as some I had in high school, however. To appear Siamese in “The King and I,” I colored my hair black, which is a somewhat dramatic switch for someone who has been the epitome of blonde for his entire life.
Not to mention in the play “Rumors” I actually had to slick my hair back using four pounds of industrial-strength gel (darn curls), which was accented by a glue-on beard and mustache.
So perhaps I shouldn’t complain about merely having long hair. Maybe I’ll even keep it this length after the production is over. After all, it is growing on me.