A Good Hair Day :: a remembrance of Alan Rickman

by C.K.Itamura

 

I’m wearing my traditional garb, black everything. Black pants. Black halter top. Black stockings. Black knee-high, zip-up boots. Black undies. My long reddish brown hair, with blond summer highlights is billowing gently in the warm breeze and I am feeling good. I’m feeling really good. I’m having a good hair day.

My first enthusiastic stop is to the costumer.

She smiles and asks, “American or TWA?”.

“TWA.”, I smile back.

She asks, “Can you fit into a 25 inch waist?”

“24.”, I reply.

She hands me a short, bright blue, strapless dress with a thin satin sash.

“Strapless?”, I ask myself. “Flight attendants wore strapless dresses?”

Apparently in the 70’s they did.

Just as she hands me a lime tinged yellow jacket of the mini-trenchcoat variety and a pair of low black pumps, an escort whisks me away to the dressing trailer where I am to try my new uniform on.

Inside the trailer with the other flight attendants, I quickly slip out of all of my clothes and toss everything into a big pile. I remove the blue strapless dress from the hanger and slip it over my head and down over my body. The zipper is surprisingly easy to manage, and I zip it up the back.

“A little snug”, I think, “but hey, I guess this is how it was in the 70’s.”

I tie the sash around my waist and rummage through my bag for the nude pantyhose I was asked to bring. Once found, I slip one foot into the pantyhose and then the other, and carefully pull them up my legs. As I squeeze my body into them, I suddenly realize that I haven’t worn pantyhose in quite a while and having this tight translucent casing clinging to the lower half of my body is starting to make me feel like one big giant breakfast sausage link. Sausage link feelings aside, I realize I’m hungry, start thinking of breakfast, and hope there are some decent goodies on the kraft table to munch on. Hunger and the temperature inside the trailer quickly rising to an uncomfortable high aside, I’m feeling good. I’m feeling really good. I’m having a good hair day.

Before I can seek out sustenance, I’m informed that I’m needed immediately upstairs in makeup, so, I rush up the stairs with the other stewardesses (70’s lingo for the contemporary, politically correct ‘flight attendants’) to seek out the makeup room, only to discover that we are actually expected in the makeup trailer downstairs, next to the dressing trailer we were just in. I descend the stairs with the other flight babes (another 70’s term I believe), and happen to catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a window.

“This dress looks pretty good with my hair. I’ll look good on camera today. I’m having a good hair day.”, I muse.

My makeup lady is pleasant and assuring. Gentle brushes of all sizes and shapes fly around my face as she tints my lips and eyes and cheeks with retro makeup colors and applies eyelash extensions. The extensions feel strange, as if a gang of flies decided to make my eyelids their turf on what is now becoming a very hot summer day, but this is supposed to be the 70’s and I have to admit to myself that the ridiculously long sexy lashes do look rather good with my hair. I’m having a good hair day.

The next move I make is over to the hair lady’s chair in the makeup trailer. Just as I’m sitting down, Alan Rickman one of the stars of this movie (and of Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually and Die Hard, et al) sits down in the chair next to me and says a pleasant ‘hello’.

“Hello,” I giddily reply, then say quietly to myself, “boy, I’m really glad I’m having a good hair day!”

No sooner had this most pleasant little exchange occurred, before my hair lady grabbed my head with her claws, attacked my hair with her big, giant, hairy brush and brushed every iota of style out of it. She pulled, yanked and twisted my hair with such ferocity as if to masochistically train each and every strand to obey her commands, then with the bright bulb lights around the mirrors contributing to the already uncomfortably high temperature in the trailer, and before I could attempt to put her in a headlock and try to body slam her to the floor, she pinned all of my hair to the back of my head in the tightest, most severe (read: ‘ugly’) looking French twist known to man, and then sprayed the whole thing with a thick black hair paint. At least she told me not to breathe while she was spraying it, so I don’t think she was actually trying to kill me, but she might as well have.

In ten seconds flat my hair ‘stylist’ managed to completely and thoroughly ruin my perfectly good hair day.

I hate my hair lady and I hate 70’s hair.

“TWA, you are needed on the set!”, I hear a voice call to me from outside the makeup trailer.

“Great. Just great,” I mutter, “I’m coming!”

I don’t say ‘good bye’ or ‘have a nice day’ or anything at all to Alan, who is still sitting in his chair with the perfect looking hair that his hair lady gave him. Mr. Rickman is having a good hair day. Jealous, I slink out of the chair and out of the makeup trailer, then slowly walk over to the set and drag my feet to stand on my mark behind the TWA ticket counter.

As the glaring set lights come up on my shiny, tight, plastic looking, black hair helmet I hear the director say “action”, feel beads of sweat gathering on my scalp, and start dreaming of swimming though a big cool glistening pool of shampoo.

_____

Bottle Shock was filmed on location in Sonoma, Napa, and other picturesque wine country towns north of San Francisco, California.

Thank you Lori, Jen and AE Casting for the one second of fame :)