I don’t know if any of you have been in a Claire’s boutique or a Justice store geared to the Tween girl demographic but let me tell you that these places are filled with mustache tchotchkes and mustache branded jewelry, t-shirts, socks, duck tape(!), pencils and pencil holders … you get the picture. I’m not sure when, how or why this trend started but ever since we’ve been working on Vanya I’ve been reminded of Astrov’s “creep” assessment of his own persona, which includes “this huge mustache.” Maybe it’s the Steampunk aesthetic winding its way down the age ladder. I’ve not seen mustaches on the One Direction singers so it doesn’t seem to be driven by boy band love. And I think it’s too much to hope some pioneering marketer has embarked on a campaign to encourage young women to embrace a broader gender performance spectrum. Honestly I’m just stumped.
And just as I’d been pondering this and thinking about our own sharing of facial hair stories during rehearsal breaks, I found an examination of this “mustache moment” in a post on one of my favorite contemporary art blogs: Hyperallergic. In their piece they discuss the work of photographer Greg Anderson whose recent portraiture looks like this:
The epitome of all this, surely, is captured in the photography of Greg Anderson, which has been making the rounds on the internet recently. Anderson, who’s based in Las Vegas, traveled to New Orleans to photograph the 2013 Beard and Mustache Championships after missing the 2012 version in his hometown. “There were a few eccentric types,” he noted in an email with Hyperallergic — although he copied and pasted responses from another interview he had done — “but largely these are regular, down to earth guys who enjoy being a part of the bearding community and gathering once a year to see their friends and have a good time. It seems to be more about the camaraderie than the competition.”
More camaraderie than competition. Sounds just like all of you who are doing your best to grow those beards and mustaches for the show. So in your honor, and in honor of the grand and glorious beard/stache combo of our director, here is some more inspiration.