Posted on March 03, 2008 at 01:06 AM
Posted from the day late and a dollar short department here at JoeSchmidt.com
As you are probably aware, two and a half weeks ago the WGA and the soul stealing, blood sucking studio heads finally came to an agreement ending the 100 day writer's strike of '07-'08. Since the strike wiped out many of the shows I watch, I thought this would be the perfect time to lend my feeble support to the plight of writers, many whom are the genius behind some of the most popular shows on TV. So here is a little tale of how my strike beard came to be.
The Back Story
Back in early December I happened across this post over on latenightunderground.com (a blog maintained by the writers of Late Night with Conan O'Brien) where I learned that Conan and others were growing beards in support of the writer's strike. Not being a professional writer or a member of the WGA, I threw caution to the wind and thought this would be the perfect excuse to grow a Grizzly Adams-esque beard of epic proportions, oh, and to also support the striking writers.
I decided to wait until the day after Christmas to begin my quest as I didn't want the beard to be recorded in any holiday pictures. If I hadn't waited, years from now people would have looked back on those pictures and wondered who invited the homeless guy over for Christmas dinner. Plus, I took some time off over the holidays and this would allow me to get a decent start on my growth without having to face potential early-stage beard growing ridicule from cow-orkers.
Which is a good point to mention that when growing a beard, the first obstacle one must overcome is that awkward 2-3 week phase when the beard is first coming in.
As the weeks went by I received many compliments on my beard, many from the ladies whom mostly agreed that the beard looked good. It was at this moment that I realized most women like facial hair on men, just not ones they are dating/married to. But as more time went by I was facing a dilemma, one which I thought an early end to the strike would help me avoid. What I was facing is known as becoming creepy beard-trimming guy. At home I didn't have the proper utensils to maintain the look of my beard and didn't want to spend any money on those custom shavers with the little shaving extensions. So I forged on, letting the beard grow as it may.
February 12th, 2008 was a greatly anticipated day for this blog as the writer's voted on whether to ratify the agreement between the WGA and AMPTP. Late that night many news sites were calling an end to the strike as most writer's were voting for returning back to work. So the next day I drug my unshaven self and the head of legal to our local "fill-in-any-adjective-for-awesome" Cuts to get shorn, hoping that the "stylist" would agree to give me a haircut and shave off my scruff at the same time.
The wait was unbelievably short for a typical "fill-in-any-adjective-for-awesome" Cuts visit. The little sign in sheet only had one name on it so we could expect to get served promptly. The "stylist" I was paired with was a bit taken aback by the beard as she was concerned about how to meld the shortness of my haircut with the mange of my beard. I eased her calm by letting her know that I wanted the beard removed and explained to her my reasons for growing the beard. To my utter astonishment, she wasn't even aware of the writer's strike let alone it's impact on TV. Bascially, this text-enabled-cell-phone-wielding-twenty-something had no clue what I was talking about. Which at the point I didn't care as long as she saved me an hours worth of painful scissor/razor work on my face.
With the beard now laying on the floor, I ventured out into the harsh Nebraska winter facially "naked" for the first time in months. It's interesting to note how cold the wind feels on your face when you go from Sasquatch one minute to bald as a baby's ass the next. Also it is worth mentioning that the head of marketing wouldn't go near me sans beard. It seemed that she had grown accustomed to her hairball father and took a few days to become reacquainted with the new me. Which makes sense, she is only a year old.
As I reflect on the experience as a whole, I can say that I would defintely do it again and would recommend any guy out there to try growing a beard at least once your life.
Had I thought out my beard shaving in advance, I would have held some kind of poll of charitable proportions allowing you, the faithful readers of JoeSchmidt.com, to vote on a particular style of beard to shave before I made the final cut. I thought I could list 4-5 styles and have people donate some money in order to vote on which style they would want me to where for a specific amount of time. So maybe next year, with proper support in place, I might consider re-growing a beard and let you pick which style I should wear. The length of time I would bear that chosen style would greatly depend on how much money was raised. I've done a little research and here are my potential choices. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
Maybe next year in honor of the one year anniversary of the strike being over we'll give it ago.