WWII made me shave my beard (or how being interested makes things interesting)


“They’re going to ask me to shave,” I said to the extra beside me, “Have you ever seen images of a WWII soldier with a beard? A moustache maybe, but definitely no scruffy beard.”

I was right.

Before I suited up I was handed a disposable razor and a can of shaving gel.

I never intended to be in a film this week, or ever really. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Fluid dynamics.

Wearing a uniform, something men and women have been wearing for thousands of years, transported me through time.

The clothes were all heavy and made of wool. Probably to keep water away from the skin. The shirt buttoned to the pants to help keep them up. The canvas belt cinched everything together.

There was no plastic or elastic anything.

The boots were heavy and unforgiving, and had to be covered by gaitors (sometimes called ‘putties’)—canvas leggings with straps—to prevent wear and keep out dirt and debris. My straps are sticking out, which I’m certain was frowned upon.

The hat was floppy, with a brown pompom on top. It has a few different names—bonnet, cap, balmoral, or the colourful Tam o’Shanter. It’s traditionally Scottish. Nobody could explain the significance of the pompom, so there’s something to research further.

I have two takeaways from this experience:

  1. Everything is interesting. Every object has a story. Be curious. Ask questions.
  2. Go with the flow. Let life happen to you. Show up and be interested.

Picture of a WWII Soldier With a Huge Beard Because the Internet Can Always Prove You Wrong

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