So this week I sat down with my image consultant and he had some harsh words for me: “You need a ‘thing’ to set you apart from other woodworking bloggers, podcasters and television personalities.”
I asked: “A thing?”
“Yeah. Charles Brock has that patchwork hat. Roy Underhill has his hat and suspenders. Scott Phillips has his similar hat and suspenders. Norm Abram – tool belt. David Mark has tattoos. Tommy Mac has his muscle shirts., and….”
I say: “I have a beard.”
“Sorry,” he said. “Unless your beard is equal to or greater than Peter Follansbee’s, then it’s just hardscrabble. Plus, he has cornered the market on the tie-dye T-shirt and shorts thing. So don’t even bring those up”
“Ugh,” I said. “What do you recommend?”
“You could wear a cape,” he suggested. “Maybe array tools on the interior?”
I countered. “What if it gets caught in the jointer or the table saw? That could be dangerous.” I paused. “Look, I don’t like to have my face appear on the blog or on video, what about a mask? Like a luchador?”
The consultant had a good point: “In this day and age, dressing like a Mexican wrestler will get you excoriated by the liberals or deported by the conservatives.”
We locked eyes.
“A vicious temper?”
“I’m not touching that.”
“Look, I already said I’m not touching those.”
“Copious body hair?”
“Hmmm. How much body hair do you have?” the consultant asked. “Do you have to shave your back?”
“No. I pluck three hairs from my right shoulder,” I said. “Two from my left.”
“A huge afro?”
“Bob Ross is dead!”
“But Bob Ross’s afro is so awesome it has been retired.”
And that’s where my time was up with the image consultant. His recommendation: Mount a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to perform a statistically significant survey of what my gimmick should be.
Maybe a huge rodeo belt with a pterodactyl holding a carving gouge….
— Christopher Schwarz