I have received several notes via this blog asking if the "Harmony Kelton" credited in several recent short films is me, and, yes, she is. Apparently a Polish name sounds too much like a Russian one in the current environment, so the person representing me to casting directors suggested a stage name. I pointed out both that it could be said to sound Ukrainian by the same misplaced logic and that "______ with Alicia" had not particularly see its numbers drop over the past year, but once the opportunity to forge a new identity as an actress presented itself, it did intrigue me. My first choice, "Alicia Harmon", may have been wiser since I could simply stop using the Eastern European surname on by videos, has apparently already been registered with various unions. This, at least, had the benefit of amusing me.
I am moderately surprised that I am doing such without necessarily thinking about how it improves the "Alicia Polawski" identity as a commodity. As mentioned in my last post, almost exactly two years ago, I did not plan to stay in this life very much longer, and had only done so because the Covid-19 pandemic had closed the Inn. But, somehow, that extra year seemed to make more things my default state. All those tedious things done to maintain this body's appearance to make it a more attractive product are now habit. Planning and shooting new videos does not quite scratch the same itch as publishing a paper, but the broader base of people who appreciate it makes up for that some.
It's odd that I actually get some enjoyment out of all that, but then, perhaps not. Every once in a while, I will search the name of a former colleague and see that, in their retirement, they have taken up woodworking or English soccer fandom or some other thing. I, evidently, have chosen to be a stewardess and YouTuber in my retirement. It's not so odd, perhaps - many of them have "downsized" to smaller homes, while I live in an apartment with the current Magda; others spend a great deal of time traveling, as do I; a fair number of them spend their free time pontificating on Facebook, while I make videos.
(It amuses me that my many colleagues who are likely more or less what they appear may not be so different from older men in their behavior.)
It is becoming somewhat more difficult to maintain this life in the carefree manner of a hobby, however. Despite the disciplinary issues that the original Alicia had, my maintaining my position through the pandemic while many others found new work has made me the senior attendant on some flights with talk of being promoted to purser, which would make this a career rather than simply a job I stayed in out of convenience, and I do not believe I want that. It is one thing to shoulder some responsibility as one travels, and reap the benefit of how one's scarf and miniskirt triggers a fetish in many, but I cannot see how being in this business for as long as I was in academia would be similarly rewarding.
Thus, I have begun pivoting toward being on camera as opposed to being on flights. The parts I have gotten as of yet have not been much more challenging than the work I performed for Jordan - tight and scanty outfits worn in the background, breathy double entendres spoken to obvious stand-ins for the filmmakers - but that suits me well enough at the moment. One's body is a depreciating resource, especially as a young woman, one may as well, especially if that brings experience that will be useful later. As some have noticed, that has extended to a little bit of nudity, but what of it? If I later find having those clips out on the web mortifying, the Inn is still out there, and I have begun anew before. I can at least make a clear decision on that, while some of the ladies doing the same are removing their clothing far more impulsively.
-Harmon Keller, aka Alicia Polawski, aka Harmony Kelton