Our Leading Lady’s Lip

When a dog in Mexico ripped off the top lip of our leading lady a few months ago, it wasn’t pretty.

Jacki Arnold Rexford, my niece, plays the leading lady Harriet in our documentary film. I asked her on a whim to try dressing up and see if the camera work we would do around trains that day would also look realistic with a period actress. Jacki walked up while we were at the Railroad Museum that morning and took our breath away. She was perfect.

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Not only that, she is incredibly photogenic and has great presence in front of the camera. She is one of those classic actor/actress types (I directed a bunch of them when I headed up the dramatic productions at Covenant College) who is quite low key in real life, but when given the opportunity comes alive in a performance. (Conversely, the happy chatty types are usually not good at acting.)

Jacki graduated from Cooper Union Art School in Manhattan and moved here with her husband Caleb who works with Fancy Rhino video company. She is a homemaker in their East Lake fixer upper and one of her current of a multitude of talents and activities is fermenting and pickling whatever she can get her hands on.

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One of the shots of Jacki in the train car was so perfect, we used it for the key image and poster for the entire project. Her green eye matches the green background, and her prominent pouty lip adds intrigue to the title, “Harriet’s Secret.”

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Oh, yeah, the lip. So my beautiful niece and her husband Caleb take a quick jaunt to see a friend in Mexico about a month after we finished shooting. As they are eating, his dog comes under the table towards Jacki, somehow gets riled up and leaps up at her and bites her twice in the face. It all happened in a split second. There was blood and an obvious need to head to the emergency room immediately.

Waiting to heal.
Waiting to heal.

Caleb kept telling Jacki it was going to be fine. Meanwhile, Caleb’s friend was in the back seat holding the middle part of Jacki’s upper lip in a jar. He had found it on the ground right after the incident.

Thankfully, the plastic surgery industry in Mexico is pretty darn good. Apparently, a lot of Americans travel to Mexico for those operations. She spent a couple days in the hospital, the docs did their magic, and all I know to tell you is that today she looks exactly the same. She is as beautiful as she ever was. Thank God.

One of Caleb and Jacki's many fun pics and poses.
One of Caleb and Jacki’s many fun pics and poses.

You can see some of Jacki’s great acting in this trailer. I’m so glad to have her as part of the team and the cast.

P.S. 11 days to go. We had four new donors yesterday to reach $2,921. Help us reach $3,000 today! Give at the Kickstarter site here: http://kck.st/1jxKoL5


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