First of all, I was correct that the guy who gave me his business card hadn't seen my braid and wouldn't have approached me if he had. He said he noted the braid later, but decided just to go with it. Still, it's extremely unlikely that anything will come of this, for that reason alone. The application form is pretty clear about this -- in the sense that one of the key (and only) questions is whether you would cut your hair. It also noted quite explicitly that they are going for 1967 accuracy (so other things are out of the question, like facial piercings and tattoos, and women applying to be extras need to be willing to wear 1967-accurate undergarments). The background sheet they gave me also notes the bit about scheduling you for a haircut.
So obviously I did follow up with a phone call, somewhat reluctantly. I didn't really have much to lose. What I needed to do was make an appointment to come by and fill out an application, which I did. The appointment was today. The office is near my work (about two miles up the road -- I literally turned left out of the parking lot and made no further turns until I got there a few minutes later). The theatrical company is housed in a large nondescript unsigned office building in a residential neighborhood, but you walk in to a fantastic bustle of costuming and piles of head shots and all sorts of business. The people in charge all seem to be very young. They were very pleasant to me, even though I hadn't brought a head shot (which I had not been told to bring); they took some photos themselves (including one from the rear posed specifically to show the length of my hair -- just on the off chance that this might be a feature somebody at some point might need). I loved sitting and filling out the application while all the activity of the company swirled around me.
The whole thing took only 15 minutes or so out of my work day, so it wasn't any sort of a big deal, and as I say I enjoyed my few minutes of observation. But the real reason I'm glad I called is because I got to take home with me the Background sheet, the information for the extras. Because it contains this marvelous bit of prose:
A Serious Man is not a "pretty" movie. WE LOVE INTERESTING FACES. The dorkier, the better! Big noses a plus!
Well, now at least we know why I was plucked from obscurity like this. Although actually I do find this somewhat flattering, because certainly my self-image is that I have an "interesting face". It's nice to have a professional make the same judgment.
I want to have buttons made up that say "The dorkier, ther better!".