'You need to call a photographer," the studio publicist told me last week. Then she added, sadly: "It's time for you to get a new publicity shot."
Which is probably true. The last time I had my photo taken for professional reasons, I was several years younger and one belt notch thinner. I remember the day clearly - it was one of the last days I can recall taking out a random pair of trousers and pulling them on without first thinking, "Are these the ones that still fit?"
So, yes, my official publicity photograph depicts me as I prefer to be known: slender, smooth, and without a single grey hair.
I've now realised the photo is only six years old — I've known actors to use even older ones — but they were apparently six crucial years in the skin-elasticity department.
I'm not sure where all of that collagen went, but in the years spanning my early 40s to my late 40s, I seem to have lost most of it. Things that used to bounce back now sag; things that used to sag naturally now rub along the floor.
The publicity shot I've been using has made its way through the four stages of usefulness: looks like you, looks like a thinner version of you, looks like a Photoshopped version of you, and makes everyone sad.
My old headshot clearly is deep into stage four: it made the studio publicist sad. She probably could have said it a little more nicely, but I may as well face facts. I need a new headshot.
I'm old, in other words. When I'm described in various entertainment industry publications, it's always as a "veteran comedy writer" or a "seasoned television producer". But everyone knows that's code for: "Why is he still in the business? Doesn't he have enough money by now?"
Because in Hollywood, the trick is to get rich before you get old, so that when you finally get old you can move somewhere else, probably to Montecito. But if you're unlucky enough to be 47 and still working, you really have only two choices: you can look younger, or you can dress younger.
Looking younger means one thing: cosmetic surgery. That's out of the question for me because I'm a coward.
It's not needles or scalpels that frighten me, or even the worry that a simple little nip or tuck could go horribly wrong. What terrifies me is that the whole procedure could go horribly right - which would encourage me to have more injections and lifts and pulls, until I look like one of those undersea creatures with eyes on the side of its head and protruding lips. Everyone will recoil in horror at my approach, but in my plastic surgery dementia I'll be thinking, "Dude! You look good!"
Dressing younger is problematic, too. We've all sniggered at the elderly man sauntering around in designer jeans and brightly-patterned shirts. We've all shaken our head sadly at the guy who refuses to accept that he's too old for Versace.
Luckily for me, the fashion of the day is pretty identical to what I've been wearing since prep school. Unlucky, though, are the sizes. I'm not what anyone would call "slender", but nor am I so morbidly obese as to need, as I discovered on a recent shopping trip, an XXXL.
"How many eight year-old boys," I barked at the guy in the store, "are rich enough to buy these clothes?"
He rolled his eyes. I guess a lot of old men come into his boutique and try to buy a more youthful look with a credit card.
There is, of course, a third choice, one that a lot of folks in health-conscious Hollywood ultimately make. And it's this: get fitter.
So, as of this morning, I'm going to yoga class once a day, and to the gym every other day. This morning, in yoga, as I contorted my body into a shape not unlike a very expensive kind of pasta, my yoga teacher approached me and said, quietly, "Don't push yourself so hard. It's important to be present to your body."
"Excuse me?" I said. "Be present?"
"It's important to be in the moment. Don't push yourself. Don't be in pain. Be good to yourself."
"It's being good to myself," I said, "that got me here in the first place."
My new publicity shots are scheduled to be taken in three weeks, which gives me 21 days to slim down, "get present", and erase the past six years of stress and toil from my face. It shouldn't be that hard. After all, we're only talking about a little grey hair and one belt notch.
OK, I lied: it's two belt notches. I may have to rethink the surgery.
Rob Long is a writer and producer based in Hollywood
On Twitter: @rbcl