I had to cancel a job at Dreamworks this week.
Yeah, that's right, that Dreamworks. Don't get excited - I didn't book the voice of their next heroine, I was scheduled to be figure modeling.
Yeah, that's right, that figure modeling. If you were wondering what I have been doing for work since I quit the restaurant, that's your primary answer. I've also been acting and modeling for regular old photo shoots, you know, with clothes on. But I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been modeling live in classes at schools and animation studios, sometimes in the nude.
This is kind of a weird thing to admit publicly. I've certainly never been ashamed of my body, as many (most) of you know. And perhaps this is part of my quest to accept my body no matter what it look like.
I guess this is about self-love. The whole thing. The whole question: what I'm writing about on the micro and the macro level. I want to love my self fully, whether I'm feeling bloated and sluggish or strong and fit. I want to love my self fully, up to the point of admitting that figure modeling is way more fun than waiting tables, and I enjoy doing it.
Does that make me an exhibitionist? I prefer not to go there. I prefer to think about the fact that I'm joining the ranks of people - particularly women - who worked with and inspired Matisse and Van Gogh and Picasso and Da Vinci and Basquiat and Renoir and Degas and on and on. (Based on the artists I came up with you can probably guess just how many times I studied Impressionism in French class.) I've joined a time-honored profession, while doing something creative and challenging.
Because, let me tell you, it's hard. A figure model need to be comfortable taking off their robe in front of a room full of strangers, and coming up with visually dynamic poses they can hold for as long as 25 minutes. You'd be surprised what parts of your body can twitch. A figure model needs the mental focus to observe the twitching of their arm but not to move it. A figure model needs get over the fact that some people, from some different points of view, may see their genitals. (You'll notice this entire discussion is neutral-gendered; although I haven't met any, there are male figure models, and I wouldn't want to alienate them. Also, that way I don't have to write the word vagina in my blog.) In short, a figure model needs to be fearless.
And fearlessness is what it's all about. I'm not saying I don't fear anything; fear in the proper dosage is a healthy thing. I'm just saying that I don't want to live my life based on decisions made from fear.
So why did I cancel the gig? I'll just say that I wasn't feeling well and leave it at that (I wouldn't want to be gross or anything). Having to assess my ability to work in that way was a new experience. Working in a restaurant if I didn't feel well, no matter what my ailment, I'd try to power through the shift. In this case though, I had to ask myself some serious questions: Was I physically able to pose for two hours? Would worrying about being sick affect my ability to do my job well? Figure modeling has a whole new set of rules. I haven't explored these waters, and it feels like I'm navigating blind.
So I was bummed not to work at Dreamworks. But hopefully I'll get more work there - they were very understanding. And who knows what the future will bring?