It’s weird, the range of attitudes you get from employers when you’re a life model.
At one end of the spectrum, you get people who want you to go through a formal application process that includes sending them photos, references, height/weight/complexion stats, and a synopsis of how long you’ve been modelling and any special skills or props you may have.
At the other end of the spectrum, you get people who are like “Oh, you want to model? Okay. Come to [location] at [time].”
And the weird thing is, both kinds of places pay about the same. Or they have so far, anyway.
Tonight I posed for a class whose organizer was in the “Yeah, whatever, just come over” camp. When I arrived, he spoke to me in (I thought) a somewhat condescending tone and seemed to be assuming I had no idea what I was doing. Meanwhile (although he didn’t know it yet) I’d brought along not just my robe and sandals, but also a digital timer, a square of cloth to sit on so my junk wasn’t directly on the chair, and even some props to pose with if it seemed like the audience might like that. This ain’t my first rodeo.
- I’ve worked out a system for managing my short poses as unobtrusively as possible*
- I have a growing number of tried-and-true poses that I’ve practiced in the mirror at home and know look good
- I generally know how to make my body look striking/interesting**
- During each pose, I plan what I’ll do next so that I move from one pose to the next as fluidly as possible, with a minimum of pauses
- I try to do a fairly even distribution of standing, sitting, and reclining poses, and to mix up the direction I’m facing so everyone gets to draw me from all angles
- I make each pose as dynamic as my level of stamina and fitness allows
There are people who are bendier than me, and people who can hold more difficult poses than I can, but I maintain that I am good at what I do. Not the best, maybe, but good. I put a lot of damn thought into giving my art students the best experience I possibly can. So when the organizer of today’s class treated me like such a n00b, I couldn’t help but think “If his standards are so low that he’d hire someone totally clueless, is he even gonna notice or care how much effort I put into this?”
He did notice and care, I think. At least, at the end of class he gave me a hearty handshake and said he would definitely be giving me more work – and if that if he doesn’t offer me another job within the next few days, I should call and remind him.
So I guess I did okay. 🙂
*i.e., if I have to give the instructor ten one-minute poses, I’ll set the timer for ten minutes and then time each individual pose in my head (“One Mississipi, two Mississipi…”). I glance at the timer periodically and when it’s down around two or three minutes, I surreptitiously turn it off. I can keep track of two or three poses in my head while counting Mississipis – I just can’t keep track of ten. And turning off the timer means that if my Mississipis are a little off, my last pose won’t be cut short by the beep-beep-beep.
**I have a wide pelvis and narrow waist, so if I push one hip out it makes a really bold curve that I can accentuate even further depending on the position of my arms. My spine is fairly flexible so I do a lot of twisting (which also gives everyone in the room an equally good view, vs. one side having my entire front and the other having my entire back) and arching. My limbs are really long, so if I stretch out one leg or kinda drape my arms nonchalantly over my body it’s dramatic like WHOA.