I am so fucking burned out right now. I modelled for an art class on Friday, Sunday, and Monday, and then two classes today. I was really looking forward to staying home tomorrow and doing absolutely nothing, but then the instructor at tonight’s class asked me to come model in his studio tomorrow. Maybe I should’ve claimed to be busy but I’m stressed about my dwindling savings so I went ahead and said yes. At least he didn’t ask me to come first thing in the morning – I don’t have to be there ’til 2.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m so burned out. Each modelling class is 3 hours (except Friday’s, which was 4). It’s physical work, but my health and energy levels have been decent lately. Mind you, I haven’t been sleeping terribly well and I do tend to get stressed if I have stuff to do too many days in a row (and on the Saturday, though I wasn’t working, I did have Red’s birthday thing to go to – making five consecutive days of obligations).
Also, being around people is draining for me. I thought that modelling didn’t count as “being around people” because I don’t have to talk to them, but no, just being stared at is exhausting. Especially when you’re naked, and super duper especially when you’re naked and literally encircled by people. A few of these recent jobs had me in the centre of the room – no wall to put my back against, no escape from being looked at, no control over what parts of me can and can’t be seen. So not only am I using up a lot of energy trying to come up with poses that look interesting from three hundred and sixty degrees, I’m also using up energy thinking “God. I think my asshole is pointing directly at that one guy’s face right now. Or is it? How much do my ass cheeks spread in this position? I need to practice this stuff in the mirror more often.”
Eventful, tiring day today. In the afternoon I posed for that one art school that I have found problematic. The instructor was this guy and at this point I pretty much hate him. Not only does he teach art at this school, I think he’s some kind of bigwig administrator guy…and I get a strong vibe that he’s really full of himself and likes to throw his weight around.
He refers to the students collectively as “kids” (as in, “Alright, kids, now we’re gonna do some blind contour drawings”) even though many of them are retirement age. He usually refers to me as “sweetheart,” probably because he can’t be bothered to remember my name (also, I’d bet good money that he’s forgotten how old I am. The condescending “sweetheart”s, the fact that he winks at me sometimes, the general way he behaves with me – it all points to him assuming that I’m much, much younger than he is. Whereas in reality I’d put him at six or seven years older than me, tops).
And he still points at me in pretty much every single class. By which I mean, while I’m posing (and therefore not allowed to move) he’ll indicate the shadows/contours/negative space/etc. on my body to the class by coming right up to me and running his fingertip around literally an inch or two away from my skin. My face, my breasts, my stomach, the side of my ass…nothing is off-limits. Other instructors at other schools will gesture toward me to indicate certain areas, but none of them enters my personal space in order to do it. And if they do have to enter my personal space for some reason they’ll always give me a verbal heads up. Not this guy.
Also: sometimes, art instructors will have me do the same pose several times in a row (generally 20 minutes each time, with breaks in between so I can stretch, etc.). It’s standard practice to mark where I’m sitting with tape so I can get back into the pose accurately, although even with me matching myself up to the tape-lines there’s usually a brief period of the students comparing me to their work in progress and going “Can you scoot your pelvis to the right a bit?” “Can you rotate your shoulders counter-clockwise?” before I really match properly.
I can’t help but notice that the instructor at one of the other schools I work for just puts a little dab of tape at my toes and heels, and a dab at my fingertips if applicable, and that’s about it. Today’s guy – the guy I hate – puts an entire tape outline around each foot (which by necessity means kneeling by my podium with his head six inches from my crotch) and then outlines the sides of my ass against the chair, and the edges of my arms, and the front legs of the chair in case it gets knocked out of place, and pretty much everything else you can fuckin’ think of.
He never does anything that’s definitely out of line (today, for instance, I sat with my legs apart and he did not tape the insides of my thighs. He gave me two pieces of tape so I could do it myself). Nonetheless, he’s going ridiculously overboard with this whole taping thing. All that effort so I can resume the pose two more times that day and then never again! And I still usually need the students to verbally adjust me until I’m back in position, anyway!
I think it amuses this instructor greatly to have a captive audience – one who seems young and naive and who needs this fucking job – and he deliberately takes his sweet time with the whole taping thing just to exert his power over me. Goddammit I hate him.
Just so you know, I’m not looking for advice here. Mostly because any advice I get will probably be some variation on “you need to talk to this guy” and I am flat-out not brave enough to do that at this time. The thought of confronting him is one million times more awful to me than the thought of sitting there being taped-around or pointed at. If he points at my face again I think I’ll flinch dramatically and tell him I have bad depth perception and thought he was gonna poke me in the eye – which hopefully he’ll take as a hint that he should back up a bit – but that’s about as bold as my anxiety issues will allow me to be right now.
Anyway, enough about the shitty instructor. Another thing that happened during that class was that I was asked to do three different 20-minute standing poses in a row, and on the third one I had to stop early because I almost passed out (which also happened the last time I was asked to stand three times in a row). I felt pretty ridiculous – seems like standing upright for 20 consecutive minutes is not that crazy of a feat for most people – but apparently a few other models have almost passed out from it, too. I think it’s the not-moving thing; it must make the circulation all sluggish so that blood stops making it up into my head. Y’know that feeling when your hand or foot starts to fall asleep and it feels both tingly and cold? My forehead was doing that, right before my vision went twinkly and I insisted on sitting down.
During the break after my almost-fainting, I got a text from The Ingenue, of all people. I haven’t heard from him since he decided I was a “tease” for maintaining my personal boundaries. He asked me if I wanted to come over and help him wax his chest, and also eat some food (and I’m sure he was hoping for sexytimes, too). I don’t want to go. Quite frankly, I am done with him; he’s shown a pattern of believing women are “teases” or “toying with him” when they don’t want to sleep with him, and that skeeves me right the fuck out. I’ve been trying to decide whether to ignore his text or tell him outright that I’m not into him anymore; I think I’m gonna go with ignoring (for now, anyway). If I tell him I’m not into him, he’ll ask why – and he’ll never understand the answer and will probably be a huge cranky pain in the ass about it all. So meh.
After the one class was done, I had an hour and a half before I had to leave for the next class. I spent it at home eating and surfing the ‘net – and discovered that someone has copied one of my paintings. I found it because the plagiarist recently “liked” the Facebook page I made for my art…and the copycat painting is her profile picture.
I…don’t know how to feel. On one hand, it’s flattering – and if she’s not actually selling copies of my work*, what’s the harm? On the other hand, I’m trying to make a goddamn living off this. I’m constantly stressed out by my financial situation and need all the interest in my work that I can possibly get. And here’s this chick posting a rip-off of my painting as her Facebook profile pic, and her friends are “liking” it and telling her it’s good, and she’s just graciously thanking them without letting on a damn thing. Whereas if she’d posted it and said “This was inspired by an artist named Perversecowgirl – here’s a link!” she could maybe drum up some more business for me, or at least give me some publicity. Which I need, because I’m not getting any richer. And which I deserve, because it’s my image in the first place.
Then I went and posed for my evening class, feeling mildly sore and so burned out I had a hard time forming coherent sentences when the instructor chatted with me. But I think I came up with some good poses, and the audience seemed to enjoy the props I’d brought, and the instructor is giving me more work tomorrow. So that’s nice.
During the class, the instructor from last night texted to offer me another job, but it turns out I’m already working that day. I hope this doesn’t discourage him from asking me again…
In other news, there’s a movie I really wanna see, and the other day I brought it up to The Pedant. He said he’d be up for it, but wasn’t sure when – possibly Wednesday, but he’d let me know. By the time I arrived at my evening class today, I realized I’m so exhausted that I don’t even want to do anything on Wednesday (which is tomorrow) and decided that even if The Pedant got back to me and said yes, I would claim to have other plans. Except then I was offered a modelling shift tomorrow so I actually do have other plans.
I love the idea of seeing a movie with The Pedant sometime when I’m not so wrung out, though. Last time we saw a movie together he kept his arm around me through the whole thing, which struck me as sort of sweetly retro. This was way back when I was under the impression he didn’t want to be affectionate in public, too, so it came as a nice surprise**. And I like the idea of us venturing into the outside world sometimes instead of getting stuck in some kind of hanging-around-my-apartment rut.
I’m gonna try to go to sleep now.
*I did a Tineye image search on the copied painting to see if it was on Etsy or anything, and nothing came up…but when I did a Tineye search on my original – which I have put on the internet in several places – nothing came up, either. So I think Tineye just sucks.
**Not that a darkened theatre especially counts as “public”.