Tonight I worked for a place that usually splits the three-hour class into two different poses: one seated and one standing. They give the model a break every 20 minutes, and the break in the middle is a longer one (15 min) so it works out to an hour, total, for each pose.
That was where I learned that I am really not so great at standing poses. I had two different classes there where I broke pose without warning (it had suddenly become clear that I was about to faint) and one or two other times when I asked to end a session before the 20 minute mark because I was getting hot and cold sweats, feeling lightheaded, and thought I might get to the almost-fainting point if things went on much longer.
I hate that I have this weakness as a model. I want to be able to take whatever a class throws at me and do it well, dammit! And I worry that this particular school might overlook me in future because of these almost-fainting incidents.
But, well, we’ll see. The place did give me work again this term. And interestingly, tonight the instructor had me do two seated poses instead of a seated one and a standing one. I’m wondering whether this was specifically for my benefit – that he remembers that standing isn’t my strong suit but still wants me there because I’m good in other areas. This theory is somewhat upheld by the fact that when I do seated poses, he’ll almost always ask if I’d be willing to hold ’em for two sets of 30 minutes instead of three sets of 20. So far I’ve always said yes, and breezed right through it. As long as my ass is supported and I’m not contorting my body in some crazy way, I am a goddamned machine in longer poses. Like…people come up to me after class to tell me how amazing I was. Tonight, in particular, the instructor and students thanked me profusely for my dedication. The fact that I’m able to hold my pose for so long means they can really get in the zone while drawing me; it also means I’m spending less time trying to get back into position after breaks so there’s more drawing-time altogether.
In other news, I’d like to take a moment to smugly congratulate myself on how intuitive and adaptable I am. Many art instructors pretty much let me pose however I want, but you get the odd one who has preferences. I have one instructor who would tell me to “open” my pose when I was seated – i.e. don’t put my legs together or cross my arms over my body. He only had to say this to me on two different occasions before I caught on and started making sure my knees were apart and at least one arm was positioned so it mostly wasn’t touching my body. Dude never messes with my poses anymore.
The instructor I worked for tonight doesn’t give specific notes like “could you open your pose, please?” – he usually just says “Hmmm. Do something else.” For this reason, it took me a little longer to catch on to his tastes. But in the end I worked out that he’s all about poses that are demure and hopefully show as little of my genitals as possible. For him, I tend to cross one leg over the other or put my knees together but stagger my feet; then I’ll give my torso a little half-twist for interest and drape one forearm across my lap to further obscure my crotch. I don’t think he’s do-something-elsed me since I began doing that.
I’d also like to brag that I pay attention to what kind of exercise an instructor is having people do (if any) and try to pose accordingly. If the instructor tells students to pay particular attention to negative space, I’ll make sure I give ’em some good negative space to pay attention to. If the students are doing a box form study (in which they draw my body as if it’s made up of 3-D squares and rectangles, like a robot) I’ll stand up and cock my hip and shoulder on an angle – sitting down would make it too complicated for them and standing up perfectly straight would make it too easy. If they’re instructed to try to feel the energy of a pose, I’ll do something where I’m all tensed up or stretching some part of my body really hard.
On a tenuously related note, I’m hooked on Quest Bars as an at-work snack to keep my energy up: they’re made of good stuff and seem to have an optimal ratio of protein to carbs that gives me a boost while keeping my blood sugar stable. I went to GNC the other day to restock my supply and their pushy salesdude up-sold me like $80 worth of protein powder and creatine. I hate that I spent that much money, but the creatine is probably a good idea.
The protein powder, though…dude’s pitch was that it would give me more protein than the Quest Bars, with fewer “filler” ingredients. Fair enough, although I bought some Quest Bars anyway because don’t believe any kind of liquid would take care of my hunger pangs – I need solid food in order to feel full. I thought I could start bringing protein shakes to work with me in lieu of the plain drinkable yogurt I’d been having, though. Regrettably, I failed to look carefully enough at the label on this powder before buying: one dose comprises two scoops in 250ml of water. So, like, a child’s tumbler-sized amount of liquid. If I mixed up the amount of beverage I would normally want to take to work with me, I’d whip through the entire $50 container of powder in like four days – plus I’d probably be getting a shitload more protein into my system than necessary, which I believe is bad for the kidneys.
Also, the stuff tastes like ass. So I think I’ll be saving it for emergency rations when I’ve run out of groceries and need something to tide me over until I get to the store.