Somewhere in that convo with my boss about being “distracted” by my breakup with The Pedant, my boss observed that it must be way easier to deal with my personal tragedies during my modeling shifts because “you can be sad while you pose.”
I just. What? No.
It really bothers me when people don’t understand what posing entails, especially when they’ve seen me do it. When I model for a class, I’m not just sitting or standing around, I am creating an experience for my audience. I’m projecting a whole vibe. Would an attitude of melancholy work nicely in a pose and look all artsy n shit? Yes. Would doing sad bastard poses for the entire duration of the class make people come away with a good feeling about said class? Probably not. Would allowing myself to dwell on the breakup (with all that vulnerability pouring right into my eyes and a chance of bursting into tears) while I’m in a long pose, naked and being intensely scrutinized by a room full of people, and not supposed to move or leave be comfortable for me? No. Would allowing myself to dwell on the breakup during short poses (during which I pretty much need to focus all my attention on varying my poses, keeping my balance, and not clonking into shit) be a great idea? No.
Life modeling is customer service combined with athleticism, and as such it requires exponentially more focus than any “normal” job I’ve ever had. And while I pose, I push 90% of my emotions waaaaaay far down and only let myself experience the exact right amount of the exact right feelings to infuse a pose with energy. I’m putting up a facade the entire time I’m working.
At the gallery there are stretches where nobody’s even around and I can just let my face do whatever it’s inclined to do. And even when someone does come in and interact with me, they’re (generally, I’m assuming) not staring appraisingly at my face and analyzing it, nor do they expect my face not to move or change whatsoever for the next 20 minutes. So no, posing while emotionally fucked up is not easier than working at the gallery while emotionally fucked up. And it’s so weird that my boss – who met me because I’ve posed for her life drawing classes – would think that.