I almost made it to the ATM, and I was only a few steps away from the subway stairs, when suddenly something didnít feel right. It was right in between my vagina and my underwear and it felt uncomfortable. Instinctively I shoved my hand down my skirt and slide my forefinger into my vagina. I didnít care who saw. Of all the moments, God chose this fucking one to pour more guilt on me for being such a dreamer. It was like he let my body go to hell that morning. There was blood on my finger. I had my period. For Christ sake, it could have come the day before, the next day, but not on the day I had my first real print modeling job with a known brand, from a real New York City agency waiting for me. The words "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, help me, me, me please!" birthed out of my guts and groin. I didnít care who heard as I stood still, in the mess of Astoria morning foot traffic. Then I had an urge to pray, I had to ask some God out there who I knew was watching and hating me at that moment. "Why me? Why couldnít this morning just be simple?" Was it because I should be using my education? Was it because I didn't pay rent this month?
Astoria felt lazy to me, the same old Italian and Greek life, everyone knew everyone and everyoneís story but me. It was like a TV show, seeing and watching the simple life that people wanted was purely innocent. I would listen out my window and watch like a tourist from the roof. It hurt to see it. Seeing that simple life right in my face when I wanted something more killed my focus. Smelling barbeque only upset me more; I had to be out of there as much as possible, it was just a place to sleep. If I was in Astoria, I wasnít in Manhattan, which meant I wasnít working, wasnít earning money so I could survive. Astoria meant I was going to wither away and die.
I couldnít handle seeing the smiles on teenagers driving their pimped out cars. I didnít want to see the kids playing jump rope or with a rigged out basketball hoop or a ripped soccer net on the sidewalk. It all reminded me of the blue collar man, the working young adult, the entry level job that I refused to settle for. I wanted to do what I loved and looking at them made me feel selfish.
Most people appeared happy just buying fresh fruit and drinking creamy Cafe Mocha at Athens Cafť. I never wanted to buy fruit or get a fancy coffee while watching the neighborhood go by. I wanted to survive. No, I wanted to do more than survive; I wanted to escape Astoria and this life that was being pushed on me by everyone here. Whether they knew it or not. Just by existing in their daily lives, I could feel it slowly stealing my ambition. Getting my period was also a reminder that another month went by, that I had made it another month. The summer was over and I didnít know how I made it alone. How did three months go by, my birthday, I was a year older and my period reminded me I had another month on the record of living and still without a stable paycheck.
I had only a few seconds to think of a plan to deal with the blood. The day was beginning; the bodies were moving rapidly passed me. A few girls my age rushed by in their suits and bumped into me. I hated Astoria, even more than my bed ridden cramps that would follow my period later that day. Watching my five pathetic television channels, eating worse than the homeless, sleeping, cleaning the few items I owned, it all made me feel very guilty for being so stubborn for refusing to live like a normal person. I didnít own a calendar or a nice cooking pot. It was emotional to see them eat on Friends or Seinfeld.
I was thinking of all of this as I stood on 30th Avenue and 32nd Street. And how I didn't have a tampon. Lately I only bought things when I needed them, and usually I got fucked over because of it. Like now when I didnít have enough cash to go to Duane Reade and buy some damn tampons, not that they were open anyway at this hour. My next option was obvious because there was an ATM at the Subway sandwich shop, and I knew most fast food places had bathrooms. I needed to get some toilet paper and clean up a little, and make it to the photo studio before I ruined my underwear and skirt.
I could feel the wet and sticky disgustingly gooey feeling of blood about to drip down my leg through my underwear and splat right onto the floor. It wasnít spotting blood; it was a flood of biblical proportions coming out of me. It was mushy and at any moment I could have gushed and exploded all over the tacky, soda stained tile floor. I started to push my pin number into the ATM while yelling frantically to the Spanish or Greek teenager who was opening the sandwich display. "Do you have a bathroom I can use?" He said no in a deep and unfriendly devil voice, and I swear he had horns growing out of him. I told him, "It is kind of important," and he still said no. I wanted to ask him "Where do you pee?" Everything around me fell and cracked, and I blamed myself, like in some way it was my fault that Subway didnít have a bathroom. I was still in fucking- happy-go-lucky-letís-prance-around-because-we-love-Astoria land and I had 40 minutes to get to the Meat Packing District.
Then the nightmare really beganóthe desperation, the dripping, and the twenty bucks I had to withdrawal. I would be left with almost zero in my account again. Each second reminded me that I was going to a shoot that would give me an opportunity to grow as a model. To be in a different league but my dream was dying with each bloody step, and I wondered how long I could go on. How do people do this? Do people do this? Do they live for this and only their dream? I had no savings, I had no support, no sugar daddy, no funds, and my stubborn passion wouldnít allow me to hostess again.
I didnít have a tampon because I couldnít afford to buy them. I had been out of college for just over a year and it was moments like this that I had to remind myself of my strength, my focus, and how much I wanted this. Thoughts of my mother came to me while I waiting for the ATM to spit out todayís survival in the form of green recycled paper. How she really knew of nothing I was doing and how it seemed I only called her when I needed money and usually the most she could give me was forty bucks.
Amazingly it was all I needed some days, amazing that $40 could put me at ease. Knowing I could be purely saved, fed and happy from that $40 was a joy, it was so simple but also it was a kick in the face like I was unable to take care of myself. I tried to only call her once a month at most, and only if I really needed it.
But 8:14 A.M. was too late to call her, she was already on her way to teach children how to read, I needed someone to teach me how to give up. I could turn around and go back to the apartment, lie on my mattress and curl up, forget about modeling, about my dream, and just accept Astoriaís fate for me. But I couldn't give in and give up, even with my period, without a tampon, running late, and with no money in my bank account.
I just couldnít give in, because my plans were always to self serve and
I owned all I worked for. I was already too deeply affected by my past, and all I worked for would whisper to me and I would fall back to being grateful and feeling lucky that I was doing something with value, self worth, and I was exactly what I wanted. A piece of me didn't mind that I was bleeding down my leg, like a bitch in heat, because at least I was my own boss, and I was making my own problems, not getting them from some one else. Maybe I was in denial of seeing my own desperation.
All that mattered as I stood on 30th Avenue was that at least I wasnít working a 9-5 job. My face must have made five different expressions while I thought of all of this and I wanted sympathy from someone about my shameful secret time of the month on 30th Avenue. Calling my mother might threaten my resolve to make it to the shoot and it would force me to be vulnerable to her words, her nail scratchy, convincing motherly words: "You need to get a real job." I desperately wanted to call her, to have the kind of mother I could cry to, wishing she would reassure me that everything would be fine, that she would encourage me. Instead I knew that phone would only make me feel like shit. So I didnít call. And I felt in control again when the twenty bucks came out of the ATM. The dollar service charge could go to hell.
Before I left, I wanted to yell at the Subway boy behind me, "Fuck off bastard," but I didnít. I just kindly asked him for a few napkins, and I stood with my body close to the ATM Machine, hiding my next action of folding a napkin in a narrow rectangle and shoving it down my underwear. I said thanks to the teenager who noticed nothing, and I left in rage, I had my MetroCard money and I could go to my shoot. I felt bitchy and materialistic even though I had nothing impressive. As I waited on the platform for the N train, blood started to drip down my leg from all the running and movement. There isnít anyplace to hide waiting for the train, and the unstable napkin didnít do justice. I was trying to keep my cool and not lose my mind, not let anyone see my truth and blood. I grabbed the other napkins out of my bag and did my best to clean up my leg without making a scene. I was pretending to fix my shoe but I was really crouched down by a payphone feeling myself up again through my skirt, adjusting my Subway napkin sanitary pad which by then was almost completely used up.
I stood on the train even though there were seats open. Any movement could cause a river of red, and I was too afraid to move and make more of a mess on myself, or leave a puddle on the seat. My hands had blood on them, and there were not enough napkins to also clean them. I hoped no one would notice my bloody fingers. I watched people on their way to work, thinking I just came out of a murder scene. They were all very tired, it was quiet which made the ride very slow and my heart was racing to escape the entrapment of the train. I didnít own an MP3 player to allow my mind to slip somewhere else, I missed music. Everyone was listening to iPods, while I looked out the window at the skyline. This city was really starting to make me fucking emotional.
It sounded simple but it seemed I always did things the hard way, or hard things followed me. I couldnít just wake up and go to my shoot, and get the credit on my resume. It couldn't be a sweet, morning glory moment, it had to be a damn circus of heart racing madness, and saying to myself "I just want to model, I just want to model" didnít make the train go faster.
I transferred at Times Square to the A train, and by this time I had asked about ten women from the train and platforms if they had an extra tampon or sanitary pad. Of course they didnít. I was the only female in New York City that morning with her period. Some women got as personal as to tell me they didnít get their periods anymore or telling me how they just finished their periods. I hated them all with a passion, but I gave
them understanding eyes and I just couldnít figure out why in a city of over a hundred thousand women no one had a tampon to spare. I even managed to get off the train with eight minutes to spare. It wasnít a comfort though because I knew the girls in Vogue didnít have to run in heels with their periods down the street at 9 A.M. They had a town car pick them up, or cab fare given to them, or they could at least afford another way other than running. Hell broke lose as the train slowly stopped and I impatiently tapped the train doors with my finger nails, saying out loud, "Hurry, hurry you fucking door." Emphasizing the "fuck" every time I said it. Saying it made me feel better because I was pissed off and I was dripping sweat like Niagara Falls. I found it to be a good thing thoughóit was evidence of my effort. The sweat on my forehead would prove that I wasnít walking gracefully through the Meat Packing District, sipping coffee, noticing the sunny day above.
I was running as fast as I could through the subway station even though I hadnít worked out or stepped on the track in years I suddenly felt like a marathon runner. The adrenalin built up from the Subway shop, to the MetroCard machine, to the warm suffocating air of the subway, and my need for coffee took over. I had this impulse to run. Like if I didnít literally chase my dream, it would disappear in the distance.
Or maybe I just felt like I had to run to try to make it on time.
My eyes were still heavy with no sleep and I hadnít fully applied my mascara, this pissed me off even more because if I was going to be late, I at least wanted to look good. I stopped to fix my strappy shoes that annoying came undone. I had to get them ready because the real race happened as soon as I broke the surface to the street. Thatís when the gun really went off, right when I heard the cars screeching and honking at each other on Eighth Avenue. I was off. I might have made a world record racing across town on Fourteenth Street. Or set a record telling over five men to" fuck off" in a forty-five second span. I was, of course, not able to run without confrontation. There was not even a moment of peace while I ran. The bums just had to say hello as if I had candy and cash coming out of my bag. It was the worst moment to get spoken to by anyone, I was fending off random walkers who were saying "Slow down little lady. Do you need help with that bag? Iíll carry that for you." I told each man I hated them personally without guilt or shame and they each got the finger, too. It was like dominos, one man would say hi, I would say "fuck off" and then I would get called a bitch and the sound of "Bitch, bitch, bitch" charmed through the air with a Motown melody.
I would have taken the compliments of my sexy legs and about how well I ran in my heels on a day when I didnít have a modeling job that would change my status waiting for me. Any other time than when I wasnít late, hungry, tired, and bleeding out of my vagina. I couldnít believe it, I needed this opportunity many months and years before and I was late for it. There couldnít be one moment of calm to enjoy this pre-experience. Even my big black bag was trying to slow my pace and I almost wanted to drop it and just give it to the bum that I passed by. He would wake up and find a portfolio of a girl who was trying to be a model and maybe he would try to sell the photos for a meal. I would end my career on 14th Street and the last person to see my book would be some lost, reeking dreamer himself. Everything was slowing me down and testing my patience. The sun was too bright, the air too chilly and making goosebumps pop up on my hairless legs, and nothing was on my side, not even the wind. I really had enough of the bullshit as I jay-walked across to Ninth Avenue and hardly noticed as an old lady with a huge cart full of bottles slammed right into me.
Damn! I was abusing my body, I had been racing and pacing, and my heart had been athletically working hard for the past forty-five minutes of this journey. Even when I was on the train, I was still running in my mind. Now I was almost there, the whole next five minutes would be insanity. The final was about 400 meters of non-stop run.
I was dizzy by then, dehydrated, and hot, then cold, tired, and then full of spunk. A desert formed in my mouth. The cobblestone pavement was hitting my feet so hard; my poor heels were crying and whimpering for me to just give them a break. I felt so exhausted, pushing my heart this early in the morning to wake up and run. I was sweating, without deodorant, scrunching my face like I was battling every Giraffe in New York City, like I was fighting Goliath. I was making my own history, transforming that second, morphing into a "professional model." I could barely stop to look at what street I was on, blinded by the sun, with my skirt twisting and turning all the way around and falling, slipping off my skinny hips. My hair was like overcooked spaghetti in my face, damp and limp from sweat, and nothing wanted me to be on time. Nothing wanted me to be one of the first people there with a smile. The morning wanted me to run, to remember my roots, the days when running was passion, not regretful and annoying.
There were no cheers or flags waving from the side line or sidewalk. The morning wanted me in heels, in a skirt, bleeding my innocence, breathing heavily like a psychopath, or a woman panicking in labor. Sounding like a stuttering airhead or a straight talking TV host asking women embarrassing questions, while revealing my own tragedy to them all. I gave in, I let the morning win, and I asked one more lady if she had a tampon when I was on 12th Street. Lost and late I said, "Itís okay" when she replied that she didn't have one, and she also couldn't tell me where to go. It hurt to know how nothing might ever be simple. I wanted so badly to not have my period and pinching cramps. I wanted so badly to be on time.
I lost feeling in my legs right before I got there and I almost forgot that I had my period as I ran down Washington Street, trying to stride out my legs a few more inches. I was almost there, but being there wasnít a comfort. By the time I arrived, I just wanted to die right there on the glorious entrance steps and collapse and forget about all this modeling. I actually thought I could collect myself and pull together whatever was left of my face and not look like I was screaming and dripping "bloody murder."
I knew time was of the essence but I just had to swipe on a little mascara and wipe away the snot and the crust on the corners of my dry lips. Then, I was Dorothy entering Oz, but the doors to the production studio took all that was left of my might to open. Even that had to be difficult. I was not myself. I think I was Martin Luther King internally screaming "Free at last!" but I still needed coffee and a tampon and I wasnít free at all of my uncomfortable, war beaten bloody body. I felt nauseous and had hot flashes as I stumbled in like an elephant, I couldnít breathe or speak clearly. A daze took over; I swore I saw fairies cheering me on. I was looking and feeling like a pothead and I needed another hit. I was the Big Bad Wolf huffing and puffing and with cotton mouth choking my words at the reception desk. Could the girl sipping a soda at the desk not realize that I could hardly feel my body and I needed a drink? How could they not see that I was on pins and needles, beaten by the cobble stone, beaten by the Subway Sandwich guy, beaten by the ATM, and there was even sweat behind my ears and in places I didnít even know I could sweat. They stared like I was a street urchin, a dirty, crusty-eyed, and smelly, uncombed raga muffin.
The slow blink of their eyes told me to hurry whatever I had to say. I took a deep breathe and I spoke a mile a minute asking where the bathroom was, where the shoot was, if there was coffee near by, and if anyone had a tampon. Then I managed a smile and gracefully and gratefully reached for the one tampon I was offered by the women who looked like she ran the place. It was clear she didnít feel any mercy for me and wasnít happy about my disheveled appearance. I went to the bathroom with my coveted tampon and as I hurriedly shoved it into my bloody vagina, I wished I could tell her to fuck off.
Nine hours later my naked body had just about enough of the brutal lens probing and scrutinizing my body from every angle. I wasnít getting paid any overtime and I was craving a beer so badly. I needed something to ease the fact that we had shot fourteen rolls of film and I still had in the same tampon. It would have been a great day if it was a Tampax commercial shoot but I was tired of bleeding and hiding my tampon string during the nude shots of my gushing body. By 6 P.M. I was literally dripping and asking for a tissue, I was battling my mind, spirit, and crotch all at once and then the photographer wanted some video too. Before the video shot I actually left a little blood on my robe but no one seemed to question that it was anything but "just some lip gloss."
I felt like I was in a Nazi camp for nude models. An hour later my body was speaking slow and, almost in a whisper, telling me to sit down and enjoy the quiet subway ride back to Astoria. My mind was chanting at me that I should walk as fast as I could to Colleenís bar. It was over forty-four blocks away. At the end of it all the photographer had photographed almost everywhere skin covered. I said goodbye to him with an awkward hand shake and politely didnít take the Polaroid I was offered, a keepsake that most models would have taken with pride. I just wasnít sure I would want to remember this day. I didnít even care about the potential ad campaign anymore. He signed my voucher and I could still smell the fertile blood on me as I walked out of the studio. I had to walk and clear my head and suddenly forty-four blocks seemed like the perfect distance. Colleen looked shocked when I wandered in. She offered me a Cranberry and Vodka and was startled when I said "No!" All I really wanted was a fucking tampon so I could go back to Astoria. I felt broken and oddly triumphant.
The five flights to my apartment werenít as mountainous that night when I got back and my legs felt longer as I escalated, my body felt transformed, as if I grew a few inches taller. My muscles were tender and sore and I was hungry but what filled my stomach and eased my mind that night was the thought of how I had made it through the day and no one but me really knew the secret tolerance of it all.
I knew this day would keep me full of ambition and it proved the point that I needed and would never forget. I now had another story that would shock people, but it was proof that I was capable of anything. The day rewound and repeated itself as I got ready for bed and laughed a little when I used the last sheet of toilet paper and then found a forgotten five-dollar bill in my bag. It was just the sign I needed and I said my prayers and then said, "Fuck you" to all the doubts given to me along the way. Then I regretted not taking the Polaroid.
Maybe nothing would come of the photos since it turned out that they didnít run nationally in an ad campaign, but still the day proved how I couldnít be beaten by the ATM, by the wind, and the cobblestone; it could be my time of the month and I could be gushing with blood, sweating and running late, with cotton mouth and still I would efficiently, just as good as any Giraffe, get the job done.
Thanks for checking out an excerpt of my modeling memoir Almost 5'4"
Thanks for checking out an excerpt of my modeling memoir Almost 5'4"
Subject: Hold for Bon Appťtit magazine
Please let me know ASAP if you are avail for this hold
To be honest I am not a die-hard hand model. I think it would be boring as hell if my life was just fingernail polish and cuticles. But working as one has helped me work with great agencies and brands.
The Parmesan and smoky paprika frico had a burnt caramel color and broke easily in our hands. But that was OK, because the idea for the shot was to make the food and table look as "realistic" as possibleÖ.crumbs and a little dishevelment were encouraged.
I placed the tips of my fingers on the white plate in front of me, and then with my right hand I picked up a small piece of the crumbled paprika frico. The male model, across from me, put his fingers around a glass of pinot grigio. The other female hand model, who had a more adult-shaped fingernail than me, placed one hand on the rim of the white plate in front of her.
Soon the roast pork came out, which already looked half-eaten. And pieces of pork were placed on our plates and then panettone panzanella with pancetta and Brussels sprouts were arranged next to the pork. Then sangiovese was poured into our glasses.
The other female hand model held her glass of sangiovese with one hand and rested the other on a mint green napkin. The male model was told to cut the pork with his fork and knife as if he was really about to enjoy a portion of it.
My job was to create some movement for the shot by scooping some broccoli out of the casserole dish. I was supposed to scoop fast enough to create movement but slow enough that it wouldnít look like a massive green blur when the camera clicked.
Next was dessert. It was a delicious apple-cranberry crisp with polenta streusel topping, and vanilla ice cream. The ice cream on my plate was purposely made to look like it was melting next to my apple-cranberry crisp. I let it be, and put a hand on the small handle of my espresso. The other female hand model held her fork and acted as if she was diving happily into her apple-cranberry crisp. The male model casually clenched his napkin.
During a break, one of the food stylists asked if we had any favorite lotions and creams that we used on our hands, and if we could suggest any to her. So I told her that LUSHís Lemony Flutter was my favorite cuticle cream. The other models didnít share anything. Their smiles implied they were secretive about those types of things.
I recall one model at an earlier booking yapping about how another model had done her wrong. Whining, she said, "Öand after I helped her and told her about my favorite salons and everything!" It was right out of a soap opera. I couldnít help but smirk. Sure, she was a popular hand model and had modeled for many magazines and brands, but it was hard not to think to myself, "Does she have anything else in her life, but her hands?" Itís funny how some hand models are even protective over where they get their hands manicured.
Despite thinking its funny, hand modeling has paid my bills before. And it is an alive industry to this day. Hand models are used for many campaigns Ė from cell phones, to cosmetics, home goods, accessories, the iPad, and much more. And I, for one, have held a lot of forks, knifes and salad tongs.
Subject: interested in doing a nude?
airbrush, lingerie shoot
Thereís an arrangement of feathers, sequins, rhinestones, lace and silk, scattered on a table nearby. Itís ready to be applied to my body.
A pair of lace panties and thigh high stockings will soon be airbrushed onto the backside of my body. Then a rhinestone heart tattoo will be placed where my spine grooves and starts to arch above my behind.
When itís showtime, the stylist pulls at my robe gently, tells me to stand in front of her and says casually, "lift your robe hunny." So I reveal my shaven "chick-lit."
She admires it for a moment, like a medical student. Then praises how I shaved and pans her next move.
Her forefinger and thumb stretch and measure the width between my bikini lines. While measuring, she hums a Polish song; she has a soft voice and itís soothing. She carefully cuts a piece of silk cloth into a square and adds three dabs of some "special body glue" to my skin. Then puts the silk square against my "chick-lit." I feel the warmth of her hand pressing the fabric against me softly. It sticks and stays. I now have a silk loincloth, and the openness of the air suddenly makes my "chick-lit" feel loose and free down there. For the next nine hours the tiny square fabric will act as an itty bitty curtain down there.
My bare back and my lower body will be the focus for the shot, so the small loincloth covering in front is really for my own privacy. A part of me feels like Iím a scandalous Pocahontas.
While the stylist decides which piece of lace will soon be pressed against my skin and stenciled to my body; I do some B-roll video sharing the concept of the dayís shoot.
Finally, itís time to airbrush on some thigh high fishnets. Yay!
I stand on two wooden apple boxes. For once, I am the tallest one in the room! My butt is at eye level when the stylist sits on her work chair.
First, a base is applied. A golden powdered pigment patted up and down the back of my legs, and fully rubbed in to cover my whole leg Ė butt, thigh, toes and all.
I feel like the Emmy Awards golden goddess statuette!
There is a technique to airbrushing thigh high fishnet stockings on the body, itís an artistic skill.
First, I actually have to put on a real pair of fishnets stockings. She slowly slides them up my leg; she does all the work to ensure the golden pigment stays on my leg. Itís actually intriguing, and erotic, to have someone else put fishnets on you!
She is about to start airbrushing black paint against the open spaces of the fishnet stockings. I must stay as still as possible during this part, even though itís cold and tingly against my skin.
After around thirty minutes, she peels the real pair of fishnet stockings off. The stencil that remains is so perfect that from only a few feet away it looks as if I still had the real fishnet thigh highs on my legs.
But she has only begun!
A piece of white lace is now put against my thigh and airbrushed over to look like a gorgeous stenciled lace trimming above the fishnet.
Then, ribbons of burgundy sequins are glued across the back of my thigh to make the rim of where the lace meets the fishnet even more seductive. I canít help but start to feel sexier with each step.
Each time she touches my skin and adds detail with her thin paintbrush, I am reminded of my nudity. Thank God for the loincloth and that four-inch bit of privacy. But I keep my knees straight and still when she says, "Donít move hunny."
I am there to do a job. But still hanging out behind the loincloth for hours is bringing many sensations down there. How awkward. Itís not that I was sexually turned on by the experience, or her, but guess the lower body has a mind of its own sometimes.
Now itís time to airbrush the lace panty on my behind. To do this, an actual piece of lace is placed across my butt. Then to make the panties look as realistic as possible, the stylist has to airbrush and hold the lace in place at the same time to create the perfect low rise panties. The difficult part is keeping the lace in place between my butt cheeks. Thereís not a tool proper enough to hold the lace in place between there! So the stylist grabs her thin paintbrush and secures it between my cheeks. We all laugh, but it will just have to do.
Next, twenty-five red and orange rhinestones are pressed on my ass. With the paint, sequins, rhinestones and airbrushed fishnets, I started to feel like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model during her airbrush bikini experience.
Five hours into the process, lunch finally comes and is served. As I scoop out some lasagna and suck the butter out of a bread roll, the photographer politely yet firmly says "Just, whatever you do, donít sit down!"
Even when I had to go to the bathroom throughout the day, I had to be extremely careful when I squat over the toilet, so not to ruin the airbrush design.
We are finally ready to shoot. Facing the black silk backdrop with my ass to the camera, I am told the inspiration is to give poses like a German model that is pissed and with a fuck you attitude.
Two male assistants hide behind the black silk backdrop and shake it furiously while a fan blows from behind the backdrop. The result is very lush, wavy silk, and I playfully reach for it. I am standing, but was given direction to reach upwards to simulate the look of lying on a silk bed and enjoying the feel of the fabric. And I did, it felt real good.
For how long the preparation work took, it seemed like the actual shooting went so fast. Though after nine full hours of standing, we wrap up. I was sad when it was all over.
My body ached! It was a lot of stretching, arching, bending, waitingÖnever being able to sit down throughout the whole process. But the most painful thing was the trip home. Even though I was wearing my comfortable Raggedy-Anne busted sweatpants on the E train heading downtown, the rhinestones pinched my ass as I sat. It felt like little I was sitting on hundreds of individual pebbles.
It took a few days for the airbrush paint to completely come off my legs and butt, and my whole body was tender for the next couple of days. The soreness was a reminder of the type of creative energy that gets put into many shoots, and the endurance required to be a professional model.
As for the loincloth, like a Polaroid, I saved it as a memento.
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