|Andrew Kaiser, Portland, OR, 2012|
I'm getting withdrawals. I miss it.
I miss modeling full-time--the trips, running around catching the subway between three gigs a day, each shoot feeling like its own bubble--its own small microcosm where everything resets, where I'm with a new person or group of people and we find a new creative objective, a new dynamic.
I had a few bad experiences, and I allowed those FEW negative incidents and trips to make me jaded about the whole thing. Since when am I the sort of person to do that? Pfff!
For every bad shoot--where a "photographer" is soliciting me for sexual favors or threatening not to pay me if I don't agree to spread my legs or being just plain hostile--there's been a great one--where I'm laughing and moving in an almost meditative state, where the conversation flows easy and lighthearted and we talk shop, or maybe get more nitty-gritty.
For every bungled trip--where my bookings and hosts all cancel at the last minute, or where I've been robbed or stranded--there's been a trip where I find myself outrageously fulfilled and successful, keeping busy and laughing and creating and subjected to surprises, being fed and cared for by the local network of artists, being recommended to friends-of-friends whenever there's a hole in my schedule or my budget or given a place to stay when one of my hosts has to bail out, meeting awesome local models and finding we have so much more to talk about than just modeling.
There are photographers I miss working with [like Andrew, who just sent me the above image a couple days ago], and there are photographers I haven't yet had the pleasure to work with. Models I miss hanging out with. A creative process that I miss immersing myself in. At its best, modeling is a way of playing and meditating at the same time--and then, hours or days or weeks later, suddenly there's this beautiful product from all that play. I've been exposed to new photographers lately, who have work that really stirs me. I've been looking at the work of other models lately--seeing how they've expanded in the last year--and it's all gotten me way too excited to get back.
And yes, I needed the break this year--it's been a great one. A lot of non-modeling firsts, a lot of rites of passage:
--Went on a two-and-a-half month solo road trip that was all play and no work [an experiment in seeing if I could travel outside the context of the modeling world, neither relying on finding work nor on the network--and I wound up scuba diving on a beautiful island, finding myself at random concerts and a rodeo, climbing, running around strange cities, reconnecting with friends I hadn't seen in years and meeting new ones along the way]
--Backpacked solo through Yosemite, which included navigating myself out of a cross-country route where I'd gotten crazy-lost on my own for hours [having gotten two incompatible sets of directions, I decided to just figure it out a la map-and-compass] and befriending the kids of the High Sierra Camps as well as a really talented photographer/painter.
--Trained extensively in massage therapy and Eastern medicine, first learning in a barn in Mariposa and sleeping outside on a cot as wild turkeys ran rampant, then continuing my training in the ever beautiful and decadent Nevada City--a much more settled-in, slowed-down, feminine sort of place than what I'm accustomed to.
--Spent three and a half weeks out on the playa on my first Burn, watching a sparse desert landscape occupied by a few hundred people turn into a booming ever-active Pink Floyd Disneyland city of 60,000 vibrant people and the most phenomenal art projects...and then reduced back again.
--Extracted myself from the confines of being in a serious relationship, for the first time in six years, and have been redefining my identity, my values, my ethics, my dreams, ever since--without the context or input or criticism or validation of anyone else. Good stuff.
--Went on a trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone for a three-day photo shoot...and learned a lot about myself in the process.
And more, but that's enough--this entry's getting plenty long already.
I have a few more plans for 2012 that will prevent me from focusing on modeling this year:
--I'm participating in NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month], the goal of which involves writing a 50,000-word first draft to a novel entirely within the month of November. As of this morning, I'm at 8,888 words.
--I'll be teaching skiing once again, this time as a certified instructor, and pursuing massage therapy and holistic healing professionally.
--I'll be dirtbagging and climbing in the beautiful Eastern Sierra desert, with the secondary focuses of dancing, making music, writing, practicing yoga, and getting healthier than I've been.
That being said, I look forward to a few trips come sunshine in 2013! I mean it--making a commitment to buying tickets and setting dates, instead of just wistful talking. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I may not update for a little while.
Hope you're all well! 8]