Last Thursday was my last night posing with the Society of Illustrators. I have been asked to start working Thursday nights at the Slipper Room. Although I wanted to go out with a bang, the above ground train kept delaying over the freezing cold. I started to panic when I approached Manhattan exactly at call time, I thirty minutes before session started.
I had managed to get all my makeup on, lashes included, as I sat waiting anxiously on the Williamsburg Bridge. Where I need to be was just over yonder, I can almost grasp it. At least there was a beautiful sunset. People always watch me on the train when I put on my makeup, but I have gotten used to it. I have gotten surprisingly steady with liquid eyeliner on a moving train. Cars are actually harder. When they see that the application is going high scale, bigger than date night look, they watch curiously with a respectful distance. Sometimes I briefly catch eye contact with elderly men and women, who look at me with this endearing nostalgia of when pin ups were really Pin Ups. I smile at them and get back to work in the mirror.
I had no time to waste and changed my clothes in the taxi. I told the young driver my plight and he had his mission. Our theme was exotica and here I was peeling off layers and layers, even changing to a strapless bra, to transform into a tropical beauty. Scarves were replaced with sweet smelling coconut oil, my head before wrapped was now blooming with pink peacock plumes. And of course my favorite beautiful stargazer lily clip. When it comes to summer wear, the Floridian comes out shamelessly in me. This is my terrain, I understand the art of flip flops.
Despite the cabby's best effort, traffic made us practically idle just a few blocks away. I felt no choice but to hoof it, crunching through the snow with a long maxi dress billowing out of my Winter Wonderland red coat, a promise of warmer times just a few months away. Oh how you tease chartreuse and flamingo pink! Feathers bopping all down the block where everyone was staring at me. I've gotten used to it, haven't we all? I didn't have to time to care, nor even shiver.
Posing as an art model is a lot different than posing for a photoshoot. Standing still is a skill. The ten, twenty minute poses are especially challenging, and when I first starting working with them I would over commit to my poses. I remember a couple times my knees buckling or arms going entirely numb. Keeping a facial expression can also be tricky, as I try to bring something that tells a story, sometimes I have to switch between two different expressions. Or else my face may stay that way! I have been told that something that I bring into my burlesque and modeling is deep emotions, whether bright or dark. I know that when I stare into the audience, my eyes seem to glaze over. I remember my very first burlesque class was with Indigo Blue, where we went over penetrative and receptive stares. I was paired up with Cherry Typhoon, but didn't know at the time. Her stare was intense and lurked even danger deep within. When I eyes started to blur, I asked Indigo if that means I need to see a doctor and she said instead "No! That is actually a very good skill to have!"
I hope to pose again soon on another night, even it means another group, although I really enjoyed working with the Society of Illustrators. The building is a beautiful old Victorian style building, with an old swanky bar included. We used to get dressed in a big beautiful library, with shelves to the very top. All it was missing was one of those cute ladders to slide across in a musical style fashion. Here are a few photos of some of the sketches during my time with them.
The oh so lovely and oh so talented Luma Rouge