15 May 2007

Adventures in Modeling

I'm a model. No really, I am. I model. In photographs and stuff. Seriously. Try to suspend your disbelief long enough to enjoy the rest of this blog.

A few weeks back I got a call from a friend of mine who's a casting director/ my default agent. She gets me gigs every so often and they usually pay really well with very little work involved. She tells me that she's got a modeling job and the client (that's jargon for 'person what's doling out the moneys') specifically asked for me. Me. They wanted me to be their model.

I had worked for this particular client before so when they asked for me, I was really flattered. Clearly they liked me-- or liked working with me. Either that or they really liked my look. They thought I was good looking-- the kind of face they want representing their company. How awesome is that? I'll tell you how awesome: it's way awesome.

No one has requested me before. No one has specifically asked for me to be their model.
It took me a few days to get over the initially weirdness of that. I mean, let's face it, that's weird. I'm not exactly commercially attractive if attractive at all. At least I didn't think so. But then, with this call, I start to think: "Maybe I'm not as ugly as my mother always told me I was . . . maybe I'm actually a breath-takingly attractive person and just have never known it because of all the shame and self-doubt that was instilled in me from a young age. HOLY SHIT! I'm one of those really hot girls who sincerely doesn't know she's hot and walks around wondering why guys are looking at her!" This blew my mind. It's a total sea change for me. As it turns out, after all these years I really am good looking enough to be a furniture model! Next stop: Sears catalogue!

So I've fairly well convinced myself that I'm a gorgeous man-- wanted by women and furniture companies alike. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but this little bit of affirmation really made a difference for me . . . I started seeing myself differently. I'd look in the mirror in the days leading up the photo shoot and think "my face is largely symmetrical" and "man, I'd kill for eyelashes like those-- oh wait! Those are mine!"

It was pretty pitiful, really. But worry not, dear reader, because our story doesn't end there.

I get to the photo shoot and I'm feeling like hot shit. Sure, I'm pasty, gangly and doughy but about 65%* of me is convinced that it doesn't matter: I'm still a sexy beast. I meet the client, the photographer and all the other folks involved** and as they're picking out my outfit from the ridiculously huge array of clothing I brought along with me (and as usual, even though I brought everything I own, I didn't have what they wanted***) they explained to me what the shoot was for. . . .

Y'see, they're marketing an ergonomic desk that adjusts to fit people of radically different heights. I was to be the representative of tallness. Yes, they hired me, they wanted me purely because I'm a freak. The girl in the shoot with me was over a foot shorter than me-- the two of us were used to illustrate the extremes of human freakishness. 'She's tiny and adorable, he's a massive beast.'

After showcasing the desk for most of the day, we ended by doing a series of photos that would impress upon the viewer the ridiculousness of my size. These photos were things like me crouching way down to look her in the eye or me standing upright and her peaking around the side of me with an impish grin (the subtext being "He's so big I can entirely hide behind him and yet that desk accommodates us both!")

The best part is that during the shoot I was, at multiple times, referred to as 'Shrek.' And I wasn't even wearing green.

Dave the gorgeous model: 0

Dave the ogre model: 1

*though that may not seem exceptionally high, compared to the 17% of me that normally finds me attractive, it's quite a step up.
**turns out, it takes like seven people to create a good picture of me
***How 'bout next time you know what you want me to wear you just freakin' tell me and I'll bring it? It'd save us all a lot of trouble.

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