This is that time of year, change of seasons and all that, when we can easily get sick. I woke up today feeling awful. Had a terrible night’s sleep. More troubling was that I felt lightheaded and a little queasy. I thought, “oh great. now I’m catching a cold”. Art modeling is not one of those jobs you can perform well feeling sick, with all the moving around, balancing, and the pressure of being “present” for the class. And the nudity, don’t forget the nudity! A bleary-eyed, near-nauseous art model is not exactly the most inspiring of subjects, wouldn’t you say? So I had to work at SVA this afternoon and I was slightly panicking as I made my way there. The subway made me feel sicker and the chaos of 23rd street made it even worse. What was I going to do?
An energy drink, I thought. Better yet, a power juice with loads of extra ginseng and spirulina and bee pollen, etc. So I got a 16 ounce juice concoction and slurped it down as I hurried my way to SVA. I felt like I could faint.
There I was, in class, getting undressed, trying to steady myself from an impending and inevitable cold. The students came filing in. Then the instructor. I have to pose for these people! I want to do well! And I did.
Once I was up on the platform, my timer set, my assignment to do 20 one minute gesture poses in quick succession, everything fell into place. The art modeling gods were smiling down on me, and I struck clean, elegant, expressive gestures for the students. I thought “wow!” This is going great. They were focused, serious, curious. And I was at the center of their learning process. No fainting, no shaking, no stumbling, no dizziness. It was like a miracle!
So what’s the point of all this? Maybe it’s that when you’re lucky enough to have passion for something, and get paid to do it, other forces take over in the face of adversity. Forces which allow you to rise to the occasion and do well. Because it matters so much. Because others are depending on you. Because you still have FUN doing the thing you love, and that kind of inherent joy is no match for a little head cold. Ok, flu and pneumonia maybe not! But a “touch” of something, no big deal.
Who knows, maybe it was the juice with the ginseng. I doubt it, though. Ginseng is good, but passion is better.