|Not me, just some lady Picasso knew.
So I meet this guy tattooed, pierced, artist-type
while I'm doing an interview with a boutique owner. He mentions that he's involved with a weekly drawing class a friend of his runs out of his apartment. I mention that sometimes I pose for art classes.
And then we fall madly in love
and ride off into the sunset together.
No, wait. That's someone else's life
. What actually happens is I found out he runs the Bell #3 Figure Drawing Class
an informal get together where artists and amateurs alike can hone their skills using a real-life model without springing for their own naked lady (aka, me). We exchange contact information and then a couple weeks later I follow his directions to an anonymous apartment in Northern Liberties. As I wait for the bus, I call up my parents and tell them what I'm up to. "Emily, are you sure this is, you know, safe?" My mom asks nervously. What, meeting a random guy and agreeing to get naked for him and a group of his friends
? When has a situation like that ever gone wrong?
Once I get to the apartment, I have to ring the doorbell (bell #3) for someone to come let me in. Then I'm led upstairs into a high-ceilinged, studio apartment with its very own platform for me to pose on. A small group of men are lounging around the space, drinking beer and talking shit
. They hospitably offer me a beer, or whatever, but I chose to sit primly in a corner waiting for the cue for me to either get naked and/ or be axe-murdered
then have my kidney removed in a bathtub.
For the sake of full disclosure, I have done this before, this getting naked in front of group of strangers thing (and not just for my escapades in 'The Pasty Postulant
'). I graduated into a recession, after all, and as a girl who determinedly went to an expensive, private, out-of-state college, I have some bills to pay
, to say the least. After applying to a thousand jobs and getting nowhere, I thought, "Well, as a woman, I can always take my clothes off for money
." (a joke that became less funny when it was true).
More people slowly filter into the chilled-out atmosphere and I am relieved by a breath of estrogen in the hodge-podge crowd of 30-something dudes and older artists
. As a strategically informal operation, Bell #3 attracts a laid-back group of people interested in keeping their artistic abilities finely honed outside of art school. Similarly, the group typically relies on convincing their friends to get naked and stand very, very still for several hours.
But me, I'm a professional, baby. I can hold poses like the Hoover Damn holds water
. In the modeling biz, you don't have a boss or manager type consistently giving you feedback so you basically have no idea about your level of job performance. At Bell #3 Figure Drawing, it was nice to have an appreciative audience, even if the thing they were appreciating was the impressive bone structure of my feet
. Pandora's Cake
station played as the artists pained, the atmosphere wasn't in the least bit critical, everyone was just hanging out but with a naked chick in the center of all of it. And what could be bad about that?
Bell #3 Figure Drawing Class, every Thursday from 7pm-10pm, $5, bell3drawing.wordpress.com, RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.