Saturday, September 20, 2008

Maine, the way life is.

I have succumbed to the Maine way of life, and become a patcher. Meaning: I have a myriad of jobs that I patch together. And they are all very unique and interesting. Over the course of a month, I will have been paid to be:
1. Assistant Manager of the Portland Observatory
2. A Barista
3. An afterschool teacher
4. A pie-maker
5. A model
6. An elected official
7. A field hockey coach
8. A musician

While the lifestyle can be a little harrowing, it is always full of surprises, many of them pleasant. Take modeling, for example. Craigslist gigs is a great place to find very short-term work, usually involving getting paid very well to pass out promotional shwag or talk very enthusiastically in a focus group about breakfast cereals or such. Recently there was a post for a size 14 model. I looked at the listing, as I sometimes wear a size 14. It was a yarn company in Portland, and I wrote them to say that while I was not a model, I was a knitter, and I would be happy to be their size 14. Well, to make a long story a little shorter, after sending them some completely unprofessional pictures taken by Jon at Kettle Cove, my mom at the Aquarium, Mandy at my Derby party, and Darcy for my campaign, they hired me!

I was to be picked up, along with the size 18 model, and driven to New Harbor for the photo shoot for Classic Elite Yarn's Curvy Knits pattern catalog. I got in the car and a gorgeous woman with an equally gorgeous name, Ondine, introduces herself to me. When I ask her what she does for a living and she responds with something like, "Fashion designer and model," I begin to think that this adventure might involve a little more than some little yarn company taking my picture.

We pull into a driveway of a rented farmhouse on a hill overlooking New Harbor, about as picturesque as it gets. I meet the make-up artist and the stylists and am asked to try on several knitted garments with a mess of clothes with tags still on (all "borrowed" from some big stores.) Then the stick thin models walk in wrapped in blankets, shivering from their "spring" photo shoot down on the water. They quickly get naked, change outfits, the make-up artist gets very concerned about their wind-blown hair, and off they go for another shoot. I read for about 30 minutes (I was told to bring a good book), and then it's time for my face to become a canvas.

The make-up artist plucks, shapes, trims, gels, and pencils my brows. Then she puts layers and layers of make-up on my face, curls my hair, and uses about a half a bottle of hairspray for my half-updo. I put on the salmon colored knit tunic (NOT at all my favorite color, but it was matched with accessories that I chose!) and I am instructed to walk and skip in a swingy way through a field while the photographer's assistant walks beside me with a screen filling in shadows and the photographer shoots picture after picture after picture.

I remove the tunic, leggings (which fit perfectly and I got to keep!), and boots, and change into a loose cotton dress and a silky periwinkle cardigan (again, so not my color). We went to set up the shoot while Ondine was putting on a beautiful green lacy cardigan for her next shoot. Apparently the photographer was so happy with the look of our practice shoot that she decided to shoot it for real, in between the make-up artist running in and spraying my hair again and again. I had to hold some flowers, flirt with the assistant, play with my hair...

It was all so surreal. I was a model! For realz! Apparently I did so well the photographer had no idea it was my "first" time (I say that in parentheses because--as if I am going to become a model!) And I got paid good money for it! Of course, I will post some photos when I get them.

Heh. Maine.