I start rehearsals tomorrow for my first Chicago show, and I realized, despite years of training and lessons and school, I have gained absolutely no skills for dealing with nerves or stress. All of the stupid questions from "Did they really mean to cast me?" to simply "Will they like me?" play on repeat in my mind, and I'm at a loss for how to cope. I've never done yoga, I read a book on meditation (which I think proves that I don't actually understand meditation), I made Rice Krispie treats with M&Ms, I read about two paragraphs in a book about women and Kabbalah (which I think proves the author doesn't understand Kabbalah since it's a Men Only study), I regretted making the Rice Krispie treats with M&Ms, and finally, I'm writing. I want to know: what do YOU do to cope with nerves and stress? As an artist in this world, how do you deal with success? How do you deal with failure? Who are your voices of reason and what are your books/blogs/podcasts/artists of relaxation? If you don't do your art full time, how do you muster the energy to be creative at the end of the day? If you're fortunate enough to do your art full time, what do you do if your art becomes mundane? Post your techniques in the comment section, and I promise to try it at least once. If your technique ends up working for me, my next batch of Rice Krispie treats with M&Ms just might be coming your way...
The other night, babysitting for two wonderful kids, I slammed my finger in the door, and my first thought was, "There goes my hand modeling career!" (So you're not on pins and needles for this whole post, I'll tell you right now: my hands are fine. Phew.)
Scares like these really make one stop and take stock. I have a gift, and I'm being so careless. Not everyone has such long fingers (not everyone even has fingers!), or the grace with which they handle products. So few people can understand the career I have, because such gifts are too rare to even fathom. But you're lucky if you're reading this, because I'm feeling very generous. Today, I will give you an inside look at being a New York City Hand Model.
The days are very long. Starting the night before, one must apply an excessive amount of lotion or vaseline on the hands, and then place the hands in special gloves. (Sometimes we use socks instead of gloves)
In the morning, one must remove the socks and apply more lotion.
The day contains many practice sessions. When brushing one's teeth, one must act as if she is presenting the toothbrush in an Oral B commercial. When using one's iPhone, one must tap the screen with the grace of an Apple hand model. To get the part, one must be the part. When Apple calls, I will be ready.
One must stay on top of hand related news items, and research products, such as the hyperbolic hand chambers so beautifully advertised in the film Zoolander.
Finally, one must reflect on one's already prolific career. To watch one's only commercial on repeat, and know that perfection has been reached.
Then one starts over, with the nightly regimen, exhausted from such a busy day.
And there you have it. If you have more questions, perhaps this video will provide answers. It is a first hand account (no pun intended) of the stresses that come hand in hand (literally) with this career.
One of my best friends, Sarah, is in PR. Having worked to promote drug companies, products, and South American Feminism, she felt the best way to promote myself would be to start a blog. Honestly, though, blogging makes me nervous, the same way that sending mass emails makes me nervous, the same way putting up Facebook statuses makes me nervous. Saying something that so many people have access to and can interpret and judge without your control. So why am I doing this? I don't know. I guess I'm trying to join this century finally.
"What do I write about?" I asked Sarah. "Your crazy experiences in New York!" she says. I do happen to experience things that always illicit a that-could-only-happen-to-you-type response. But I just don't know if I can do my stories justice on here, because I don't want to offend anyone. I'll just state from the get-go that all names will be changed (except my friend's name really is Sarah), and everything I write is solely for entertainment, not malicious intent. Unless, of course, I intend to be malicious, in which case I will specify.
So. This is potentially my first and last blog post, written on a lazy, rainy, New York afternoon. But maybe it'll continue, and if you enjoy it, and you're not in my immediate family, let me know!