I was watching a documentary on Spencer Tunick called Naked States. It's a fascinating look at Spencer, pre-worldwide acclaim for his large scale nude installations. There has always been speculation as to whether Spencer was a 'pure' artist, using the human body as inspiration, or a perv who has managed to trick thousands upon thousands of people into posing for him. I've always thought the perv angle was a bit short-sighted - Michaelangelo studied cadavers for artistic inspiration, but I wouldn't call him a necrophiliac. At the very least, I can say my experience with Spencer was completely above board.
Yes - I, Fatty, have posed for Spencer. (I'm in the image link here. I wouldn't press it if you are at work, as there are about 1000 people in the picture, all quite naked.) It took a great deal to pose for him - over 8000 people applied for 2000 spots over 2 days. Everyone had to apply twice, and THEN wait in line starting at about 10.30 the evening prior outside the Lowry in Manchester, England, before the gates opened at 4.30 am. The first 500 women and 500 men were allowed in - everyone else in line was sent home. I was one of the last 50 women, and I had been in line since 2 am! It also took a lot to apply to Spencer, as I had been accepted into one of his installations before, in Cleveland (not work safe link), about 7 years earlier, but I chickened out. I was in my early 20's, and didn't like my size. Now, here I was, 70 lbs heavier, and I was not going to let this chance pass me by again.
Yes, I was the heaviest woman of the day in my 1000 person group.
Yes, it was difficult to accept that fact.
Yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I've written about it before, but it was an incredibly empowering experience. Spencer's staff was exceedingly professional, and Spencer himself (when he isn't taking pics) is very funny and warm. When he has camera in hand, he's a bit of a dick (because he's trying to get the best shot NOW, not when 1000 people feel like shutting up), but he's really cool overall. It was a bit weird to go to the exhibit and watch the short film that had been done on it - I have an extremely isolating close-up in the video, and to see myself 12 feet tall, naked, on a screen, was a bit jarring, but still positive.
So *why* am I telling you all this?
We're told that the big moments only come around in a blue moon - Opportunity only knocks once, all that. I don't believe that. I think Opportunity is literally banging down the door, day and night, and we refuse to answer it. We lose so many more chances in this life than we ever take on. Standing on that freezing cold grass that chilly morning, I didn't yet realize I was two weeks pregnant. I thought this photo shoot would be the most adventurous, challenging thing I would do all year (well, second to my wedding a few months later). I had no idea as I posed in various locations around Salford that I would have a very difficult pregnancy, followed by a VERY difficult birth, followed by many complications. It would have never occurred to me that this photo shoot would actually be one of the more calm moments of the next 12 months. When both my husband and I were picked for the Ceremonies, we could have waffled and just picked one of us to go - after all, the schedules would be gruelling, AND we'd have to plan major babysitters to help out, AND we wouldn't see each other for at least two months, AND I'm starting grad school back up in May, so I'll be swamped with paperwork, AND,
And nothing. If it's something you want, truly want, you find a way to make it happen. You work around stuff, you find that little stuff like sleep and patience aren't needed immediately. You make what you have work, instead of wanting something more. You get the job done.
Get the damn job done today.