Saturday, June 22, 2013

To Lie or Not to Lie

I had a preliminary phone interview for a job in Wyoming last week.  The job is technology manager for a county public library system.  Since I have a Masters degree in library science, and I've worked in corporate IT for most of the past 15 years, the job would be perfect for me.

The interview consisted of ten or so rather standard questions.  One of the questions was, "What was your favorite job and why?"  I paused for a moment.  The people interviewing me had my resume, edited for just that position.  Nowhere on it did it say anything about my being a nude model.  But my favorite job?  The job I have loved and enjoyed the most out of all the various positions I've held?  It's not even close.  Modeling, and especially nude modeling for figure drawing, has been and will probably always be my favorite job.

I like to be honest with whomever I'm talking to, but I wasn't sure how the disclosure of my nude modeling would go over with the panelists conducting the interview.  I remember a telephone conversation I had in 2001 with an associate producer from the ABC gameshow "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."  I had already won a spot on the show by playing their phone game, and this AP was just conducting an interview for my biography card.  If I made it to the "hot seat" on the show, that card would go to host Regis Philbin so that he could pick something interesting to talk about on the air.  The AP asked me about my past jobs and which was my favorite, and I immediately told her about being a model for college drawing classes.  I remember her asking how I got into it, and I told her something like, "A cute girl in my college dorm told me she drew naked models in her art class, and I just immediately wanted to be one of those naked models."  The AP stammered for a little bit, and finally admitted that this was the first time she had ever been shocked doing a contestant interview.  She asked if I really wanted that included on my card, which might then be talked about in front of a national television audience of millions.  I thought for just a moment, and said yes.  Modeling was just a part of who I was, and I didn't want to hide it in what might become my fifteen minutes of fame.  And of course, it had already been determined that I was going on the show.  I wasn't risking anything in that phone conversation.

But this job interview was different.  I wanted to continue to be considered for the Wyoming job, even though it might mean a major upheaval in my life, and I was sure that dropping the bombshell that I am a part time nude model would kill that.  This job, if I got it, might even mean the end of my modeling career.  But I'm ready for a change of scenery.  And I'm sure that, eventually, I would find a class or a group of artists to model for.  So I lied.  I picked one of the jobs on the resume that they had in front of them.  I think my answer sounded good.  I hope so, at least.  But we'll see what happens...


  1. I certainly understand your situation. I too am a male figure model in the deep south and I have had to draw a hard line between my profession life and my modeling *career*. Recently, another art model, an artist, and I were just talking about how closed minded so many people are, especially those that don't understand the wonder of figure art and the difficult job of being a very good figure model. Sure there are those that just stand around naked but for some of us, we are very serious about our ability to provide artists with interesting poses and remain statue-like still.

    I suspect you made the right decision as it would have been the decision I would have made in that situation. There is a very, very small number of people that are aware that I model nude. It is a shame because I would love to be more open about this. Share examples of beautiful art created from my modeling, help more understand the value of figure art, and the effort that goes into being a really good model.

    Best of luck with the opportunity.

  2. Dan,

    I'm sure I would have done the same thing in that situation. It's interesting because the models I know who do it part time generally have other work in areas where the modeling could be known without controversy - actors, dancers, performers, anything in the arts. People who have jobs in conventional fields, especially white collar folks, often feel it necessary to keep their modeling a secret. It's too bad but, unfortunately, that's the way it is.

    Good luck to you :-)


  3. You know, I've gone back and forth over this same issue. In fact, even if I omitted any mentioning of modeling, anyone doing an even cursory google check on me would find a newspaper article I was interviewed for several years ago about art modeling. And as much as I maintain that there's nothing immoral or shady about what it is we do as art models, a LOT of people think the complete opposite. I've made my peace with the fact that I may lose out on some job opportunities due to my modeling. I enjoy it to the point where any place that voiced concern about it would not be a place I'd be happy at.

    Heck, even among my circle of friends, I find there are some that are absolutely fascinated about my modeling (to the point that several of them have tentatively asked me about how to get into the business), whereas I know others would rather not hear anything about it.