Sunday, November 11, 2007


The handful of folks who read this blog but have never met me will find the following entry excessively in-joke as well as self-advertizing. Friends who have worked with me or seen me perform will just find it self-advertizing. I found the experience to be funny though, so I hope you'll forgive me, all of you, and will come back when I'm not patting myself on the back. My life sure has some strange gauges of success.

I modeled recently for an animation class. I've done it occasionally, and it's not that different from a regular drawing class, except that none of the poses are ever more than five minutes, most of them are much shorter. I guess animators have to get good at capturing images quickly, or they need to show motion all the time, yet understand that models can't hold vigorous poses too long. Anyway, I've worked with this guy before, we don't know each other that well but we have a nice rapport (I'm always on time for his class, see earlier entry). Therefore he feels comfortable asking me if I'd be up for trying an exercise.

"I want the students to learn how to modify images, so they learn how to interprete the information they need for one character from a different source. Would you be willing to imitate some animals?"

Um, you have no idea, Buddy.

"Okay, great. Let's see.... now, don't take offense at this, but... could you be a dog?"

You're kidding me right? I resist the urge to be a smart-ass and ask "what breed?" I give 'em a dog (Springer Spaniel: hunting squirrel).

"Yes! That's great!" Students draw cheerfully.

"Okay, now, how about a monkey?"

Has this guy been reading my resume? Is he going to ask me to be a swan, or maybe a Canada goose next?

"Yes, excellent!"

We did that exercise for the rest of the class. They'd never tried it before, and seemed pretty delighted with the results. I did a passable horse (he gave them the option to make me a centaur), and my spider had them all gasping in admiration. I was particularly proud of the latter, but also really glad I only had to hold it for five minutes. Ouchy.

I may have found a whole new niche market. I never know when my stupid human tricks are going to be useful.


somewhere joe said...

Too funny. Imagining you as a springer spaniel hunting a squirrel made me flash on Nana in Peter Pan - the human-inhabited role somehow so much more believable than any real dog could be. Theatrical magic.

You've seen this Phil Hartman classic...?

Cooper said...

Patrick, this just cries for pictures! Please, please explain how you become a spider? Maybe the next animated Disney will be based on a creature inspired by you!

tornwordo said...

Are you naked for these sessions too? lol.

Patrick said...

It's funny, and rather sweet, that the three people who commented were three of the people I thought of who would be most annoyed by this entry, not knowing what the hell I was on about. You guys are troopers.

Joe, thanks for giving me that link, I'd actually never seen that sketch, though I've been hearing it quoted for years. It's scary how close that gets to some real teachers out there.

Playing Nana would be a hoot.

Cooper, I bet something would get lost in translation with photos. The spider... hard to explain; basically my arms and legs made right angles with my body, and I balanced on the tips of my fingers and toes. Hence the ouchy part. To be honest, I would have done the same thing if they had asked for a cockroach, sow bug, centipede, or any creepy-crawly. Fortunately for my new reputation, none of them thought of that.

And yup, Tornwordo, I was naked for this. I rarely even think about that part of it anymore. Such a weird job.

Cooper said...

I was going to ask exactly what Torn did ... It was the first thing I thought of when I read this post ... but, I thought I'd play it nonchalant and cool ... lol I'm a twit, sometimes. :)