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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diving in headfirst (or ass first, as it were)

So, knowing that I would be experiencing and witnessing first-hand many different fetishes and shoots on this epic road trip, I decided to dive right in, and do a shoot all by my lonesome.  I have attended a few of my wife’s shoots, and I have a fair amount of on camera/performance/acting experience in my background, enough that I felt I was prepared for a basic gig.  The revelations came fast.

I was able to fully appreciate the complete lack of useful information that can pass between 50+ emails, and how much effort it takes to keep connected with the photographer, and try to be prepared for anything that might be thrown at me.  For the first time, I got to ask my wife which jeans make my ass look the best (words I had never once uttered in my life prior).  She went over the model release with me and helped me make sure that things would be handled the way I want.  I know some of the lingo so I was able to discern the type of content I would be shooting.  It was a 2-3 hour crush shoot involving some balloons and toys, using only my body weight and my ass. Sounded simple enough.  I spoke with him about wardrobe requirements and the like, packed accordingly, showed up and modeled my pants for him.  He selected the pants he felt would work best, and I changed into them, going commando underneath and begun the process.

I’m 6’5”, 240 lbs, so I figured my size and weight would be a big advantage, that it was going to be an easy shoot.  Boy was I wrong.  Everyone has popped a balloon at some point in their lives, maybe even sat on one to pop it.  After a quick rundown of the content and what was expected of me, I sat on my first balloon off camera.  I plopped down on it with all my weight, thinking that would be enough, but it wasn’t.  I wiggled from side to side, with the grace and sensuality of a epileptic bull elephant and when I felt like it was going to pop, I involuntarily scrunched up my face and flinched.  I immediately recognized that none of this would make for arousing content, an impression confirmed by the photographer.  Reminding me that this was supposed to elicit a sexual response from the viewer, he gave me a few tips on how to position the balloon, and how to move, and then I popped a few more balloons, and he was satisfied with the results. I was no longer flinching, waiting for them to pop.  After that we moved on to the next logical object, which of course was an alarm clock.

It was round, and made of hard plastic.  I composed a character and some basic dialogue in my head, and waged posterior warfare on the hapless timepiece.  It retaliated by rolling out from under my ass, upon which I would grab and replace it, roll it under me to where it would start to crack a little, then squirm out and whack me in the manberries, sometimes hitting the camera.  Did I mention the camera was less than six inches from my ass or crotch at all times?  This went on for quite some time, and then I found that rolling it under my thigh would work, and it started to break more and more.  I would modify my technique with each different area that started to break, until I was dripping with sweat, out of breath, and the clock was reduced to an impressive tableau of chronometric violence.

The next shoot involved a bunch of kids’ toys and balloons, to which I created a character of a dad throwing a birthday party for his kid, who bought extra presents and balloons to ensure that he got his enjoyment out of the setup for the party.   I once again came up with some dialogue. I found that sitting on the balloons was a nice change from the glute-grind that was the clock, so I did truly enjoy sitting on and breaking the balloons.  After that, I let loose a deluge of derrierial destruction on two toy robots, decapitating both and removing arms and legs with my mighty backside. I attempted a diecast aluminum car and dismantled it to the point that it looked like it had been run over by Grave Digger, and then attempted in vain to smash a singing toy turtle,  but had very little success. The little bastard was really well made, so I put it on the ground and stomped its head off.  He was very pleased with the shoot, and asked me to do more balloons, and then some packing material, which was quite interesting.  He complimented me on my pants selection, and said that between the natural light coming into the window and the silvery sheen on my pants, that he could really see the outline of my nutsack.  What can you say to that?  “Uh, thanks!” was the best I could come up with.

I have seen my wife go into character in her mind, in order to get herself through uncomfortable situations, and while always knowing why she did (being an actor of sorts), I can really empathize with the situation.  If I hadn’t been able to fully immerse myself in the characters I whipped up on the spot, I would have been too focused on the fact that some dude I had only just met and interacted with for less than an hour was sitting on the floor with a camera pointed at my nether-regions, and that I was doing Elvisian pelvic gyrations on top of a ten dollar toy robot, and that someone out there would watch a video of this and think that I was a sexy mofo performing just for them.

A week ago, I would have never written that sentence.  I couldn’t have made that up if I had tried.  The photographer asked me to get in touch when I get back from our impending roadtrip, and that he is interested in doing another shoot with me. I’m not sure if it is an experience that I am too eager to repeat, but it was definitely one of the more interesting days I have had in a long time.  And he was certainly right about one thing.

I’ll never look at inflatable packaging material the same way again.  Ever.

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