“Art can never exists without naked beauty displayed.”-William Blake
Growing up I was pretty vocal about my desire to be in entertainment. I wanted to be an actor and a singer…I wanted to do it all. I would frequently get asked the question, “Would you ever do nudity?” With a self righteous indignation, my answer was always be a resounding “NO!” As a child I thought it was the worst possible thing an actor could do. I had a lot of hang ups human expression back then but as I got older I found myself becoming increasingly comfortable with who I was both internally and externally. I still couldn’t see myself being naked on film.
About 2 weeks ago I was given the opportunity to appear completely naked on an episode of a new HBO series. Without hesitation I accepted the job. Now I would like to say it had nothing to do with the money but, in truth, the money was really good. However, the biggest reason I said yes was because I realized in that moment that I strongly desired to present my naked self for the sake of art. I have gone streaking and skinny dipping back in high school and college but it was usually under the guise of camaraderie or drunken fun. In recent months I have begun to see myself as ART, not perfectly sculpted or flawless but ART nonetheless and I wanted the opportunity to express this perspective.
I spent most of the night before the shoot unable to sleep. Apprehension and excitement riddled my body. I had a very early call time and when I arrived on set I was quickly given a robe and all my clothing removed. I was whisked away to the makeup trailer where 4 other naked bodies were being oiled and airbrushed. My makeup artist was a middle aged Hispanic woman who proceeded to disrobe me like she had done it a million times. Awkward conversation ensued. “You do a lot of nude modeling? Because you should.” As she vigorously rubbed some kind of makeup on my ass and thighs. She moved things around to give my entire body an even skin tone. The whole time I was thinking “what have I gotten myself into.” After the initial discomfort I realized I wasn’t all that uncomfortable. In fact I was invigorated. By shooting time all of my apprehension had dissipated.
I sat in a chair and in front of me were the camera crew, director and AD, and the lighting guys. The Director yells “DISROBE and ACTION!” The camera pans to me as I sat there in all my naked glory. I have never felt that kind of liberation in my life. It took all of me not to laugh because I just felt so free. Before I knew it the first take was done. After that I spent the next 6 hours doing different scenes with different angles and lenses. I was having the time of my life.
Now I am not saying we should run around butt naked in the streets. I do, however, believe our bodies should be celebrated and our nakedness expressed as the art it is. After all we are the Creator’s workmanship. At the end of the day, this life is about loving yourself and being comfortable enough to express yourself, flaws and all. I look forward to the next time I get to be naked on film.
“To see you naked is to recall the Earth.” -Frederico Garcia Lorca
Today I am afraid that I am lost. I am afraid I will never achieve the dreams and goals I set for myself. I am afraid that I will never make enough money to sustain myself. I am afraid of an unsure future. I am afraid I have ruined my life. I am afraid I have wasted so much time and money chasing a dream to big to catch. I am afraid that I should give up. I am afraid of being without. I am afraid of my lofty ideas and ambitions leaving me stranded. I am afraid of not being taken seriously. I am afraid I am doing it all wrong. I am afraid I am not good enough. I am afraid my time will never come. I am afraid this road less traveled leads to a dead end. I am afraid it is to costly. I am afraid that my plan is not a plan.
BUT TODAY I CAN SAY…
I haven’t given up. Today I can say I am further along than I was 4 months ago. Today I can say I am resilient. Today I can say God must have gone before me. Today I can say my purpose is greater than my understanding. Today I can say I am an actor. Today I can say I am a singer. I can say I am hopeful. Today I can say being lost is an adventure. I can say I genuinely enjoy my life. Today I can say I have done things that many people will never do. Today I can say that I have plenty. Today I can say my needs are met. Today I can say I believe that God and the universe conspires for my good. Today I can say there is enough light to take another step. Today I can say my fear has not paralyzed me…and that is enough to hold on for one more day.