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A monologue from the play by Claudia Shear


Ms. Shear describes in hilarious detail her multitude of subsistence jobs. This is one of them.

I once had a job as a nude model for a painter — not just some guy, but a great painter — a grand, absolutely eccentric, obsessed painter — a genius, I think, with the occasional chilling gaze of the true monomaniac.

“Art should have a smell — a smell — because then if it was bad . . . no one would have it in their house” I was always whining “C’mon give me a painting” “Give you a painting, give you a painting, I can’t give you a painting —

Do you know how important a good painting is? Do you know how much a good painting is worth?” “Well, give me a bad one” “No I can’t do that.” “Why not?” “Because — the bad ones are my enemies.”

Huge sky-lit studio with jazz on the radio and the whole place filled with this empty quiet light. It was the absolute safest place I’ve ever been, which is strange, I guess, considering I was buck naked on a large table piled with old bedspreads,

the muscles in my back all tense and twisted and being really conscious of being really naked — feeling all breasts and skin and hair with someone — with a man staring at you that intently —

Paul standing there, brushes in his hand and pockets absolutely still — stare stare stare soft grunt LUNGE PAINTPAINT-PAINT. It was great. You are actually part of the art as it’s happening — like being a piano or a toe shoe.

And to be beautiful — Oh I really loved being beautiful, not just pretty like a girl at a table at Raoul’s wearing a size 6 dress from Barney’s, laughing with her wineglass as her eyes flicker to see who is watching but beautiful, beautiful like a woman in a painting.

Read the play here

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