8:50 PM - FRI 2.02.18
I can't figure how how to make Fridays not be - or at least not turn - depressing.
It happens every week, pretty much without fail - I'm having my Friday, and it pops into my head, "I have to get up at fucking 6am tomorrow...!" (Which is the earliest I have to get up all week, to do my Weight Watcher-ly duties).
And in terms of enjoying my Friday, it "harshes my buzz" (Does anyone actually say that...?)
Add to that the destructive ritual of checking my phone every other minute, hoping against hope that I'll get an audition for Monday (Which, for whatever reason, rarely happens. Which means going through the weekend with nothing to look forward to on Monday), and...well, Friday's just not my best day.
But on this particular Friday, from around 10:15-3:00 pm or today, I had a lot of fun.
After we did the museum audition, however long ago that was now, me and Josh agreed that, if we didn't book the gig - which, OMG, was never gonna happen - we still wanted to see the "exhibit" at some point.
(Popcorn is popping.)
So we did that today (Along with his friend Matt - Who is now my friend Matt as well. And who drove us to the museum).
(Feeling guilty that I didn't even offer to give Matt a few bucks, for gas or parking or whatever. Cause I suck...and in other news, I've had enough popcorn this evening, thank you very much).
The exhibition is titled - I believe - Stories of Everyday People.
While the work we were there to see is titled "selling out".
The work in particular was better than the exhibition in general, but all-in-all, I was pretty underwhelmed (I was very glad, when we got there, to find out the museum is free. And I was even more glad of that fact when we were done - I would have been sad if I'd had to actually pay for my underwhelmed-ness. But anyway...)
Not knowing who was our stripper or where they'd be situated, we kind of "fanned out" through the room (Or at least I separated from Josh and Matt - I figured I was there, so might as well look at some "art" before the show, while I think Josh and Matt were more about just finding our guy or gal).
So I was looking at...whatever I was looking at (Did I mention I was pretty unimpressed with the exhibit? It was basically, "Here's some everyday shit we're gonna call 'art'..."), when the guys got my attention from the other side of the room (It was basically a large room with a partial wall).
So I came over, and saw a handsome young guy/"museum guard" start to slowly gyrate, and being pretty fast-on-the-draw, thought, "Yep - This is definitely our guy...!".
(Wondered going in if I would want it to be a guy or girl doing the stripping - Liking attractive women quite a bit, you'd think the answer would be obvious...but it' s not - so when I saw we'd be watching a guy, I was basically, like, "Hmmm...okay".)
Since there was no music, we were basically watching a guy mime a striptease while actually stripping, if that makes any sense.
I think Josh described it pretty well when he said - and I think I'm close if not on-the-money here - "He did what he was supposed to do very well".
He had his back to that partial wall I mentioned, which functioned as backdrop/stage, and had more of an area to work in than I would have imagined.
He did actually look at us at a couple points, which answered the question I'd had about "interacting" (And which made me blush in spite of myself - I may think of myself as having a certain sophistication, but at heart, I'm a Midwestern boy).
At one point, he took his belt off, and let it drape down his back, so I went over to Josh and said, "He stole your bit...!"
The whole thing took a few minutes. He basically got down to black boxer-briefs (Hey! Which is what I wore at the audition!), feinted at showing a little more, said the name of the piece, the artist and the year, we applauded, and that was that.
For a time, two elderly ladies (who could have been just friends, or a lesbian couple) were watching with us, but they got distracted by a big noise (That, turned out, was a piano with a lid set to close on the half-hour) and wandered away.
Sat 2/3/18 (7:25 pm)
A couple takeaways from "selling out"...
1. Until seeing it, I hadn't thought of it as a scam on the part of the artist. But afterwards, I marveled that the artist could sell a man or woman taking off their clothes in a museum as a work of art, and be paid by said museum as much or more than I make in any given year (The piece sells from somewhere in the mid-to-upper double-digit thousands). I built it up to potentially be something, but the reality was fairly...mundane.
2. I suspect much of the effect was lost, or at least blunted, by the fact that "I knew what was coming". But on the other hand, I don't really know what the "effect" was supposed to be - All I could come up with is, in terms of a connection to the larger exhibit, and I feel like it's a reach, is that the stripper/the stripper's body was a commodity that could be purchased, same as the piano, or broom, or what-have-you (Or reconsidered as "art", the same way we were being asked to reconsider everyday objects as "art"). But who the fuck knows? To me, it didn't really feel "of a piece" with the rest of the exhibit - Not emotionally, anyway.
3. I wondered if the piece would "play" any differently with a female stripper - I imagine it might (Particularly in our current social climate) - or with just a different stripper (Like one of the tatted-up gay guys I remember from the audition).
(But while I'd be vaguely interested in seeing it another time or two, to see if the work changes when the dancer changes, I didn't find it so compelling that I'm going to make a point of getting back to the Hammer before it's over.)
4. If the point was that the stripper's body/stripping was a commodity that could be bought and sold same as a wastebasket or a desk or some magazines, then I "get" why this guy got the job and I didn't. He's a sexy "commodity" and, sadly, I'm not - You could do an exhibit where I dance and take off my clothes, but the result would be a totally different "conversation" (About "male vulnerability" or "male privilege" or some such thing).
5. After the guy stripped, he didn't go somewhere and get dressed, he just put his clothes back on from there...which to me suggests that, for at least some museum patrons, the "exhibit" is going to consist of watching a guy or gal put their clothes on...then take them off again.
6. Seeing it done made me realize that I wouldn't want to do it. And not because of modesty or fatigue or anything like that. I just think it would get really tedious really quickly (First, just hanging out in the museum when no patrons are there - I'm not sure what the "shift" is, but it's something like three or four hours, and it's not like you can go off and read a book or what-have-you while you wait for an audience - then when you do have patrons there, having to do this thing over and over, long after the novelty has faded).
I would have been up for seeing more of the museum, but Josh and Matt weren't into it, so we moved on to the second stage of the outing, and had lunch at the (relatively) nearby UCLA cafeteria, which has a more specific name I do not recall at present (Josh has been before, and is a big fan - It's "all you can eat" healthy, tasty food).
Enjoyed the food a great deal (Which was mostly healthy...until you got to the froyo, kid's cereal, and "chocolate bread with peanut-butter sauce" options), and enjoyed even more chatting with Josh and Matt about this, that, and the other thing.
So the day didn't really pan out the way I'd imagined - I'd thought the museum would be the primary thing, with lunch at the cafeteria an afterthought...but the museum ended up feeling kind of perfunctory (Did I mention that I didn't like the exhibition?), while lunch at the cafeteria was great fun (Once again, I realized I have a prejudice against "healthy" food - Anytime "healthy" gets mentioned, I assume it just isn't going to taste good. I'm not sure where I got that prejudice from, but it definitely exists).
It was good to get out, good to hang out with Josh and Matt, and good to at least put off my weekly Friday depression for a few hours.
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