In this age of entitlement, there is little hope for an artist to be able to make a living from their art. Digital photos have replaced magazines, prints and paintings. In this age, a selfie gets more attention than a coordinated concept piece. Instafamous and snapchat models are a plague that is killing the art industry with their generic T&A images.
Many artists have had to turn away from their passions to find other means to support themselves and yet the public cries foul when we lose all hope in the industry. Who else can we blame when we have given every ounce of ourselves to this illusion? We become cold, angry, and bitter from being taken for granted by a world that just takes and takes. And why do artists continue to sacrifice themselves for others? For a small chance of recognition? To be immortalized on paper/canvas/video, to decorate someone’s wall, to bring the audience a sense of joy and wonder?
Chances are the artist will be forgotten- fame is fickle. It is not us they admire or the obstacles we have overcome, it is what we give them that they want. They don’t care about our struggles and if we dare present them we are seen as weak or undesirable.After all, our business is our image and the public couldn’t care less when we falter.
We have spent our entire life’s savings investing in our dreams. They are the first to point out our imperfections, demand that we fix it so we are more visually pleasing to them, yet have they ever spared a dime to help us? They critique us as if we aren’t human.
I am so done with this bullshit industry. I’ve invested thousands of dollars in my looks and equipment for my modeling. I had the time and the means to dedicate to social media and traveling. Modeling became my life and it put a lot of strain on the things that were important like my relationship. But it was never good enough. Fans expect everything for free and don’t support the model in anyway. Clothing and product companies don’t care to pay any reputable model to be the face of their product because there is a line of amateur girls who would do it gladly for free- many lines are opting out using models altogether because they lose inventory from all the freebies.
I wanted modeling to be my career and, after years of paying my dues, wanted to start receiving some kind of return for my investment. Having been erotic entertainer for many years, I felt comfortable enough in my own skin to be able to do nudes and start dabbling in erotic video. I then created my own website to have a medium to share this new genre of work, with a ridiculously low subscription rate. I know I should not take it personally, but I find it so offensive when people unsubscribe. For $5 a month I put everything I had into this website. Yet people find a daily cup of coffee at Starbucks costing more than my monthly subscription rate to have more value than my work.
The industry is saturated with amateurs. Most magazines are jokes nowadays with poor quality images but all these newbies are so excited to be in a magazine that they buy the issue for an outrageous price of $15+. Don’t they see that these Magcloud magazines are profiting off of the models themselves? Some are even charging us to have our work published, when at one point it used to be the other way around. The artist is constantly being taken for granted.
I’ve been doing Mischief Madness full time for The Last 5 Years and have really nothing to show for it. A few magazine covers… Woopty Doo. Everything about my personal life has been muddled by my alter ego. My FB is the only personal profile I have that is not dedicated to modeling. I don’t even know who I am anymore without Mischief Madness.
In these five years I have met some wonderful people in the industry as well as dedicated and loyal fans. I see them commenting on my pictures, complementing my work, buying the occasional print and a few that signed up to my website. These are the people that made me stick around so long. Their support kept me going. As I said though, fame is fickle, fans come and go, and I can’t pay the bills off of compliments. If I post work that isn’t sexy enough for them, I lose followers. However, it’s always the bad stuff that Sticks in my head the most.
I hate people, they become horribly brave and say terrible things on social media. As I sit here in Recovery, after getting a reduction on my breasts because of the various complications that arose from them…. I can’t help but despair that the tattoo video of my boobs went viral again. No, my doctor didn’t botch my boob job. Yes, my nipples have always been that way (implants don’t correct placement, it only makes them bigger). Show me a pair of tits that are perfectly symmetrical? There is none. I can’t believe how obtuse people can be. Or are they simply that sadistic?
My implants were too big for my body which caused my cleavage to separate from my sternum, it was painful and I was obviously aware of it. But dumbshits just love to point out the obvious. “You know, you should really get that fixed!”….OK fuckwit, are you gonna help me pay for it?! Have you any idea how much reconstruction surgery costs and yet you can’t even spend 5 measly fucking dollars on my website subscription to keep providing you with content that you demand to see?!
Everyone feels entitled to their opinion but if your opinion is a shitty one then I feel that you don’t deserve to say shit. Take a look at your damn self first! That viral video and the comments are only a reminder of why I am healing in the first place. I loved my body, no matter how flawed I was….until I started modeling. I changed my appearance and the direction of my work hoping to be more appealing and attract more fans. Now that I have fixed the complications from my implants, I feel the world does not deserve the effort I have put into it anymore. They don’t deserve any part of me.
Friends: I don’t need to be tagged in comments where you are trying to defend me where others are talking shit. This does not give you brownie points. You are only bringing me back to that moment where I have to read what other people are saying. If you really care about me defend me because you want to not because you want me to know.
Professional modeling has been nothing but an emotional and financial burden. Unless you live in the major cities where opportunities are plentiful, modeling in Arizona is nothing but folly and will remain a hobby for most leaving professionals out in the cold. Semi pretty girls with a few tattoos will take that leap and continue to flaunt themselves for free and saturate the industry because they think they have what it takes. We can’t really blame them, though- I fell into that trap myself because that is what the public demanded of us – instantly gratifying images with no substance behind them. It was nice for our egos…for a while. The industry will not get better as long as models are at the mercy of the attention span of ingrates. The compliments and praise will be enough to hide those feelings of doubt for a while until one day you will see how hollow those words truly are.
Creativity should not be limited by any means. When I decided to make Mischief Madness a job, that was the moment I began doing it for others rather than for my love of art. I was deluded to think I could do this professionally. It would be ridiculous to think that a talented part-time artist to not create art simply because they aren’t doing it professionally. Art is love and I lost sight of that.
I am ready to move on and to start thinking about my future because Mischief Madness: The Model isn’t it. In the last few months I’ve been watching my fellow artists give up on their dreams for very similar reasons. Photographers spend thousands on equipment and are constantly doing trade work or slashing their prices to get work. Designers have had to close shop because no one is buying their items. My friends in the music industry are too feeling the same kind of stress when fans can’t even pay $10 for a demo that took them a year to create. Metal, in particular, is a big part of my life, we need to support the music because this industry is in a delicate balance also. How is it that no one is getting paid and doing the very thing that brings us joy is also the cause for allot heartache?
It is heartbreaking because the common sentiment among most of us is that we failed- we blame ourselves for our lack of success. What is success though? I laughed when I had someone congratulated me on how successful I was in my life. I’m living off the income I make as a stripper…thats it! My website makes a little income but I put more time and money into it than I get it in return. Why do you think I’m successful? Because you see my pictures all over the internet? That really doesn’t mean much. It is all an Illusion.
In the five years I’ve been modeling I’ve gotten paid for a maybe four photo shoots this entire time. Photographers usually have no need to pay models because there are so many “models” to chose from. The only way to make money from this industry now is to charge those that are wanting to see the product. Maybe if the fans contributed to the model’s expenses? Maybe if fans chose to purchase prints to hang on their wall? Rather than simply saving the picture to their phone- maybe we could live off of our work…but that isn’t the case either. Why must we constantly remind people to shop small, and to support their local businesses and artists to little avail?
As for me, I’m done with this vapid industry known as modeling. I will continue to make a positive influence in this world through secular activism and The Satanic Temple. It is not a picture perfect lifestyle either, as no activist has led a truly happy life because we are too empathetic to let the Injustices of the world go unnoticed. At least activism has substance and meaning; it attracts the free thinkers and leaves no room for superficial bullshit.
I care too much… that’s really the root of it all. That’s why I’m pouring my heart out in this post right now, not sure if I will ever make it public or not. I don’t want to seem weak and I am not one who places blame on others for my own misfortunes. But when I know I have given everything and I have and still failed, who is left to blame? Where do I find solace?
This is the first time I’ve ever openly talked about this; I have been battling depression for a very long time now and it has been getting worse because of all the pressure. I find no joy in putting myself out there in this way for people anymore where quality is not appreciated. I am happy I had the experience, explored my sexuality for the whole world to see, shared my deepest secrets and wildest fantasies. I made myself an open book for anyone wishing to make contact and, after a while, it became emotionally draining. This is just not a viable lifestyle for anyone, especially when one is not getting paid for the countless of hours spent networking-hoping to connect with fans, photographers, magazines, product companies- to encourage them to support my work.
After four years, I felt established enough to create a website but when it really came down to asking for a little in return for all the work i have put in, the fans simply weren’t there anymore. I felt abandoned by the very people that demanded I give them more.
I found out I needed emergency corrective surgery the day before I got married. It was the saddest and happiest day of my life. Sad because I didn’t want to go through the pain again and I didn’t have the money for the procedure but happy because I knew I had a new life waiting for me with my new husband and this could be the perfect time to make a change. The entire five years I have been modeling, my husband has been a patient man- even when he knew that this endeavor would give me nothing but heartache, he never kept me from following my dreams. I thank him for letting me come to this conclusion on my own. Regardless of how disappointed and heartbroken I am now I needed to find this out myself.
I have a life waiting to begin, with a man who loves me and a family business that I can be proud of. I need to find the Michelle I once was. The girl that would always be seen going to concerts and events just for fun, not because I was working them.
Modeling will no longer be a job or a priority- maybe an occasional hobby to help promote my dancing and give me a little confidence boost. I will no longer be taking new subscribers and current subscribers will not be re-billed anymore. Current subscribers will have until the end of the year to view all of the content before their subscription expires and their credentials will not allow them any access to the nude and erotic content. My website will stay up but it will go through a huge transformation to focus on my next endeavors, whatever that may be. I anticipate The Satanic Temple and blogging to become an even bigger part of my life from here on out. Also, because of my experiences as a dancer, I have considered keeping a journal of the understandings I take away from this unique human interaction and a place to discuss the sociological ramifications of the strip club industry.
In hindsight, I wonder if my participation within The Satanic Temple contributed to the demise of my modeling career. I noticed several photographers stopped talking to me soon after my announcement as a member of an organization that they have been conditioned to fear without any knowledge of what it’s about. I always kept it very professional, regardless of how misinformed they truly were. I diligently kept those two aspects of my life separate throughout my social media….Unless it was specifically asked for an assignment. C’est la vie. There are those who get it and those who don’t; I would rather be part of the catalyst that is TST to help inspire change. I’m sure my work as nude and erotic model will always be held against me- the patriarch has never appreciated educated and sexually liberated women.
I am not looking for comments or pity. In fact, just don’t write anything back- this is my statement so screw your commentary. I have managed to keep up my persona for all of these years- never wanting the world to know how much I was truly struggling because to me that is a sign of weakness. I was mentally broken up until my surgery, I saw no hope at the end of that tunnel: with an imminent recovery and financial struggle I would have to endure months thereafter.
I thought about my fans and how I could not keep up with my social media once I recover due to actually having to go back to dancing full time. When I finally came to the conclusion that I was done modeling professionally, I screamed it in to the air! I felt the biggest sense of relief! I cried for days; I felt like something in me had died. Everything I have been for the last 5 years revolved around this. I sacrificed so much but it is time to see it for what it is. I, like most models, started in this industry hoping to “catch our big break”, with really no sense of direction on how to accomplish that. I applied to clothing companies, modeling agencies, product companies, etc. A few of those applications went through but it got me no where, just an empty title that I “work” with these companies. What it really means is that we take pictures for them and they share it on their socials- that’s it. It takes mostly luck and knowing the right people to be successful in this industry.
I tried to find comfort with other artist friends in the industry but found very little. Maybe confiding my sentiments only confirms their own fears that maybe what they are doing is also for naught? None of them are able to live comfortably off their artist earnings either. I cannot find any support there for they only want to perpetuate the cycle, “Try this…” or “Try that…” The age of art as we once knew it is dying replaced by this age of digital entertainment. I will always be there to support my friends who are artists and who follow their artistic dreams despite all obstacles in this ever changing industry. You have my respect and support. I have received suggestions from those that do not want to see me give up modeling professionally and I have given them some thought.
OK let’s dwell on these suggestions for a second-
1) Suggestion: advertise on adult websites, you are not targeting the right audience.
Answer: Content is hard to come by since the select photogs I shoot erotica with are people with regular jobs too. I usually wait weeks for a video- I don’t blame them because they were kind enough to do the collaboration with me but I do need consistency for my website to succeed.
2) Suggestion: You could start using doing things like camming or charging for access to dirty snaps on snapchat
Answer: No offense to my to those who do this but I personally take pride in production value. If I dabble in erotica, I want it done classy…not with a phone or Webcam. I will not contribute do mediocre art.
3) Suggestion: You can buy your own equipment and shoot your own content so that you are not waiting on photographers. Be as creative as you want!
Answer: Expensive and time consuming. Too much risk and I am done hoping for the best, I have been hoping for the best for the last five years. I need to take action now.
No, no, no… none of your suggestions sound pleasing to me. The only glimmer of hope I have is the thought of something completely new. I will always hold my artist friends very near and dear to my heart. They got me this far, for without their beautiful imagery I would have not gotten far at all. They saw something in me, when I couldn’t see it in myself. Our love for art is what will keep us together and whether or not we profit from it should be the least of our concerns.
For the time being- I am angry at the world, I want it to feel my wrath and I want to shame them for how oblivious they truly are. I am hurting both mentally and physically. I have been mourning the end for the last few months now and writing this has been most liberating. Maybe it is the meds, maybe it is the lack of fucks that I give. I am ready for a new year with new goals.
Thank you all for following my journey. Photoshoots will be random and done for fun, not because I feel obligated to keep providing content. I want the life back where I had time for friends, family and myself. If all you care to see is modeling stuff please feel free to unfriend/unfollow/unsubscribe. No hard feelings. I intend to go back to the feminist, activist, metal-enthusiast, horror junkie Michelle that I once was. Please let this be a reminder to support current artists because you never know when they might feel the same as I did.
I thank the fans who have been supportive all of these years. You helped me keep the dream alive for as long as I could. To the Models who are wanting to join this industry, I wish you the best of luck. You’ll need it. Please beware that most of your audience will only continue to demand more from you and be unimpressed by anything that doesn’t involve sex appeal. At first the attention will make you feel good, your ego will swell and you will find confidence within you that you didn’t have before. That validation is important for your self-image, I know. Time will pass and the spotlight will fade. Everything in this industry is a popularity contest. You will feel shunned, rejected, taken advantage of, and laid bare for the entire world to critique. But you must persevere for as long as you can! This road is not easy one.
One day, most artists will realize this devastating conclusion and experience a similar identity crisis that I am now. The fire of a true artist never really dies, it Just dims. Don’t let the world extinguish the flame- keep the embers safe until the time comes once again to reignite. My suggestion is to always have a backup plan because very few can make careers from this industry. Redirect your flame to something else that will make you shine. I am lucky to be able to go into business with my husband’s family, despite having a college degree as a mortician as another backup, I find my heart soaring at the thought of working with my new family.
This is not the end of me, so please do not worry. Mischief Madness will always be mine since I own the TM. Like I said earlier, I may dedicate my website to promote my dancing, as well as blogging about the adult-entertainment industry. I will do a random photo shoot when I feel like it with my favorite photographer friends and my shop will still available to those who are wishing to order prints. Also, through Satanic activism, I find the fire in me better suited elsewhere. I will continue to be an erotic dancer in Tucson, AZ and may consider feature dancing elsewhere. At least with this job I can hang up my heels when I get home, have a normal life, and not constantly worry about keeping up on social media.
I am finally free from these bullshit obligations I imposed on myself. The performer in me will never die; the fire in me will never burn out. I just desperately needed to write this and I couldn’t care less if the world responds because I don’t need anyone else’s approval but my own. I will be all healed from surgery in the next few weeks and I welcome 2017 with open arms. Thank you and goodnight.