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Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you're a life model

James FitzGerald

...according to Robin George. 

Getting your kit off can have unexpected benefits

‘I only started life modelling because my agent made me. I’m also an actor, and I was preparing for my first nude TV role. Actors can be surprisingly shy and I really wasn’t up for it the first time. But I got into it, and was soon getting recommended all over London. I’ve made so many artistic friends – and posing has actually taught me a lot about acting.’

Pulling poses is tougher than it looks

‘I recently held a pose that meant pulling a crazed face for four hours. I couldn’t speak afterwards. The job involves incredible endurance and you can do yourself damage if you tense your muscles wrong – not to mention the damage others can do to you. One time, a woman was painting so vigorously that she and her easel ended up crashing down on me.’

Artists are looking for all sorts of people to draw

‘Sure, you get toned guys and conventionally beautiful women. But I’ve also seen older men and plus-size women, and they’re at least as popular. I’ve even posed alongside a dwarf. Basically, if you want to do it, you can – whatever your shape and size.’

Some sessions do get a bit ‘Carry On’

‘Getting my kit off in front of a load of people is just second nature to me now and my family are really accepting of it. But not everyone’s used to the idea, and that can prove very funny. I’ll never forget the faces of several people who burst into the room one evening to see me standing there in the buff. Eventually one of them said, “So, this isn’t the Scrabble club, then?”’

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