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Tues 10.17.17 - 8:59 PM

A Smart Guy With Nothing To Say


Christopher Hitchens writing about Death:

It will happen to all of us at some point; we will be tapped on the shoulder and told, not that the party's over, but slightly worse - the party's going on, but you have to leave. And it's going to go on without you.

(It's possible I may have shared that quote before...but it continues to "speak to me", so I'm quoting it again. And I may quote it another couple times before I have to "leave the party" myself.)

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"Prince Jackson Drops Bombshell About His Famous Father"

This was a headline on the Internet that I took note of, and chose to write down, I'm not sure why.

I'm guessing I was considering commenting on "clickbait" Internet headlines, or perhaps how, when it came to Michael Jackson, I saw him as so weird that it would be impossible for anything I'd read about him to constitute a "bombshell".

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"Leave the limbs you've lost. Those belong to me."

I'm guessing Tarantino stole that line from some Shaw Brothers martial arts movie, but it's still great, and Uma Thurman really sells it.

-"The Bride" (Pulp Fiction) -

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Maybe the best argument against religion there is:

"If you can get people to believe absurdities, you can get them to commit atrocities"

-Voltaire-

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"See you on the other side Ray..."
"Nice working with you Dr Venkman."

I've always liked this rather simple exchange from Ghostbusters, because - for my money - it's the only exchange of dialogue in the movie that rings totally sincere, as if Ackroyd and Murray are, for that instant, talking to each others as friends rather than characters in a silly comedy.

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Weds 10/18/17

Had a commercial audition on Saturday that annoyed and upset me (Not worth explaining why - beyond which, I signed an NDA, which means I can't really explain why - so let's just say that commercial auditions often feel demeaningly "luck of the draw"-ish. So it sucked to miss a WW meeting for something that felt like you could just draw an actor's name out of a hat, or throw a dart at some head-shots, for all the "acting" involved).

So of course with all that said, I have a callback tomorrow.

Which changes everything.

Okay, it doesn't really "change everything", but it does make me realize that, while I want booking a gig to be like winning "First Prize" in an acting competition instead of just "winning the lottery", there are certainly worse things that could happen than "winning the lottery".

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Fri 10/19/17 (6:20 pm)

Well, doesn't look like I "won the lottery"...

(I think I would have heard by now.)

But the callback yesterday was more fun than the original audition, on two fronts.

The initial audition involved performing a relatively simple bit of business (And having an unusual response to it. There were no lines), but they'd set it up in a way that, in my estimation, made executing the business more difficult than it needed to be, which meant spending time and energy thinking about how to make that happen when I would have preferred focusing on the little bit of "acting" that was involved.

But at the callback they had addressed the issue (Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought the situation hadn't helped matters), so I wasn't feeling like the setup was working against me, and was simply more comfortable.

The other thing that was more enjoyable at the callback was that we were encouraged to "have a little more 'fun' with it", to be broader and vocalize more (The original audition was basically just performing the action, a quick non-verbal response, then done).

So the callback involved a little more "acting" than the original audition (Including having an "audience" of the ad agency, clients, CD, and camera operator). And it really seemed like they dug it.

But I don't think I got it. Sadly, I think they "dug" someone else just a little more.

So another audition where I felt good in the room, but didn't book.

I should be used to it by now, but it's still tough sometimes (Tougher, in a way, than when I walk out feeling like I didn't do my best - I'm very hard on myself at those times, but at least I can rationalize that "If I'd been at my best, I would have booked it". But it's a whole other thing to take your best shot...and still come up empty).

But that's the name of this game - You're going to lose most of the time, no matter what...but you still have to keep swinging for the fences, every time out of the gate.

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Considering getting high...

I worried about taking up vaping, mostly about immediately turning into a 24-hour-a-day stoner and developing a new expensive habit I couldn't afford.

But thus far, it isn't seeming like a problem - I'm not sure how long I've had it (At least three weeks, I think), but I've done it a couple times a week, and still have maybe 3/4 of the $45 cannabis oil cartridge left.

The only time I regretted getting high recently was before the Shameless wrap party - I tend to feel anxious going into those, so after some debate, decided getting high might "take the edge off".

It didn't.

Instead, I felt my usual anxiety, plus the anxiety of being high in public, which I'm not used to.

So it felt like something of a "tactical blunder" (I didn't go through the whole party like that - I'd say within an hour I'd mostly "leveled out" - but it wasn't a good way to start things off).

The party had its moments, but was mostly a depressing, disappointing dud - I didn't have anything to say to anyone, and the dancing (Which is normally the real fun at these things) never took off.

Macy didn't show, but I did talk to Emmy Rossum briefly, which was interesting (My takeaway? Other than both speaking English and having a tangential connection via the show, we live in radically different worlds).

For a couple weekends there, I had a rush of social activity...and it was mostly pretty miserable.

Like the Shameless party, there were bright spots - I enjoyed hanging out with Victoria at our annual WW "Innovations" event (And the ride to and fro with her and Amy B), and it was good to catch up with Cary at Shriekfest - but mostly, I was "alone in a crowd", with nothing to say to anyone, just wishing I were at home, watching TV or jerking off or whatever.

The trouble, in my mind, is I don't have "a way in" to most adult conversations. And it just seems to be getting worse with age.

Family? Don't have any - So your kids, your adult kids, your aging parents, etc? I can certainly listen, but I have nothing to add to the mix.

Home ownership? Car payments? Owning/dealing with anything of value? Again, I got nothing - The conversations alternately bore me and make me realize I've totally failed at "adulting".

Money/finances? Unless the discussion is about how you have no money, don't know how to manage your finances, and are fairly certain you're going to die homeless and alone, I once again will have little or nothing to add (At the Shameless party, the pinnacle of my "Why the fuck am I here?" feeling was listening to Emmy Rossum talk with two other fellow rich, successful people about the pros and cons of vacation homes in Cabo).

Sports (particularly team sports)? Unless you want to talk about the NFL National Anthem controversy or something of that ilk, I once again will have nothing to offer conversationally.

The list could go on...but you get the idea.

I'm a pretty smart guy...with not much to say to anyone (And even the "pretty smart guy" part is debatable).

My life essentially stopped going forward a really long time ago - I work a low-paying job, have no family and few friends, and act on the side, just like I was doing 35 years ago (The only difference is I get more respect, and more money, for the "acting on the side" part than I used to. And I'll "Yay me!" for that much).

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Sat 10/21/17 (8:30 pm)

My theatrical agent went to the Doctor this past week, and they found an "anomaly" (That's the way it was described in the email that went out to his clients last week).

So he was having emergency surgery the next day, and expected to be out of the office recovering for at least two weeks afterwards (Though he hoped to be able to start working from home before then).

Have gotten no word since on how the surgery went, or any more info on what the problem is exactly (Cancer? A heart issue? Some other thing I can't come up with at the moment?).

In the interim, I have been told that people will be stepping in to continue submitting actors for breakdowns, and the email kinda/sorta invited managers to "pitch in" as well (to make "pitch" calls and whatnot - though far as I know, nobody has ever pitched me for anything in all the time I've had representation, and I'm pretty sure Brett doesn't even get Breakdowns anymore, so...).

I'm struggling not to feel like the rest of my year is now fucked...and part of that is my agent's fault - When I first met with him, he talked about how the theatrical department was a mess when he came in, and how he did this and that and turned it around. So if I'm to take that as a real thing that happened, why would I then confidently assume things will go "full steam ahead" when he's not there?

I feel guilty that, in my mind, my agent's health scare is a little about him, but mostly about me...but here we are.

In short, I hope he's gonna be okay and back at work soon.

For both our sakes.

My commercial guy's all right - far as I know - but he's freaked out that things are so slow during what should be a busy time of year (Where are all the auditions for Xmas/holiday commercials? And the answer is "Apparently going non-union").

There's nothing I can do about any of this but hope for the best, I guess. I always wrestle with this time of year - as the business slows to an eventual halt, and I have to deal with the fucking holidays - but I'm really hoping my acting year didn't end with Thursday's callback.

All this means it'll be a little weird when Shameless starts airing next month - I'm likely going to be feeling "dead in the water" at a time when people are most likely to be praising me and telling me how successful I am, because the success they'll be seeing is, for me, six months old.

(Well, this entry hasn't gone the way I wanted, but I want to post something today, so I'm gonna just end it here. Till next time...)


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A Smart Guy With Nothing To Say - Tues 10.17.17

Something I'm Good At - 10.09.17

Life Is Better When I Win - 09.22.17

I'm not the type - Fri 9.15.17

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