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9:09 am - Wed 6/11/03
Would You Like To Come In And See My Etchings...?

Would You Like To Come In And See My Etchings...?

The above picture is a drawing I did back in 1985 (From a photograph of P.W. Botha, who was the president of South Africa at the time).

I've been thinking about having a "showing" of my drawings in here (It's partly a "Hey, look what I did!" sort of thing, and partly just wanting to play with my scanner and having nothing else to scan).

I figured out how to crop the drawing, but I don't know how to make it smaller, and that's something I want to figure out before I invite you to my "gallery" (I don't want to try your patience with an entry that takes a half-hour to load).

Anyway, more on my hit-and-miss efforts at drawing--and scanning--at a later date...

Well, overlooking the fact that I started getting sick by late afternoon, yesterday was, all-in-all, a pretty good day.

I had two castings before work. JS had called the day before, first with a casting for HBO (at Ross Lacey), then with another one for Pepsi (At TLC Booth).

The Pepsi one was first (At noon).

I was a mechanic, hanging out with my young partner, as Beyonce walks up, asking for directions (If you don't know who Beyonce is, she was the lead singer for Destiny's Child, and played "Foxy Cleopatra", I think it was, in the last Austin Powers movie).

My young partner, stunned by the beauty of Beyonce, stutters and stammers and can barely get words out, but Beyonce understands him completely, thanks him for his help, and walks off.

Then I say to my partner, sympathetically, "She probably gets that a lot...".

We did two takes, and I thought it went well.

It would be a fun spot to do, and of course, being Pepsi, there'd be serious visibility.

It's also a national--and a union thing--which means Little Jimmy would make serious bank if he got it. So wish him some serious luck, if you would.

(I'm discovering that not all "nationals" are created equal--A national union commercial pays session fees, residuals, the whole nine yards--Unless they offer a "buyout", which I guess means there's a one-time-only fee-- while with a non-union commercial, they can pay you as little as they think you'll take, with no residuals, no benefits, nothing. But more on the whole union/non-union thing in a bit...)

The other casting was at 2:30 at Ross Lacey, for HBO, and I thought this was kind of interesting; It wasn't a callback, but it sort of felt like one.

At the beginning of the month, I had a casting there for HBO; I was an office worker having a conversation around the watercooler with two coworkers (It was the one where I ended up reading with two ethnic actors who weren't totally comfortable with English).

I didn't book that one--Not a big shocker, considering the circumstances--but yesterday's casting was another spot in the same ad campaign; This time out, I was "Mike Sweeney, president of the Watercooler Association of America".

Whether this is really the case or not, I'm choosing to believe that they liked something they saw before, even if I wasn't right for the spot, so that's why they had me come in for this one (As I said to Lauren yesterday "Maybe they watched the first tape and thought 'Hey, he speaks English just like a native...!'").

The jist of the spot yesterday was that the watercooler industry had been in decline, due to the rise in popularity of bottled water. But then thanks to tv (i.e. HBO) "rising to a higher standard", people started having conversations around watercoolers again, and the watercooler industry was saved.

It was the kind of thing I like, where there was a lot of copy, and the chance to download it off Showfax the night before (Though I had something of a challenge getting the download to open once I downloaded it).

There were a lot of middle-aged guys in suits auditioning, and I had the same problem I've had a number of times before at these things--I thought almost all the guys looked more "right" for the spot than I did (There seems to be a general consensus that I'm not the "Everyman" type. I don't look at myself and automatically see "Joe Mechanic" or "Bill Businessman", and it's hard for me to imagine anyone else does either. It leaves me wondering what exactly being "a great character type" means, and more importantly, what it's ultimately going to mean to me, in terms of actually getting work. But anyway...).

The casting director called all of us in at one point, and said he was going to have us each do two takes--One like a traditional spokesperson, and another like someone being interviewed for a documentary.

Again, I felt like it went well. I thought I did a really good job being "smooth" on the first take, and more "naturalistic" on the next.

It was fun.

(I don't know if it really meant anything or not, but I was encouraged to see the casting director smiling as he watched the playback.)

It would have been more convenient for me if the two auditions had been switched around, with the HBO audition being earlier, but it amused me to ride to work on my bike in suit-and-tie, and of course, there was quite a fuss made at work over how "spiffy" I looked (Speaking of looking "spiffy", I made an unhappy discovery earlier in the day--the black pants I usually wear when I want to look "dressy" for auditions apparently have to be dry-cleaned. When I pulled them out of the dryer in the morning, they looked like I'd wadded them up and put them under a rock for a few weeks. D'oh!).

The work day passed pretty pleasantly, except I felt myself starting to get sick after an hour or two.

I checked my voicemail at one point, and Cary had called, to check in and see about getting together sometime soon; I took a break to call him, and we had a good conversation (I regretted not having more time to talk; It was one of those rare times where he seemed to need to talk more than I did, and I felt bad having to cut it short).

At the end of the night, when I went into the backroom to get my bike, I had a nice surprise; There was a new headlight and padded seat where my flashlight-and-bungee-cord and ripped-up old seat used to be.

I have to say, the bike looks pretty snazzy right about now.

I knew immediately that it was Marie's doing; Some time previously, when she'd done a rare closing shift, she mentioned being "worried" about me riding at night (It was obvious she also thought the flashlight/bungee-cord combo was kind of tacky, though other people have thought it had a certain "MacGyver-esque" charm)

John C. was closing last night, and told me he'd helped Marie pick out the items in question.

He also said that Marie "liked" me; He told me that as they picked up the items in question, she'd said "I'm going to miss my Jim...".

I was surprised to hear that. As I've said, I'm going to be sorry to see Marie go, but I had no idea she had any special fondness for me (And before you ask, Jane, she's not single).

So anyway, it felt like a full day.

And speaking of "full days" it's my "weekend"; I'm going to take myself a little nap, because I got about three hours of sleep last night, then head down to the Los Feliz 3, where Spellbound is showing, get myself a Backstage West at Skylight Books, and just see where the day takes me.

(I'm stopping now because I'm tired, not because I'm out of stuff to write about, so you can look forward to another action-packed entry later this evening. I just realized I never got back to the union/non-union thing I said I was going to get back to, and Mark N. actually asked me to write about Six Feet Under. Anyway anyway anyway, we'll see ya later...)


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