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2:31 pm - Saturday, Jul. 30, 2005
The Next Vincent Schiavelli (Or Better Yet, The FIRST Jim Hoffmaster)

The Next Vincent Schiavelli (Or Better Yet, The FIRST Jim Hoffmaster)

Tues 7/26/05

Well, looks like I didn’t get the Genworth Financial thing.
But life goes on...I have an audition today, at Skirts Casting, that sounds like fun. It’s for Pam (The cooking spray, not just some woman named Pam), and I’m a Bill Murray-ish wedding singer.

That would be a fun one to get.

And speaking of musical performing...

On Sunday, I bought The Band Wagon and Singing In The Rain on dvd. I’ve wanted them for the longest time, and finally, circumstances came together making it “okay” for me to buy them–My friend who recently sent me $100 gave me permission to spend some of it on myself, and I had a couple of 30% off register receipt coupons that were going to expire that day (Normally, we only get 20% off on dvds).

So yesterday, I watched The Band Wagon.

It’s been years since I last saw the movie, and my first thought was, “Damn...I forgot how gorgeous Cyd Charisse was...”. She’s so beautiful it almost hurts, if you know what I mean.

Then I thought again about my preference for Fred Astaire over Gene Kelly.

It’s not a question of who was “better”, really, cause they were obviously both amazing dancers.
But I think I preferred Astaire from the get-go because I could imagine being Astaire.

Kelly was a handsome, athletic guy, who looked like a handsome, athletic guy whether he was dancing or not, and I was never going to be that guy. There didn’t seem any point in even fantasizing about it.

But Astaire was a skinny, odd-looking fella, who became the epitome of style and grace when he danced. And when I first saw Astaire dance, I was a skinny, odd-looking fella who longed to be “transformed”.

In a nutshell, that’s the fantasy I’ve always had about performing–The dream of being “transformed” through performing, of becoming attractive, acceptable, maybe even...loveable.

I’m still hoping that’s gonna work out for me someday...

Watching the movie, I felt the appeal of the fantasy world of the musical, where there might be troubles along the way, but everything’s going to work out in the end (That’s a particularly appealing notion in my current circumstances. I'd like this to be an old-fashioned musical with a happy ending).

I also felt both a sense of regret–for the “song and dance man” within me that’s never been fully realized (Even if I never would have been Fred Astaire)–and a feeling of nostalgia for all the musicals I did back in Lansing (Never say never, but I think my “musical”
days are probably over, and sometimes I miss them).

I used to say I did all those musicals because “that’s what there was to do”, as if to suggest that, given a choice, I would have preferred to do more serious stuff (Community theater, at least as I experienced it, was mostly comedies and musicals, because that’s what people come out to see).

But I don’t think that’s completely true. Yes, I’ve always identified myself more as an “actor” than a musical performer, but I think I told myself musicals weren’t really my thing (Even as they comprised a big chunk of my acting experiences in general) because I was all-too-aware of my limitations in that arena–Even now, I can barely read music, I’ve always been frustrated by my singing voice (Pleasant enough, but too low to hit the high notes in most musicals), and have had very little voice or dance training ( None before age 20, and then just a couple years at Lansing Community College).

Basically, I told myself I wasn’t a “musical theater guy”, even with dozens of musicals under my belt, because I didn’t think I’d ever be great at it (I also thought, rightly or wrongly, that my looks would be much more of a “limiting factor” in professional musicals than they’d be as an actor).

But be that as it may, I really enjoyed being in musicals, for the most part. And while I might never have been “great”, sometimes I did rise to the level of “pretty damned good”.

And that’s something.

Sat 7/30/05 (12:14 a.m.)

Just got home from work...

It was very slow at the bookstore this evening, and I was okay with that.

It made me realize that my desires, while I'm at the bookstore, are basically at cross-purposes with the corporation.

Actually, I downloaded this article off the internet recently about work ("Your Job: Signs You've Stayed Too Long"), and it had my name all over it, or it might as well have.

But I don't want this to be a big rant about the bookstore; yeah, the customers are pigs, the gm is a useless sack of crap, and the pay sucks, but the real issue is that whenever I'm there, I feel like I'm dying on the fucking vine.

And that's not a good feeling.

Today:

Good workshop today (With Delia Frankel, Vice-President of Casting for Sony TV). It went a long way towards making up for an "Agent Night" on Thursday that made me feel like crying afterwards.

Unlike the other casting director workshops I've done at this point, where we basically read with the casting director, today she paired us off.

I wasn't 100% sure of the guy she put me with, but it was a funny scene (A 20-something guy has asked for a "Little Buddy" from the "Big Buddy" organization and is understandably surprised when I come through the door), I was very happy with my part, and when it was our time to go, the scene went over like gangbusters.

In the future, I'm probably going to focus more on the casting director workshops than the "Agent Nights".

The "Agent Night" on Thursday was just an out-and-out bummer, and the one before that, while somewhat more entertaining--one of the agents obviously enjoyed the role of "raconteur"--wasn't much better.

At this latest one, I did a monologue, like a bunch of people did, only to have them come out after and tell us they don't like monologues (I wanted to say "Here's a thought--Why didn't you fucking tell the organizer of the workshop that, so we wouldn't have wasted our fucking time?")

Then at the Q&A afterwards, they seemed to really "hammer the point home" that they have no interest at all in someone like me (They're basically looking for the next Brad Pitt, not the next Vincent Schiavelli, particularly not if "the next Vincent Schiavelli" doens't have any credits).

It was almost comical, really, considering I had just written in here that I was going to "ignore" how steep the odds against me are (And I didn't even ask them a question--All their "We're really looking for young, beautiful people" rap was in response to other people's questions).

Nothing's come of the casting director stuff at this point, but it feels like it could. Not to blow my own horn too loudly here, but I'm tearing it up at these things--Probably because they're so much like the community theater auditions I've has 20 some years of experience with--and I simply refuse to believe, if I keep being so strong at these things, that it's not going to lead to my getting called in for things.

I'm an actor. I want to be acting. And I want it yesterday.

Well, there's way more I could write about, but then then I wouldn't be napping...

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