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11:29 AM - Fri 1.01.16
My Year In Review - The Acting Stuff (2015 Edition)

My Year In Review - The Acting Stuff (2015 Edition)

What a lovely way to start the New Year - I'm sick, and I just lost the "Year In Review" entry I started yesterday.

(I need to take my laptop in for a check-up, cause this shit happens entirely too often - not to mention having a cursor that will randomly jump around to different spots on the page, which is pretty frustrating when you're trying to write. But anyway...)

Was tempted to write this entry a week or two ago, but in the spirit of "never say die" , I waited till yesterday - As it turns out, I could have started two or three weeks ago, cause the year really had "died" by that point, but I applaud my optimism nevertheless.

While a couple unfortunate "career trends" continued in 2015 (I'll get to those in a bit), I clearly had a better year than in 2014, when I didn't book a single new job (I shot six episodes of Shameless that year, and that was it - And three of those episodes were basically "spillover" from the previous year, as we finished shooting Season Four).

This year, from 16 commercial auditions, I had five callbacks, booked three commercials (For NEFCU, Vodaphone, and Exxon), and was "on avail" for another spot (That ultimately didn't go my way).

And happily, the Exxon spot, which I didn't think was going to amount to much, is now running in front of Star Wars (At least in the Midwest) and on TV, which was a lovely end-of-the-year surprise (I'd expected it to run in theaters - If it was going to run at all - but not on TV).

While I wasn't happy with the number of auditions, or the number of callbacks (I should be getting callbacks at least half the time, and I hit closer to a third), in my estimation, a 1-in-5 booking ratio is not too shabby.

In short, commercially I "made a lot out of a little" in 2015. I'm pretty happy with myself on that front.

And I had a very good season on Shameless, with a record-breaking seven episodes (The previous record was six episodes in Season Four. But that stat has an asterisk by it, in my mind, because they intended one of those appearances to be just a generic day-player, who took ill or became unavailable somehow, so they brought me in).

And while the show is in no danger of ever becoming "The Kermit Show", I did feel I got more to do this year than in seasons past - I'm in two scenes in a couple episodes (One of which ends the show), I got "flashed", I sang, and of course, I did "The Scene" (Between the nudity I saw and the nudity I took part in this year, I feel like I actually became, in a small way, part of the "shameless" part of Shameless, which I'm hoping will make me more "useful" for the writers moving forward).

So "Yay!" for commercials, and "Yay!" for Shameless.

(Oh, one last Shameless thing - Someone recently asked if I'd ever watched the original British show. When I said no, they told me the English "Kermit" only appeared in a single episode. If that's true - and I think the person had IMDB'd it - that's tremendously gratifying. I thought the template for "Kermit" as a recurring character had already been established...but apparently not.)

So that was "the good stuff".

The "unfortunate trends" I mentioned earlier?

For the third consecutive year, my auditions were down, and not by a little - From 52 in 2012, to 30 this year.

I don't know what's happened (Brett basically lays it off to my age/quirkiness, which makes me feel pretty hopeless - Cause I'm not going to get younger or less "quirky" moving forward), and I don't know if there's anything to do about it.

And I don't know if "anything I try to do about it" - I'm currently sporting a gray beard, in large part to see if that "shakes things up" at all - won't make things worse.

All I know is I can't book work that I'm not auditioning for (I'm not in a position where people just call and offer me shit).

And sometimes I can't book work I am auditioning for - For the second year in a row, I didn't book any new TV work.

And while I had fewer auditions overall this year, I actually had more TV auditions than the previous year (Though still less than half what I had in 2012).

The closest I got to booking anything in TV was being "pinned" for a role on Agent Carter on ABC (I watched an episode or two prior to going in for it, and ended up binge-watching the entire season afterward. It's really good).

That would have been fun, and I'd love to feel like I had an "in" in terms of Marvel stuff (particularly Marvel TV stuff, which I think is way better than the movie stuff).

But the most exciting thing that happened in terms of TV auditions was when my team got contacted by the CD for Dick Wolf - of Law & Order fame - for a recurring role on their latest "Chicago" show, Chicago Med.

I was excited about this for two or three reasons - For one thing, Wolf is based out of New York, so popping up on his CD's radar, and them being interested enough to contact me, felt like a pretty big deal.

And in financial and career terms, I've been dying for another regular recurring for years now (And a regular Network recurring? Yeah, I'd be up for that).

And as an actor, while I'm not dying to be in a procedural, it was a role - as a curmudgeonly old doctor - that couldn't have been more different than "Kermit". And establishing that I can pull off "neurosurgeon" and "barfly" with equal conviction? I have to believe that helps me as an actor (Not to mention just being fun to do).

(And it would have involved at least periodic paid trips to Chicago, since it shoots there.)

So I put myself on tape for them, and...nothing (Having seen billboards for the show, I think they went with way-more-established character actor Oliver Platt, who can play those kind of asshole roles in his sleep).


On the "plus" side of the ledger, I booked new work, broke new ground (Even if I didn't want to - still kind of weirded-out that, with Vodaphone and "The Scene" in Shameless, this was suddenly my year to be naked), and when all's said-and-done, will probably have made an okay amount of money.

On the "minus" side, I'm dying-on-the-vine in terms of auditions, and am making no headway on TV or in film.

Hoping things jump off to a quick start in 2016 (Last year, I didn't get an audition till February..though that was the NEFCU spot, so it was pretty cool to book the very first thing that came my way).

Am trying to prepare myself to be "patient", while hoping - at the same time - that the audition free-fall I'm in turns around somehow (And wondering - beyond growing facial hair or what-have-you - what I can do to "shake things up", so to speak).

2015 wasn't a bad year for me as an actor (2014 demonstrated what "a bad year" really looks like - I still shudder to think "What if I'd had that shitty year, and hadn't had Shameless to lean on?"), but I can't help but hope that 2016 will be better.

Well, I was going to write about my year beyond acting, but the day is getting away from me quickly, and beyond that, with my problems with losing entries, I feel like I'd better get this "published" while I can, so "To be continued...".


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