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11:06 am - Fri 11/19/04
$50 And A Cheese Sandwich

$50 And A Cheese Sandwich

Fri 11/19/04 (8:03 a.m.)

Uncomfortable with that entry I wrote yesterday...

The unspoken question in that entry is this–If I think I'm going to succeed as an actor because I really want it, and I'm ambivalent about pretty much everything else I want, how am I going to have anything else in my life other than acting?

Well, I guess first off, I should not overstate things–I'm not "ambivalent" about everything else I want in life; I don't see any problem with having friends, for example, or having things I like around me, or having the freedom to do the things I want to do (ex. travelling, seeing movies and plays, etc).

(Though the "friends" thing is seeming like a pretty tall order at this point. For a very long time now, it's seemed apparent that I need friends way more than anyone seems to need my friendship.)

Obviously, in terms of "the big stuff"–A relationship, kids, etc–if I really feel the desire for that in my life, I need to give myself more positive messages than "I'm not up to the challenge" or "I'm not good at ‘caring for things'".

I didn't think I was "up to the challenge" of what I'm doing right now, which is why I held off doing it for 20 years. And yet, here I am, over three-and-a-half years down the road....doing it.

I'm already tired of hearing myself talk about this...Let's just say that I want to pull back from saying "I can't have this" or "I couldn't handle that" to something more along the lines of "Anything's possible", concerning the things I think would make life more enjoyable and/or meaningful.

(9:39 a.m.)

Just got back from getting groceries (A lot of groceries, since I was down to two apples and an ancient box of spaghetti in the "pantry").

When I didn't get a call from JS on Wednesday, I thought this might be the week where my audition "hot streak" was broken (I've had at least one audition a week since 9/30. Except for last week, when I had the Jack-In-The-Box shoot). ‘
But happily, I got the call yesterday afternoon–I have an audition for Disney/Direct TV at 2:00 (I'm presuming it's non-union, since the two other auditions I've had for Disney were...the cheap bastards).

Speaking of union vs. non-union gigs, that's something I've been thinking about a lot since I booked Jack-In-The-Box: It may be two weeks, two months, two years, or longer, but at some point, I'll have to go down to the SAG office on Wilshire and sign up with the union. And when I do, I'll have to make a decision whether to go "financial core" or not.

What "finanical core" means is that you basically are declaring that you can't make a living just working union gigs, and are asking for the right to work both union and non-union (Apparently, it's a status the union legally has to offer, but they do it grudgingly). You still pay into the union (I believe at a slightly reduced rate), and still get all the union benefits (At least when you're working a union shoot), but can also do non-union gigs. But the downside is that you don't get to vote in union elections (A lot of actors dismiss not getting to vote in union elections as "no big deal". But if I'm paying to be in the union, I want a say in how things go).

The upside to "finanical core" status is obvious–If you can audition for union and non-union stuff, you have a lot more opportunity to work than if you're just doing union stuff. And working is experience, and money, and connections, and so on and so forth.
That strikes me as a pretty big "upside" to "financial core", especially when you consider that I want to do this shit for a living.

But "financial core" also hurts the union that, theoretically, is on your side: Why are big companies going to go with a SAG production, if they can get the same level of talent for less? If I'll work for $50 and a cheese sandwich, why would they want to pay me residuals and overtime and all that?

I've thought a lot about it, and I think what I'll probably do, when the time comes, is just sign up for full-status with the union. It seems like "the right thing to do". And more to the point, I actively want to be in the union. I want to make a living wage, I want the benefits, etc.

And I think better to go "full-status" now, then change to "financial core" if it seems really necessary, than to go in just assuming I won't be able to make a living without those "$50 and a cheese sandwich" gigs.

Anyway...well, I'd like to write more, but I'm feeling the need for some more sack-time before heading to my audition, then to work.



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