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11 pm-ish - Weds 8.30.17
Altered States

Altered States

I'm high.

Let's just get that out of the way (I'm going to endeavor not to say a lot more about it, unless it becomes of sufficient interest to warrant it).

Nothing much has happened since last writing...

Shot Shameless #808, the one where I didn't have much to do, yesterday.

It ended up being a fairly miserable day, all-in-all...and I don't mean just the "shoot day" - which was more of a "shoot half-hour" - I mean the day in general.

I had arranged - kind of (More on that in a moment) - to "clear the day" for Shameless...but the show threw me a curve, because my call wasn't until late afternoon, while the day-clearing was all morning/early afternoon activity (Basically, work and therapy).

I could have and should have told my sub I didn't really need her, and gone in to work at WW.

And I could have and should have told my therapist that, if he was still available, I could see him after all (This is the "More on that in a moment" part - When I heard we were tentatively shooting on Tuesday, I'd told him the previous week I probably wouldn't be available, but that I'd tell him when I got confirmation...and I forgot).

So I just laid around my apartment, binge-watching Goliath on Amazon, feeling guilty that I wasn't working when I could have been, that I hadn't given my friend Hillary the option to opt out of working, and that, not only was I not seeking to my mental health by going to therapy, I had left my therapist wondering where the hell I was by not calling to confirm I was shooting the show (He called about 15 minutes into our normal session time - I let it go to voicemail).

And even my binge was working against me - As I watched the show (A somewhat formulaic legal drama with a kick-ass cast - Billy Bob Thornton, William Hurt, Maria Bello, and Molly Parker), I started getting depressed that, not only was I not Billy Bob Thornton (Who I have a great deal of respect for as an actor), I was never even going to get to work with Billy Bob Thornton (And by "work with", I don't mean get to say a line to him or some such bullshit, but have an actual scene where we act together).

And that bummed me out about how little I had to do in the show I'm actually on (In general, really, but in particular later that day).

And the afternoon call stayed true-to-recent-form - I got there at 430 and did nothing till probably around 700 - I don't want to say there weren't nice moments as I waited, cause there were (And I purchased the edible that I am currently enjoying the effects of), but it was mostly just boredom and overeating and wishing I were acting more, while telling myself to be grateful I was getting paid to be bored and overeat.

It was a very short scene - With Mike M. and Izzy G. - and I'd be shocked if it took more than a half-hour to shoot (probably more like 15 or 20 minutes).

So my big thing that I had to clear the entire day for, that I apparently needed to "rest up" for until late-afternoon...was one line.

That I'm not sure I did that well (Though Emmy Rossum gave me a bit of business to do that I thought was cute). I think Mike felt the same way I did, which is that it was late in the day, and our stuff was rushed because everyone was tired and just wanted to finish, and we're not a very important part of the show anyway.

I felt a little silly for the "mooning over Emmy Rossum" stuff in my last entry (Though to be fair, I felt "a little silly" about it while I was writing it as well) - She was cute, because she's cute, and she's gonna have an impact...but it was Emmy Rossum in dressed-down "Director-mode" not Emmy Rossum in "Sexy actress/Fiona-mode". And more to the point, it was Emmy Rossum who barely knows me, and had bigger fish to fry in terms of what needed her attention.

She didn't acknowledge Mike or me until the scene actually started shooting (Which seemed...odd), but she was nice enough during, and took a selfie with us after (More on that in a moment), and honestly, what more did I want?

(I would have wanted more of a scene, to be honest, so I could have had more of a feeling of interacting/collaborating with her. It would have been nice to have a group scene, maybe with Macy and Steve H., where it feels like a group scene, and not just someone else's scene where I'm "dropping a line in".)

So...mostly a big stinking, depressing dud of a day.

And while there's a reasonable, pragmatic argument to be made for the "clearing the deck" stuff, and letting the deck stay "cleared" even when it doesn't seem like there's any conflict (Schedules can change on a dime - It's happened before), it did set me up for a fall (Psychologically, I "clear the deck" when I have a gig because I want to have days where I'm an "actor" be just days where I'm an actor, cause I only get those for maybe a week or two out of th eyear...but that impulse really seemed like overkill yesterday. I don't want Shameless
to feel like "a well-paying part-time job"...but yesterday in particular, that's exactly what it was).

I probably seem like I'm not in a good mood, huh?

Well, I don't know if I am or not - What I just wrote was how I felt yesterday (And I'm embarrassed about it, but "It is what it is", as the young people say), while today was mostly pretty pleasant (A pleasantly uneventful day at Weight Watchers, Zumba class in the evening, then eating a portion of my edible - a shroom chocolate bar - afterward).

At the moment, while I'm still high, but on the down-slope, I'm doing a mental post-mortem on the experience (That's a thing I do, I've noticed - I spend a lot of time "analyzing" what's happening. I don't know if that's just natural, the long-term journaler "taking notes" for later reference, the neurotic nervously trying to "manage" the experience, or what, but I sometimes want to tell myself "Hey Jim, why don't you just go through whatever-it-is you're going through, without all the play-by-play...?".

(For the record, while I did acid a number of times a really long time ago - In the early 80s - and have of late had some experiences with pot edibles and vaping, I have never done shrooms, so wasn't sure exactly what I was in for. And was actually a little nervous - My understanding was that shrooms are a mellower experience than acid, but I was still risking seeing parts of my brain that I haven't visited in decades.)

Anyway, I think I'm gonna hold off on the post-mortem till I'm back to whatever passes for "normal"...but it was interesting, and I do want to write about it.

Speaking of "wanting to write about it"...

Thurs (9:40 am)

...I've had some experiences lately, both in my personal life and on the show, that I can't write about in here (On the personal side, because the people either have asked me not to, or they're people who read this and it would be "awkward", to say the least. And in the case of the show, because it's information Shameless might not want out until some designated time - I'm not sure, but I don't want to assume it's cool to write about stuff, then find out it isn't).

So I've been pondering a private journal, which is how I started, and what I did for over a decade, but dropped when starting this - It's uncomfortable for me not being able to write about what's going on, because it's how I "process" things. And I don't really have a workable "alternative" at present.

But when I think about it, I run into an interesting roadblock - writing in books that no one would ever read used to seem a perfectly fine use of my free time, but now it makes me...uncomfortable.

I'm not sure what the deal is - Is it that it feels like a "waste of time"? Have I gotten so used to "having an audience", however small, that I'm uncomfortable with going back to "talking to myself"? - but I need more of an avenue to process things, to express myself more freely, to be more "me", whatever that may mean.

I won't stop writing in here, I don't think, because while this doesn't fulfill all my emotional/expressive needs, it continues to do a lot for me - I've made friends, I've gotten emotional support, I've gotten positive feedback for my writing, and I'd like to think I've done some small measure of good for a very small group of people (By occasionally being funny, or insightful, or just giving people the comfort of realizing "I thought I was the only one who felt like that...but apparently not...").


(I keep obsessively checking my phone, hungry for an audition, or word on my next Shameless, or something...)

I debated deleting yesterday's writing when I woke up this morning. But then I read over it, and beyond worrying that people are going to pass certain judgments about me (For complaining too much about my situation, a situation - playing a recurring role on a major TV show - they wish they were in), I'm okay with what I wrote and how I wrote it (I "tweaked" a little bit of the writing this morning, but mostly left it alone).

I don't want to belabor getting high last night - It doesn't seem as interesting in the light of day as it did while I was coming down before going to bed - but a few quick things...

1. The "analytical thing" happens pretty much every time - There's a lot of "taking note" of sensations, and observing that the sensations seem kind of "neutral", until I come to some determination on "how I feel about how I'm feeling". Like the sensation of having "butterflies" in your stomach before going onstage, where, depending on your mind-set, you can read that sensation as "excitement" or "anxiety" or out-and-out "terror"

2. I'm more interested in altering my mental state than my physical. In fact, I sometimes find the "body high" a little unpleasant, because it can feel like an exacerbation of "symptoms" I routinely experience IRL that are slightly worrisome (My balance not being what it used to be, feeling slightly light-headed & weak much of the time compared to "Younger Me", etc). Again, it speaks to what you make of the physical sensations - Is it "fun" to feel a little off-balance, or is it "unpleasant"? Is it "exciting" to feel a little out-of-control, or "scary"?

I guess I'm looking to feel "expanded" rather than "debilitated" when I get high. Cause I already feel "debilitated" most of the time - I kinda have that down.

3. At one point, I turned off the lights, put on my sleep mask, and laid down in bed to watch the light show in my head, which was cool. I was "seeing" things so clearly at one point I was forgetting I actually had my eyes closed, and wasn't always sure where I was in terms of being "asleep or awake" (I'm not sure how long I did that - maybe an hour or so? - but that was the most fun part of the experience...though I remember at one point actually thinking my "visions" were kind of "corny" - a lot of lights and shooting through tunnels and the like that wouldn't have been out of place in a trippy 80s sci-fi movie).

But other than the visual pyrotechnics - and I think I'm interested in the science behind that, but it would probably just bore me - nothing that interesting happened. I don't know if you're supposed to feel more insightful or more "one with the universe" or anything while on shrooms, but if so, I didn't really get that (When I do it again - probably in a couple days - I think I may try writing while I'm peaking, instead of when I'm coming down just to see what comes out).

Anyway, that was a thing that happened...and will be happening again before too long.

Well, I've hit the point where I could write more, but I don't want to spend my entire pre-work day on this, and I don't think there's anything left to say that won't keep.

(And I want to get myself cleaned and pressed before Mark and Jane call in a bit, so when we're done, I can lay down for a spell before work.)


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