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10:00 am - Wed 6/18/03
What I meant to say is \"Hi, I'm Jim Hoffmaster, president of the Watercooler Association of America\"

What I meant to say is "Hi, I'm Jim Hoffmaster, president of the Watercooler Association of America"
TUE 6/17/03 7:50 am

I'd like to start this entry by saying a big "Thank you" to all the people who sent their congratulations on my big news.

I don't want to get all "I'd like to thank the Academy and everyone who made this possible..." on you, but truthfully, I am feeling very grateful. If not for Mark and Jane, Cary and Kay, Kevin, Lauren, Kathy, John O., and a host of other friends and well-wishers, I really don't think I'd have gotten this far. In fact, I know I wouldn't have.

And Diaryland is a big part of that.


2:00 pm

Chatted with Jane earlier.

(Speaking of Jane, she won "Best Actress" at the Riverwalk Theatre's "Barney" Awards this past Saturday, for her work in The Waverly Gallery. I was tres pleased; I really wanted her to get the validation she deserved for the work.)

Periodically–Okay, frequently–I've found myself wishing I had made the move out here ten or fifteen years earlier. And when I've shared that thought with Jane, she's usually said something to the effect of "You made the move when you were ready". She thinks I wouldn't have been "emotionally prepared" for what I've dealt with out here, and suspects that as a "character type", I'm probably more of a "commodity" now than I would have been at 25 or 30 (All the quotation marks in that sentence are mine, meant to consolidate Jane's wisdom into a few pithy phrases. They are not, that I recall, the specific words Jane has used in discussing this issue with me).

When I found myself saying "I wish I'd come out here sooner..." to Cary at breakfast recently, it didn't mean what it usually does; Typically, when I say that, I'm bemoaning the fact that I feel old and tired, and am afraid that now, if I don't "make it", it'll be too late to "reinvent" myself as something else.

But this time, the reason I was saying it was because I was feeling so good. Basically, I was feeling like "If I'd known I was actually going to succeed, I would have done this sooner...!".

Cary said, essentially, the same thing Jane did, that I came out here when I was ready to come out here.

And these two folks are pretty smart--I don't hang with a lot of dumb people–so I'm thinking maybe they're onto something here

And whether I should or shouldn't have, did or didn't have, the fact is, I'm doing it now.

And something that occurred to me, beyond my being "emotionally ready", or becoming more viable as a "character actor" with age, or whatever, is that if I had come out here a lot sooner, technology wouldn't have helped me like it has; without a computer, there would be no instant messages, no email, no Diaryland, no Lauren, no Kathy, and a lot of tasks I have to accomplish would have been much harder (And as I've suggested many times before, I don't do well with "harder"). I would be much more "alone" in this than I am now.

Diaryland has meant a great deal, in terms of combating that feeling of "alone-ness". So thanks to all of you who, for whatever reason, have chosen to follow this epic saga.

Weds 6/18/03 8:22 a.m.

Amanda started her most recent journal entry with the quote below:

When we look at someone [an angel] from a position of unrequited love and imagine the pleasures that being in heaven with them might bring us, we are prone to overlook one important danger: how soon their attractions might pale if they begin to love us back. We fall in love because we long to escape from ourselves with someone as beautiful, intelligent, and witty as we are ugly, stupid, and dull. But what if such a perfect being should one day turn around and decide they will love us back? We can only be somewhat shocked - how can they be as wonderful as we had hoped when they have the bad taste to approve of someone like us? If, in order to love, we must believe that the beloved surpasses us in some way, does not a cruel paradox emerge when they return that love? We are led to ask, "If s/he really is so wonderful, how is it possible that s/he could love someone like me?

from On Love, Alain de Botton

Frankly, I think Groucho said it better, and certainly more succinctly-- "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member."

But anyway...

As you might imagine, since booking the HBO commercial, I've had a hard time putting serious thought into anything else (Fortunately, no other aspect of my life requires much thinking, "serious" or otherwise).

The spot shoots tomorrow, at a downtown location representing "Watercooler Association of America" headquarters (It's going to be a much bigger project than I'd imagined, involving some thirty actors). They'll be calling me today to let me know the call time.

(My bit is shooting tomorrow, I should say; I guess it actually started shooting yesterday.)

I had a wardrobe fitting on Monday. And that experience was, in a way, reassuringly familiar–people with a bigger job than time to do it in rushing around, throwing clothes at me, propelling me towards fitting rooms, debating those shoes or this shirt or that pair of pants, asking me how things "felt", bemoaning my odd size (I guess I have an "in-between" suit size), then sending me on my way.

It was a lot like community theater, even down to them asking me to bring some outfits from home for them to look at (I brought pretty much my entire "dressy" wardrobe, but it turns out the only things I'll be wearing of my own will be my dress shoes and my underwear).

Everyone was nice–or as nice as people can be under rushed circumstances–but I still found myself starting to stress at one point. I think it was part absorbing their stressed vibe, and part concern about being late for work (I ended up calling the bookstore to say I'd be a half-hour late. It was no big deal). But in the end, I ended up with two outfits–the director couldn't decide which he preferred, so he said we'd figure it out at the shoot–and the happy feeling of being involved in something again.

While at the fitting, when the director and some other decision-making people were looking at me in one of the proposed outfits, one of them said, "Jim, what's your last name again?".

When I told him, he asked me what I thought about using my own name in the spot, instead of being "Mike Sweeney". I thought that would be kind of weird and funny, but I certainly wasn't averse to the idea, so I said sure (There was some joking about me going up on the line–"Hi, I'm...uhhhh...ummmm...what's the line again?")

The director asked if I'd need a cue card for the shoot. So I asked if it would be the same copy I auditioned with, and when he said yes, told him that wouldn't be an issue (At first I was kind of amazed he had to ask, but when I thought about it later, I realized it was possible that I might not have memorized the copy already, and might not have taken a copy home with me).


There's a lot more to write about here, but I want to clean myself up and catch an early matinee of Capturing the Friedmans at the Laemmle on Sunset, so I'll have to take this up later (At breakfast on Saturday, Cary and Kay gave me a belated birthday card, along with a lovely check, so I've decided I'm going to spend today having guilt-free fun, prior to having even more fun tomorrow).


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