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8:45 pm - Fri 10.25.2013
To Cable Or Not To Cable?

To Cable Or Not To Cable?

Since I last wrote, I've gotten those three Shameless checks (In addition to three smaller checks relating to the same episodes), another check for the commercial, and another two residual checks totaling about $125.

I mentioned that the first commercial check came as a surprise, and there was a reason for that - I haven't gotten anything from it in quite awhile.

And if you shoot a commercial, and it doesn't run for a cycle, but they want to reserve the right to start running it again, they have to pay a "holding fee" (Which is fair, since as long as you're "under contract", you can't audition for/shoot any commercials for a competing product).

If they don't pay that fee, you're "released" from your contract, you can do other stuff, and that's the end of the ride.

Since I hadn't gotten anything from them in awhile, I was just about to call my agent and ask if the spot was dead, when I got that first check, for the "holding fee" (And a $75 "late payment penalty"). The second check was a more timely "holding fee" for the most recent cycle.

(If this sounds like I know the business, trust me - I really don't.)

I'm guessing this is not terribly interesting stuff, and hearing me go on and on about money in here - mostly about not having it, but occasionally about times like this - is probably not anyone's favorite topic.

But I can't help it. Beyond the pragmatic matter of needing to make money to live, "money" is just inextricably tied up in my mind with notions of "success" and "self-worth" and a lot of things it probably shouldn't be.

And it's just...weird; I think about my work at WW, where I make peanuts, while doing work I think has a great amount of "value" in "human terms", then on Tuesday, I made in the neighborhood of $1000 for half a day, to say two lines on a television show that anyone could have done (Cause "Anyone" - i.e. Someone who wasn't me - was going to do it).

And while that amount of money to do what I did seems crazy on one level - I doubt I made that much money in summer-stock at TBT for an entire season, and it's about a month-and-a-half or so of working at WW - you know what's crazier still?

It's not enough.

Half that money goes to taxes and commissions, and while that's still a decent payday, it's a payday that just doesn't happen often enough (At this writing, I have still never booked a double-digit number of gigs in a single year. As you might imagine, I'm very eager to break through that "ceiling").

As I've said many times before, at the level I'm at, unless I book a national commercial, and hopefully one that actually runs, I am living with chronic money worries.

Which, again, is a source of emotional confusion - If I'm going to tie my sense-of-self-worth to money (Setting aside the sheer need to make money, for food and rent and going to the movies and such), what does it mean that I get so little for working at WW?

But that, at the same time, I'm an actor, who can potentially make (And have made) thousands from a day's work...but can't book enough jobs to actually make a consistent, decent living?


Sun 10/27/13 (12:17 pm)

Just back from WW and my weekly weigh-in - Was up .2 from last week, and now have a brief break before I have to go to the store in West LA (For a two-hour training in doing the "orientation" for Simple Start, which is the latest-and-greatest iteration of the program for 2014).

There's been a lot of WW in my life this month, outside of working my regular meetings (2 "fills" for meetings and drop-in hours, 7 hours of training, and a 90-minute online course), and I have to be honest - I don't like it.

But I will say this - At least this month I've had a fair amount of action on the acting front to "balance it out" (Five auditions so far, a callback, and the Shameless shoot); when I look at my calendar and the only things written on it are WW shit, that's when I get really depressed.

(As I've said before, I like working at WW well enough...but to paraphrase a couple of friends back in MI, I didn't come out to LA to work at WW. It's that simple: I want to do what I came out here to do.)

There's no big excitement on the horizon...but I'm pleased to report that I'm going to see Enough Said with Howard tomorrow.

That's something of a "news item" because, due to my tight finances, I'd put a moratorium on movie-going, which bummed me out - I went from basically telling myself I couldn't see more than one movie a week, to recently telling Howard I couldn't see anything until and unless my finances improved (The last movie we saw together was Gravity. He saw Captain Phillips by himself, along with any number of other movies I might otherwise have checked out with him, and we've postponed Enough Said for weeks now).

The other bit of "belt-tightening" I was going to do was cancel my cable.

But at this writing, my cable continues, unabated.

When things were looking kinda scary - before the recent influx of cash, I was "fairly sure" I'd be able to pay November rent, but very worried about December - I decided cable had to go.

But I really didn't want to do it; I like having cable - a lot - and hate the feeling of failure that comes with having to "cut back" on things, especially when I have so little and do so little in the first place.

I hate feeling like I'm "climbing down the ladder to success".
I told Howard, basically, that I'd rather feel like I'm making the choice to "get lean and mean" than have "austerity" thrust upon me by circumstance.

(Oh, did I mention my cable bill just went up $20, when the "promotional rate" I'd gotten for the past year or two expired? Because that's definitely figured into my thinking regarding "To cable, or not to cable?".)

Anyway, I'm (temporarily) flush, so this would be a good time to cut my cable from a "position of strength" - and not unhappy necessity - but I'm having a tough time "pulling the trigger".

I think what I need to do for myself is, instead of playing up my feelings of deprivation ("Can't I have anything I like...?"), is to play it down (Cause really, it's less "deprivation" and more "slight inconvenience" - I'd end up getting a Roku, or similar device, and sign up for Netflix and Hulu Plus, and between that and the Internet, probably get my entertainment needs met nearly as well, for a lot cheaper).

So "stay tuned" see if I continue to "stay tuned".


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