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5:30 pm - 11.08.2011
Didn't Come Out To Hollywood To...

Didn't Come Out To Hollywood To (" anything that isn't Acting")

(I don't have time to make this a real entry - But an "unreal" entry is better than no entry at all...)

Acting-wise, things are still in a holding-pattern.

I'm not nuts about "holding patterns".

But at least while I'm waiting for auditions to come my way, I can look forward to Austin and Ally, Shameless, and my Progressive commercial hitting the airwaves (Austin and Ally starts up in December, Shameless in January, and the Progressive commercial...I guess whenever they finish editing it).

Waiting for the Progressive commercial to air is a position I've been in a number of times now; clearly, it's a good thing, but being who I am, I have to pointedly tell myself not to make a "clearly good thing" into something to be anxious about.

Read a casting newsletter recently on this very subject (or at least close enough to this subject for my purposes) that said the only money you can count on making from a commercial is the "shoot fee" (The money you get for the day you actually did the spot).

(And I know that's true from my own experience; years back, I shot a Snickers commercial, but was completely cut out of the finished spot. So, in that case, no residuals for Jimmy...)

It's tough when I want every commercial I book to run forever and make me crazy amounts of money, but the appropriate "attitude of gratitude" to take in this circumstance is to be grateful I made a nice amount of money that day...and move on.

(Actually, I haven't made that "nice amount of money" yet, because I haven't received the check - which reminds me, I need to check with JS about that - but you get the idea.)

Thurs 11/10/11 (10:00 am)

Telling myself I only have a few things to do today (Before WW at 5:45).

And while this might seem like "screwing around" to the naked eye, "writing a journal entry" is one of those things.


For the past number of days, I've attended AFI-fest with Howard (AFI = American Film Institute).

We've seen Extraterrestrial (from Spain), Michael (from Austria), Melancholia (from wherever Lars Van Trier is from), Oslo, Aug 31 (From Norway), The Kid With A Bike (from France), and yesterday two films - Nightmare Alley and We Need To Talk About Kevin - from the US.

Howard is still seeing films today, but I have to hop off the movie train because of work.

(I don't have the time or inclination to review all these movies, but if you were to ask my recommendations, I enjoyed Extraterrestrial, The Kid With A Bike, Oslo, Aug 31, and Nightmare Alley, the last film a B movie from the 40's, I think, starring Tyrone Power, that I'd never seen before. The other films "didn't work for me" to one extent or another).

Howard joked yesterday that it'll be tough going back to paying for movies - The AFI films have been free (Part of the reason I was pretty much up for seeing anything) - but it has been nice having free entertainment for the past however-many-days (Though we usually did coffee afterwards, and had Quiznos between movies yesterday).

It was interesting to have something to do every night - fun, to be sure, but also pretty tiring (Because of the thing where I never sleep) - and I was struck by how it provided a certain structure that I don't really have these days.

It's something I've thought about before - I think if I have "nothing but time on my hands" I'll get a lot done, but I end up getting little or nothing done, because I have the luxury of continually "putting it off"; with something happening every night, on the other hand, I have to get things done when I have the time to do them, and not just "when I feel like it", or they won't happen at all.

Anyway, it's been an interesting period of time, in that regard - Not just for the actual movies themselves, or the time spent with Howard, but for a small "window" on what my life might be like if I had more to do socially (More fun, to be sure, but also more tiring and stressful).

In part because of my energy level (Which is almost always "low"), I found myself wishing I didn't have anything to do, and could just go to the AFI films with Howard (He attended a number of movies that I couldn't, because of WW meetings).

But I'm also finding myself wishing I "didn't have anything to do" because I'm a little more down on WW than normal right now.

I've said in here a number of times that I typically don't have much of a problem with my WW job; if I didn't want to be an actor, and it paid enough to fund my modest lifestyle, I could see doing it for the foreseeable future.

But I do want to be an actor, and WW doesn't pay me enough to live on.

And even though I just wrote about how I need more "structure" in my days to get things done, and not working at WW would mean less structure (Unless, say, I booked a role as a "series regular" on tv), I'd quit in a heartbeat if I could.

But what's got me currently wishing "I could quit in a heartbeat" is feeling like the job is breaking an "unspoken contract" with me.

I'll explain.

I know it doesn't really work this way, but in my world, I feel like if you're not getting paid a livable wage, the unspoken "compensation" for that ought to be that the work itself is not terribly demanding of you (In terms of your time, energy, and so on).

Like I said, I know it doesn't really work that way - a lot of minimum-wage jobs are very demanding, either because they are physically difficult or dull & repetitive, or both - but I feel like it ought to work that way.

And two things are happening at Weight Watchers right now that mess with my idea of "The Way Things Ought To Be".

Centers (Now "Stores") are being relocated and refurbished - the better to create a consistent "brand" across locations - and as a result, Receptionists will have to tally meetings by hand (a "paper tally", as opposed to it being done on computers) for however long it takes before the new "Stores" are ready.

I haven't done paper tallies very often, and don't feel comfortable with them. And while I imagine I'll "get comfortable with them" in a hurry when I have to do them on a regular basis, it's still more laborious and time-consuming than the computer, and to be blunt, I just don't want to work harder than I am now.

Not for what's basically minimum wage.

The other thing is that the program itself has been changed for 2012, particularly in regard to how we do what has been called the "Getting Started Session" (i.e. orientation for new members).

Typically, it's Leaders who have to do the "Getting Started" sessions, but since I have an "open hours" shift, I have to learn it too...which has meant taking an "online course" (That took longer than it should have because of computer/program glitches), having to attend a "clinic" after my meeting and open hours session on Sunday, and having to work on the "Powerstart" presetation in the interim.

I don't want to do it.

While it's true that I don't want to do this stuff because it's extra work, and I'm a tired/lazy guy...there's more to it than that.

When extra demands are placed on me in whatever my "day job" is, and I'm thinking about that job when I'm not on the job, when I actually worry about it?

Well, let's just say that's not where I want my focus to be.

To paraphrase what a couple of Michigan friends said to me early on, I didn't come out to LA to work at a bookstore or a movie theater...or at Weight Watchers.

I know "this too shall pass" - I'll do the thing on Sunday, and eventually we'll be in the new "Stores" (Don't like calling them "stores", btw, hence putting the word in quotation marks) - but right now, it's extra work, extra energy expended, and extra worry, and that's not what I want any job of mine that isn't Acting to be.

Well, time is getting away from me, as it often seems to do (For some reason, even after decades, I always think writing an entry is going to take less time than it does); I need to get myself cleaned up, and head to the bank to close out my account (More on that in the next entry), then at least get a start on preparing for Sunday's "clinic".

...and dream of the day when my acting success means not needing a "day job".


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