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12:38 a.m. - Weds 3/25/09

Dear Jane - I think you guys SHOULD see "Slumdog" - Yes, it is a fantasy/fable, but it doesn't scrimp on depicting the ugliness of life in the slums, on the way to its happy ending (And every since "Slumdog" did it, and "The 40 Year Old Virgin" before that, I now dream of being in a movie where I get to sing and/or dance during the end credits).

I didn't really respond to "The Reader" like you did (Or even as well as Pat - my movie going companion). Which is odd, really, since I think I've said, more than once, that "reading saved my life". Long story short, I thought her illiteracy issues kind of paled in comparison to her "Letting 600 people die in a fire" issues.

But that said, I DO want to see "Revolutionary Road", which I missed in the theaters, to "compare and contrast" the performances.

I almost went to the movies this afternoon, but between fatigue and fiscal anxiety/guilt, I turned around after only getting a few blocks away from my apartment.

One reason for the change of heart was that I'd told myself I wasn't going to forbid myself movies during these difficult times - because I am an ACTOR, after all - but would limit myself to movies I was truly compelled to see, that I "needed" to see for one reason or another (ex. I recently saw "Watchmen", because I was a big fan of the graphic novel). And nothing I was thinking about seeing today fit that bill - I was just going to the movies because I had time on my hands and didn't know what to do with myself. And it felt...WRONG, somehow.

(Doesn't mean I'm not going to DO it. I just didn't do it TODAY.)

"So what ELSE is going on", you're wondering?

Career-wise, we're back to an audition desert, after an oasis of auditions at the beginning of the month; Nothing for the past two weeks, and since I had to "book out" on Thursday (Because of court), probably nothing this week as well.

Worrisome, but what is one to do? (I'm spending a lot of my "worrying time" worrying about that.)

I've shopped twice with my new food stamp card - Once at the Ralphs near my apartment, then on Monday, at a 99-cent store on LaBrea - finding it slightly embarrassing/upsetting both times, but nothing I can't "work through" (I stopped in at Ralphs today, to get a sense of how well I did at the 99-cent store by comparing prices; some things were a wash, but by and large, I made out like a bandit - I was particularly happy to get V-8 juice for about a third less than I'd normally pay).

Well, I feel myself sliding into not TMI, but NII (Not Interesting Information). Besides, I want to save something for you to read in Diaryland (Which I feel woefully behind on).

I hope things are going well on your end, my dear. And I look forward to getting the details at your earliest convenience.

Love, Jim


Hit the half-way point of my improv class last night.

Last week, the teacher said something that didn't just reference a problem I'm having in class, but something that encapsulates a lifelong dilemma of mine.

She was referring to a word-association exercise a group of us had just done, basically telling us to "lighten up" and not push so hard, to "have more fun, saying something to the effect of "There's no point in doing improv if it isn't fun".

Well, I'm not really having fun. I mostly feel stressed, and tense, and angry at myself for "not getting it", upset that I'm clearly not "at the head of the class" (In my own estimation, I'm solidly "middle of the pack"...actually, maybe "lower middle").

But here's the thing - Performing is only "fun" for me if I'm really good at it.

What I mean to say is, performing is only "fun" for me, in this context, if I'm better than everybody else.

So I'm wrestling with that - it's clearly not an attitude that is conducive to learning a new skill - and on another level, I'm trying to figure out, specifically, why I suck at improv.

(This will almost certainly be coming up in more detail in future entries, but for now, moving on...)

In dental news, my bridge isn't working out.

It's been two weeks since it was done, and I'm sensitive to hot/cold drinks, and still can't chew on that side without discomfort.

So it's back to the #@! dentist on Monday.

I find this sort of thing extremely frustrating - I want going to the dentist to be something I do once a year, maybe; I don't want it becoming an unpleasant new hobby.

And I want things I get fixed to be fixed, and to stay fixed.

But anyway...

My court thing, as I said to Jane, is on Thursday(As a hit-and-run "witness").

Other than having to book out, I guess it's not really that big a deal, but I just don't see the point - I didn't see the guy, I didn't get the license plate number, and I couldn't even tell you the make of the vehicle - and it kind of makes me wish I'd just gone back in my apartment that day, instead of hanging around, waiting for the police.

(This entry has become a little sour, hasn't it...?)

Going back to the improv thing - Beyond whether I suck or not, and why - something interesting about the experience is that, even though I'm not exactly having "fun", and I don't know ultimately if improv is going end up being "my thing", it still feels good that I'm doing it.

Uncomfortable, but good.

This is what I should be doing, what I should have been doing all along (As in, "for the past 25 years or so") - Trying new things, going outside my "comfort zone", attempting to grow.

And it struck me recently that I'd much rather be uncomfortable and unhappy the way I've been during this improv class, than to be unhappy and uncomfortable working the grill at Jack-In-The-Box or what-have-you

Even if it turns out that I don't have a knack for improv, at least this is me doing what I'm supposed to be doing - Getting on stage, trying something, and seeing what happens.

And that's about as uplifting a note as I can sound right now, and it's past my bedtime besides (I have my two WW meetings in Santa Monica tomorrow morning).


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