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3:44 PM - 12.13.14
Is It January 2nd Yet?

Is it January 2nd Yet?

Yesterday. Late evening:

This has been a long, lonely day...

But I did do something I haven't done in at least the past six years - I applied for a job.

Because WW is dying on the vine, and acting ain't happening, and Jimmy's gotta do something to earn some money.

Earlier, I went on Craigslist, and after a discouraging pass through the job listings in tv and film, decided to take a cursory look at writing and editing jobs, because - basically - "Why not?" (I don't see myself as having actual "job skills", at least not in "being-able-to-do-things-I-want-to-do-that-people-will-PAY-me-to-do" terms. But that said, selling myself as a "writer" or an "editor" seems slightly less of a stretch than selling myself as a "nuclear physicist" or a "lion tamer").

There was a listing for editing online articles from home (The "application" consisting of showing them what you'd do with the badly written writing sample provided).

They asked you email the edited sample to them, "with tracking changes"; I didn't know what that meant exactly, but in context, I assumed they wanted you to "show your work".

So, I Googled "tracking changes" - I was correct in my assumption - looked at a tutorial in Word, then "took a crack at it".

It was kind of fun - I have no training or professional expertise, but I've edited this for decades, and have certainly read enough bad writing on the Internet to know what I'd do differently, given the chance.

That said, I don't expect anything to happen - I certainly don't think I did some brilliant editing job first time out-of-the-gate, and they'll fall all over themselves to give me the job - but I'm just happy I "did something" to address my anxiety about work/money.

(That's not my usual modus operandi.)

Mon 12/15/14 (11:40 am)

I just finished emailing a friend from "back home" a short time ago.

In his email, said friend applauded my "tenacity" out here in Hollywood (While expressing some "path not taken" regret about his own life).

I get that vibe from people sometimes (My doing what I'm doing makes them feel at least slightly bad, guilty about not taking their shot at the brass ring), and it's pretty mystifying, at least from my current vantage point...

Fri 12/19/14 (4:30 pm)

...and since I've been wanting to write about this forever, but at the same time, have been actively avoiding it - in my journaling, I mean - here's what I had to say in response to someone just trying to pay me a friggin' compliment:

I've been pondering why so many people, few of whom are any more intelligent or capable then me, have lives that, by any objective standard, are tremendously more successful.

And you know what I came up with?

They made decisions.

They committed to SOMETHING (Or maybe I should say, "They COMMITTED to something").

You think you "took the easy way out", and that may be - you know better than I do - but once you did, you committed to it. You learned what you needed to learn, you stuck with it, and you reaped the rewards of having expertise, of being dependable, of..."sticking with it".

My "fatal flaw", the thing I now think has ruined my life - and my life really is a "ruin" at this point - is that I opted to stay in "No Man's Land" for a huge chunk of my adult life, too fearful to commit to "What I really wanted to do", but unwilling to "give up the fantasy" to embrace the life and responsibilities of adulthood.

You think you took "the easy way out"? I'm in my 50s, and I've never held a job that couldn't have been performed by a reasonably intelligent high-school sophomore. All so I could jerk off to the fantasy that "Someday I'll go to Hollywood and become a star..."

Now I've bumbled along for the past dozen plus years, starting, at forty, what should have been my career since I got out of high school, and all I have to show for it, really, is the knowledge that "I kinda/sorta gave it a shot" - It's becoming clear that I'm not going to "make it", and I have no "fallback", so all I can really do is keep trying to get my little handful of nothing jobs until I can't anymore.

And what happens then?

Well, let's just say, it ain't gonna be PRETTY.

You may have the "What if?" thing that gnaws at you now and again, but from where I'm sitting, you've done way better for yourself than old Mr "Afraid-To-Commit-But-Afraid-To-Settle" here; If I'd made a decision at some point early on, one way or another, it's hard to imagine I wouldn't be better off.

But I didn't, and here I am.

In short, I think I started being "tenacious" twenty years too late. Now it's not really being "tenacious', it's just being STUCK - I can't retreat now, because there's really nowhere and nothing to retreat to.

If you hadn't guessed, this stuff has been much on my mind of late (It's the Diaryland entry I keep avoiding). What do you do when you determine you're NOT going to be the "one in a million" who actually gets to "live the dream"?

I even managed to fold connecting with my mother into this diatribe:

I wish my mother were more...communicative, maybe? About her past and how she felt at the time, and so on and so forth, but that doesn't seem to be who she is. I don't think she's dumb or anything, but I do think she's spent a lifetime working hard at not reflecting on things, and wanting to "keep the past in the past" (Which is, truth be told, pretty understandable. She had four children and lost three of them, so I can see where she might want to focus on life AFTER being a drunk, after being an abused spouse, after losing three of four children because she couldn't keep things together, etc).

And it makes me frustrated about my failed circumstances again, because I think if I could spend more time with her, instead of having to depend upon infrequent letters (She's not a computer person), there might be a chance to "break through her reserve". But at this point, I think I'm getting pretty much all I'm going to get.

...which is pretty much how I'm feeling about life in general - "The Dream" is receding, replaced by the overriding fear that the remaining part of the trip is going to be pretty fucking unpleasant (If what I'm experiencing now is "as good as it's gonna get", I hate to imagine when things get worse).

And it's no one's fault but mine.

So clearly I'm a little "down" over the acting thing.


Things are...not as good as I wish they were financially.

But I went to the credit union today, to cash a bunch of small residual checks - totaling about $160 and change - and while, even after the deposit, I had less in my checking account than the last time I was there, I'm not hemorrhaging money at quite the pace I'd envisioned.

So based on that "not exactly good news, but not as bad as I thought" news, I'm feeling a little better than I was when I sent that email to my friend. I'm feeling more hopeful that I'll at least be able to "get through" until something (Or hopefully, a "series of somethings") happens on the acting front.

I've got any number of things I'd like to write about - so many, in fact, that I'm having a hard time figuring out "where to go from here" - but I'm worried about "tipping myself over" emotionally, whether pushing too hard for "uplift" I don't actually feel, or spiraling into a depression I've been battling for awhile now (I don't want to be "fake", but I don't want to "write myself into" being more miserable either).

One thing that's been bothering me during this holiday season - never "the best of times" for Yours Truly - is that I've felt so worried about my finances that I've thought I couldn't/shouldn't "do anything" in terms of "gift-giving".

Now, I seriously need to not over-sell this - I don't do that much even in "the best of times" - but I do like to do some gift cards (For my two nephews, Aaron and Trevor, for Cary & Kay's son Donovan, for my Mom, and for my friend Howard), and a lot of cards.

Was thinking I'd have to dispense with the gift cards altogether this year, but now am feeling like I can at least send the three kids a little something - the idea that I'm "too poor" to even do that much has easily been the most depressing part of the holidays thus far.

However generous I will or won't be able to be this year, people have been very generous to me thus far - I've been gifted with a couple Target gift cards, and one for Trader Joes (Along with some cards, and some chocolate-dipped pretzels...which I should have tossed, but which I finished in the car before I even got home that day).

Thought about "re-gifting" the gift-certificates (and definitely should have re-gifted the pretzels!), but I'm no hero - A little voice inside said, "Jim? You might end up needing those gift-certificates, for "freshing-up" your wardrobe before what you hope will be a busy "audition season", or if things keep sucking, for just buying groceries or what-have-you".

In any case, whatever happens, I need to "make it happen" soon, because Xmas is next week...

Speaking of "next week", I have jury duty next week.

I was originally scheduled for October, but that was smack-dab in the middle of what - I hoped - was going to be my "busy time of the year" for auditions, so I re-scheduled for what - I hoped - would be a "dead zone", both for auditions and for the courts.

(Anyway, I have to call this weekend, to see if I need to show up on Monday.)

Looking for a "positive note" to close on...

I had a commercial audition yesterday, and the callbacks are the first week of January (With the shoot scheduled the following week).

After it was over, it occurred to me how it was "nice" that, with 2014 not quite over, I already have a specific thing "to hope for" early in 2015.

And if it "doesn't work out", I'll "hope for" the one after that.

(That's as much "uplift" as I've got at the moment...)


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