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12:41 am - Tues 5/18/04
Birthdays And All That Jazz

Birthdays And All That Jazz

Mon 5/17/04 (10:52 a.m.)

Whatever does or doesn't happen on my birthday, I always feel a letdown afterwards, a lightly melancholic "Well, another birthday come and gone...". And I think I'd feel that way even if May 15 were declared a national holiday. I don't know if that's "human nature", but it's certainly this human's nature.

But that said, this was my best birthday in years.

Spent the day with Cary and Kay, getting there around 12:00, and not leaving until late the next morning.

One thing we did while I was there were new headshots.

This time out, for a couple different reasons, it felt a little more stressful than last time, at least initially.

Kay is pregnant, for one thing, so she was more uncomfortable and fatigued, and while she didn't make a big deal out of it, I was very cognizant of the fact.

She was also feeling some anxiety over being able to help me get what I wanted. This time out, I wanted to get a couple different "looks", in order to have a "commercial" and a "theatrical" headshot, and also to have a couple different pictures on the L.A. Casting website, which is how most commercial submissions are done now (Things have gone from "you can have more than one picture on the website" to JS actively wanting us to post more than one pic on the website; the next step will be him threatening to release us from the agency if we don't have at least two or three different pics on the site).

I wasn't worried about Kay "failing me" somehow–she's a talented photographer with a great eye, I feel a good rapport with her, and I'd been quite happy with what'd happened the last time–and thought it wasn't all on her as to whether or not we got a good result. After all, I'm the one who sort of knew what I wanted to accomplish.

On their friend Jonathan's website–Jonathan's an actor too–Kay had seen headshots he'd taken against a black backdrop.

Kay was very taken with them, but me, not so much–I thought they looked a little stark (We ended up doing some shots with the black backdrop, and for me, that was a good compromise; Maybe it'll be a cool effect and I'll be happy we did some, but if we'd done them all that way and I didn't like it, then what?).

Anyway, after all that, once we got started, I had a good time. Part of the reason for having Kay do my headshots, beyond the savings (And the fact that she's very talented), is that I'm comfortable with them (Cary was helping out with lights and such). Instead of this weird thing where I'm having to be comfortable "being myself" in front of a stranger, and it's stressful because I'm paying an arm and a leg for his time, I get to just "play around" with my friends. It's actually kind of fun.

There were problems with the light at times, but when we were finished, she thought (And I agreed) that we'd probably gotten some good stuff (In addition to wanting to capture various moods–"serious", "warm", "quirky", etc–I'd also brought different changes of clothes. I think we did four changes before we were done: The Many Moods Of Jim).


Watching All That Jazz...

(For a birthday present, while we were at Best Buy at one point, Cary said I could get any DVD I wanted for my birthday present from them. I vapor-locked for a time from too many choices, but decided on Pulp Fiction, one of my all time faves. But by then, in the midst of all those choices, I couldn't stop myself-- I bought Terminator II and All That Jazz. Hey, it was my birthday...!)

I was very happy that Cary and Kay allowed me to take up their Saturday, just so I could have people to hang out with on my birthday.

But I'm pretty hard to satisfy about this shit--As glad as I was that I wasn't alone that day, I was pretty disappointed that Kevin was the only one of my friends who called or emailed me.

Now, is this fair? Do I even know all my friends birthdays, let alone remember to call or send a card? But it ain't about "fair" in here. It's about how I feel.

However wrong that feeling may be...

Got a great present from Mark and Jane--a $200 gift certificate for Land's End (I'm pretty sure at this point that I'll be getting that long-talked-about suit I've needed).

Back at work these past couple days, I'm thinking a lot about the whole "bookstore thing"...

I know I've said it before, but it strikes me again that my time at the bookstore is usually not terribly good or terribly bad. It's mostly a whole bunch of nothing

But who wants to live their life that way?

Borders may not be terrible most of the time, but more than ever, in the past couple days I've just seen it as this huge imposition. A gigantic waste of time and energy, time and energy that could be spent doing something that means something to me.

Jane nailed it in a recent chat--What she wants for me, and what I want for myself, are for commercials to become what Borders is now, which is "the thing I'm doing to get by while I work on what I really want to do".

And I think that day is coming.

It's going towards 3:00 a.m...

Just finished watching the movie (For those with ADD, I was watching All That Jazz).

The opening audition sequence is still one of my favorite scenes in movies.

I also, when I first saw the movie, really got off on the "Bye Bye Life" number. I thought that would be a pretty cool way to go, if it could be arranged.

(If you've never seen or heard of All That Jazz, it's a movie about a genius choreographer who's killing himself with drink and drugs and overwork, and pretty much anything else he can find. Pretty autobiographical stuff. The "Bye Bye Life" sequence is when "Joe Gideon"--the Fosse character--imagines his death scene as a big musical showstopper, complete with Ben Vereen and a couple of backup dancers.)

But when I just watched it now, it struck me how sad it is; when "Joe Gideon" runs up into the audience, there's really no one there he cares about, except his wife and daughter.

I'm fading fast here...I wrote so much down in my "pocket journal" this evening, and I'm never going to get to all of it.

I've gotta get to bed...


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