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12:31 PM - Tues 01.03.23

The One Time I'll Say "Praise Jesus!"

Well, we're three days into the new year and I'm not a series regular on a hit TV show.

What's up with that?


In "What Jim's Getting In The Mail" news, I'm supposed to be getting another check from my commercial agent today for the KFC spot.

I knew it was coming - people have reported sitings of the spot since I received the last check - but I'd say it still qualifies as "news" (And "good news" at that!).

As with the last check, I'm going to assume this one will be smaller than the one before, and probably the last one to boot. But it's been a good little run, and I'm hopeful that, come next holiday season, they'll re-run the spot rather than go to the trouble and expense of shooting a new one.

Because that could happen.

(Writing about all this has now got me thinking about a "Famous Bowl"...)

In slightly less-happy "What Jim's Getting In The Mail" news, I'm also getting a jury summons.

If it's gotta happen - and it's been, like, four years since my last one - this is probably the best time for it, out of the way of film festivals and (hopefully) auditions (Last time I got out of it - released by the prosecution - since I came off as a little too suspicious of the po-po. So if I do have to go in, here's hoping my distrust of authority will get me off a second time).


While, as usual, I rang in the new year by myself, watching the ball drop on TV, I did do something fun and different New Year's Eve day - I saw the touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Pantages.

(I'd seen an ad for it on Facebook. And at $39 for the cheapest tickets, the price was right. But I dithered over it because they said tickets wouldn't be emailed. Instead, you'd have to get them from your account on the website, which made me nervous -
"What website? Ticketmaster? The Pantages? I'm not sure I even have an account...!" - but eventually I pulled the trigger, and everything went off without a hitch.)

I don't know if I'm a Jesus Christ Superstar super-fan...but prior to this, I'd seen the show onstage, been in the show (As "Annas"), seen the movie, and listened to the Broadway cast album many times over.

And that being the case, I thought this production was good...but not great.

My main gripe was with the staging - They used hand-held mics (Or sometimes had people at mic stands like backup singers- in one creative touch, the priests came in with scepters that had mics on the bottom), and Jesus walked around with a guitar, that he played on a couple of numbers.

And the rest of the company, on the group numbers, were more backup dancers than singers/actors (Because of the constant, energetic choreography, I found myself doubting that they were even singing - I wouldn't be surprised to learn the chorus was lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks).

The solos were often played more out to the audience than to other characters (During "Herod's" song, "Jesus" was so far away from "Herod" they weren't really interacting at all), which took away from one of my favorite things about the show, which is the high drama of it all (It's called a "rock-opera" for a reason. But this production was more like, Jesus Christ Superstar: In Concert).

I had some other issues - I didn't like how they staged Judas's interaction with the priests (They had him up high and them on the ground, while I would have done the opposite), how they handled him hanging himself, or how they staged "Jesus" getting the 39 lashes.

But I like the music a great deal, and the band was first-rate.

I also thought the singers did quite well, for the most part (Though I thought "Jesus" sang better than "Judas" - "Judas" sometimes couldn't smoothly go into the highest parts of his songs, while "Jesus" had no problem. So, I guess in this instance, "Praise Jesus...!")

Long story short, I enjoyed myself, but the "rock opera" didn't hit the "operatic heights" I'd hoped for going in (I found myself singing along - in my head, of course! - and playing all the parts...which I might have done regardless - I am an actor, after all - but which I might have done less if I'd been more emotionally invested in the story).

(Well, speaking of "stories"...Took a little break from writing to check my mail, and saw I got an invite to a screening of Tar on Saturday. So I clicked on the link, thinking it would be fun to surprise Jane with a fun, and cheap, night out the day after she blows into town...but it was sold out. Cue the "sad trombone" music...)

After the show let out, I started walking home, thinking I'd save on the Lyft and get some exercise in the bargain.

But that turned out to be a mistake, on perhaps two counts - as I walked, the weather went from overcast skies, to drizzle, to outright rain. And that rain was, possibly, why my earbuds started acting up.

When I got home and still couldn't get them to work right, I realized a large chunk of the Target gift certificate I'd gotten from Mark and Jane Z. for Xmas was now going to go towards getting a new pair of earbuds (Which I was initially unhappy about - Temperamentally, I would prefer using a big-ticket gift certificate for a big-ticket new thing rather than replacing a big-ticket old thing - but if a big-ticket old thing has to be replaced, better a gift certificate than having to foot the bill myself).

(This seems a good time to thank Mark and Jane, Jane R., and Cary and Kay for X-Mas gifting me every year. While I often feel bad over how much "Xmas" I'm giving, I always get all the "Xmas" I need. They basically are my "Xmas".)

So went to Target on New Year's Day and bought the new earbuds (And as I told Jane, I ended up very happy that a couple of "criminal types", buying a bunch of "burner phones", ended up causing me to wait in line for a while - I had looked over and over for the earbuds in question, but didn't find them until, because I was kept waiting by said "criminal types", I decided to check "one more time" for the ones I wanted...and found them).

Delighted I now had a new set of "ears", as I call them, I drove home, took them out of the box, started to set them up...and couldn't get the left one to work for love nor money.

So yesterday I was back at Target, returning the earbuds, worrying that if I just got a replacement, maybe they wouldn't work either (Do you worry about that when returning something? That if you replace it with the same item, that it won't work either and you'll have to go back to the store a third time? Or is that just me?).

But I did opt to replace them with the same brand (Bose) and model ("Sport" earbuds - not because I'm particularly "sporty" but because they were a good $30 cheaper than the "Comfort" ones).


Happily, they worked.

And I'll end on that note of triumph - I told Jane R. I would go to her LA digs today to help her determine what she has here vs. what she needs to bring from Santa Fe when she comes in on Friday (More on that in the next entry).

Till next time...



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