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10:44 PM - Thurs 11.12.15
Jim's Terrible, Horrible, etc.

Jim's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day On The Set

(If you're sensitive to language and adult content, this entry might not be for you. You've been warned.)

Well, the Shameless scene I really - I mean really - didn't want to do?

I did it.

(It wrapped earlier this evening.)

And I thought that "the lead-up" was going to be my big "challenge" - that I didn't want to do it, I'd struggle with the fact I was doing it, I'd do it, then feel some sense of relief, or accomplishment, or something, that I'd "faced my demon" - a severe unhappiness about my physical appearance - and slayed it.

But I didn't slay shit. Instead, it slayed me, or at least has left me feeling surprisingly "debilitated".

I'm deeply depressed, and angry, struggling with my first genuinely "sour feelings" about the show, and the last fucking thing in the world I feel is "relief", or that I "accomplished something".

Doing something I didn't fucking want to do just turned out to be something I didn't fucking want to do.

And, at least right now, I deeply regret it.

Trying to figure out how to tell you enough to give you "context" without "spoiling" the episode for any of you who actually watch (Jesus - that just reminded me that Jim's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day On The Set is now a fucking time-bomb, waiting to make me feel embarrassed and awful all over again, months from now).

So, "context": Public nakedness, and a giant fake cock.

(I guess that covers it.)

I need to say this - People were supportive, and solicitous, and complimentary about the scene. No one was mean, or rude, or - to my memory - even joked inappropriately.

The only two overtly "wrong" things that happened - beyond the fact that, emotionally, the whole fucking thing felt wrong - was 1. people were taking cellphone videos, which I did not appreciate and complained about to the AD (which did get addressed, because that's actually a contract issue with these sorts of scenes, in addition to just being a no-no on the Shameless set), and 2. when I was having to do something which I thought should have been private in a room full of people, and was feeling pretty distressed about it (John, the makeup guy, advocated for me in a way I could not have - He said, loudly, "You would not be having a woman do something like this in a room full of people" - which made him my "Hero Of The Day" (Ironically, the director was a woman - She apologized about the incident when we parted company at day's end).

I think I handled myself okay, in the professional sense - I didn't get angry at anyone, didn't demonstrate any diva-behavior, and executed the business in question best I could, and if I had to express any discomfort, did it with a sense of humor (Even though I think the scene doesn't really make sense, is out of character for the characters involved, etc).

So it was really about my "issues", and today "pushed a button" for me - one that says, "You're old and ugly, and only fit to be laughed at".

I said to someone, after the fact (when they asked if I'd had "fun"), "No, I felt like I spent the day being made fun of" (As I said, not by the people who were actually on set, but rather, the writer, the producers, basically everyone who vetted this).

I think it's interesting that nothing anyone said, however complimentary, from my being a trouper, to my seeming totally at ease in the scene, to how they couldn't do such a thing, or even that the scene was really "funny", made any difference at all to how bad I felt afterwards.

And I have to get over it by tomorrow, because I have another scene to do (This one a more standard scene at the bar).

I can't be sour, or angry (At the show, at anyone, or at myself), because I have work to do.

But in the moment, I'm feeling like, if this is my last experience with Shameless for the year, I'm okay with that. And it's the first time I've ever felt like that in six years (I even had some wild thoughts about quitting last night).

That's the "I'm feeling a little sour on the show right now" part of me talking.

Talked to my therapist earlier (Pretty sure sign that when you call your therapist in tears after a shoot day, that shoot day "brought up some stuff").

But whatever primal, dysfunctional, self-destructive bullshit is going on in my head, I can not take it out on the show, or any of the people on the show (And again, I really didn't...but I'm feeling the need to remind myself of that over and over, because, as I said, I'm struggling with some sour, angry, unhappy feelings here).

But that said...

They called me beforehand. They asked if I was "up for doing this".

And I wanted to be - I wanted to be the kind of actor who can do whatever's required in a scene.

So clearly, I can't be all pouty & pissy with people because I'm not happy.

I ultimately made the decision. So it's on me. It's not anyone's fault that this pushed my "self-loathing" button, and pushed it hard.

And who knows? Maybe somewhere down the road, I'll be glad I got over my fear/embarrassment/self-esteem issues, and did a scene some people will think is funny and fun.

But not today.

Maybe somehow, it'll help me - If not practically, perhaps emotionally (It's certainly going to give me fodder for my next therapy session on Tuesday).

Maybe it will motivate me to get myself in better shape - So at least if this kind of thing comes up again, I'll know "at least I look as good as I can look, and don't have anything to be ashamed of".

But right now, I just feel bad.

I feel...wounded.

Which is pretty much the polar opposite of how I wanted to feel after doing this.


Fri 11/13/15 (4:37 pm)

My second day of sleeping pills...and my second fucking day of waking up in the middle of the night, same as usual.

Do you sense a certain frustration here...?

(8:16 am)

Just got back from the grocery store...

I was in a pretty bad emotional state last night - I started getting a little "weepy" in the dressing room after the shoot, and had a full-on meltdown once I got home - and I tried calling the handful of people I feel I can call in a situation like that, but no one was answering.

My therapist did get back to me around 1030, and talked me down from my emotional ledge.

And today I've already talked to all those friends, which has been helpful.

I kind of wish I could write about the particulars of the scene, but I really think I need to wait till after it airs. It means I can't really "paint the picture" as is...but I think you get the idea - Nudity, didn't want to do it, still did it, has stirred up emomtional trouble (I will say, I was not alone in the situation - I had a couple "partners in crime" - and I think that made a difference. If it had been me just by myself, I think I'd feel infinitely worse today).

But for now, I need to try and get some sleep before today's call (Which I'm a little nervous about, under the circumstances - still feeling raw about yesterday and would rather not talk about it - but, getting past that, should be easy and fun).

(I hope...)


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