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10:05 AM - Thurs 6.01.17
That Loud Sucking Sound You Hear? That's Me

That Loud Sucking Sound You Hear? That's Me

Seems I've developed a Thursday morning routine - Write in here, but start late enough, and write slowly enough, that I'm still not finished when Mark and Jane call in the early afternoon (I guess it really doesn't matter what-happens-when, but since they read these entries, it feels "messy" - I think they should either get to read them beforehand, or be able to look and say "This is all what we talked about on the phone" and ignore them").


Well, still don't have a specific date for the shoot, and there's still no offer, but Production confirmed I am indeed in the first episode of the new season, and will shoot sometime between the 9th and the 16th (The initial contact with Brett, my manager, was from someone who hadn't gotten the script yet - They'd just "heard" I was in the episode).

This most recent contact was with Lyle, my new agent. He emailed me and Brett, asking about my "daily" and "weekly" rates, my billing, and - amusingly - my dressing room accommodations, I guess so he can try and cut me a bigger, better deal.

Which is part of his job, so I appreciate that (Best of luck to you, Lyle!)...but it's hard to imagine much of anything will happen.

Last year was the first time I've ever gotten paid for the entire week (That was for the last episode, involving the "fight over the Alibi" plot-line between Kevin & Vee and Svetlana, which all got cut), so my "weekly" rate doesn't seem like a very relevant issue. Though who knows? I certainly wouldn't mind if it became "a relevant issue", don't get me wrong - I just don't know why they'd start doing that on a regular, or even a semi-regular basis at this stage of the game.

And my billing has gone from "co-star" to "guest star", on a title-card with two or (usually) three names (Meaning that when my name comes up in the credits, it comes up with one or two other names, and not by itself). You only get your own title-card as a guest star if you're a "name" and/or are heavily involved in the plot over multiple episodes. So there's really nowhere for me to go on that front - I'm not a "name", and I don't see them handing my character major plot-lines at this point.

And I don't really care about my dressing room/trailer (I don't work often enough, or log enough hours when I do work, that I need anything more than a place to change and leave my stuff. And what are they gonna do, give me the same accommodations as Bill Macy and Emmy Rossum?)

But I did mention to him that, while I have gotten raises on my day-rate over the years, nothing has happened in the past two seasons.

Which sounds like I'm inviting him to push that issue, doesn't it?

But I've never gotten a raise going into a season because my agent asked for/demanded it - Basically what happens is that Casting asks the money people for a raise for the recurring actors as a group (Like myself, my buddy Mike, and I imagine Rebecca M.), they say yes or no, and that's pretty much it when the "offer" gets made.

So I feel like he can certainly ask - And they will probably expect him to, since he's my new agent - but I can't imagine this will suddenly be the year they'll say "Well, we weren't planning to pay Jim any more this season, but since you asked so nicely, here ya go...!" and hand him a suitcase full of cash.

In other words, I want him to ask...but not really "push it" that hard (Because while I could always use a raise, I don't want Kermit to "die on the way back to his home planet", if you know what I mean).


In kinda-weird acting news...Brett called me day-before-yesterday (Or maybe the day before that), to tell me I booked the low-budget horror movie thing I auditioned for back in the beginning of March.

To my recollection, I have never waited almost three months for news about a booking - It's been so long that we had to do a little "detective work" to remember what it even was, going through deleted emails and checking my calendar. Which means it's not really that I've been "waiting" as much as "I long-ago assumed this didn't happen and forgot about it".

So, months after the fact, I book a thing that isn't much of a thing - A small part in a low-budget horror movie (That'll pay something like $250-275 for a day's work) - that may in fact conflict with my Shameless shoot.


It is nice just to "win", I guess (Though the fact it's taken this long makes me wonder if they had someone else in mind who fell through), and if it's a thing I can do without a lot of muss or fuss, I'm up for doing it (If it happens on a day off, or a day where I only have one WW meeting, I'll come out a little ahead money-wise. And, all things being equal, it's probably better for me to do a thing than not do a thing).

But it's weird to "win" after you think you've "lost"...but not give that much of a shit about it.

(More kinda-weirdness - They called Brett, and got his voicemail. So he called them back, got their voicemail, and it's been a couple days now with no response on their part. Which makes me wonder - If this doesn't actually happen, for whatever reason, can I still call it a "win"?)


This is kind of novel - Two acting things I've done (A bit on a web-series called Patti & Marina, and the Great Again short film I did some months back) are premiering at festivals this month.

And my question is "To Go, or not to go?".

I imagine the average person reading this would think "How fun! Going to premieres, seeing yourself on the big screen...very cool!".

And on some level, I think that too.


I'm not sure either of these things are good, or that I'm good in them. I'm afraid it might be...unpleasant for me on that front.

...which adds fuel to the feeling that I might find the experiences unpleasant and socially awkward - I only did a small bit in one episode of the web-series, so would feel pretty tangential to the proceedings on that front, while with Great Again, I'm the ostensible Lead, which would seem to have a whole different set of potential stressors (More of the project "riding on" you, people wanting your opinion, etc).

And I don't have anything to wear to a premiere (I don't even own a real suit).

But as I said after the Great Again gig, I was ultimately happy I did it - Doing it meant I had a new experience, while not doing it would have meant "more of the same".

So I think I should risk the social discomfort (And loss of income - I'd have to take off work for the Great Again thing, which is on the 15th) and just go.

For the "new experience" aspect of it, if nothing else.


"Pulled the trigger" on some gift certificates recently - As a slightly-delayed "birthday present" to myself - and bought a Pignose amp, power cord (The amp also runs on batteries), and a Shaker "Madcat" harmonica mike.

The idea was that, with the amp & mike (The Pignose is supposed to be a particularly nice little amp for harmonica, giving you a "dirty", "over-driven" Chicago-Blues sound, and the Shaker "Madcat" allows you to use your hands for effects that you normally can only do acoustically), I'd sound so much better to my own ear that it would motivate me to play more.

Well, I haven't received the mike yet, but I got the amp a couple days ago, and have been playing with it on the Shure "Green Bullet" harmonica mike I currently have.

And I don't sound better.

I just suck louder.

Which I really should have seen coming - If you don't play very well, because you haven't played often enough/worked hard enough at it, how's an amp or a mike gonna help? - but which I found terribly disappointing nevertheless.

At first, I thought "Well, that was a waste of a lot of gift-certificate money...!".

But then I realized I now have a decent little practice amp (That I can use for guitar too, soon as a get a new cord), I'll be getting a good mike, and I'm well-positioned to learn how to play amplified from the ground-up, the way I should have done years ago (And there's a ton of harmonica instruction videos on YouTube, from "beginner" to "advanced").

It's bothered me for a long time that I'm a really smart, talented guy, who nevertheless isn't really great at anything, because I've never really "applied myself" full-tilt to anything.

So here's my chance.

And on that (musical) note, I am outta here...!


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