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9:45 am - Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2007
Jimmy Want MORE (AKA 2006 In Review)

Jimmy Want More (A.K.A. 2006 In Review)

Mon 1/1/07 (2:35 p.m.)

A short time ago, I compiled my "acting stats" for the past year.

In 2006:

1. I did 57 workshops.
2. I had 37 commercial auditions (Or "castings", as they're actually called).
3. I submitted myself for 32 projects (Either off casting websites like L.A. Casting and Actors Access, or from when I was getting the "Breakdowns").
4. I had nine theatrical auditions.
5. I had 5 callbacks and/or avails.
6. I booked three jobs (Gilmore Girls, Nip/Tuck, and the "Bahamavention" commercial).

As I look over those figures, I see a decidedly mixed bag...

PRO: That's the most theatrical auditions I've had since coming out to Los Angeles. And booking two theatrical gigs in nine auditions is, to my way of thinking, a pretty good "win" ratio (And in addition to clear-cut "wins", there were other "base hits", like being brought in three times for one casting person--Lori Hitner--and going to producers on a couple other occasions, which is basically the theatrical equivalent of a "callback").

CON: Commercial auditions fell off hugely (I'm too lazy to double-check right now, but I had at least 50-plus commercial auditions in 2005). My commercial auditions have fallen off in each successive year I've been with JS, so this continues a bad trend, but at least till now, it was only by single digits (Though this year's dropoff could have been, in part, because I was out-of-commission for awhile when I had my "medical situation" back in June).

I was also downright alarmed, in the past year, that my commercial audition-to-callback rate was so low; while I've never hit it consistently (Though I've had good "streaks"), the goal is to get callbacks for at least half my commercial auditions, and I wasn't even close.

But I did book a "national", my first real one since coming out here (Before this, my Jack-In-The-Box spot was probably my biggest "get", and I was basically a glorified extra in that).

This isn't really a "pro" or a "con", but a "just the way it is"--I'm struck, once again, by how much effort it takes to make something happen out here. Counting up all the workshops, auditions, and self-submissions, that's 135 times I basically tried to get work, and it led to three gigs.

But on the "glass half-full" side, I did have a lot of opportunity this year, and I did get work.

And getting work, when it happens, is tremendously encouraging; I was particularly happy when I "put it out there" that I wanted "at least" another co-star gig and a national commercial (After booking Gilmore Girls)...and promptly got both.

That suggests to me I just need to "put it out there" more in '07.

And I plan to.


When you look at what happened to me in the first half of the year (Or in the case of getting work, what wasn't happening to me), it would be easy to think of '06 as "First half-Bad/Second half-Good".

Early in the year, my bike got stolen (This was bike #2 I've lost to theft out here).

And in the first half of the year, not only was I not getting gigs, I wasn't even getting callbacks.

And in June, I was in the hospital for a week, after going into the emergency room at St. Vincents (For those who haven't been following along, I had surgery to remove a Meckel's diverticulum).

It doesn't sound like the best six months ever, does it?

But the "up side of the down side", as it were, is that all those situations either worked out, or were the seeds of my success in the second half of the year.

The bike getting stolen sucked (Especially since, in a round-about way, it was a present--I bought it with the Target gift certificates I got from Mark & Jane and Cary & Kay), but thanks to Cary and Kay, I now have a bike I like much more.

And it was driving me crazy, seeing absolutely no "return" from my efforts on the acting front (You suddenly start not getting any callbacks, audition after audition, and it screws with your head big-time).

But in March, I did a workshop for Jami Rudolfsky, who called me in three months later for Gilmore Girls. So what felt like getting no "return" from my efforts at that point was, in fact, merely a delayed "return" (Every casting person I've seen has a story about calling someone months, or even years, after having seen them in a workshop).

And while I'm not itching for another week-long stay in the hospital anytime soon, that experience had a number of "positives"; I learned I could actually live without Diet Coke, I lost weight (That I've-mostly-kept off; there's been some "slippage" during the holiday season that will need to be addressed), and most importantly, thanks to QueensCare, one of the worst things I could imagine happening--a debilitating medical bill I'd have no ability to deal with--came true, but instead of being a disaster, it was merely a "bump in the road".

(And a bump in the road that left me with someplace to turn if/when another "medical emergency" strikes.)


Back to career stuff...

The most important things that happened to me in the past year, beyond the jobs I booked, were both offshoots of the ACG (aka Actors Co-op Group).

I was pleased and flattered when Tammy approached me about taking part in the "Actors Management Group", and it turned out to be very important to me, both socially (Having somewhere to go other than work or a workshop), and professionally (I got things done I either wouldn't have done, or I got them done in a more timely fashion, due to the influence of the group).

And again, I was pleased and flattered when Brett told me he was starting up a Management company (PMG), and wanted to know if I'd be interested in being represented.

So, for the first time since coming out here, I have a pretty complete "team"--I have JS on the commercial side, Brett and Molly on the theatrical side, a support group of fellow actors, and a small-but-supportive "fan base" (That would be you guys, in case you were wondering).

All-in-all, a good year. A better year than I sometimes realized as it was going along.

But, as "James 'Thunder' Early" sings in Dreamgirls, "Jimmy want more, Jimmy want more, Jimmy want, Jimmy want, Jimmy want MORE...".

And this year?

I think Jimmy's gonna get it.


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