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7:23 pm - Tues 7.31.2012
Getting On The Board - Finally!

Getting On The Board - Finally!

Just turned the page on my wall calendar - Nice to start next month with an audition (A "one-day guest-star" on NCIS - I don't watch the show myself, but I'm excited nevertheless, because it's a nice little part, for one thing, and it's "a nice little part" on a hit show, meaning lots of people would see me "doing my thing" who would never see me on Shameless or Austin & Ally).

It seems - cross your fingers! - that things are "picking up" after the summer doldrums.

I was supposed to have a "top of show" guest-star audition for Supernatural this past Wednesday (Which, sadly, fell through when Production decided to cast it out of Vancouver, where the show shoots).

And I had two auditions on Friday (A commercial audition for Time Warner Cable, and a one-line co-star audition for How I Met Your Mother).

(Had a callback for Time Warner earlier today. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped...which was very disappointing, because the spot stars Claire Danes, and is being directed by Todd Field, of In The Bedroom fame. Anyway...)

I was thinking earlier about how easy it is to feel "hopeful" and "upbeat" when auditions are happening, how there's just inherently a feeling of "possibility" there (Especially when - as all-too-rarely happens - they come in quick succession. It's easier to not obsess over a given audition if there's a new audition to think about the next day).

One of my major "challenges" as an actor is keeping that "feeling of possibility" in play when the auditions aren't happening (Or when they are, and just aren't going my way).

One way I've been maintaining that "feeling of possibility" during the "down times" is by looking to my "history".

Cause I have a "history" here in LA now.

I've been here 11 years, which says a lot all by itself. And I can now look back on a lot of commercial and tv credits - forty-five, to be exact.

I can legitimately tell myself, "The next gig is around the corner", because, year after year, it has been.

And for the last number of years, I've made more from acting than I have from my "day job" - Granted, making more than I make at Weight Watchers sets a pretty low bar, but still...!

Those thoughts don't always "keep the demons at bay"...but they help.


Three things have been making me feel almost "hyper-political" these days:

1. The coming election.

2. Upgrading my cable (Meaning I now have MSNBC - Man, I love Rachel Maddow!).

3. My (Right-Wing/Libertarian) brother Tony.


Thurs 8/2/12 (11:21 pm)

(When I left off, I was going to write about the "issue" of disagreeing with Tony on many "issues of the day", and the stress it was causing out fledgling relationship. But right now, I don't really care about that so much. And I will now explain why...)

I booked the role on NCIS!

The audition was at 6:15 yesterday, which is pretty late, as these things go (I was happy with it though, because it meant not having to get fills for my WW meetings. And it was at Paramount, just a short jaunt from my apartment).

Once I got there, I didn't have to wait too long, really, but it was long enough that I had a chance to make myself a little nervous, and over silly things.

For example...

I recognized three of my fellow competing actors, which should rate a big "So what?" at this point (Cause for all I knew, they were nervous because they recognized me - It's certainly possible).

Then I decided it might be "bad" because I was the only one who wasn't wearing glasses (I thought it made them look more like "administrators". That's a worry I frequently have when I'm going in to play characters who have some mid-level authority or position - That the folks wearing glasses look smarter than me). But again, that's the kind of thing that can really cut either way; you see actor after actor come in wearing glasses, and the guy who isn't wearing glasses maybe "stands out" a little more.

But in spite of my efforts to psych myself out, when my name was called, I felt pretty confident with my take on the scene.

This was a "Producer session" that was being taped, so when I walked into this very small room - maybe the size of my bathroom - there were a half-dozen or so people there (Producers, Writers, the Director, the Camera Guy, and Casting).

I brightly said, "Hello Everybody!", and with not much more lead-in than that, they pointed out the Reader, and I did the scene.

I was happy the scene involved me handing papers to someone to sign, then return to me - I like when a scene allows me to use the "sides" (i.e. the scene pages in my hand) organically as a prop.

I felt like there was a slight "hitch" as I momentarily searched for a line, but I wasn't too worried about it - it happened at a point where a quick pause at least made sense - and the scene ended strong, getting chuckles from those assembled.

They thanked me - there was no "re-direct" (Where they ask you to do it over, with some changes) - and I brightly said "Thank you!" and walked out.

One of the three guys who made me a little jumpy earlier said, "That was quick - I'm surprised you had time to do the whole scene", or words to that effect.

I said, "I read briskly".

Then I confessed I'd been a little anxious about a particular line, referring to a "C-Z 1" form, because I was afraid I was making it sound like "C-C 1", then made some joke, as I was getting into the elevator, to the effect of "that was probably why I tanked the audition".

It was a weird thing to say, really, because I'd actually done quite well. I hadn't "tanked" anything.

Now that I'm writing about this, I'm wondering if I wasn't subconsciously trying to sabotage the guy - You know, putting in his head, "Don't worry about that "C-Z 1" line - I'm sure you won't mess it up and 'tank the audition'...".

I don't think that's what I was doing - I think I was just trying to be agreeable and funny - but it just strikes me as a weird thing to say to another actor as they're about to go in to audition.


I wasn't home for more than an hour, before I got a call from Brett saying, "Wow! I guess they must have liked you - You're 'pinned' for the role".

As often happens, it was down to me and "another guy", which was exciting and discouraging at the same time; I was happy to have my good opinion of my audition confirmed, but have had too many things not go my way when it was down to me and "another guy" to be happy about competing with that @#!! again

Of course, as I was telling myself not to, I was totally obsessing this morning over getting "the call".

Till I got it.


Fri 8/3/12 (5:21 pm)

Back from a thing I'm not supposed to talk about...

Went okay.

Oh, I was going to share my "theory" of why "time is not on my side" when waiting to hear whether I booked a gig (I'm talking specifically of a situation like NCIS, where it's down to me and "Another Guy"); I think casting directors are human, and being human, it's more fun to deliver good news than bad, so the longer it takes for me to get the call, the more I assume it's going to be bad news.

The other thing that turns my thoughts negative when I'm waiting to get the word is just knowing that tv production is typically pretty fast-paced - So if a day passes and I haven't heard anything, it makes me think it didn't go my way.

But I got the call, and I'm the guy! So "Yay!" for me.

(6:48 pm)

About to head out in a few to a Meet-up event for Screenwriters.

I am not a screenwriter, mind you, but Howard suggested I come, and though I really don't want to - I'm tired and don't feel good - I'm going to go, because he asked, and because I can't cry about being lonely and isolated if I never try to do anything about it.

(That sounds more pathetic than I feel - The NCIS thing has definitely boosted my outlook on life - but I would say my professional life, as modest as it is, is running rings around my personal life.)

(11:07 pm)

Back from the Meet-up thing. Didn't stay long - I have an early morning tomorrow - but it was okay. Nothing amazing (I don't think lives were changed), but not so bad I regretted going.

Came home. Ate a big tub of low-fat cottage cheese w/pineapple (9 "points", for any WW readers), watched the end of one of the "Bourne" movies, then The Fabulous Baker Boys, a favorite movie of mine.

While I was lounging about, a messenger brought over the latest revision of the NCIS script (Kind of cool that they actually have it brought over - That's pretty rare these days, at least in my experience; nowadays, they just send it in an email attachment).

Anyway, I looked at my scene, and was happy to see they changed the one line I thought was a little problematic (Just in terms of being a little hard to say).

I like the scene - There's not that much to it (I don't want to oversell it by suggesting otherwise), but there's enough there that I can do something with it.

And at this stage of the game, that's all I can ask.

I can tell this show is a serious hit, because I've gotten more Facebook response to booking this gig than anything else I've ever done.

And that's cool. It's "the name of the game" - Being on shows that people watch, making an impression, and hopefully, growing a career.

Another reason I'm happy with this role? It's not a "sad-sack" role. I'm sure part of my appeal when being cast was my hangdog look, but be that as it may, I think the character's actually a pretty happy-go-lucky guy.

But it's gotten late, and I'm not going to be a very "happy-go-lucky guy" tomorrow if I don't get to bed and try to get some ever-elusive rest


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