11:05 PM - Fri 3.12.21
Well, yesterday's night shoot was my last day on Episode #1112, the Series Finale of Shameless...
I worked for five days on this last episode, which meant I really got a lot of "bang for my buck" on my way out the door, not only in terms of a nice payday (TOS Guest Star!) but in having time, in my last days on the show, to savor my good fortune this year.
When the Pandemic first hit and shooting for this season got delayed (We were supposed to start in March last year), I freaked myself out, first at the idea that the last season might not happen at all, then at the idea that it would but I might not be part of it (Because I'd read one too many articles on how productions might resume, when they did, with as few cast members as possible).
Then once we did start back up, I wasn't in three episodes (#4, #6, and #7), which apart from being discouraging all on its own, had me worrying I might not be in the last episode (I always wanted to be in the season finales, so you can imagine how much I really wanted to be in the series finale).
So it was great to be on the show this year, to make it to the finale, and then to not just work for five days on the finale - which is, I think, the most I've ever worked on an episode - but to be in the big group scene at the end, and conclude my time on Shameless the same time as everyone else (Instead of working for a day last week, then watching everyone else post about their final day on-set on social media).
Being the last day of shooting - ever! - and it being a big scene, involving pretty much everyone on the show, a night shoot on a different part of the lot, and various fx, there were a lot of different "emotional currents" going on - a lot of excitement, a sense of fun, sadness, a lot of hustling to get work done.
And in the middle of it, there I was, processing my own different "emotional currents" - There was an element of "controlled chaos" at play, and for a fair chunk of time, after I got dressed, I didn't really know what to do with myself (That's a thing I feel on-set sometimes - when I have a call that's hours before they actually need me to do anything, and I'm too jazzed to just sit in my dressing room, but there's really nowhere to "land").
But there were also fun gifts in my room (A set of "Alibi" tumblers, which I really liked, an Alibi hoodie, an "apple box" with "Shameless Final Season" carved on it, and a wall-hanging/throw-rug of the promo poster for this season), there was a coffee truck, they were having a raffle for a bunch of big-ticket prizes (IPads and giant flat-screen TVs and the like), and that all felt kind of festive.
Eventually, a crew person noticed me wandering around and asked if I wanted to be driven to the location - I thought that meant it was time for that part of the program, so I said yes, but when I got there, I was the only actor there and proceeded to wander around in my new locale, trying not to be underfoot (Because while I wasn't working yet, a whole bunch of crew people were. But they hadn't set up the actor "holding" area just then).
But eventually, things got started. And the novelty of the night shoot, and doing a thing with a big group (Instead of the usual "Alibi Rep Company"), and the fx involved, and the emotion of it being the final shoot made it all pretty memorable.
It wasn't a long night - My call was at 6 pm, we started at maybe 8:15-8:30, and we wrapped sometime around 1:30 - 1:45 am (We'd had a half-hour break for dinner) - but after we wrapped, there were a number of congratulatory speeches and the like (I was a little wounded that me and Mike didn't get mentioned in the traditional "That's a wrap on..." cast listing, but such is life), then a lot of hugging and picture taking and whatnot.
At that point, I was back to not knowing quite what to do with myself - While I had enjoyed the shoot, and had a number of nice moments and good feelings throughout the night, at times I felt sad, partly for it all coming to an end, and partly just wishing I felt more integral to the proceedings.
But that's for the next show.
On this show, I had a small role to play. And apparently, I played it well enough to be used for 11 seasons.
And that's not nothing.
When things started "breaking up", I wandered around with Mike till we found someone to take us back to the stage, then we got dressed, and went over to the trailers, where "the guys" - Ethan, Ian, Jeremy, Steve, and Bill - were drinking and reminiscing in Bill's trailer.
During the final break before our last bit of filming, I'd seen Bill, went over to say hi and express my appreciation for getting to work with him, and had sampled a bit of gin from his Woody Creek Distillery partners.
Going into the night, I'd decided I wasn't going to drink beyond a "toast" - If the opportunity presented itself - so when we crashed the "after-party", I mostly just listened to them shoot the shit, which was a lot of fun (Ethan left pretty soon after we got there, but Steve and Bill, in particular, were pretty well-lubricated - especially Steve - and it was very fun and funny listening to them all dish on various actors, directors, writers and the like who've cycled through the show, what the Chicago location trips were really like, and so on).
Then that broke up, and I walked over to the parking structure with Mike, as Steve drove over with his truck (Earlier in the evening, my barstool had been procured from the Alibi for me while I was elsewhere and stored in the back of his pickup), I loaded up my car with the stool and my wrap swag, said my goodbyes to Steve and Mike, and went home.
Going into the night, I'd imagined I would be pretty tired when it was all over, but when I got home, I was up for another couple hours, not going to bed till around 6:30 in the morning (Then, because I'm me, I woke up two hours later, was up for a while, then dozed for a few hours after that).
This is a time when I wish I could just write freely about the night, but between not being "spoilery" about the show - there are five episodes yet to air in the season - and not wanting to betray the confidences of my fellow actors, I've had to keep some things vague.
But all-in-all, it was a good ending - I knew I'd be cycling through some feelings of sadness and regret and wishing I were a little closer to "The Winner's Circle", and there was definitely that, but there was also a lot of good feeling (Shanola H. touched me with what she said to me after we wrapped. And Bill M. and Steve H. were also very nice. And really, when it comes down to it, acknowledgment from the people who actually worked with me and knew me on the show matters to me more than anything).
They've scheduled a wrap-party for October ("Vaccines permitting"), which will be something to look forward to, but beyond that, it's a wrap on Shameless.
I can't sum-up eleven years in a single entry, and I'm not going to try.
I'll just say, for now, that the show has meant a great deal to me, practically and emotionally, and I will miss it.
(Till next time...)
11:07 pm - Sat 7.24.2010
Where to begin...?
Had a physical Thursday morning.
Got the test results for my blood and urine samples today, and the news was mostly good...except there was a "trace" of blood in my urine.
I found the news a bit upsetting - I went to the doctor to deal with issues I already knew about, not to be diagnosed with additional problems - but I'm not freaking out, because I'm too ignorant to know what to "freak out" about; I know "blood in your urine" isn't a good thing, but that's about all I know.
(And I realize I could research it online, but I can't talk to my Doctor till Monday at the earliest, so why make make myself crazy over the weekend?)
Well, it took forever, but this week I finally "pulled the trigger" on spending my $250 worth of Target gift certificates.
(The fact that I kept going to Target for that purpose and walking out empty-handed, unable to decide what I wanted, was really starting to annoy me.)
On Thursday, after my physical, I went there, and bought an electric guitar and a stand.
And today I went back and bought a Flip video camera (I had a little over $100 of credit left, so ended up spending about $40).
What I didn't end up buying - and it was actually the "front-runner" for a long time - was an IPod and a docking station.
That seemed like the "smart buy" somehow. But ultimately, I decided I already have music - a lot of cds, the radio (Even if I never play it), and the music channels on Time Warner Cable - but didn't have an electric guitar...or a video camera.
(I'll probably write more about these acquisitions at a later date in time, but it's late and I need to move on...)
The day after I wrote my last entry - which ended with something like "I know auditions (And bookings) are coming my way, but when?"...I had an audition.
And another one the day after that.
The first one, on Thursday, was for a new kids show called Shake It Up.
I don't think I did very well. It was just two lines - a cute little bit - and there really wasn't anything going on there that should have been beyond me.
But be that as it may, I had the distinct feeling I just wasn't getting to where the casting director wanted, and I left feeling very disappointed in myself.
The next day's audition was a commercial for Progresso Soup, which seemed like it went better...but I still couldn't make myself feel terribly positive about it for some reason (Maybe because I auditioned to be the "Progresso Soup Guy", and to my recollection, I've never been cast that way before, as the warm and friendly "face of the company").
But beyond how I felt about how the auditions did or didn't go, and what my chances of booking them were, I was disappointed because I thought just getting auditions was going to lift me out of my sad mood...but they didn't.
I think it's like I told Liz last night (when we had dinner at Fred62 then saw Salt); while I want it to be exciting and fun anytime I get an audition - and, in practical terms, any audition that means the possibility of making money is a good thing - in my heart-of-hearts, I'm not "emotionally invested" in doing kids shows or commercials (Though if I had to choose, it would be commercials all the way).
I don't think it's healthy for me to want every call for every audition to be a big guest star thing, or a national commercial, or a "game changer" in some way; that's a pretty sure way to be disappointed and upset when I'm not getting auditions...and pretty disappointed and upset when I do.
But I think that's what's going on in my head right now.
Well, once again, had all day to do this, and only settled in when it was too late to really "get it all in".
(Consciously, that behavior annoys me...yet I keep doing it. Why?)
Anyway, I've got a relatively early WW meeting tomorrow, so I should get to bed...