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9:40 PM - Fri 10.23.15
Getting Paid To Be Tired And Bored

Getting Paid To Be Tired And Bored

Went to my weekly Weight Watchers meeting today, even though I didn't want to - I didn't feel good about how the week had gone, and didn't want to be depressed by the number on the scale.

It's a common theme with members, and in my own estimation, giving in to that desire (To skip going to a meeting if you think you didn't do well), is "the beginning of the end" in terms of weight-loss.

So "Jim-The-Weight-Watchers-Employee" had to talk to "Jim-The-Weight-Watchers-Member", and remind him that people are very often wrong about how badly their week went (And besides, nothing good comes out of avoiding meetings).

So I went...and I was up a half-pound, which, indeed, wasn't as bad as I thought (As a member, I had the option of doing a "No Weigh-In", but I personally don't see the point of that, and have never done it. To me, if you've bothered to make it to the meeting, you might as well know what's what...though when I'm working, I only share that opinion with members who are looking to do a no-weigh-in if they ask me, "Do you think I should just weigh in?").


It's been an interesting week...

On Monday morning, I did my first reading at my new elementary school (Sammy Lee Health and Science Magnet Elementary...I think).

Thought I knew where it was, but I kind of didn't, and had a little bit of trouble with parking, so ended up just a little late.

Beyond that, It went quite well (I went with some Robert Munsch stories, which are my favorites because they feel pretty much foolproof, for this first outing).

In fact, it went so well that, afterward, I thought it was a nice reminder that I'm actually good at this stuff (Near-constant rejection and general disinterest in what you have to offer can do a number on your self-esteem as an actor).

I went back home for about 15 minutes, before heading off to my first meeting with my new therapist, in West Hollywood.

I reiterated the specific reason I was there - The whole "smacking myself around when I get frustrated" thing - along with the more general issue of not knowing how to deal with the fact that I've essentially failed in life (No love, no family, no money, no career, no future, etc), and can't imagine that what's coming (In however many years I have left) is going to be much fun.

Did a quick overview of my childhood, and we ended up spending a lot of time on Omar Pupo, my foster-father for a good chunk of my growing up years, who - to put it mildly - did not always treat me as well as he might have.

The therapist also called me on communicating a lot of "rough stuff", as I think he put it, without a lot of emotion (And making little joking/self-deprecating remarks about some of it).

He's older, which I liked (As I've aged, the idea of talking about my "life issues" - like reaching my age and having nothing to show for it - with some twenty-something grad student at a free clinic, has started to seem ridiculous).

And while I'm leery of where he seems to want to go initially (Not convinced Omar Pupo is "Ground Zero" for where all my troubles began, or that my main problem is that I haven't allowed myself to be okay with being angry and/or sad about what happened to me as a child), I'm willing to give it a try.

(Right now, I think the hardest thing will be not trying to be "funny" or "entertaining". Cause that's kind of what I do. But again, I'm willing to "work through it" if it means ultimately feeling better.)


Sat 10/24/15 (6:30 pm)

To continue...

Had an audition on Tuesday that was the most fun "acting" that I've had in quite some time...

One of the ongoing frustrations I've had out here is it feels impossible to "break through" when the vast majority of scenes I audition for give me nothing to do and nothing to play.

So when I got this audition, and it was three pages of me talking to one of the series regulars, and I got to be funny and charming and rumpled (The description of my character was "looks like an unmade bed"), all the while being in complete control, and having this underpinning of "deadly intent" (again, part of the description)...well,I was thrilled. I thought to myself, "Hot Damn! This is a scene where there's something to play, and I know exactly how to do it!".

I don't know why (Well, I do know why, actually, but it's too involved to get into here), but I don't completely "nail" auditions very often, at least not as often as I should.

This time I did.

I was particularly happy that, when I went in, instead of the chair they had for the actors, I asked to use one I saw that had arms - One of the audition "issues" I sometimes have, where I'm seated and am supposed to be playing a person of some authority, is that it's hard projecting "authority" when you're sitting in a metal folding chair with no place to put your arms ("Physical awkwardness" and "projecting authority", it turns out, are not "Two great tastes that go great together").

To a non-actor, that might sound minor, but it's not (Not to me, anyway). And I actually think, since I did very well with the scene, that it made me look good "after the fact", like I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do and how to execute it, and the confidence to ask for what I needed.

The CD was clearly enthusiastic about what had happened - We talked briefly afterward, agreeing that it was a fun scene, and he asked me where I was from (Which, my friend Tim G. said afterward suggested he was wondering why he didn't know me, since I was so good).

I left feeling like the entire experience had been a big success (Meaning not only did I read well, but I "carried myself well" before and after the scene, which is important).

And that was pretty exciting, because, as I've suggested, I really enjoyed doing the scene, not to mention the role is intended to be a recurring guest-star, and I've wanted another one of those for years (And this guy couldn't be more different from "Kermit" on Shameless).

But it looks like I didn't get it.

And even though I know better - there are all kinds of reasons you don't book the role that don't have anything to do with the quality of your audition - I've really wrestled with the feeling that "I did my best...and I still failed".

(For the record? That's not a good feeling.)

I don't get good auditions, for things I really want to do, that feel like they're right in "my sweet spot" as an actor, very often (Forget "good" auditions - I'm not getting a lot of tv auditions period, good or bad).

I'm trying to tell myself the usual blather - "I earned a return trip/made a new fan", "Not getting this might end up being the best thing that could have happened", etc - but so far, it's not helping.

Cause I don't want a fucking "return trip" - I want the fucking part.


Gregg saw his Doctor on Tuesday.

Never having gone through this myself - or been close to anyone who's gone through it - I'm not really clear on how things go.

For example, I thought he was getting all the news on Tuesday - The kind of lymphoma, whether or not it had spread, the treatment options, his prognosis, etc.

But no - All he found out on Tuesday was that he has "Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma" (Which, regrettably, is not "the kind that makes you younger and more energetic" - which I told him was the kind I was pulling for - but, instead, is fairly common and, unhappily, "aggressive").

He's had/is having to go through a battery of tests to determine things like how far it's spread, and if the "nodule" they've discovered on his thyroid is nothing, or...not-nothing.

The last time we talked, he mentioned that he'd started to "make arrangements" in the event of his death, not in a fatalistic way, but more in the vein of "hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst".

A member at WW recently told me this is the cancer her brother has had twice, and he's still alive and kicking.

So I'm going with that - He's going to hear that it hasn't spread anywhere else, that the thing on his thyroid is nothing, and he's going to get through it, "alive and kicking".


Sun 10/25/14 (4:30 pm)

This past Wednesday or Thursday, I got word that Shameless was calling me back to re-shoot a scene from episode 7, which we'd done a week previous (The re-shoot was originally going to be in a few weeks, but then they switched it to this Wednesday).

The reason we're having to do the re-shoot is they fired the actress who was playing a former love of Frank's who comes back into his life (for a planned five-episode arc), because she wasn't working out.

I remember being frustrated on the day we were doing the scene - The shoot for episode 6 went on forever-and-a-day, and thanks to this woman not being able to do her part, for whatever reason, it was looking like episode 7 was going to go the same way (And even though Macy didn't raise his voice or say a cross word, at least not that I heard, it felt clear he was - understandably, since he was having to try and act with her - even more frustrated).

But here's a good example of how "things work out" - I was pretty depressed after the episode 6 shoot, because it was long and tiring and not much fun (And I was desperate for something in my life to feel "fun" at that point)...but I just got the paycheck for that episode, and thanks to the overtime, after taxes and commissions, I got an extra $400 for my boredom and fatigue.

Likewise, that Guest Actress who didn't know her shit, making my shoot day longer and less enjoyable than it might been, has now handed me another payday.

I don't think I'd want that to be the trade-off all the time - "less fun but more money" - but on the other hand, wouldn't it be nice if every time someone made my life difficult, I got paid for it?


After my initial therapy session, I thought I might have to wait a few weeks or more before there was a second one (The therapist has two locations, and he wasn't sure about openings in his schedule at the West Hollywood location I wanted to go to).

And to be honest, I was kind of okay with that.

But after I called him on Friday, he got back to me yesterday with some openings - he's in West Hollywood the first half of the week, and Studio City the second - and barring an audition or what-have-you, I'm going back on Tuesday.

When I'm in therapy - and I've done it on and off throughout my life - I often joke about how it's perfect for me, because "I have an hour to just talk about my favorite subject - Me!".

I've talked about my wariness about where he seems to want to go - I'm just not sure it's a fruitful avenue of exploration (In part, because it's not exactly "unexplored terrain") - but probably the bigger "issue" for me, right now, is the whole "You're not acting upset, but you're talking about upsetting things" thing.

It's just weird knowing that someone's basically waiting for you to have a breakdown.

Since he doesn't know me, I think he's confusing my initial reserve upon meeting a new person, even if it's in therapy, for "repressing my emotions" in general (Which I really don't think is an issue for me).

But if he's looking for me to have an emotional breakdown over having been a foster child, or over Omar Pupo's crimes, and things that happened 30,40, or 50-some years ago now, that might be tough.

On the other hand, having a breakdown over my present situation, or my grim future?

That'd be a snap...


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