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3:44 pm - Thurs 6/29/06
Just Call Me \"Rudolph\"

Just Call Me "Rudolph"

Tues 6/27/06 (9:32 p.m.)

Went to my first casting workshop since getting out of the hospital last night.

It went all right–It was for Fern Champion (Who came off as a mostly likeable flake), and I did a scene from Naked Gun (We did it once, then Fern had my partner and I switch roles, which was interesting)–but it didn’t exactly feel like a life-changing experience.

But this was interesting...

Jennifer and Tammy, two of the regulars, said they wanted to talk to me about something after the workshop. So we all did our thing, and afterwards, the three of us–Along with Eric, I think his name is (My partner in the Naked Gun scene)–went to Miceli’s for drinks.

(In deference to health and wallet, I had water.)

We chatted about this and that, about how we thought things had gone earlier, and eventually, got around to what Jennifer and Tammy had wanted to talk about.

They want to start a “support group”, basically, where a group of us get together every week or two, and talk about what progress we’re making on the career front–Share strategies, make the most of our various connections, kick each other in the butt to get things done, etc.

I like that idea for a number of reasons:

1) I guess you could call me “Rudolph”, cause I never expect to be asked to join in any reindeer games. So I’m just flattered to be approached (They’re asking the people who consistently do well at the workshops, who seem serious about what they’re doing, and who they just think they’d enjoy hanging-out with).

2) I could use a periodic pat on the back/kick in the butt, career-wise. A lot of actors–including this actor–are not, by nature, “business types”, but you have to think of this as a business if you want to get anywhere out here (I know one of my “issues” is that I don’t like “tooting my own horn”; I want to do the work, then have other people do the horn-tootin’. But things don’t work that way. You have to “toot your own horn” to get the work). And it can be hard to motivate yourself, and to keep motivated, when, most of the time, you get little or no positive return on your investment of time, money, and energy, so I appreciate the idea of having a group of people “spurring me on” when my own energy is flagging.

3) I feel like I bleat about how lonely I am in just about every other journal entry, but the plain fact is, I am lonely. So it’ll be nice to have another thing that gets me out of the house and amongst human beings, particularly like-minded humans with a common interest (Another big plus, since I’m one of “The Nation’s Poor”: It’s a pseudo-social thing that won’t cost any money; Brett told them they could do it at the ACG space, so all it’ll cost is subway fare to and from).

Speaking of the ACG, Brett is initiating this “A-list membership” thing that’s left me feeling a bit anxious, even though it’ll actually, in all likelihood, be cheaper in the long run.

Basically, here’s what it is–You have to commit to three months, at $100 a month, and after that, you pay $100 monthly. And with this “A-list membership”, you get five workshops a month (Which have now gone up to $30 a pop, so that’s a savings), and after the five, additional workshops are just $15 each.

You also get first crack at signing up for workshops, and/or a priority spot on the waitlist (If a workshop is full).

Typically, I’ve done at least five workshops a month since starting with ACG, whether I actually had the money or not (Can you say “credit card roulette”?), so in all likelihood, an “A-list membership” will save me money (And Brett knows a lot of us don’t have $300 to pay up-front for the initial 3-month commitment, so I’m sure he’ll be willing to do some kind of “installment plan”).

I’m uncomfortable about it, nevertheless, maybe because I don’t like feeling compelled to shell out $100 a month I don’t have, or else be a second-class citizen at ACG (And what if, in a given month, I’m not able to attend five workshops, or there aren’t five workshops I want to attend?). I guess I don’t really like “tiers” of membership, period.

But I understand why he’s doing it–This is how Brett makes his living, so he’s trying to figure out how to have a more regular flow of income–and I appreciate that he’s trying to do it in a framework that actually saves people money.

But I’m still uncomfortable about it (I think it’s just a reminder of how much money I’m shelling out, with hardly anything coming in. And with zilch coming in from acting).

Thurs 6/29/06 (11:53 a.m.)

Bad day yesterday–For a good six or seven hours, I had more major-league gas pain (The three days this has happened to me now have easily been the worst three days of this entire experience).

And under the heading of “Just when you think it can’t get worse”-- I started making my way to the drugstore a couple blocks away for some anti-gas relief, but only got to the end of my block when I started throwing up.

(I’m not a big fan of public vomiting–especially my own–but happily, no one was around at the time to witness my outdoor upchucking.)

I could tell when I was done that I wasn’t really “done”, so I made my way back to the apartment, laid down, and within moments, was in the bathroom, throwing up some more. Then I basically laid on my left side in bed for the rest of the afternoon, reading a typewritten expose on Scientology that someone had left in “giveaway area” of the lobby (Long story short? Scientology is both kooky and scary).

Eventually, things settled down, and I was able to go down to the water machine by the Chevron station to get a couple gallons of water (Unfortunately, the machine was not working, and I lost 75 cents). Then I came back to the apartment to drop off my empty plastic jugs, and went to Walgreens, where I bought fruit-flavored water I really shouldn’t have (Too expensive), juice, Special K bars (At 90 calories a pop, I thought they might make a good between-meals snack), and some Walgreens-brand anti-gas pills.

But yesterday wasn’t all about gas and throwing up and running errands.

It was also about being on the phone a lot.

Seeing as how July rent is fast coming due, I’ve been concerned about getting my next disability check. So I called Social Security, and found out the next check I’d be getting (Which was in today’s mail) would be for $170 and change, covering about five days of eligibility.

So I went online to check my bank balance, and discovered that if I transferred all the money in my savings account to my checking account, then added my disability check...I still wouldn’t be able to pay my rent, let alone buy groceries and what-have-you.

(Long story short: I called Cary, and he’s going to help me out. Thank you Cary.)

What took a lot longer than the call to Social Security was calling the place that makes the “Electric Chopper” Chris S. gave me (It’s no fault of his, of course, but I think Chris feels bad that he gave me this really cool gift that is now just taking up space in my apartment; He called the company a couple days ago, to see about getting it fixed, but was told that since the “Chopper” was now in my possession, I needed to call them).

Since I’m almost a month away from being able to ride it–I can’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds till the 24th of next month, so I wouldn’t be able to haul it in and out of the apartment–there’s no rush on my end to get it fixed. But I think Chris just wants to get it done (And beyond that, there’s the issue of getting it taken care of while it’s still under warranty. Which is important–I’m not in a position to pay for it, and I don’t want Chris to have to either).

So, he’s going to help me take it in sometime early next week (Turns out, the bike shop I go to on Western can deal with it–That was one of the numbers I was given over the phone).

Chris and I had lunch Tuesday afternoon, doing the cheap Thai buffet we went to last time (Chris sprang for it–Thanks Chris!).

We didn’t spend a lot of time together–a little over a half-hour–but it was fun, and I felt a definite “boost in my spirits” afterwards (I always do when I’m with Chris, which is one of the reasons I’d like to hang out with Chris more often).


_________________________

While I’m still feeling very grateful that my recent medical situation has been more of an imposition than the life-altering disaster I’d feared, I got a call recently that had me thinking “Okay, I knew this was going too well”...

During my hospital stay, Dr Hunter consulted with Dr Tanenbaum, a urologist, because I was having some “bladder issues” along with my abdominal discomfort.

And Dr Tanenbaum’s office was now calling to say they’d gotten in touch with QueensCare–who I’ve been thinking of as my “health care provider” now–and the QueensCare person said they only had a “temporary file” on me, which apparently wasn’t good enough.

It’s all pretty confusing to me–If you’re paying for my hospital care, and the consultation with the urologist was part of my hospital care, what’s the problem?–but I’m actually going to a QueensCare clinic next month (For an unrelated issue), so I’ll take the bill Dr Tanenbaum’s office is going to send me, explain the situation, and hopefully, they’ll make a “permanent” file on me, and everything will get squared away.

_________________________

Going to see Superman Returns tonite.

I called Casey R. starting late last week, to see if he’d be interested in catching the movie this week (I’d hoped we could shoot for a cheap matinee at the Vista). But by the time we actually connected, Glenn-another friend of ours from ArcLight–had bought tickets for him and Casey for tonite at The Grove.

So I ordered a ticket online, spending over twice as much as I would have for a ticket to a matinee at the Vista (I put it on a credit card, so it doesn’t impact this month’s financial situation). I felt torn–I really would have preferred spending less on a ticket, but this is an “event movie”, and you’re supposed to see “event movies” with other people–but I asked myself, “When was the last time you saw a movie with friends?”, and I couldn’t remember, so I think I’m entitled.

Should be a fun night.

Speaking of which, I’ve got to go to the bank (I need to deposit my disability check, and get a roll of quarters for bus fare).

(When I get back this evening, I’ll probably have quite a bit to say about the movie.)

 

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