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8:23 PM - Sun 12.06.15
Shameless Season 6: The Wrap Party

Shameless Season 6: The Wrap Party

Last night was the Shameless Season 6 wrap party.

It's the third Shameless wrap I've attended (I don't know if they didn't have them before that, or did and I just didn't rate an invite), and I'm still trying to decide how I felt about it, as in "Was it mostly a dud?", or "Was it worth going for the intermittent fun that did happen?".

One thing that shouldn't have hit me by surprise is that I didn't know the majority of people there (Cause it's happened each year) - I'd guess well over three-quarters of the folks were front-office people and their "plus-ones".

Most of the actors didn't show, or did, and made relatively brief appearances (And let's be honest - I don't really know most of the actors on the show that well anyway, since I don't work with them), so people there I knew and felt comfortable with were greatly in the minority, pretty much limited to Mike M., Rebecca, a few crew people, and the stand-ins (And Mike was late, due to another party engagement beforehand).

I liked last year's venue a lot better - It was a dance club, so naturally, it was conducive to dancing and general high-spirited celebrating - while last night's place (On Sunset), was...fancier, more "cocktail party-ish", and that just doesn't do anything for me (There was a DJ, mostly playing the kind of club music that, to me, sounds like one really long song, but there was no actual "dance floor").

There were screens playing a short loop of scenes from the coming season (With no sound), and it was fun when one of my scenes came up, I think from episode 7.

So for a good chunk of time I just aimlessly wondered around and around and around, talking to people here and there, but mostly not, until I kind of landed at a table with a couple of the stand-ins.

Early on, Macy came by, with a plate of food, and sat with us for a bit while he ate.

At one point, he said to me, "I don't know if I've ever told you this, but I really like what you do on the show", which I thought was very nice - A compliment adjacent-to, but somewhat different from "It's always fun when you guys are here", which he told me and Mike in the latter part of the season (To be honest, I've often worried what he thought of me when we've worked together, or if he had an opinion on my role on the show in general, so it's good to hear he's a "fan". Cause I think you all know I'm certainly a fan of his).

I shared a little anecdote about how nervous I was when I did my first scene with him, and we talked a little bit about the movie he just directed - and is currently doing post-production on. Then Stephanie (One of the stand-ins) engaged him about a TV movie he did years back called Door To Door, which is one of the handful of things he's done that I haven't seen (I knew what they were talking about, but didn't know he had also written it).

(Afterwards, I found myself thinking, only partly in jest, "That's really cool that Macy likes my work on the show, and enjoys working with me - Now it would be nice if some other name actors got to discover what a pleasure I am to work with...!".)

Then I wandered around aimlessly some more, till John Wells - the creator of the show (which originated in England, for those not in the know) - gave a little speech introducing a "highlight reel" ("highlights" both emotional and outrageous) from the entire series to date.

And I was nowhere to be seen (The closest I came is that there were a couple scenes set in the Alibi, where I would have been in attendance).

I watched actors laugh, and cry, and scream in rage and pain, and be outrageous...and I was nowhere to be seen.

That was deflating (And honestly, one of the reasons that - as much as I enjoy being on Shameless - I hunger to get a regular role on another good show, where I get more to do. Though after this coming season, I might make the next "highlight reel", on the "outrageous" side of the ledger).

Shortly after that, a couple of us (Me, Mike, and Rebecca - a friend of Mike's, and an actress on the show I'd never been in a scene with till episode 10) approached Wells to "kiss his ring", so to speak (Since the Chicago trip in Season 4, I've often thought "I should send him a thank-you card or something...", but had never done it).

He was very warm and gracious - I told him the bare-bones story of my coming out here at forty (When I told an oft-repeated joke of how I one-day realized "...the center of the TV industry is not Lansing Michigan", he played right along and quipped, "It's Flint, right?"), then I shared how much it meant to me to have Shameless happen when I didn't know if anything was going to happen for me out here.

Then we had some laughs over "The Scene" me and Mike had to do in the 10th episode (With Rebecca in attendance), and he said while he hadn't seen the edited scene yet, he had seen the one where me and Mike sing karaoke, and he thought it was a lot of fun.

(A brief detour - "The Scene" came up with Macy, who'd heard about it, and when I expressed how uncomfortable I was with having to do the nudity, he said, "Yeah, it's never fun". Which was both reassuring and alarming - It was nice to hear that even he's experienced unhappy feelings about having to do it, but in the event I have to do it again sometime, it was distressing to hear it's something you apparently never really "get used to".)

(Another brief detour - "The Scene" came up when I came back for the last episode of the show, in a brief conversation with John, who's our makeup guy, and Emmy Rossum, in the makeup trailer. John asked "how are you doing?", in the aftermath of having done the scene, and I said, "Oh fine - Nothing weeks of therapy couldn't fix". Then Emmy Rossum said something like, "I think we've all been to our therapists about that...", regarding the discomfort of doing onscreen nudity, and opined that "we're our own worst critics" in terms of judging how we look. And I appreciated her saying that - It gave me insight that almost everyone has insecurities about their looks, and are uncomfortable being naked in front of strangers - but it's still hard for me not to think there's a difference between being nude when your nudity is perceived as sexy and fun, and being nude when the point is, at least in part, that you're not someone anyone wants to see nude.)

At some point, it got late enough, and the DJ finally noticed no one was dancing to the shit he was playing and put on some better music, and some of us started dancing. That was fun, both just because dancing is fun, and because I still kind of enjoy the ego strokes of being a better dancer than people would expect (Even if I've lost a step - or two or three - with age).

This is when I was reminded of something I've noticed before - If you're a good dancer in a situation like this (I was the only guy there really dancing, period, let alone dancing well), no matter what you look like, you will get approached. Not necessarily because they want to have sex with you, but because you're standing out & getting attention.

I danced for a bit with two very attractive young women, who were both very flirty with me (They were both easily less than half my age).

As I've suggested, I didn't think much of it (It just seemed funny and weird. But I like to dance, so I thought, "What the hell...!"). Afterward however, I have to admit, I did wonder - If I'd really felt there was something to "take advantage of" there, and circumstances were conducive (a nicer car, a nicer place, not having to get up at 6 am the next morning, etc), would I have "taken advantage"?

I don't know - maybe. I think of myself as "a good guy", but at the same time, I'm not made-of-stone.


Probably the weirdest/most awkward part of my evening was that a woman - who I think is a set-painter on the show, and who (I'm not trying to be funny here), for awhile I thought was a transvestite - kept making joking references to my "big wiener" (Referencing "The Scene" in episode 10).

Seriously, once or twice, and I probably still don't think it's that funny, but I'll roll with it, but I swear, it went into the double-digits, hitting maximum creepiness when she joked about me keeping my "big wiener" away from her daughter (a pretty teenager who, for the record, was impressively "chill" about the whole thing, where I would have been mortified).

Really, it felt like a taste of the worst thing I could imagine resulting from the airing of the episode, a couple months from now, dealing with strangers coming up to me and saying "Ha Ha! I saw your big wiener!" (And somehow, her consistently referring to it as my big "wiener" heightened the "ick factor" - maybe because it sounds so juvenile to say it that way?).

I would really rather not have dealt with that (I wasn't angry or even that embarrassed, I just didn't really know what to say after the third or fourth "big wiener" reference).

And I would have liked there to not be quite as much time with me having nothing to do and no one to talk to.

And now that I think about it, I felt pretty fucking awkward about inadvertently telling Rebecca (Who wasn't in the last episode, so didn't know how the season ended) that she probably isn't on the show anymore.

But I guess on the whole, I was glad I went to the party.

It was nice having the time with Macy, getting to thank John Wells for all he's given me (And getting the most definitive word to date on Shameless being back for at least one more season), getting in some dancing/meaningless flirting time, and spending time off the lot with Mike M. and some of the cast and crew.

But next year?

I want it to be someplace where we can have an actual party.


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