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9:08 AM - Thurs 8.16.18

Some Serious Emotional Whiplash

Shorty after getting up this morning, I found out Aretha Franklin had died (In the news, things seemed to progress very quickly - she went from "gravely ill" to "hospice care" to "RIP" in the span of a week - but of course, we don't know what had been happening before).

I don't feel the sadness people profess - often referring to it as a "loss" - when an artist like Franklin dies. To my way of thinking, my "relationship" with her continues much as it always has, as a casual-but-heartfelt, fan. I didn't know her personally, her music isn't going anywhere, and she was long past the point of creating new work, so. I haven't really "lost" anything.

But as I think about it, there is a sense of loss, or at least a sense of...strangeness. I've known who Aretha Franklin was for most of my life. She was not a huge part of my life, by and large, but she was part of the landscape. I lived in a world where Aretha Franklin lived and sang "Respect", and "Chain of Fools" and "Natural Woman" and so on.

Even if I have her music to listen to pretty much whenever I want, it is strange to consider that the artist herself is no longer walking around doing stuff, but is now part of history.

The world, my world, has changed, shifted, just a bit. Assuming I live out a normal lifespan, I will meet people who never lived in a world where Aretha Franklin lived.

I know that's the way things work, but it still feels...strange. And a little sad.

But there will always be the music.


As of this writing, I'm waiting to hear whether or not I'm shooting on Shameless tomorrow.

I don't know what's going on, exactly, but this is weird - We were on-set last Friday, shooting for the 2nd day on episode #908, when Mike got a look at the tentative shoot schedule for #909 and saw we were on for tomorrow (We'd gotten pinned for the episode maybe a week or so prior, but no official offer had been made).

I was happy to get what I thought was confirmation that we were in the episode.

But as I spent the week waiting for the official offer to be made, and no offer was forthcoming, I was a heartbeat away from messaging Mike so we could commiserate together over not being in the episode after all.

Then I heard from my manager - He'd been contacted with the message that, even though an offer hadn't come in yet, I should be prepared to shoot on Friday.

So I messaged Mike what I'd heard, and we commiserated over the uncertainty of it all (And he told me that a friend of ours, who has also recurred on the show and would be coming back after a long time away, had gotten written out of the episode we'd just shot. because they couldn't, or wouldn't, work with her on scheduling - She's a series regular on a new kid's show on Disney).

The next day, Mike texted - His people told him the holdup on an offer was because they were doing a re-write of the episode, so they're holding off till they know whether or not there's gonna be an offer to make (In other words, we could be written out of the episode).

So now it's mid-morning on Thursday (I'm writing this very slowly), I'm checking my phone every couple minutes, and...nothing.

To cut to the chase, this is not the normal way of things. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't find it somewhat...disheartening, on multiple fronts.

But there's nothing to do at this point but wait to hear something.

So I wait.


The next non-Shameless acting thing that's happening?

On Sunday, I'm going to a table-read for the first episode of Failed Comedians, a show written and directed by my friend Mia (And produced by my new friend Gevork), that we hope will be picked up by Comedy Central or Netflix or the like.

I know the basic premise of the show, I know it's a "mockumentary", and I know (At least if I'm understanding correctly) I'll be playing a fictionalized version of myself, as best friend of the Lead (It's struck me that it will be interesting, and novel, to see myself through someone else's lens. And as an actor who's been dying to be a meaningful part of any project, "the Lead's best friend" seems to get me where I want to go in that department).

We've had a couple cast and crew "getting to know you" get-togethers in Long Beach, where both Mia and Gevork live (At one point, I thought they were a couple, but turns out they are not).

And even though I initially blanched at the treks to Long Beach, I now think that was a very good idea - I don't know exactly what we're doing yet, but I know I like the people involved, and they seem to like me (Making the job more pleasant, and - I imagine - making the job of forging onscreen relationships easier).

Being me, I'm prone to worry and overthinking everything, and this project is no exception. But I'm going to work on tamping that shit down, because I'm getting paid, I want it to work, I want to be well-thought-of, and I want to have fun doing it.

Anyway, that's happening Sunday.

(And in breaking news...)

My Manager just texted about Shameless - Not only am I not cut out of the episode, they're paying me for three days!

(I'm working tomorrow, will be "on hold" Monday - which means they reserve the right to call me in should they need to, but I'll be paid regardless - and working again on Tuesday.)

It's some serious emotional whiplash - from "maybe I'm not in the episode" to "I'm working, and getting paid more than I've gotten paid for an episode in years" - but thanks to the past few years of Zumba, my heart can handle it.

Well, that seems about as good a note to end on as I'm gonna get, so till next time...


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