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9:14 PM - 09.23.16
Superman Swoops Down

Superman Swoops Down

Well, turns out my scene partner at Saturday's commercial callback had a good read on things when he said afterwards "Have fun in Toronto"...

Because I got "availed" for the spot on Monday (An "avail" means they're interested, and want the "right of first refusal", but haven't committed to booking me for the job yet - I often refer to it as "being on the short list").

In my early days out here, when I first started getting "avails" and "pins" (Basically two words for the same thing), it was flat-out exciting, a sign of progress - I had "emerged from the pack", and was maybe going to win the big prize.

Just the idea that I could seriously "compete" out here was exciting and validating.

Now my relationship to the avail/pin is more...complicated - It's still good that it happens (certainly better than it not happening), and there's still the nice feeling of having "emerged from the pack" and being in serious consideration for something...but it can also feel like the textbook definition of "So close, and yet so far...".

I don't know if this is actually the case, but I feel like it is, and I've heard the same from other actors - avails used to feel more definitive. They used to feel like you basically had the gig. Because, when I got one, it seemed to "go my way" most of the time.

Now, not so much. Now, as I've heard fellow actors theorize, there seems more of a CYA mentality going on on the production end (Where more actors get put through to callbacks, and they always put a couple actors on avail, even if they know who they really want for the job)

I've now had so many avails "not go my way", that it's become a running gag how I need to put a hit out on "The Other Guy" that keeps just beating me out on jobs.

So avails can feel kind of like...torture (Or as I sometimes put it, "It's like 'Audition...callback...callback-and-a-half...callback-and-three-quarters... Oh, so sorry - You lose! But hey, thanks for playing!'".

It's tough to have done all-you-can-do, then have to live in the space where it's completely out-of-your-hands (As opposed to it being almost completely out-of-your-hands).

And that's where I've been the past couple days.

In fact, it's so tough, I've noticed the "window" - from the time I'm excited about possibly booking a gig to being depressed over it probably not happening (All before I've gotten the official word one-way-or-the-other) - has gotten shorter and shorter over the years.

And I said all that to say this - Brett (My manager) called earlier, to ask if I knew about the commercial yet, because he thought (And I agree) that if I end up not booking it, I should let Shameless know I'm good for the whole episode 10 shoot schedule.

(Because, under the heading of "Things I'd Hate To Have Happen", I'd hate to lose out on the commercial, then lose out on my next episode of Shameless as well, because I'd told them I was unavailable for part of the shoot, and they couldn't work around it.)

So I called Jon - My commercial guy - thinking he'd say, "Yeah, the spot ain't happening", but he actually said it wasn't officially cast yet.

So while I still think it's not happening, because

1. Statistically, that's how things go most of the time.

2. Telling actors they booked a thing is both a happy task (An enjoyable duty there's no reason to procrastinate over), and pragmatically, an important piece of the pre-production process you probably want to get squared away ASAP when shooting a commercial, particularly with a commercial shoot involving travel and lodging logistics (And I'm pretty sure they aren't still hashing over who they want to cast, five days after callbacks, with the spot shooting next week).

...I can't rule out the possibility it might.


FRI 9/23/16 (1:40 pm)

Well, now it's official - "Official" as in "I officially don't know if I booked the gig or not".

My commercial agent emailed me maybe an hour ago, saying the Casting Director had just given him word that I'm officially still on "avail", and that they "hope" to have bookings by Sunday (He then sent a follow-up email saying the CD also told him none of the actors going to Canada have been cast - I guess in case I thought my role was the only one still being hashed-over).

In a nutshell, as I told my agent, it kinda sucks to be kept on the hook like this, cause it'll be especially painful if I don't end up getting it...but if I do, of course then "all will be forgiven".

I'm just hoping I book this, and it shoots this coming week, then I shoot episode 10 of Shameless sometime the following week.

Here's what's going on in my head:

Best Case Scenario: See above.

Worst Case Scenario: I don't book the commercial, and they dick me around so long that I end up getting written out of the Shameless episode because they think I'm not available.

Scenario I Wouldn't Prefer, But Could Live With: The commercial happens, but Shameless doesn't (If I had to pick one-or-the-other, I'd go with the commercial, because it'll probably pay more in the long run, will probably be seen by more people, and would just be a fun new thing where I'd get to go to Toronto on a production company's dime).

But for whatever reason, I still find myself thinking it's not gonna happen. I don't know why.

There's a Louis CK joke where he hopes someone gets pushed off a cliff, "...and as they're falling, Superman swoops down...and drops them from even higher".

I kinda feel like this extra-long wait is "Superman swooping down...and dropping me from even higher"

Guess I'll find out...


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