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9:11 pm - Fri 7.22.2011
The Thing That's Happening Now

The Thing That's Happening Now

On Wednesday night, I was trying to write in here, still anxious about not having gotten confirmation on Shameless (Afraid that...I don't know what - I guess that they'd call and say, "We've changed our minds - we looked at the episode he was on again and realized he actually sucked").

It was tough, because I wanted to write, but was having a hard time coming up with anything new to say on the subject (of waiting, of being afraid the thing you're hoping for isn't going to happen, etc).

I ended up writing trying to write about how, even if this Shameless thing didn't happen for some reason - like, the character got cut out in a rewrite - I'd still be a "winner" (Because my first time on the show had "popped" enough for them to want me back).

And that's true - I "did my job" by making an impression. Anything beyond that is "out of my hands" - but that said, I was pretty damned happy when Sharon called yesterday to tell me they'd called with an offer and a shoot date!

I'm going back on the 1st, my billing upgraded to "recurring guest-star" (With a salary bump), to do a scene with William H. Macy!

I'm excited. And a little nervous. But mostly excited - This is what I came out here to do, after all.

Went to the studio today for a fitting; I was very early, but they didn't make me wait long at all, and it was a pretty quick process (They dressed me in shorts, with a couple changes of shirts, then in blue jeans, with another couple changes of shirts, took pictures, and that was that).

At one point, it was pretty thrilling when one of the wardrobe people idly wondered whether they might need to put together more of a wardrobe for me (In the event of future appearances on the show).

Hearing that, even as a possibility, I had to say to myself, "Okay Jim, before you make yourself a series regular, how about just focusing on the work in front of you?".

Anyway, this is good say the least.


Sat 7:00 pm

As you might imagine, my thoughts at this point are still fairly "Shameless-centric" (That's not all I'm thinking about these days, but it's pretty front-and-center).

A practical concern I have, in terms of acting, is making sure I "match" what I did before, in terms of voice-quality and general demeanor. It was one day last year, after all, and it's been awhile since I've even seen it.

It wasn't exactly a "chameleon-like" acting job, but it also wasn't just me walking on and "playing myself".

(I'd like to watch my dvd of the episode...but my dvd player crapped out a month ago, and my tv seems to have followed just this afternoon, so it looks like I'll have to buy the episode on I-Tunes or Amazon - I'm thinking it's probably worth the $1.99 investment.)

Another interesting thing - to me, anyway - is that, while I was the "engine" of the scene the first time I was on (With Emmy Rossum reacting to me), this time Macy drives the scene and I'm reacting to him.

...which I think is cool. He's really, really good (duh!), so if I focus on just responding naturally to what he's throwing my way, hard to see how I could go wrong.

Beyond the "acting stuff", I've been thinking about how this development makes me feel.

It's fascinating how quickly this has gone from something "huge" to basically "the thing that's happening now", if you know what I mean; considering this is the first undeniable "progress" I've made in awhile, is only my second real "guest-star" credit (And my first "recurring"), is me acting with an actor I hugely admire, and has the potential to be a major development in my career, I'm finding it all surprisingly easy to accept and digest.

Maybe because this feels like "The way things are supposed to be"?

That sounds egocentric, but really, it would be kind of weird if I'd put in the time I've put in, had spent loads of time thinking about what I have to offer as an actor (talent and a unique "look"), and was then shocked when things actually started to happen.

And this particular situation feels pretty "organic" - I got a chance to do a potent little bit, did well with it, and as a result, I'm getting to go back - so maybe there's not the "thrill" associated with "winning a prize", but just the satisfaction of knowing that the time and effort you've put in over the years is starting to pay off.

I've told people before that, in spite of my doubts and fears, I didn't come out here thinking it would never happen (If I really thought that, in my heart of hearts, I would have stayed in Michigan).

In a way, this is "uncharted territory" - off the top of my head, I can't think of anything else I've worked on for years to make happen the way I've worked on an acting career - but in another sense, this seems like the most natural thing in the world.

It took me awhile, but I'm finally doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

And things are moving in the right direction.


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