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11:11 pm - Thursday, Dec. 05, 2002
I'm not a \"Vampire Slayer\". I don't even play one on tv.

I'm not a "vampire slayer". I don't even play one on tv.

It's difficult for me to be "introspective" without it falling over into depression and self-pity. A longstanding "issue" of mine.

I'd go even a bit further; It's hard for me to think sometimes without it falling over into depression and self-pity.

(And here's the tricky part; If I'm not careful, I'll feel depressed and sorry for myself over my propensity for depression and self-pity.)

I think part of it is just general "life stuff"; I tend to think certain ways because certain things happened at a formative age, blah blah blah, etc and so forth (If you've been reading along for awhile now, you probably get the idea). I'm kind of bored with thinking about that crap; 41 years down the road, navel-gazing all the while, and it's obviously done me no earthly good.

But beyond that, I think I fall into those thought patterns because they're now all-too-easy



For example...

Watching all those Buffy episodes on DVD recently, I felt full of thoughts and feelings about what I'd seen.

It was very interesting and enjoyable going back and seeing how the show and the individual performances have developed. I was also pretty amazed at what seemed like foreshadowing of events and character developments that came years down the road (And I found myself wondering what was intended and what might have just been coincidence. According to Cary, and I think I've heard this from other quarters as well, Joss Whedon really does have a pretty good idea what he wants to have happen in the show a long time in advance).

It was just cool to get to see two episodes that I'd never seen before (The first show, and "Ted", with John Ritter).

And I came away impressed all over again with Juliet Landau ("Drusilla"), for my money one of the scariest vampires ever.

I found myself looking at the show as a fan and an actor, and a person, and even as a writer, wondering why it worked so well, and what went wrong when a particular episode didn't work as well. Thinking about the whole idea of being a "hero". Thinking, as an actor, about how much I want to do something that good, something I can be proud to be a part of. Thinking about the importance of friends, the difficulty in doing the right thing, the difference between the (Typically) clear-cut challenges on Buffy versus what the "real world" normally has to offer (Interestingly enough, when the show veered a little closer to "real world" stuff in the last season--With Buffy in a destructive relationship, having money problems, and dealing with distinctly human "monsters"--it was, in my mind, the least successful season to date).

What the show does particularly well is to "amp up" the normal problems of the teen/young adult years with supernatual allegories. And at its best, it strikes this amazing balance between being genuinely exciting, scary, funny, and moving. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another show that does so many different things so well, when it's firing on all cylinders.

(There have been lots of things I've liked in the time since those first two seasons, but for me, a dramatic peak came with the "Angelus" storyline and the two-part "Becoming" finale in Season Two.)

Anyway, I was pretty "stirred up" after seeing all this. And I think that's fine; that's what good television's supposed to do (Make you think, to be sure, but I think more importantly, to make you feel).

But I somehow turned all this artistic/intellectual/emotional food-for-thought into just another reason/excuse to feel sorry for myself--"I'm never going to get to do something this good...", "Why can't my life be more like a good tv show, instead of being so boring?", "I'm never going to be able to afford to buy the next seasons on DVD...", etc and so forth.

Basically, after being emotionally involved in the storylines, after being dazzled by the quality of writing and acting, after being stirred to wanting to make my life into something more, all I could manage to do is use all this to just put myself into the same old rut.

(I know--It probably sounds like I'm making an awful lot out of what is essentially just a tv show. But that's why I want to be an actor, and you want to do whatever it is you want to do. I'm pretty into this stuff.)

A lot of it is just failure of imagination on my part--For example, I'm probably not going to get to be on Buffy, but who's to say I'm not going to get to be a part of something equally as good in years to come?

And I think at this point, it's really easy for me to fall into negative patterns. It's certainly easier than to wrestle with thoughts and feelings, stirred by books and movies and tv (If not by actual human interaction), that might take me to unfamiliar places in my mind (I think I want to break out of my little mental/emotional box, but I've lived in that space for a long time now).

Not exactly sure what my point is here, unless it's to say that I want to be able to "think about things" without turning it into "Poor Jim...". I certainly want to be able to enjoy a great book or movie or tv show without holding it up to my life and finding my life wanting.

(Getting tired...)

I want to work on my ability to think about myself, about other people, about life, without turning it into "Jim's Pity Party".

And one of the answers to that is perhaps to not think about myself quite so much, or at least not take myself quite so seriously.

I don't know...have I said anything that makes any sense? (This is why I fall into my little patterns; When I try to break out, I tend to lapse into incoherent babble...)

I continue to think I can do better--In here, as an actor, in my life, etc and so forth. But I have to learn to put the brakes on the negative thinking. Not deny it, cause it's there and it's going to be there the rest of my life. But just "broaden my scope" a bit.

I have a pretty big brain. Seems a shame to just use it to keep myself down...


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