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4:13 pm - Thursday, Nov. 09, 2006
Calling Kurt Vonnegut

Calling Kurt Vonnegut

Thurs 11/2/06 (9:23 p.m.)

Another week where nothing happened, acting-wise.

I didn’t have a theatrical audition all of last month, which was...disappointing. But I did have three or four commercial auditions (Wish I’d gotten one of those, but as Steven Wright once said, “You can’t have everything–Where would you put it?”).

Pat M., who I used to work with at Borders, emailed to say he saw me on Gilmore Girls Tuesday night, so apparently, they re-ran the season premiere. Which I’m assuming means some extra dinero for Yours Truly in the near-to-intermediate future.

I’m thinking these days “from money to money”–“My session fee for the Bahamas commercial should be coming soon, then I’ll have a bonus from ArcLight in January (Which you get if you work over a thousand hours and last for at least a year), then I can do my taxes as soon as I get all my W2s and get my refund, then hopefully, it’ll be time to start getting residuals for the commercial...”.

And with any luck, there’ll be other gigs along the way, before that extra money just drains away (Which is my current anxiety du jour. Cause that “extra money” isn’t really “extra”; my last two ArcLight checks were barely enough to pay this month’s rent, so I’m not using acting money for hookers and beer. It’s helping pay the bills).
I’ve been wondering, short of getting a long-running series, how you make any kinds of financial plans as an actor? How do you buy anything you’ll have to make payments for, for example, when you don’t know how much money you’ll be making from month to month?

_________________________

I have to get to the mental health clinic before the 20th of this month. Because I have an appointment at QueensCare on the 20th, and the doctor is going to no doubt ask me if I’ve gone yet (I think she sees that as a condition of my Prozac prescription).

So why haven’t I gone yet, you ask?

Well, because after I had my little breakdown in front of the doctor, things starting looking up for me; I booked a couple gigs, and suddenly life didn’t look nearly as grim as it had the first part of this year. And why go to the head doctor if your head feels kinda/sorta okay?

And it’s kind of a pain-in-the-ass (If the mental health place were walking distance from my house, like the QueensCare clinic, I’d probably already have gone).

And I’m afraid they’re going to want me to pay for my mental health. I don’t want another monthly bill to stress over, especially if/when the funds start running low again.

And...and...and...

I don’t want to go because I feel like I’ve done this before. Over and over again, actually.

I’ve gone to therapists, I’ve read self-help books, I’ve tried to meditate.

I journal.

I’m really not sure what more therapy has to offer me at this point.

In terms of mental health, I may have to face the fact that this is as good as it gets.

And on the pharmaceutical front; I don’t know what I thought Prozac was going to do to me/for me, but it hasn’t seemed to do anything, really, except blunt my sex drive a bit (Which is fine, since I don’t seem to have much use for a sex drive anyway). I worried that it was going to somehow “zombify” me, but I feel pretty much the same as I did before I started taking it...for better or worse

Sun 11/5/06 (4:18 pm)

My tendency to start writing when I know I won’t have time to get into it is...interesting.

But anyway...

Once again, another week goes by with no real acting news.

I did have two casting workshops yesterday; in the morning, there was Bonita Deneen (Who’s a casting associate for April Webster, who casts Lost), and in the afternoon, there was Phoebe Rosenberg, an associate for the VP of Disney Animation).

Both workshops went very well, I thought (Though I wondered why the casting person who does Lost gave me a scene from My Wife and Kids to perform. Maybe she thinks “If he can make a scene from this shitty sitcom come to life, he can do anything...”).

I went into the afternoon workshop thinking it was maybe a waste of time, but Ms Rosenberg claimed they have the latitude to cast whoever’s best for the part (Though she did admit there’s always a lot of pressure from marketing to cast “names”).

And there’s a possibility for employment I didn’t really know about; they use actors for “scratch tracks”–I think that’s what she called them–which are basically voice tracks they use “in house” for reference while the film is being developed.

It pays $800 a day, and they try to find something for the performers to do in the finished film as well (The “down side” is that it’s not covered by SAG, so no SAG benefits, and of course, you’re doing something as a performer that will never see the light of day. But as jobs go, making $800 a day to play in front of a microphone beats ArcLight, hands-down).

Because two of my five workshops were cancelled last month, Brett gave me one free this month as a “rollover”, so now I can sign up for one more workshop this month, if I can find one with an opening (And one that might do me some good).

Tues 11/7/06 (2:59 a.m.)

In the trailer for the upcoming movie History Boys–adapted from the play–there’s a bit where the old teacher is talking to a student about reading.

I don’t have the line exactly right, but he says something about one of the pleasures of reading being “when you come across something you thought was unique to you. It’s as if the author has reached out and taken their hand in yours”.

It reminded me of Catcher In The Rye, when Holden Caulfield talks about reading a good book, and wishing the author was a friend you could call whenever you felt like it.

You read, and you realize you are not as alone as you thought you were. Other people feel like you do, wonder about the same things you do, have the same struggles, the same dreams, the same desires.

Here are some authors I wish I could call whenever I felt like it–

1. Mark Twain
2. Kurt Vonnegut
3. Joseph Heller
4. John Irving
5. Anne Lamott

Reading is undoubtedly about more than not feeling alone, and having your thoughts and feelings validated by coming across them in print. It’s also about having your mind expanded, by coming across thoughts and feelings distinctly unlike your own. but as a very lonely, confused, scared kid, books often did reach out to me, to tell me I wasn’t alone, and I wasn’t as weird as I thought I was.

And even if I didn’t actually know them, and couldn’t call them on the phone whenever I felt like it, it often felt like the authors were friends, “taking my hand in theirs”.


 

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