11:33 AM - Weds 2.24.21
Didn't look to see when I last wrote.
But it feels like it's been a while.
With Shameless coming to an end very soon - shooting will be over by the end of next month - my thoughts are naturally turning to "life after Shameless" more and more.
And I'm spending a lot of time thinking about (I'm gonna call it "thinking about" instead of "obsessing over" or "worrying about") the "pragmatic side of things".
(I'm sure I'm going to be repeating myself here to some degree, but there's not much I can do about that.)
While I won't be walking off the set my last day of Shameless and going directly to my new home on Skid Row - I actually did well last year, relatively speaking. So, at present, I have a pretty healthy checking account - assuming I'm going to live longer than a year or two from now, I'm going to need to have money coming in.
And as I posted on Twitter a short time ago, "I have a wish for the future. I don't have a plan for the future" ("Booking a Series Regular on a show that runs long enough to set me up for the rest of my life"? Not a plan).
Unless I can find something I enjoy, that pays enough to live on, that doesn't conflict with acting, I really don't want a day job (And again, "something I enjoy that pays enough to live on and doesn't conflict with acting"? Way more "wish" than "plan" at this point, because I have no fucking idea what that magical non-acting job would be).
(Okay, let's be clear - I don't want to do anything that isn't acting, or at least acting-adjacent, at this stage of the game. Though that might be because I can't imagine anyone paying me for the handful of non-acting things I enjoy doing - watching YouTube/TikTok videos, eating, masturbating, buying action figures, etc.)
So since I can't make a Series Regular gig happen and don't want a day job to happen (and aren't sure what I could get at this point if I did), I'm struggling to see what the future looks like.
I have wishes.
I've got no plans.
It can be hard for me to put the financial concerns aside because they seem pretty fucking "basic".
But that said, I've also been spending a fair amount of time on...I don't know how to say it...just general thinking about my life - what lies ahead, the life I'd like to live, what there is left to work towards/hope for, my fears around declining health, death/dying, etc.
But to bring it back to Shameless...
Being on Shameless does not represent, in my own mind, me coming out to Hollywood and, with a lot of luck and pluck, eventually triumphing - I didn't come out here with the idea of ending up a bit player on a long-running TV show. I've known from the beginning I wanted something more than a nice part-time acting job - but that said, Shameless has been a monumentally, unequivocally good thing in my life.
Thanks to Shameless - particularly in the last five years or so - I could work my part-time, low-paying, doesn't-come-close-to-covering-all-the-bills day job without stressing about it (and had I been more "adventurous", I probably could have done without it altogether), I've had top-tier health insurance, I've had millions of people see my work as an actor (even if I haven't done a shit-ton of "acting" in the role), I've had "a place to call home" (As a working actor starting your career going from one lonely one-day gig to another, you really start wanting to land somewhere "where everybody knows your name"), and I am perceived as a "success" by friends and strangers alike.
And hopefully, I've made connections that will help me moving forward.
But very soon, Shameless goes away. And with it goes, not just all that income, but the place I've called "home", the place where millions of people see me on TV, and the circumstance that's caused me to be deemed "successful" by friends and strangers alike.
And to be deemed successful by me, truth to tell - Just because I don't see Shameless as the fruition of what I came out here to accomplish doesn't mean it's not an accomplishment. I haven't succeeded to the degree I've wanted, but that doesn't mean this doesn't count as "success" (I would define myself as someone who has experienced some "success" out here - i.e. Shameless - but not as being a "Success". I have not done enough actual "acting" or made enough money for the latter).
But what am I post-"accomplishment"? How "successful" are people going to see me as being when the reason they saw me as "successful" has come and gone?
Who am I when I'm back to just scrabbling for one-day costars/guest stars, hoping-against-hope that I'll someday land another regular gig and have a "place to call home", where "everybody knows my name"? (And - heaven forbid! - who am I if it should become clear that my "career" has peaked with Shameless?).
I want another long-term gig, not just for the financial security of it, not just in hopes of doing more acting (And being a more meaningful part of another successful show), but to once again have a place I "belong".
A circumstance that continues to cause people - friends and strangers alike - to see me as "successful".
And something that makes me feel like Shameless was not just a fluke.
(Till next time...)