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6:19 PM - Sun 01.03.16
The Year In Review (2015 Ed) - The Year Beyond Acting

The Year In Review (2015 Edition, Pt II) - The Year Beyond Acting

I have a few leftover thoughts about the past year in "Acting" before I move on to "Everything Else"...

I wrote about how excited I was to get called by Dick Wolf's people for Chicago Med, and I was.

But really, it was about 90 percent for career reasons, and maybe 10% about acting (Though honestly, even there, I don't know if I have anything new to bring to the stock role of "Curmudgeonly Old Doctor" on a network procedural).

But in terms of auditions, the thing I was most excited about as an actor - that I, sadly, didn't book - was the role on Stitchers.

I'd never heard of the show - even now, I can't tell you what network it's on off the top-of-my-head. MTV maybe? - but it was a two or three page scene that was just super fun to play (I would have loved shooting it and having it be on TV, and hoped it would be my next recurring role. But all that aside, it was a blast just getting to do it in the casting office).

Not booking it was a real blow, because I just don't get a shot at scenes I'm really excited about very often (And it's tough to think "I brought my A game into that room..." - and I really did - "...and I still lost").

But the experience also gave me hope - There's still a chance that a scene will come along that "speaks to me", and when it does, it's nice to know I still have "an A game" when I walk into the room.

And next time? When that scene comes my way, and I'm in the room?

I just might book it.

Another thing that happened in 2015 is that I did a bit in my friend Michelle's web-series, Patti & Marina.

It was a fun day, and a fun little scene (Maybe the first time I've been asked to be in a web-series and actually been given something to do. And I know and have known a number of screenwriters over the years). But my biggest takeaway was that I didn't really hope/expect to "get anything out of it" beyond the experience itself. I like Michelle, and I liked the scene, and that was pretty much it...and I can't honestly remember the last time I felt that way (I'm pretty much always hoping that something is going to "lead to something").

And I think 2015 was the first year I had to start self-taping things.

I don't like it - I don't like having to impose upon/depend upon other people, I don't like that I'm not "in the room" with casting/production (and thus can't make a personal impression, can't get a re-direct if I'm not on the right track, etc), and I don't like that I don't even know if anyone's gonna see it or not - but whether I like it or not, it's "the thing that's happening", and it started happening for me in 2015 (So I'd better get better at it in 2016).


I'm frankly always nervous about these year-end entries - Once I get done writing about "the acting stuff", I'm afraid there isn't going to be anything else to write about, which will embarrass and upset me.

But as the end of 2015 approached, and I thought about my life aside from acting, it struck me that my year-beyond-acting was not just a real thing, it kind of had a "theme" - "Trying To Feel Better".

I initiated a new effort to address my Sleep Apnea, and have been using my CPAP for months now - it's not helping at this point, but I'm staying with it, and plan to make a push to figure out why it doesn't seem to be working, so I can make it work.

I started volunteering with the SAG Foundation "BookPals" program - and the offshoot "Pencil Pals" program - in an effort to give my life a little meaning.

I signed on to do "Personal Coaching" at WW, and while I was disappointed it didn't turn out to be more financially rewarding (Early on, I fantasized I might actually be able to just do coaching at night, and free up my days for acting), I was pleased (and frankly surprised) to find I did get some measure of "personal satisfaction" from it (That said, I'm very close to quitting at this point, which I'll get to momentarily).

I returned to therapy for the first time in many years.

I have struggled, for awhile now, with the feeling that "It's all over but the shouting" - Like I didn't realize I was part of a cosmic game of musical chairs, and by the time I caught on, it was too late. I'd lost.

I am afraid of the future, instead of excited, I have no reason to live but have become terrified of death, and I don't know what to do about it, or what to do with whatever time I have left that might provide genuine pleasure or meaning.


After a couple weeks of psychological bobbing and weaving on my part, it's become tough - I seem to cry at least once a session now - but clearly there's something in me that isn't ready to give up on life, or on myself, just yet.

(Apparently, I still believe I can pull something from this fucking mess...!)

And after the emotional upset of shooting "The Scene" in episode 10 of Shameless - which I feel I've chewed over enough in here - I joined the Y.

...and have discovered I really enjoy Zumba class - I went from feeling like I was going to die the first time I did it, to feeling "challenged" by it, in a positive way (a feeling that is very foreign to me), to actively wanting to arrange my life so I can do it more often (Hence, the growing urge to quit the personal coaching thing - I think getting myself in shape, being with other people, and just enjoying moving my body is ultimately going to be more meaningful to me than the coaching stuff. It's not the only reason I feel the coaching part of my life coming to a close, but it's a big one).

I think that's about it - I was going to write about my trip to VA to meet my brother Gregg (Which was definitely the big "adventure" of the year), but things have gotten..."complicated" on that front, so I think I will save that for another entry.

(And I guess I'll stick the end of my relationship with Howard in that entry too. I haven't written much, if anything, about it, but it's important - Important enough not to just "tack onto" an entry that's already gone way too long)

It's important to me that, even if I'm unhappy, even if I feel like I'm "going down for the count", that I be able to say "But I didn't give up without a fight" (I don't know why that's so important to me. It just is).

In 2015, in my "Life Beyond Acting", I fought for myself.

And that means something to me.

And now?

The fight continues...


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