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9:45 AM - Mon 7.01.19

All This And An Earthquake Too

(Noticing that looking at my phone for extended periods seems to mess with my eyes - Things are kinda blurry when I return to "the real world". But anyway...)

Our top story today: You know that audition I felt good about, where they checked my availability, then checked it again, but I thought things weren't going to work out because of my Shameless schedule?

Well, things worked out.

I'll be flying out a week from Wednesday, shooting the next day, then flying back.

It's all very secretive - Not only did I have to sign an NDA, but the scene I auditioned with was written with fake character names. (So I wouldn't know the characters/actors I'd be working with until/unless I booked it). And once I did book it, they only sent me the scene in question (Not the entire script, like they do with Shameless).

So I am quite pleased, on multiple levels - It's a great show, it's a fun bit, I'm shooting with the leads, and I'm flying (And staying in a hotel, and being ferried to and from the airport) on the company dime.

What's not to love?

It's been a long time since I've won any prizes (Didn't book any non-Shameless roles last year - Bosch was in 2017) and I've got to say that it feels really good.

I got word about this while at work on Wednesday...and if that had been the only good news I'd gotten that day, that would have been a landmark day.

But my agent texted me to call him when I could, because he had some more news for me (And I assumed, in context, he didn't want me to call so he could lay bad news on me).

So when my second meeting ended, I called him, and the news was indeed not bad - The offer had come in from Shameless for the first episode of the new season; after years of getting no raises, I was getting a bigger per-episode raise than I"ve ever received.

While it wasn't an across-the-board win - My credit and trailer remain the same, and it will be virtually impossible for me to get "top of show" guest-star money (That wouldn't click in till the 4th day of shooting...and I've never shot four days on an episode).- the raise was a huge jump over getting nothing the past three or four years (And a very substantial raise over what had been given to me in the past).

It made me quite happy.

it's meaningful to me on pragmatic terms - it's never a bad thing to be making more money - but maybe even more meaningful emotionally; it's nice to feel like the work you're doing has actual value, and that you're appreciated for doing it.

Season 10 has started off with a bang thus far - There was the cast party, I did my second table-read in a row today and I'm in the first three episodes - So I'd say, at present, I feel more a part of the Shameless world than usual.

(Luis Guzman was at the table read today, and I found him very impressive - pretty much everything he said was comedy gold. Wish I'd had the wherewithal to introduce myself and get a picture - like Mike M. did - but hopefully we'll work together at some juncture, and I can do it then.)


(11:30 pm)

And in other news, the documentary (Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong if you're new here) continues apace.

Jane R. is coming here for more shooting in a couple weeks. So we've been in frequent communication about that. And she emailed Michael H., the Shameless producer (Or rather, his assistant), to try to get some sense of "where things go from here" , in terms of what-they'll-let-us-do-when regarding filming at Warners/on the Shameless set..

(They had a phone conversation a while back - maybe a month ago? Or was it earlier? - but nothing definitive happened. It was just a "getting to know you" kind-of-thing. But now that everybody knows everybody, it would be nice to get some kind of go-ahead on filming whatver-they're-gonna-let-us-film.)

But the really interesting thing, in my mind, regarding the documentary, will be a trip to West Virginia.

As I said last time, when the possibility of going back to West Virginia first came up, I was pretty uncertain about it, bordering on thinking it wasn't worth doing. I envisioned a lot of me wandering around saying "I don't remember this" and "I don't recognize that", because I didn't think anyone in my family would be game for participating

But now it's gone from "Why bother to do this?" to "How could we not do this?"

It intrigues me because I don't know what we'll get, in terms of material for the film.

But it intrigues me even more because I don't know what I'll get from the experience (Particularly with meeting two of my nieces - Ashley and Brittany - and their children. It would be nice if it were "the start of something", relationship-wise, but who knows?).

But whatever happens, we'll now have something more interesting, and likely way more meaningful, than me wondering around a "hometown" I have no real memory of.


Thurs 7/4/19 (8:30 a.m.)

In Shameless news - Shot my bit for the first episode of season 10 yesterday.

As episodes for "Kermit" go, it wasn't anything special - I was in two scenes, but only had lines in the first one - but it was great fun being back; at one point during a setup, I was sitting with Shanola H., and we had a nice discussion about how cool it was, getting paid to eat tacos while waiting to do the thing we love to do.

It was also pretty cool when John Wells, who was directing the episode, came out and complimented us on our preparation, bemoaning actors who in other situations he's been in basically learning their lines on-set.

I didn't take that compliment too much to heart - I had a whopping five or six lines - but it did speak to something I've thought before (And why, I'd guess, Macy says he particularly enjoys his scenes at the Alibi), which is that we've gelled as a little "ensemble". Steve and Shanola are great, and me and Mike lend pretty effective support. We are prepared, definitely, but beyond that, we have so much experience workng together now we can just "get it done".without a lot of fuss and bother.

Add that to the fact that we're pleasant/fun to work with - Steve can be a little diva-esque, but in a very funny, self-aware way (And his comedy chops are formidable), Shanola is always a high-energy ray of sunshine, and Mike could run for "Mayor of Shameless" and get elected (He's much better at getting crew people's names and making connections with them - often centered around their mutual experience of being parents - than I am) - and I understand why shooting Alibi scenes might be fun for everyone involved.

You might have noticed that I left myself out of the group - Not because I think I'm not pleasant/fun to work with, but that, in this environment, I don't think I bring any standout quality to the table (I'm not as funny as Steve Howey - I'm barely funny at all, outside of when the script calls for it - as bright and energetic as Shanola, or as friendly and personable as Mike).

But beyond the "being prepared" thing, I'm pleasant and pretty personable. I don't think anyone on the Shameless set has ever heard me say a harsh word (Far as I can recall, the only time I'm ever expressed any unhappiness on-set was when doing the strip-club scene, and that wasn't while shooting, and it wasn't toward anyone involved...except maybe the writer who'd put me in that position in the first place).

Anyway, it was good to be back, and I'm looking forward to shooting my next episode on Monday (Nice timing, since it's my regular day off from WW).

Regarding the other show I'll be shooting next week, they kinda "pulled a fast one" on me - Got word yesterday that they moved the schedule up a day, so I'm travelling on Tuesday and coming back on Thursday, instead of the original Wednesday-Friday schedule.

Not the end of the world, but mildly annoying for a guy who stresses about getting fills and the like before travelling - It's nice to feel like you've "gotten it all done", and less nice to discover you a tually haven't.

(Just had a minor earthquake - Nothing damaged, but unnerving (My light fixtures are only now coming to a stop.)

But it's all been attended to - I'd forgotten to "book out" with my commercial guy, but just did that - so it's "full steam ahead" on that front.

So it's going to be a banner week next week, with not one, but two acting jobs.

Which means I should probably wrap this up, and maybe work on some lines.the way actors are sometimes required to do.

Till next time...


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