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12:07 PM - 07.10.14
Another Letter To My Mama

Another Letter To My Mama

Just finished a letter to my Mom.

If you've been following me for awhile, I think it's interesting to post the letter in here; I basically tell her everything that's going on, and I don't lie, but I also don't really delve into things the way I might in here (Which is why, even though I wrote a great deal about my week in MI, I still feel like it needs a "real" D-land entry).


Thurs 7/10/14 (9:10 am)

Hi Mom,

Realizing I haven’t written you in awhile, so since I have the morning off, this seems like the perfect time to “take care of business”.

How are you? I hope you’re doing well, and that Craig and the dogs are in good health too.

I’m doing okay on my end, I guess.

I just got back from a one-week vacation in Michigan, where I lived most of my life ( I moved there when I was ten, growing up in a small town outside of Flint. Then as an adult, I moved to Lansing and lived there the better part of 20 years, till I came out to L.A. to become a rich-and-famous actor).

I didn’t really have the money for a trip – things have been a little “tight” of late – but my friend Jane (Who lives in Lansing) basically “passed the collection plate” and got enough money together for plane fare (And I stayed with her and her husband Mark while I was there).

I was still anxious about leaving – worrying about missing auditions (Though this is a slow time of year, typically), about leaving my cat (I had my across-the-hall neighbor look in on him), and about the extra money I’d still have to spend on the trip, even though Jane made it as cheap a vacation as possible (Did I mention things have been “tight”? If you haven’t gotten this about me already, I’m a pretty major-league worrier, and “money” is worry #1 since moving to L.A.).

But I was really glad I went. It was fun to go back to Lansing and see old friends (And meet a few new ones), and I enjoyed getting to play the role of “Local Boy Made Good” – While I get frustrated about where I’m at in my career, and want more money and better roles, to my friends, I’m a big success because they’ve seen me on TV, and it’s nice to have people be excited about my successes and be proud of me (It reminds me to be proud of MYSELF, for what I’ve managed to accomplish since moving out to L.A).

Mark & Jane threw a party for me on Tuesday night, which was a lot of fun (Though I was a little nervous about my role as “Guest of Honor”, which shows you I can make myself worry about ANYTHING).

After that, we went out a few times in their pontoon boat, with smaller groups of friends, and I spent the rest of the time meeting up with individual friends for coffee or a meal, and karaoke one night – There was something going on pretty much every day I was there, which is very different than my life in LA (Other than work and auditions, about the only thing that gets me out of the house is going to the movies with my friend Howard).

Mark and Jane were in rehearsals for a musical (“Young Frankenstein”), so I didn’t have quite as much time with them as I might have, but we still got in time together, and on a couple occasions, talked late into the night (Those two are basically family to me, particularly Jane – she’s been my #1 supporter over the years).

So I was glad Jane forced me into going (If she’d left it up to me to decide when I could “afford” the trip, I don’t know WHEN I would have gotten back).

Got back in town Monday afternoon, and have been struggling with a bad case of post-vacation blues, as I go back to “real life” and my regular set of worries (About money, my career, etc).

But I’m trying to “Keep my sunny-side up”.

“Shameless” just started shooting its 5th season this week.

I’m not in the first episode, but I’m hoping they’ll use me a lot this season (I’m trying not to COUNT on anything – cause that just leads to disappointment – but I was in more episodes this past season than I’ve ever been before, so I’m hoping that bodes well for me this year).

And I’m enthused about my new agents. Things are just starting back up after the summer hiatus, but I’m hopeful that, when they really get going, having better representation is going to mean more/better audition opportunities.

Things have been tough at Weight Watchers – People aren’t signing up like they used to, which means that meetings are getting cut, and fewer people are needed for the meetings that remain (And the rumor is that they’re looking to get out of the business of having meetings altogether, though I think if that's the case, it'll be awhile yet).

But (REDACTED). It would be a new thing for me, and new things make me nervous. But if they’ll let me, I’m willing to give it a try, especially if it means the difference between staying afloat, or having to figure out what else I can do to try and make a living (Though I’ve been thinking about that TOO).

It feels like I’m dealing with a lot of uncertainty – Always when it comes to acting, and now with Weight Watchers – and that’s pretty stressful. But at the moment, I don’t think I have any other good immediate options but to just do my best to “roll with it”.

You asked me in your letter (Which I thought I’d misplaced, but I just found and re-read) about auditioning for movies.

I DO audition for movies on occasion, but it’s pretty rare (The lion’s share of my auditions are for tv and commercials). I’ve tried to figure out why that is – I’d really LIKE to be in movies – and I think it’s because 1) They no longer do a lot of movies in LA (Maybe 30 or so in a year), and because of that, 2) The big roles might get cast in LA, but the roles I’d be up for are getting cast “locally” (Where the movie is being filmed).

I did audition for “Jersey Boys”, which was pretty exciting, but like I said, that kind of thing is pretty rare (My new theatrical agents have asked me for a list of places where I could be a “local hire” – like, if something were shooting in WV, I could stay with Tony and Lori, so the production wouldn’t have to pay to fly me to WV and put me up in a hotel and what-not).

It’s really funny that you asked me about reading, and said one of the things you liked about your mom was that you inherited her love of reading – When I first started finding out about you, and heard that you loved to read, I was glad I “inherited my love of reading” from YOU!

I was a voracious reader when I was a kid, reading any and everything I could get my hands off, and as an adult, I worked in bookstores for about 15 years altogether.

But I’m embarrassed to say that I really don’t read like I used to – I spend way too much time on the Internet or in front of the tv – and getting that “love of reading” back is a goal of mine. I just like myself better when I’m “working on a book or two” at any given time. And I’m getting to the age where I feel like I have to start thinking about things to do to “keep my mind sharp”.

About your sister and your remaining family (Other than Tony and Lori and the kids…and ME, of course) – Are you close to them? Do you talk to them much, or visit?

As you might imagine, “family” is a very interesting topic for me, especially since connecting with you and Tony and Lori and the kids.

I get a little sad sometimes that we’re not getting to see much of each other, due to distance and financial circumstances and what-have-you, but I guess we all have to “do the best we can with what we’ve got”…which in this case, I guess would mean making more of a point of writing and calling you on a regular basis.

And you never have to worry about being “boring” to me. I always enjoy hearing from you – The more you have to say, the better I LIKE it!

Well, I guess that’s about it from here. I’ve got a few other things I should attend to before work later this afternoon, but I did want to get a letter out to you.

I’ll let you know when I have anything coming up on tv. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you when you have the chance.

Love

Jim

 

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