9:12 PM - Friday 4.21.17
Got dropped by my theatrical agency on Monday (There was a general consensus - from my manager, my therapist, my friend Mike M., and various WW coworkers - that it was pretty shitty of them to do it via email, rather than call me. And it was, don't get me wrong...but I kind of understood - being an emotional coward myself, deeply fearful of conflict, I'd be tempted to do the same. But anyway...).
In the moment, the news seemed downright apocalyptic - I thought, "I'm an older character actor who hasn't booked any new TV work in the past couple years, so who the fuck is gonna want to sign me?", and genuinely considered the possibility I was all done (Yes, there's the Shameless money, but if it wasn't enough for Clear to hang onto me, how enticing would it be to a new place?).
Cut to Wednesday afternoon...
I interview with Lyle S. at BBA Talent (More on that in a moment), we talk, he expresses his interest in representing me, and I have dinner with my Manager and his girlfriend Dori afterward to celebrate.
The next day, my Manager emailed him to make it official, I put the agency name in Actors Access (The actor's side of Breakdown Services, which is how agents submit actors for auditions), and he emailed me the paperwork I needed to make things legal...which I sent out earlier today.
So how did we get from " my own personal apocalypse" to signing with a new agent in a little more then 48 hours?
The answer is Brett (My aforementioned Manager).
One of the reasons I was so panicked upon getting the news that Clear Talent was dropping me was that I thought I was on my own in terms of finding a new agent, and the idea was hugely daunting (Did I mention that I'm a soon-to-be-56-year-old, weird-looking character actor that hasn't booked any new TV work in years? Hard to feel like I'm operating from a "position of strength" here).
For whatever reason, I didn't think of Brett as a resource, even though he'd helped me secure all my previous theatrical agents (I've not had to try and secure my own representation since getting JS, my commercial agent, 13 or 14 years ago - Well, actually, I did try to get a theatrical agent prior to signing with Brett, but nothing happened).
One reason I thought I was on my own was that I assumed Clear Talent was the one hookup Brett currently had in that regard.
But turns out he has four other clients represented by BBA. So he told me to email him a link to my stuff (Which is all on Actors Access), and he would send it to Lyle to check out.
And Lyle liked what he saw well enough - and I assume has had enough success with Brett's other clients - to then bring me in.
Which is why I wasn't terribly nervous when I met him - To my way-of-thinking, if he liked what he saw of my work and/or was favorably disposed toward me because of his success with Brett's other clients, it wasn't like I was going to then walk in and fuck it up by being an asshole. I'm generally a warm, personable, funny guy, and knew enough to walk in projecting an upbeat, positive vibe (I'm actually more confident about my personal effect on people than my acting stuff - I'm actively embarrassed that my resume and clips are really "thin" for a guy my age).
So I didn't do a big song-and-dance...and didn't need to - Actually, I think Lyle talked more than I did (I know he certainly talked faster - As I've talked about the experience with people, I've prefaced the conversation with, "Anytime I talk about what he said during the interview, imagine it being said ten times faster").
He was quite a character, who's apparently lived a pretty full life, and honestly, I didn't quite know what to make of him (In certain respects - the brash fast-talking - he was like a theatrical agent out of Central Casting. I did find myself wondering "Is this guy for real?" more than once)...but he had energy to burn, seemed quite confident (About himself, and about wanting to work with me), made some (sometimes uncomfortably) astute observations, and struck what I thought was an appropriate balance of realism and hopefulness about what's possible in terms of my career.
(An example of the "realism"? A network series regular role ain't happening, not at my age. The "hopefulness"? A good career on cable - which, artistically, is where I want to be anyway - is still very possible.)
I am feeling quite optimistic, but am tempering it with what feels like realism - I'm hoping he'll do more for me than Clear did, but I'm still me, he's an agent and not a magician, and we've hit a traditional "slow period", so it wouldn't be realistic to expect to get a dozen auditions next week.
Now, the week, after...
Of course, I kid...sorta - I'd just like, during the next "busy season", to actually have things be busy.
I've told people I'd like nothing better than the burden to fall squarely on me - to be getting sent out enough that I have to say, "Well, my agent is certainly doing his job, so now it's time for me to do mine".
So...it will be interesting to see what happens next, to say the least.
Sat 4/22/15 (7:39 pm)
Have been home since maybe 1:00 pm...and haven't done shit.
So here I am - This is me trying to "do shit". Working through a huge wave of fatigue-induced inertia to do something that, in the basic scheme of things...doesn't mean a god-damned thing.
Writing about my "agent situation", Brett clearly was the hero of the day.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how cool Jon - my commercial agent - also was when I told him the news (That I'd been dropped by my theatrical agency).
After expressing his surprise - "Why would they drop you? You're such a great type!" - he offered his assistance in terms of me submitting for projects, "until you get a new agent" (Early on, when he was the only representation I had, Jon offered to take calls for any theatrical auditions I might get without requiring a commission, which I thought was quite lovely of him).
I'm often embarrassed when I make reference to my "team" or "my people", because it's such a Hollywood cliche...but in this instance, "my people" - at least the ones who have elected to stand by me - really came through.
And I am grateful.
So what else is going on...? Nothing, really, but I feel like writing, so I'm gonna write.
There are multiple layers of uncertainty around Shameless - regarding when exactly shooting will start (Three of the series regulars are shooting movies right now), if shooting will start (There's the threat of a Writers strike looming - last I knew, the deadline is the 2nd of next month), and if/when shooting starts, if it will start with Yours Truly? - but I have rationalized my way, I think reasonably, into assuming "things are gonna work out".
(I presume Lyle will be calling Production at some point to let them know he's my guy now, and hopefully I'll then get a little more clarity about things, if there's clarity to be had. I'd like to know what's what just for curiosity's sake, but also because I'd like to know when I have to shave and Grecian Formula-myself back into "Kermit".)
Back to the Dentist on Monday, hopefully for the last time in awhile (Nothing that's happened in the past couple weeks has been seriously painful, and I've been positively motivated by my desire to get the cosmetic thing happening. But that said, while there hasn't been "serious pain", there has been "moderate-to-high-degrees-of-discomfort" for hours at a time. And for that reason, and because I've "delayed my gratification" long enough, I'm starting to just want this to be done).
It's gonna sound weird, but I'm prepared to be both happy and disappointed when it's all done - I know I'll be happy to see how much better things look (The work done on the top already had that effect on me), and I'll be happy that "I did this nice thing for myself", but I have a sneaking suspicion it won't be quite the "game-changer" I wish it would be.
But I don't know that it has to be a huge "game-changer" - Maybe it just gives me a little more confidence. Maybe it nudges things ever so slightly my way when it comes down to me and "another guy".
Maybe that's all I need.
Though amusingly enough, yesterday I had a commercial audition that made me think "Of course - Soon as I start getting my teeth fixed, I get an audition where my fucked-up grill would work in my favor...!".
The audition was for the role of "redneck", and as I said on Facebook, the other actors looked so authentically "redneck" that I looked like I belonged in a J. Crew catalog by comparison.
It's a dilemma - I get called in for auditions like this (rednecks, homeless guys, carny workers, etc), but I almost never get them, in part because I'm auditioning against actors who only ever go in for those parts.
I'm tempted to spiral here about the joys and pains of typecasting, but it's an emotionally complicated issue, meriting an entry in itself, and not something to start into toward what you think is the end of an entry.
It's my birthday in three weeks.
I can't really remember the last time anything was really made of my birthday, and I wish I could join the rest of humanity on the "not making anything of my birthday" front.
But I still get angst-y about each upcoming birthday alone. And instead of it fading with age, it's gotten worse, as the "I don't have anyone to celebrate my birthday with" self-pity mixes and mingles with the "I'm rushing towards Death" terror to create a truly special mental state.
But, again, this isn't something to get into when I'm nearing the end of a journal entry - Besides, I've got another three weeks to marinate in my "I'm alone and unloved" birthday blues, so there's no need to rush things - so I'm going to "table the issue" for now.
Another shitty birthday aside, I actually think the current period of time seems pretty positive - I just got a new agent who I hope will help give my career a jump-start, I'm giving myself a nice new smile (That I also hope will help my career, but will give me a mental/emotional boost regardless), and my show is about to start back up.
In light of all that, getting through another lonely birthday should be child's play...
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