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9:10 am - Sun 10/12/03
A Little \"Artistic Embarrassment\"

A Little "Artistic Embarrassment"

Had the big "Godzilla" audition on Thursday.

When I got there I realized, to my profound disappointment, that I'd been...confused; the big "Hollywood movie" was actually just another commercial, for a "Godzilla's Revenge" video game.

In a first draft of this entry, I went into long, dull detail about how this happened. But what it boils down to is 1)I believed what I wanted to believe, and 2)I really need to keep a running list of things I've submitted for from week to week, instead of just relying on a pile of old Backstages for reference.

And I just thought of number 3: If I'm going to submit myself for commercials--and there aren't many listings for commercials in Backstage, as a rule--I need to always send the headshot out that has JS as a contact. The fact I didn't this time out was a mistake, and the main reason I thought I was auditioning for a movie and not a commercial (I have absolutely no desire to do an "end run" around JS on commercials. The money I'd save by not paying his commission wouldn't be worth it if/when I got caught).

Anyway, I was just crushed. It was all I could do not to start crying right there (I'm starting to feel like I'm always crying about something out here, or at least ready to cry about something. Kind of wish I could be more of a man from time to time).

(I did the audition, of course, but between my state of mind and the fact I wasn't even dressed right, it's all-but-certain I didn't get it.)

Here's something interesting--One of the first things I thought when I realized my mistake was "Now I'm going to have to go back and tell everyone who reads Diaryland that I'm an idiot...". Honestly, I was more embarrassed about that than I was about having to tell people at work.

And then a trapdoor just opened under my feet; Suddenly everything looked bad, really bad. Once again, I felt "out on a limb", unable to make anything happen out here, but with nothing to go back to in Lansing.

And then there's the bookstore.

I don't want to be at Borders the rest of my godforsaken days (I don't want to be at Borders later on today for that matter!).

Had a little thing with one of the supervisors recently, where I thought--mistakenly, it turned out--that I might have to come in a half-hour late, because of an audition. The supervisor in question gave me so much grief over this stinking half-hour that I wanted to say "You know what? You're making me feel so angry about where I am in life--A bright, talented 42 year old man being talked down to by a fucking toad like you--that I'm going to drive over to the store right now, and beat you to death in front of our coworkers and a store full of customers. How's that work for you?"

But I did make a decision about Borders some time back--If I'm still there when I'm 50, I'm going to kill myself.

At the store.

And its going to be messy.

So you may want to avoid shopping at my particular Borders on May 15, 2011. Just a friendly bit of advice.

But anyway...

After having commercial auditions pretty much all week long the week before, this past week I got nothing from JS. Once again demonstrating the on again/off again nature of the commercial biz.

Starting to lose steam about the whole commercial thing as well. Commercials mostly suck for one thing, but more to the point, it's hard to go out, again and again, and have nothing happen. Then when it takes six months to get a single gig, and they all but cut you out of the spot...well, let's just say it makes "Sad Jim" feel like crying his eyes out


And it makes old "Snaggletooth" here wonder if his teeth are "queering the deal" on some of these things (If anyone wants to be play the role of "Wealthy Benefactor" here and slip me the money to have my teeth fixed, I'd be very appreciative. Very appreciative...if you know what I mean).

But lest you think I've just been hanging around the house crying like a little sissy-boy--and there's been plenty of that--I've still been busier with acting stuff than most weeks. In addition to the "Godzilla" non-movie audition, I had an audition for a non-paying movie on Friday, and a non-paying play yesterday.

(Add those to the two non-paying movies last week, and that's a lot of Jim not getting paid...)

It struck me hard during the "Godzilla" thing; Right now, I want to get paid more than anything. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, but on the other hand, that's a big part of what I came here for, so I don't know exactly what I'm embarrassed about (But here are some hints: 1. Wanting to get paid more than I want to make "art", and 2. Needing someone to hand me a check in order to feel worthwhile as a person/artist).

Here's some more "artistic embarrassment"...

As much as I want to act these days, I'm hugely ambivalent about doing theatre here.

I want to be acting. I need to be acting. Like my good buddy Jack Nicholson, I think I get emotionally "backed up" when I'm not acting.

But I've felt really burned by my theatre experiences out here so far. My experiences in "live theatre" so far have consisted of one play I was embarrassed to invite people to, and a number of misfires (The main "issue" of which seemed to be differing views on what being "professional" means).

And as Mark Z. suggested some time back, doing theatre here has a feel of "Been there, done that"; I was doing better work in Lansing, and besides, I came out here to do something else.

But beyond all that--and here comes the "I'm embarrassed to admit this" part--doing theatre here would constitute a major pain-in-the-ass.

1. I'd likely have to start driving everywhere, since there wouldn't be time to ride my bike to work, then to rehearsal. And driving everywhere means more gas, but worse than that, more parking.

2. After telling John A.(The big boss man)that my current schedule works really well for me, I'd then need to go to him and ask to have things totally turned upside-down. And since he can be sort of an asshole, I'm not completely confident I'd get a full-time schedule as a result. And that would be a serious problem.

3. If I were rehearsing a play at night, I'd be working during the day. And I'd either have to tell JS that I was unavailable for a number of weeks, or get an "occurrence" at Borders every single time JS called me with a commercial audition (In a particularly busy month for commercial auditions, that could mean losing my job). And I don't want to tell JS I'm not available for commercial auditions, because whatever the frustration, whatever the odds, it's the only arena where I've been given the chance to compete, for big cash prizes and potential career-changing visibility.

But all that said, I did audition for a play yesterday (A one-act, to be more precise). It was in Venice (Another pain-in-the-ass), at the Rose Alley theatre.

I thought it went quite well--to be honest, I think all of my auditions have gone pretty well lately, except the "Godzilla" thing--and it seemed like the director was interested.

(I played a hard-ass bartender, who nevertheless has a fatherly feeling towards a young gay man who frequents his bar.)

The director works during the day, so rehearsals would be at night. She asked about my conflicts, and I think here's where I maybe sabotaged myself a little bit; I started out saying "I have nothing but conflicts...", then said "...but with enough notice, I'm sure things can be worked out" (That's not the right answer and I know it. What a director wants to hear is "I can be available whenever you want me" and that's pretty much it).

The hope I have right now is that, since it's a one act, we could maybe rehearse two nights a week, on my days off, then I could arrange to work days during tech week and the run of the show (I don't think that's just "crazy talk" on my part; The director asked me to write down my schedule and seemed to perk up when she read that I had two weekdays off).

We shall see.

But to end on a positive note, I think it's a good thing that, all negatives aside, I did go audition for that play, and did the best I could (In addition to reading from the one-act in question, I did a monologue from a play called Balcony Scene. Which coincidentally, was a play the director knows pretty well, since she's friends with the playwrite. Small world, huh?).

Well, I wanted to move on to other, non-acting things I'm embarrassed about these days...but we're out of time.

Sad, snaggle-toothed Jim has to get in his pre-work nap. After all, it takes a lot of energy to be as servile as I need to be during the course of a retail day.


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