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Thurs 9:37 AM - 12.10.20

The Gentle Torment Of The "Avail"

Well, in another instance of "I should have written this sooner", I had a commercial callback on Tuesday...and got my second "avail" of the Pandemic Era later that day.

So why should I "have written this sooner", you might ask?

Because if I'd written this anytime from Tuesday night to, say, mid-afternoon yesterday, I would have been "flying high" off the success, and at least cautiously optimistic about actually booking the gig (For the uninitiated, an "avail" just means that, after the callback, it could be you, not that it is you).

Instead, I'm writing about another "swing-and-a-miss", a swing-and-a-miss complicated by my being, quite possibly, a victim of my own success - The "shoot window" for the commercial overlapped, by a day, the "window" for my next Shameless episode.

(I'm actually shooting tomorrow, for episode eight; the potential-conflict is on episode nine, which might be the last episode I shoot in 2020.)

There probably wouldn't be a conflict between the commercial and the show.

But "probably" is not "There's no conflict", so it's easy to imagine that, rather than risk it, they just moved on.

Now, I don't know any of this - For all I know, I could get a call at any time saying the gig is mine - but based on previous experience (And I'm the veteran of many "avails" at this point), it's likely I lost out on the gig, and it's certainly possible the potential Shameless conflict is why.

But looking on the bright side (Or "Making lemon juice out of lemons", as me and Jane like to say), it now seems official - I can put "whining about self-tapes" behind me and go back to whining about just not getting enough auditions (Because "It's a numbers game", after all).

I'm disappointed though - I was really hoping to "sneak in another win" before the end of the year, and it doesn't look like it's gonna happen (Though I might still get an audition or two in before year's-end, there's no longer time enough to go from "audition", to "callback", to "gig" in 2020).

On a sort-of-of-but-not-really related note, was intrigued by what John Levey (The CD for Shameless) recently had to say about self-taped auditions...

It was during the last table read - I logged onto Zoom early enough that it was just John and one of the other actors talking about self-tapes, the tone being that they were a necessary evil, and would probably be "The New Normal" going forward.

I asked John what his issues with self-tapes were.

The first thing he said was something I'd thought about myself - With a self-tape, you don't get a sense of who the actor is as a person (Or as John put it, "I want to know if you're the kind of person I want to be working with for the next five or ten years").

But the second thing he said was even more interesting - With a self-tape, the CD has no idea how long it took the actor to "get there" (Or as John said, "Did I get their 86th take?").

And the reason I found that so interesting is "You can do as many takes as you want" is
often put to actors as a "selling point" for self-tapes over going to a CD's office.

But apparently, that's not a selling point to Casting - Just like they want to get a sense of who you are as a person (To know whether they want to "get in business" with you or not), they need to know that, as an actor, you can quickly "get where you need to go" without needing 86 takes to get there.

And self-tapes don't do either of those things (There's also the issue of "redirects"...though I guess that kinda falls under "how quickly can you get where you need to go").

So, long story short, self-tapes aren't optimal...but they're what we've got.

In other, non-career-related news, I had another ultrasound on my leg on Saturday, and I am now blood-clot free.

I'm back to my PCP on Tuesday, and we'll discuss at that time whether I need to keep taking the blood-thinner I've been on for months now (Apparently, when they don't know why someone got a blood clot - As in the example of...well, Yours Truly - Drs sometimes recommend a patient stay on blood thinners forever, since "form blood-clots" might just be what my blood likes to do now. But anyway...).

My heart is apparently fine - My most recent EKG (At the Cardiologist's office) was pristine - and my blood pressure has always been good, so it seems what remains is to get my blood tested Tuesday to see where I'm at Diabetes-wise.

(I think the plan is also to check my testosterone levels, to see if low-testosterone is why I recently grew a lovely set of boobs. I know my sex-drive is not what it used to be - and I know, the less you hear about that the better - so I am idly curious whether "Low-T" is the problem. Though really, is a diminished sex-drive a problem if no one wants to have sex with you anyway? A point to ponder...)

I'm happy to report that my recent weight-loss efforts have started to bear fruit - I'm using the Lose-It app recommended by my Cardiologist (Because fuck Weight Watchers) and in the week-and-a-half or so since I started, I'm down, as of yesterday, three-and-a-half pounds.

According to the app, if I continue as I have thus far, I will reach my goal weight (Of 210 lbs) sometime in July.

And I'm not racing to get anywhere - I just want to look and feel better.

And not have the "Diabeetus", as the late Wilfrid Brimley used to say.

On that note, I'm due to have my weekly chat with Mark and Jane Z in a few minutes, so this seems a good time to bid you adieu.

Till next time...

(PS During this entry, have had communications with Production at Shameless and with my commercial agent - According to my agent, the commercial is not yet cast, and according to Production, they don't know the schedule for episode nine yet, but would endeavor to work with me if I booked the other job. So there you have it.)



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