Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

11:40 am - Mon 5.06.19

A Tale Of Cold Sores And Callbacks

Just got the news I pretty much knew I was gonna get before I asked - I didn't book the AT&T spot I had the callback for on Friday (The spot shoots on Weds, so there wasn't a lot of time for them to fuck around - And as I suspected, it had been cast the very next day).

That's basically "the way it goes" - only one person wins the big prize - but that doesn't take away from what was clearly some good work at the callback, where they gave me and my scene partner direction, took time with us and were clearly amused by our efforts.

I did well. Not getting the gig sucks, but it doesn't take away from that (Gotta keep telling myself that...).

That said, I sure would like to "win the big prize" again sometime...but that's getting exponentially harder to do, in part because union commercials have become an endangered species, meaning there are fewer and fewer "big prizes" to win (My commercial agent just sent out his weekly newsletter, describing the ratio of non-union to union commercials being 80/20 He then said, in so many words, we shouldn't look for commercials as a way to make a living as a "working actor" anymore, and instead think of them as a potential secondary source of income, and focus on "shoring up" up the other side of our careers instead (The TV/movie side...which, just for the record, isn't really happening for me either, my long-term recurring role on Shameless being the obvious, and life-saving, exception).

So with all that, the last thing you want at an increasingly rare commercial callback is to be rolling in with a giant, unsightly cold-sore.

But that's what happened Friday.

And while there's no way for me to know - It wasn't like anyone was going to tell my agent, "We really wanted Jim, but we didn't want to deal with that giant mess over half his bottom lip" - I feel pretty positive that having a blistered, pus-y growth on my face didn't exactly help my odds (As I told my agent, if I were the decision-makers, I'd go with the guy I liked who didn't have a giant cold-sore vs. the guy I liked who would require Avengers: Endgame-levels of CGI to work on camera).

(Warning: I am now going to go on about my cold-sore situation longer than anyone really should.)

Adding to my upset about this "cold-sore situation" is that this is the second time this year a cold-sore has fucked me up on camera; before this, I went through a week-and-a-half of shooting the documentary with a cold-sore I think was in the same general location (The left-side of my bottom lip).

(And that will, potentially, cost Jane R. money, if she sees the footage and decides it's just too distracting to use otherwise.)

I've had this affliction for a very long time now (Just read that two/thirds of adults over 50 have the virus, but only 30 percent have symptoms), but I typically go for very long periods of time without an outbreak...which suggests my immune system has to be particularly compromised for a cold sore to bloom.

This outbreak happened shortly after I got back from Sante Fe.

And the outbreak before that?

Also shortly after I got back from Sante Fe.

(Seeing any patterns?)

It's very troubling that, apparently, all it takes to "compromise my immune system" these days is a weekend out-of-town.

Doing something I actually want to do and find quite fulfilling, no less (Though it strikes me that maybe the issue is the "funk" I fall into each time I come back from Sante Fe and have to return to "real life", and not the fun and fulfilling "being away" part).

But it does make me wonder - If I get "run down" over this rather low level of activity, how the fuck could I ever deal with having my dream come true, and becoming a series regular? Logging 10 or 12 hour days, week after week, for months on end?

The other thing that "gives me pause" here is that this most recent outbreak happens as I am giving my CPAP the most serious good-faith effort I have in years - I've been using it for the past couple weeks, and even packed it for the Sante Fe trip.

So if the issue is I'm not getting enough "rest" - though when do I ever? - clearly the CPAP isn't doing shit.

Which is very disappointing.

I very much don't want "chronic herpes breakouts" to be my "new normal".

But I think what's bothering me more than that is the sense of ongoing, albeit incremental, decline - In the grand-scheme-of-things, if I get cold sores more often than I used to, it's...well, let's just say one could have worse problems (I'd rather not get on Valtrex or whatever, but I will if need be). But it suggests a system that is, slowly but surely, breaking down.

And I'm neurotic enough to let that basic thought lead me into a world of mental/emotional anguish, as I consider where all this "incremental decline" is inevitably heading.

(Cheery, huh?)

Beyond the monumental issue of me and my herpes situation, the other thing I've been thinking about a great deal since my last stint in Sante Fe is how I'm way more comfortable with the relative "fantasy life" I live when I'm there vs. my day-to-day life in LA.

Seriously - In Sante Fe, my room and board is covered, I'm doing something where my involvement is central (Where I matter), I have a sense of purpose, I'm rarely alone or lonely, etc.

In LA, I chronically worry about how I'm going to keep things going, no one seems to want me to do much of anything, my "sense of purpose" is all but nonexistent, and I'm alone the great majority of the time.

Which both brings up the obvious problem - you can't live in a fantasy - and makes me wonder just what the fuck I'm going to do when this documentary thing is over (Though it would seem, at the very least, that I will be doing this documentary, and things related to it, for at least the rest of this year and next).


Tues 5/7/19 (8:14 pm)

Earlier today, I thought about deleting everything I'd written so far and starting over.

But that smelled of "effort" so I've decided to just leave it be.

Had therapy earlier today, after having to cancel last week because of the initial AT&T audition.

Talked about the stuff I've written about in here mostly.

Toward the end of the hour, we talked about the CPAP stuff, and we discussed how to work on sleeping better (From a relaxation app on my phone to either help me get to sleep or get back to sleep when I wake up, to working on further limiting my caffeine intake, to trying not to watch TV or play with my phone in bed, and cutting off screens an hour before bedtime.

It won't be easy - I drink Coke Zero like water, and spend the lions-share of my time at home on my computer, or phone, or watching TV (And live in a studio apartment, so watching TV in bed is kind of hard not to do).

But I'm already working on limiting my caffeine intake (I just have to do a little better). And it might be a good thing if I had at least an hour where I had to actually do something other than kill time on one screen or another (The Beatles "Easy Guitar" book I recently bought was a good purchase in that regard - It's gotten me at least noodling around with my guitar more than I have in long time - and I'm about three-quarters of the way through Do I Make Myself Clear?, the second book in a row I'm reading on writing and grammar).

Mostly, I just want to feel better (Which, ironically is why I developed the bad sleep habits I have).

If I figure out this sleep thing and I feel much more energetic and less depressed and anxious, that's a good thing.

And if I work out this sleep thing and I'm still feeling tired and depressed and anxious...well, that's worth knowing too, so I can figure out what else is going on.


Birthday's next week (On Wednesday).

Asked Tim, Mike, Cary, and Josh if they'd be able to do a birthday dinner with me, and got affirmatives from three of the four (Haven't heard back from Josh yet).

I'm uncomfortable about asking for this sort of thing. But sometimes, ya gotta ask. If I don't let it be known that I'd like to hang out with some friends on my birthday, who's going to?

And two days after that, Jane R. is back in town for more filming.

(And Josh just connected with me - He probably can't do my birthday, but we're gonna do coffee on Thursday.)

And, in order to plan a trip back to Michigan for the film (It's been five years since I was last there), I had my agent check on when Shameless is starting back up, and the first day of shooting will be next month on the 26th (Not necessarily my first day of shooting - though I'm hoping I'll be in the episode - but at least we have a time-frame to work with).

So while I'm not exactly feeling great at the moment, at least I have some things to look forward to.

But I'd better get myself off the computer here, and do....something else, something not involving a screen.

Till next time...


previous - next

0 comments so far
about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!