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5:22 PM - Sun 7.05.20

A Certain Back-And-Forth Feeling

There's a certain back-and-forth that's been on my mind a lot these days - The back-and-forth of sometimes thinking the only problem with the current "situation" (No day job, no acting, no social contact, nowhere to go and nothing to do, etc) is that it isn't "sustainable", but sometimes thinking having nowhere I have to be and nowhere I'm going and nothing I have to do is as stressful an ongoing situation as I've been in for quite some time.

But yesterday it struck me that, while my circumstances feel more tenuous than they did pre-pandemic, my future wasn't exactly crystal clear before COVID-19; I expected to be at WW until I chose to leave, but the job paid for shit (It didn't cover my rent, let alone anything else). And I was looking at one more season of Shameless, then it would be catch-as-catch-can with acting.

So life was going to be pretty uncertain for me in the not-too-distant future anyway.

So it's not that the pandemic snatched my rosy future away from me - It's more like it snatched away any fantasy that I could control and predict the future. Because I have absolutely no idea what things look like down-the-road.

And an interesting thing is that, for the most part, I haven't worried about it nearly as much as I would have imagined.

Maybe because there isn't much to do about "the future" at this point. I lost my job, and the job situation in Pandemic-World is so dismal Unemployment has suspended its normal "looking for work" requirement.

And I can't do anything about when Shameless will start, or whether I'll still be on the show when it does (Increasingly, it's looking like it could be October or later, or maybe even next year, before Season 11 is a thing).

And there doesn't seem to be much to do about acting in general, since "acting in general" is barely a thing at this point (There are apparently dribs and drabs of things happening now - I think mostly in commercials - but I wasn't getting auditions in the first part of the year before things slammed to a halt, so I don't think I'm going to be at the head of the line to pick up those "dribs-and-drabs of things").

So not having to look for another low-paying, shitty day-job I didn't really want anyway hasn't been terrible.

And not having to stress over the auditions that weren't happening, because nothing was happening? Also not terrible (Though as soon as there was a hint that anything was happening, I immediately started back up with my terrible, obsessive, self-destructive habit of constantly checking my phone for messages).

And right now?

I still have a lot of days where I think I'd be content to just live this way if I could.

And when I don't, I don't think it's really about financial concerns for the future, at least not for the most part - I think it's more free-floating anxiety about who I am and what I'm to do in a world that, more clearly than ever, doesn't really need me around, even if I'm not quite ready to die yet.

So I'm trying, with intermittent success, to up-the-ante on being "creative" - Writing more in here, drawing more, starting a podcast, and even doing a couple of TikTok videos (I'm definitely doing more than I was doing pre-pandemic...but considering I have nothing but time these days, I'm still not too impressed with my output).

I could stand to read more - I could definitely stand to exercise more - but my focus seems to be on things that could ostensibly "lead to something".

I'd like to find some kind of "place" for myself before all's said and done, where I can do things that mean something to me while keeping body-and-soul together, income-wise. And to make that pipe-dream become a pipe-reality will require working through some lethargy and self-doubt.

And really, this is about as good a time as I'm ever going to get to do this. Nobody is expecting anything of me, nothing has to happen immediately, I can just "do things" and see what happens.


The big thing that's happening these days is Jane R. being in town.

After our rocky first day, I've really been enjoying hanging out with her (Though we didn't hang out today - I'm going over to her place tomorrow morning).

A little bummed that I'm gonna need to shave and get my hair back to whatever color the Just-For-Men Shampoo I use makes it (Because she and David want to get a couple shots of me while she's here that have to match previous shots)- Not a big fan of having everyone and their fucking mother tell me on Facebook how much better I look with my beard when I have to shave it off - but telling myself, "Jim, don't be a fucking baby! You're an actor, not an AARP model!".

She made dinner for Seth (Our DP) and me at her place on Friday - She had concerns because she found the small kitchen awkward to work in, but it was a lovely meal (salmon, sweet potatoes, and salad) - and I really enjoyed our time together. He's a good guy.

Yesterday she came over here, and I was pleased she noticed how I'd cleared a load of clutter from the front room (I was proud of myself for doing it, and for it staying uncluttered in the interim).

We hung out here, talking about where I could hang various pictures and how to improve upon my living space (Particularly my desire to have a dedicated drawing space - She ultimately convinced me to upgrade my TV, then hang it on the wall, thus freeing-up the TV table which has been doing double-duty).

(When I blanched over the expense, she told me that if that expenditure ended up being a terrible mistake, she would lend me the money till I could pay her back. I don't expect it to come to that, but it was a lovely gesture.)

I don't think she's artistically "off-and-running" the way she'd expected/hoped to be (She said she still doesn't feel "settled in yet"), but I hope she's glad she's here nevertheless.

I certainly am.

And on that note, I think I feel a podcast calling me, so till next time...




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