12:19 am - Fri 3.13.2009
Well, since the last time I wrote about the sad, scary state of my finances, quite a bit has happened...
1. On Monday, I finally received the Coldstone check I've been waiting for (After taxes and my agent's 10%, it was about $1150 or so).
(For the uninitiated: About seven months ago, I noticed Coldstone still had a commercial I'd done for them running on their website...a month after the contract had expired. And that meant they needed to pay me. Which, after I filed a claim with SAG, and after they received numerous calls from SAG and from JS - my commercial agent - they've finally done.)
2. On Wednesday, I received a residual check for the AT&T spot for almost $400.
Like I've said before, I've never seen the spot, and no one I know has reported seeing the spot. But apparently, the spot's running somewhere - And right now, that's all I care about.
3. Also on Wednesday, I received confirmation that my food stamp application has been approved.
Feels slightly odd, getting food stamps now - I needed them a lot more last month than I'll need them this month, to say the least - but ultimately, things will "balance out"; the program involves regular income reports (Quarterly reports, I believe), so this temporary "spike" in income will be reflected in my benefits a couple months "down the road".
(Apparently, as long as I do the regular income reports, I won't get "kicked out" of the program - I'll just get help if I need it, and I won't if I don't...which seems reasonable enough.)
4. And making Wednesday the most amazing day for mail in recent memory, my friend Margaret C. (Formerly Margaret K.) sent me a check for $2000!
(But now, some background info...)
I first met Margaret back in the mid-80s, when we both worked at the McDonalds on MLK Blvd (Then later, we re-connected when I went back to LCC, where she worked in the library).
We always got along famously, but at that point, a 10 year age difference seemed a great deal more daunting than it would now (Not to suggest any romantic feelings on Margaret's part. I just remember, back in McDonald's days, a lot of inner monologues on how cute and smart and funny she was ending with "...and she's in high school, ya big pervert!").
Anyway, Margaret recently found me on Facebook.
And despite time and distance and radically different circumstances (Since I last saw her, she's been married, divorced, and married again, and has two gorgeous children with husband #2), we get along as well as ever.
(And amazingly, while I've lost my hair and seem to be aging in "dog years", she doesn't look much different than she did "back in the day".)
Anyway, she recently asked for my address, which I gave her, not thinking anything of it (I figured she probably wanted to put me on her Xmas-card list or something).
(And it turned out, Xmas came early for me this year - complete with a card with Hannah and Noah, the aforementioned "gorgeous children", on the front.)
I don't want to get too into Margaret's current circumstances (Because, for one thing, this isn't really the place for it, and for another, I don't really know the whole story anyway), but long story short, she told me she wanted to help me out and is in a position to do so.
Like with getting the notice about food stamps when I'd just gotten a couple of checks, I felt strange about getting Margaret's check around the same time as I'd gotten the Coldstone/residual checks, and thought for a moment that "I should send this back to her...".
But I basically asked "The Universe" for help (A recent Facebook "status" said something very much to that effect - "Jim is ready for some help from the Universe") - So who am I to tell the Universe what form that help should take, or how much help I should get?
Margaret's crazy-generous gift will extend my life out here another month or two, if not longer. It'll give me a breather, and give me some time to make something happen on the acting front.
So one more request of "The Universe":
I want to book a couple of gigs. And I want at least one of those gigs to be a high profile national commercial that makes the Propel spot look like chickenfeed, and another to be a theatrical gig that constitutes actual "acting", and gives my resume a boost in the bargain.
Cause this gift from Margaret is just the latest in a line of tremendously generous gestures from people in my life - From Mark and Jane, From Cary and Kay, from Kevin, and a number of others through the years.
And I don't want to think that they've helped me for nothing; I know their generosity comes, in part, simply because they are kind-hearted people and they like me, maybe they feel sorry for me, and they don't want to see me struggle.
But I also believe - I want to believe - that they believe in me, they believe that if they give me a hand, if they give me a bit of breathing room when I'm struggling, that I'll "catch my breath", and have the time I need to make something happen.
They think I can actually make it.
And I want to prove them right.
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