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4:39 pm - New Year's Day 2004
Big Jim's \"Acting Year In Review\"

Big Jim's "Acting Year In Review"
Happy New Year, Everybody!

Well, I've held off on this, but I think it's time...

Here it is Ladies and Germs, the end-of-the-year entry you've been waiting for–Big Jim's "Acting Year In Review":

In the past year, I had 60 auditions through JS. When I added them up last nite, it was fewer than I'd thought; while some months I'd had auditions in the double-digits, there were many more when I'd only had four or five (And I had nothing in December).

Sixty auditions is actually a lot of auditions–I'm not sure I had 60 auditions in my entire "career" in Lansing–but it still feels like not enough auditions, because...well, mostly because I didn't book enough work out of them (And the big "nationals", the ones I'm counting on to get me out of Borders and into a full-time acting career, eluded me, though I got tantalizingly close on a number of occasions).

From those 60 auditions, I got a dozen callbacks.

Over the year, the bloom came off the rose a little bit regarding callbacks---one too many "close calls"-- but they never completely stopped being exciting and encouraging; I perceive that as being a pretty high ratio of auditions-to-callbacks (Or would it be "callbacks-to-auditions"?), and while I would like to have booked more gigs from those callbacks, they still made me feel like I wasn't out of my mind to imagine I could succeed out here. They reinforced the idea that I was really "in the game".

I had 11 other auditions from submissions through Backstage–For student films, plays, an episode of Strong Medicine, and the "Club 70s" thing I did mostly as a lark (I might be "double-dipping" regarding the Strong Medicine episode; I think I submitted myself for that, but sent out a resume with JS as the contact number).

Those auditions came from the 99 headshots I sent out over the year, which was 21 headshots shy of the "minimum" I set for myself at the start of the year (I started off strong as the year began, then became more hit-and-miss about halfway through). Again, 99 headshots are a lot of headshots, but I coulda/shoulda done better; obviously, if 99 headshots only get me 11 auditions, then I need to send out a lot more headshots.

I also sent out 45 headshots to agents. This was a pretty big deal–I need a theatrical agent, and this was the first time I'd had the confidence to actually put myself out there–but unfortunately, nothing happened (I got one response–A phone call from a place called, amusingly enough, "The House Of Representatives"–saying "Thanks, but no thanks"). But I felt good that I'd done it, and was only a little discouraged about the result; Obviously, the more gigs I get–And more gigs are certainly coming-- the better chance I'm going to have next time.

And speaking of "gigs"...

In February, I did my first student film, Missing Breath. Just a one-day thing, but the first real "acting" I've done on camera (I never received my promised tape, after having called two or three times. I'm still pretty unhappy about that–With student films, getting tape for your "reel" is basically how you get paid–and in the future, I plan on being insistent to the point of being obnoxious, if necessary, about getting what's due me).

Then in June, I did the HBO commercial.

Whatever happened afterwards–my part was essentially cut out of the spot–getting that gig was huge. Up to that point, the idea of my being able to get paying gigs out here was basically theoretical, but afterwards, I knew it could be done...because I'd done it.

And sure enough, I did it two more times before the year was through.

In October, I did the "Godzilla's Return" spec commercial (Once again, I was supposed to get a tape that, as of this writing, has not been forthcoming. That's a pretty big "issue" for actors out here–People promise "tape" that you then have to beg for...and you still probably won't get it).

(Inspired by what I just wrote, I placed a call to the director, leaving a message politely asking about my tape. I guess we'll see what happens.)

And in November, I had the Incubus "Megalomaniac" video shoot, which was great fun.

And speaking of "Megalomaniac", the completed video is now online! I saw it last night for the first time (At first, I couldn't get the video at all, but found a site where it worked for me; It still wasn't great, but I was able to get the idea, and see that I am definitely in the video). If you want to check it out, the official website is here.

(Just got off the phone with Cary. I wanted to tell him about the video, and somewhat to my surprise, he was actually home; after some messing around, he was finally able to download the video, and confirm that that's me in a number of shots.)

It's pretty amazing, really; I'll be seen in this video by more people than have ever seen me do anything in my entire life. And I gotta tell ya-I think that's pretty damned cool!

Well, I feel like I've been going on about this stuff forever, so I think I'm going to take a break, and maybe come back later and write about something other than my fledgling acting career.

 

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