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1:11 pm - Thurs 1/29/04
How to \"Bury The Lead\"

How To "Bury The Lead"

Sun 1/25/04 (12:31 p.m.)

(Watching Buffy...)

An audition notice in recently described "A digital film about the darker side of rape and revenge".

Now is it just me, or does that imply there's a lighter side to rape and revenge...?


At the bookstore on Friday, I was doing recovery (For the non-bookstore workers among you, "recovery" just means re-shelving books), when a customer informed me a girl had fainted in front of the customer service counter.

She quickly recovered–it turned out she hadn't eaten that day–then turned in a job application.

It was all I could do not to say "Ummm....You do realize the job requires you to be upright and conscious, don't you?".

Tues 1/27/04 (12:15 p.m.)

Well, turns out I was a bit hasty in assuming the Ralphs non-union commercial would be for "$50 and a box lunch"...

I don't want to get myself over-stimulated here, but at the casting agency, I saw numbers that seriously turned me on–$500 + 20% for the day, then $15K with a $3500 buyout for two years + 20% (The 20% means they're covering an agent's fee).

You'd get more with a long-running SAG national, but this is nothing to sneeze at (Let's just say I won't be turning it down if they offer!).

Thurs 1/29/04 (11:07 p.m.)

Have to play a little "catch up" in here...

In the late afternoon on Monday, I got a call from JS; I had a callback the next day for the Hyundai commercial I'd auditioned for the previous week (I thought I hadn't gotten it, because at the first audition they'd said callbacks were going to be either that Friday, or on Monday).

So I went to that, back at the casting place on La Brea, and it seemed to go pretty well, though I struggled with a feeling I often have at these things (Which is that everyone I see looks better for the part in question than I do).

I hadn't expected there to be another callback, and never expect to be paged after 7:00 or so, so I didn't get messages that both the casting agency and JS were trying to contact me until I checked my voicemail late in the evening (They had wanted me for another callback that evening, but I was at work by then, so it was just as well that I didn't get the messages till it was too late).

Anyway, I had another callback yesterday afternoon, this time at Boxer Films, the production company that's shooting the commercial. The message from JS had made it sound like it they basically wanted to pair me up with this one other guy they liked and see if we "clicked", so I was disappointed when I got there and saw a roomfull of other actors, a number of whom had been called in "straight-to-callback" (Mike, my fellow JS-er and karaoke enthusiast, was "straight-to-callback"; he was coming out as I was coming in).

It was a little nerve-racking, in a way, to be on my second callback for this thing, and be waiting with all these other actors (Who, again, all seemed to look better for the part than I did). But it was also kind of fun; it was more like a community theatre audition than most things I've done out here, with a group of us waiting around for a couple hours, chatting, as they called us in two at a time in different combinations.

(The spot is basically two carwash "vacuum guys", pulling all kinds of weird crap out of the roomy new Hyundai Sante Fe.)

I "read", if that's the right word–I don't think there's going to be any talking in the actual spot-- with three different younger actors. And the longer I stayed, and the more direction I got, the happier I became (If the director's giving you a lot of direction, it's easy to become paranoid and assume you're screwing up. But the reality, more likely, is that you've piqued his interest, and he basically wants to "take you out for a test drive". That's exactly what happened when I got the HBO spot).

And to make a long story short, if that's possible at this point, I got the gig!!!

It's another non-union spot, and unfortunately, not the windfall Ralphs would have been (Definitely not the "Escape From Borders" payday I'm looking for). But that said, it's a good gig, and it's still paying more than I've made on all my other gigs put together up till now.

(Money, visibility, experience, and the new record for "Biggest Payday To Date"—It all adds up to "Good Times For Jim".)

I referred to the Ralphs thing in the past tense, but actually, far as I know, it's still "in play" (Mike was going to that audition yesterday as I was going in for Hyundai). It doesn't shoot for a couple weeks yet, so in my mind, it could still happen. And that would be fantastic–With that payday, I could seriously think about a long sabbatical from Borders (Or at the very least, the next couple years with no big money issues).

(I got paged in the middle of writing this, and freaked out for a moment, thinking it might be JS telling me I'd booked Ralphs. But it was the producer of the Hyundai commercial, wanting to know if I might be available this weekend to film a "gag" of someone pulling a toupee off my head; at this point, he doesn't know if they're going to do it or not, but he wanted to check on my availability).

Well, it's about time for me to head to Boxer Films–I've got a fitting today, then a rehearsal (Which I'm getting paid for. How sweet is that?)–so I'd better wrap this up.


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