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4:30 PM - Tues 2.21.17
Number One On The Call Sheet

Number One On The Call-Sheet

Hey, remember those two theatrical auditions I bombed so badly...?

Well, I booked one of them.

(When my friend Josh razzed me about it on Facebook, I said "In my defense, it was the one I thought I'd bombed less badly". But in reality, I was only a little sheepish, because as I've said before, in this particular scenario I'm always happy to be wrong.)

I didn't book the one for the TV show - You know, the one that would have paid decent money and been on TV and all that? - because that really was a mess (The only way it could have gone worse is if I'd had an attack of explosive diarrhea in the middle of it...but even that might have been less embarrassing than what actually happened).

I booked the low-budget short film, the one where the CD complimented Shameless on the way out - I wanted to say the CD complimented me on the way out, but I don't think he actually did, except by association.

Don't remember when I got the call about the booking, but it took long enough that I went from being sure I hadn't booked it to being really sure I hadn't booked it.

So I was very surprised, and very happy - It might be a low-budget film (Which meant there'd be very little money involved), and it might be something that not very many people would see, but it was my first booking of the year (Always a big deal), it was my first non-Shameless theatrical booking since 2013 (An even bigger deal), and I was the ostensible lead (Which was maybe the biggest deal of all).

But the happiness didn't last long.

They emailed me the shooting script, and to my chagrin, it was a pretty radical re-write from the script I'd auditioned with (Which I had assumed, I think reasonably, was "the shooting script").

I'd had "issues" with the script initially, but I felt like there was some humor there, and I basically liked the character on the page - with the re-write, I felt like the "issues" remained, while the stuff I'd liked had gone away, and I was pretty bummed.

Then they told me about the shooting schedule - Three days of overnights (From 7 pm to 4 am).

And the location? A convenience Long Beach (I think I've been to Long Beach twice in the time I've lived in LA).

And suddenly, I went from "Yay! My first booking of 2017 and I'm the lead!" to "Fuck! I don't want to do this...!" (Driving to Long Beach to stay up all night, for three nights running, doing something I didn't want to do, for minimal pay? Well, let's just say "it lacked a certain appeal").

I was so upset - the fact that I'm off my meds probably didn't help - that I started to have an emotional melt-down one night, and (here's a Hollywood punchline for you) I didn't know who to call first, my agent or my therapist.

(I didn't end up calling anyone - Even though I was genuinely very upset, the idea of calling my therapist felt stupid. And the idea of calling my team and telling them I wasn't going to do it after all, even they'd already called and confirmed the booking, felt...potentially counter-productive, at least if I wanted to continue having a "team".)

But I did email my agent after I calmed down - I said I felt "like the rug had been pulled out from under me" with the re-write, and expressed concern about driving home from Long Beach to K-Town after being up all night (I didn't mention my anxiety about getting there - even with WAZE or Google Maps, I get pretty anxious about having to get someplace I'm not familiar with, particularly at night).

She commiserated with the first point ("I hate when they do that...!"), and called Production about the 2nd, emailing me back to tell me they'd either have a PA pick me up, reimburse me for Uber, or pay for it outright, whichever I preferred.

And I'll tell you what - Not having to drive to and from Long Beach went a long way toward easing my psychic pain.

It also helped to meet with Chris (The Director) on Thursday morning, to talk over the script and my character - It wasn't a total panacea regarding my "issues" (Some of my questions, about the script in general and my character in particular, just elicited "I don't know. I hadn't thought of that" responses), but I left with a better sense of what I was working with, and felt I had more of "a way in" to the character than I'd had before.

I was worried about lines (Not as many as I used to have in community theater, but certainly more than I've had since being out here, and in a more important role), so I hit them hard as I could (One thing that was surprisingly tough? I really wanted to write in here - about booking the job and all that, along with other stuff that was going on in my head - but knew I couldn't justify it when there were lines to be learned).

(I took off work Thursday night to have more time to study...but then decided I'd worked so hard during the day, and in the time leading up to it, that I could treat myself to a rare Thursday night Zumba class...which was nice, because that happened to be the night the class presented Thea with the birthday card and present we'd collected for her. But anyway...)

(To Be Continued...)


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