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2:16 pm - Sun 8/15/04
Jimlandia--Now With More Celebrities

Jimlandia--Now With More Celebrities!

Sat 8/14/04 (3:21 p.m.)

Getting ready to attend Nick and Kyle's wedding, in Pasadena at 5:00 (Nick's dad–Ed Begley Jr.–is hosting the reception afterwards, at his home in Studio city).

I'm dog-tired, but even though I tried to nap earlier, nothing happened (That's a relatively new wrinkle to my "sleep problems"–Sometimes, even if my eyes are burning and my muscles are aching with fatigue, I will lie down...and nothing happens. It's quite frustrating).

And as much as I want to not be thinking this, I'm obsessing over the end of the evening, when I'll have to head back home...and try to find parking.

Somewhere.

Anywhere.

When what I want to be focused on is the lovely occasion, the kick I get out of free food and drinks, the possibility of getting to talk to Mr B. (And maybe some of Mr B's celebrity friends), the possibility that young Ellison will be there (Though I imagine they might have gotten a sitter), etc and so forth.

I'm also anxious about getting to where I need to go, even though their invitation came with directions, and I Mapquest-ed directions from my apartment just to be safe.

Wow...my mind is really operating full-blast to steal any possible enjoyment from this experience, isn't it?

____________________

Recorded the Time Warner Cable radio spot yesterday morning (Basically, a re-do of the tv spot for radio).

It was at Buzzy's Worldwide, a recording studio on Melrose Avenue.

I got there way early. So, not wanting to look too eager, I walked around the block for awhile, then went in about 10 minutes early, and had to wait till five or ten minutes after my time, since the session before me was running a little late.

But more about my time in the recording studio later. Right now, it's a quick bathroom pit stop, then off to Pasadena...

Sun 8/15/04 (6:11 a.m.)

Just finished watching the "commentary" for The Station Agent (I rented the movie–along with City of God–last night, after getting back from Nick and Kyle's wedding reception).

But I need to backtrack...

Well, my mind apparently knew something I didn't yesterday, because I had a pretty miserable time yesterday, both at the wedding, and at the reception afterwards.

So what was the problem, you ask?

I got to Pasadena without incident (For the longest time, I thought Pasadena was hours away--I don't know why, exactly–but I don't think it's any longer of a drive than from here to Santa Monica). But in my anxiety not to be late, I gave myself way too much time to get there, so I ended up at the church maybe a half-hour earlier than necessary, with no one to talk to and nothing to do (I had my "pocket journal" and wrote a few things down, but stopped because I thought I probably looked like a psycho, taking notes in my "little black book", and because I didn't want to miss any "celebs" while I had my head in my book.

Talked to Nick very briefly, who was holding Ellison at the time (Who looked snazzy in a little "baby tuxedo"). But he was, as you might imagine, a little distracted with the task at hand.

The first celebrity I saw was Michael Richards, while I was still out in the parking lot (He's going bald, and had the general aura of someone who's used to being looked at, if you know what I mean).

Bruno Kirby (Who I've met at the bookstore) and Jeff Goldblum were also there. I guess they're all longtime friends with Ed Begley Jr., a kind of fraternity of comic character actors (Michael Richards and Jeff Goldblum are very tall–both taller than I am, at 6'2"–while Bruno Kirby, not so much). I'd say I'm a fan of all three gentlemen's work–Particularly Jeff Goldblum's--so it was pretty cool to see them "in the flesh" (I'm not sure about Bruno Kirby, but with Misters Richards and Goldblum, I think you would know that they were actors even if you didn't know who they were. I can't explain what I mean by that exactly, except to say there was an element of the "theatrical" in their demeanors).

It was a small church–Throop Memorial–and though I'm not very good at estimating these things, I doubt there were more than 100 people in attendance. A small, fairly casual affair.

The wedding started a little bit late–maybe 10 minutes–but once it did start, it moved very briskly (I didn't time it, but it can't have gone longer than 40 minutes, if that).

First Nick and the groomsmen came in, walking up the right side of the church, then lining up to the right of the minister. then the bridesmaids followed, walking up the center aisle, one by one.

Kyle looked lovely, in a white strapless gown.

The minister made a little statement, an attractive blonde girl read a Sufi love poem (By someone other than Rumi, I forget who), and then Rocky ____ (Who worked at the bookstore at one point, and is good friends with Kyle) sang a song from Rent, "a cappela", with his life partner (Whom I met later at the reception, but whose name escapes me at the moment).

(Capsule review of the performances? "Blonde Girl" didn't sound like she understood what she was reading, so she pretty much sucked, but Rocky and Friend were great; Rocky lives in New York now, and is about to go on tour with Jesus Christ Superstar for three months, so he can really sing. I presume his partner is a performer as well.)

Then there was a little more talk from the minister, an exchange of very simple vows (You could hear Nick quite clearly, but Kyle should have been miked), and we were done.

People milled about for a bit afterwards, not quite sure what to do with themselves (I had a brief exchange with Jeff Goldblum at that point, as we both wondered what, if anything, was going to happen next). But there wasn't a "receiving line" or anything like that, so people basically just started heading over to the reception.

The reception was at Ed Begley Jr's house, a very modest place in Studio City.

(If you recall, I've been to Mr Begley's house once before, to read for Cesar and Ruben, a play he'd written that I was ultimately not cast in.)

It's a nice home–he's got some pretty cool memorabilia on display–with a very appealing backyard, but it was way too small to entertain so many people. I'm uncomfortable in gatherings of strangers anyway–I never know what to do with myself-- and when you add to that the claustrophobic feeling of so many bodies pressed together, and within an hour, I was more than ready to leave. It's been some time since I've felt quite so lonely and uncomfortable, and I'm pretty well-versed in "lonely and uncomfortable".

I said my goodbyes to Nick and Kyle, and started to make my way out.

I hadn't said anything to Ed at that point, and he passed me a couple times during the party without seeming to know who I was, but I thought I should say something on the way out. Which was unfortunate, cause that just added more awkwardness and discomfort to an already awkward and discomforting evening.

I don't remember what I said, exactly, but it wasn't anything about our previous experience, or me being an actor, or anything like that. It was just "Thanks for having me, everything was lovely" kind of stuff.

But suddenly he was saying, very non sequitor-like, "You're a very good actor, you have a great voice", etc and so forth. All this "I've got your resume on file" stuff that just made me uncomfortable and unhappy; until and unless he actually calls me about something, I consider all this "I'm keeping you in mind" stuff to be polite, It-Doesn't-Cost-Me-Anything-To-Tell-You-What-You-Want-To-Hear b.s., and I wasn't asking him for anything (I'd made a specific point of not pressing myself on anyone at the party, regarding the acting stuff).

But I'm sure Mr B. just wanted to be nice, to let me know that he did remember me.

Anyway, as evenings go, as days off from work go, it was pretty much a big honkin' dud.

But thanks to the party...

I now know how to get to Pasadena.

I got to make casual conversation with Jeff Goldblum and Bruno Kirby (Mr K. asked me at one point if I had tried the vegetarian dips that were on a nearby table; we agreed that they were both quite tasty).

I got to see Ellison, and briefly fondle his little baby head (I love baby heads).

I got to make the prettiest girl at the party laugh (A brunette named Talia, who was with "Damon", or "Damian", or something like that).

I bought a pair of dress shoes, which I needed (The ones I bought from Goodwill for auditions were falling apart).

I got some free drinks (Some carbonated juice beverage, and a Diet Coke).

I had hors d'oeuvres served from a tray (And was grateful to not be instead serving people hors d'oeuvres from a tray).

And I'm sure there were other "up" sides to the reception, but that's all I can come up with right now.

Here's something of a surprise; the one thing you think would be the biggest issue for me–watching two people get married, while I continue to be "The Lonely Guy" year in and year out–was no big deal.

Truthfully, if I'd been seeing someone for a couple months, and suddenly there was a baby in the picture...well, with what I want to do out here, I would consider that quite the "fly in the ointment". I'd like to be with someone, to be sure, but if I were with someone, then all of a sudden I was "married with children"...well, let's put it this way: I'd say the right two people got married.

____________________

As I said earlier, I did the Time Warner Cable radio spot on Friday.

I was maybe a little nervous, but not really. I already had the gig, after all, and it wasn't as if they weren't already familiar with my work. Mostly, I just wanted to not look like a novice, to come off as if I knew what I was doing in a recording studio.

And I'd say it went quite well; Dave Mihal, the producer, had told JS he expected the spot to take an hour to an hour-and-a-half to do, but we were done in less than 45 minutes (Then there was a little waiting around afterwards, while they faxed me a contract and my tax forms).

Basically, the spot was a re-do for radio of the tv spot (That's going to start airing probably within the next week or two). But instead of the events in the spot happening in "real time", I was recalling them–"The saddest part about that night is it never would have happened if he had just stuck with Time Warner Cable...".

We went through the lines, one by one, doing sets of three takes each. Then he'd either tell me we were good, or give me a "tweak" here or there and have me to another take.

They did some playback of the lines, and as always, it was slightly depressing to hear the difference between what I thought I was doing and what actually was coming out.

(But the truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter what I think about how I'm doing. The only thing that really matters is does it work for the people who hired me, and will an audience believe it?)

A problem I know I have is that my diction can be a little "mushy"; a couple times Dave had to tell me to more clearly enunciate a given word or line.

This was nice: Without any prompting on my part, Dave said he'd give me his email address, so I could email him in a week or so about getting a copy of the spot

____________________

Well, I wanted to get a call from JS on Friday, about a callback for that "Incredibles" commercial, but I didn't (At the initial audition, they said the callback would be tomorrow).

I haven't given up hope though, because more than once I've thought a callback had come and gone, only to get a call that it had been re-scheduled (I also recently got called the morning of a callback. I wasn't thrilled about that–I wasn't happy about having to spring that on the bookstore–but if that's the way it goes, that's the way it goes).

What will be really hard for me, if it goes this way, is if I had this killer audition, and I don't even end up getting a callback. It'll be hard not to crap over the good audition I had–"Well, I guess it wasn't as good as I thought..."–when in reality, there are any number of reasons a thing doesn't go your way.

But like I said, I'm not giving up hope just yet. It's really hard for me to imagine them getting someone who'll do the spot any better than I could.

And with that, I'd better close. It's almost time for me to get off to work, and I want to quickly post this.

See ya later...!

 

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