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10:39 PM - 06.02.15
Commercial Project X

Commercial Project X

Shot my second commercial of the year yesterday.

I signed one "Non-Disclosure Agreement" at the first audition, another at the fitting this past Wednesday, and there was a notice on the set yesterday warning us against posting any photos from the shoot on social media.

So it seems like they don't want me to tell you about this commercial (It's just a feeling I've gotten...after multiple suggestions to keep my @#! mouth shut).

Oh, I have to go back to the fitting, this past Wednesday, for just a moment - I turned what should have been a happy experience into something kind of embarrassing and disheartening, when all the pants they had for me were a size too small...because I hadn't updated my size information on the casting website they'd used.

That was embarrassing because it was very unprofessional of me, first off, and made for an uncomfortable couple hours, as I had to spend hours in a pair of pants that were clearly too small.

And it was depressing, because I'm supposed to be the size listed on that website - The fact that I'm not represents an ongoing failure to "get myself in line", in terms of my eating and weight (Not to mention being asked to bring my own clothes to a fitting always makes me feel embarrassed about my shabby wardrobe).

But, weight and size issues aside, everyone was nice, I got to spend time with my co-star in the spot - who was a good guy (And who I auditioned with at the callback) - and, last but certainly not least, I was getting paid.

So it wasn't like the whole experience was miserable...just the part where I was reminded I weigh a good 35 lbs more than I'm supposed to (When I went home, immediately checked all the casting websites I'm on and updated my size info).

At the fitting, I learned that the shoot was going to be Sunday (Even the wardrobe people didn't know until halfway through the fitting, when they got word).

I hate to say it, but I immediately went from being unhappy about the weight/size thing at the fitting, to worrying about the time and location for the shoot (Due to the nature of the shoot - which I can say nothing about, under threat of death - I was pretty sure it would be outside, and quite possibly a good distance away. Which could mean having to basically get up in the middle of the night to drive to the middle-of-nowhere).

But happily, it wasn't terribly far away, the directions were fairly simple, and the call time was a perfectly acceptable 7:30 am (I've often told people - For a location shoot, I'm typically more worried about just getting there than actually shooting the spot, cause I'm way more insecure about my sense-of-direction than my acting!).

And happily - of course - they had pants that actually fit me when I got there (I'd brought a pair of pants to the fitting, the ones I'd worn for the audition and callback, but they were deemed "too casual").

And from there, things went pretty smoothly, all-in-all.

Very smoothly, actually - The call was 7:30, we were called to the set around 8:45, broke for lunch, came back, and wrapped at 2:30, a very short day for a commercial shoot.

It was funny, driving home from the shoot - I was exulting over what an easy, relatively short shoot it was, then thought, "It seems 'counter-intuitive', to be happy this thing you like to do wasn't terribly challenging and ended early".

But there I was.

I think it has to do with the intersection of "being an actor" and "not wanting to work for a living" (The two things are definitely connected in my mind - A big part of the appeal of acting as a career is that acting "doesn't feel like work", which I've always found unpleasant. So when I have a gig, and it's easy and fun, it feels like I "got away with something", and I like that feeling).

Probably the biggest difficulty I had is that there was a lot of standing, and my back got a little "ache-y" at times. But that was about it.

Enjoyed Jeff, my co-star - We talked a lot off camera, much of it seeming to involve "telling on ourselves" about auditions gone wrong and the like - and was also very entertained by Kevin, who had auditioned for my role, but accepted a background spot, and he should have business cards that just say his name and "Raconteur" (I might have beaten him out on this gig, but I told him he'd beaten me out years ago, for a role in a series of regional commercials for Washington Mutual...R.I.P.).

At the end, the Director seemed happy, and said, "We'll work together again".

I tried not to get too "over-stimulated' by that (It could just be a nice thing to say at the end of a shoot, after all). But at the worst, it was a nice thing he certainly didn't have to say, suggesting he was happy with how the day went, and with what he'd gotten from us.

And "best case scenario"?

We really do "work together again". I'd totally be up for that.


Tues 6/2/15 (11:04 pm)

Before I even shot the commercial, I was worrying about my final reading of the year at Commonwealth the following morning (Commonwealth is the elementary school where I've been reading for two first-grade classes on Monday mornings, since mid-April or thereabouts).

I'd had two weeks off - One of the classes had a field trip, and the following week was Memorial Day - and I wasn't sure about the stories I had (More on I that shortly).

But other than my throat feeling a little rough, it actually went quite well. It was a nice outing to go out on.

(I don't think it's ever gone badly, mind you, but some outings have felt better than others.)

I've enjoyed doing it - the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves, and it was fun to perform again (While I "act" out here, kinda-sorta, I miss live performing and the immediate feedback) - but I don't know if I'll go back in the fall.

My main "issue" is that I found it tough to come up with stories I wanted to do - I ran through my favorites from Schuler Books days (The True Story of The Three Little Pigs, The Stinky Cheese Man, the Robert Munsch books, etc) pretty quickly - and I only started back in April, so I don't know how I'd fill up an entire school-year of readings with things I felt were worth mine and the kids' time.

Like I said, I enjoy performing, and it was gratifying that the kids really were into it (They were always very excited to see me on Monday mornings)...but the flip-side is that it sucks when you "lose them" because the book you're reading is boring, and they're clearly wishing they were doing something more fun than listening to you.

Beyond that, I've felt, at times, like I should be using my limited energies more to make career/money-making stuff happen, or that, if I'm going to do volunteer work, I should find something where I'm working with other adult, like-minded people; reading for kids satisfies some of my need to perform, and it's clearly a good thing to do, but it doesn't really make me feel any less lonely, or involve making meaningful social/career connections.

(And I know someone reading this is thinking, "So do the reading and do that other stuff". And to you I say, "Shut up!").

I did take advantage of a "coffee klatsch" recently, for the reading program volunteers (It was okay. There were maybe ten people there all together. I ate too many pastries).

(At one point, I mentioned a story I remembered - but didn't do this year - called Walter The Farting Dog, which led to a mini-rant on "toilet humor" by an older volunteer, who's probably been reading in classrooms since I was in grade school.)

In any case, I've got some time to think about it.

And whether I decide to go on with it or not, I give myself credit for trying it again (I did another volunteer reading program some years back, for I think most of a school year).

Well, there's more to write about, but I'll save it for another time.

I think I've droned on long enough at this point...


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