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10:46 am - Sat 12.27.2008
Copying and Pasting and Posting (Oh My!)

Copying and Pasting and Posting (Oh My!)

I'm getting ready to go out - I'm going to see the matinee show of Rachel Getting Married - but wanted to post something in here before I did...

Fri 12/26/08 (2:10 p.m.)

This was my email to Jane a short time ago, upon receiving �The Xmas Box� in today�s mail (Jane, you can clearly just skip down to the next part):

Hi Jane--

The mail came a short time ago, and with it, the Xmas Box! :)

(I just had two pieces of peanut brittle, telling myself that would be "it" for the day - I'll let you know how that worked out.)

Thank you so much for the gifts and treats - between the treats and the dvds and the book and the Target g.c., you packed a lot of entertainment into just one box!

(I feel like I HAD to have read Adventures of a No-Name Actor before - doing the media section at Schulers for years - but while I remember the book's cover, the table of contents read like amusing undiscovered territory. Anyway, if I get into it and I HAVE read it before, I'll just read it again, this time as "market research" for MY future book.)

Yesterday I was feeling pretty sad. But today, I did a WW gig - so I can feel like the day was "productive", without having had to work too hard - the sun is out (Way more important to my mood than I ever realized when I was in MI), and I just got Xmas presents.

Which means, putting it all together, that I'm in a lot better mood than 24 hours or so ago.

Even though I'm being re-visited by a wave of financial fearfulness (Of the "Oh shit! I've only got about another two months of money in the bank...!" variety), I think I'm going to go see a movie in a few hours - Probably "Benjamin Button", since it would be easiest and cheapest, but maybe "Rachel Getting Married" or "Let The Right One In" if I feel more industrious when the time comes ("Button" is at the Vista, which has cheap matinees and is within walking distance; the other two films, which I think I'd kinda RATHER see, are at the Laemmle Sunset 5, further away and probably a few bucks more expensive).

And since I now have the buying power of Target cards from you guys AND Cary and Kay (YAY!), I'm thinking tomorrow may be my day for an orgy of shopping (Which may turn into an orgy of buying a suit - The suits they sell there were listed in a GQ article of "Best Suits for Under $500", and I kinda NEED a suit that actually fits - it just depends on if they have my sizes there and certain other "X-factors").

Well, that's MY plan. What's up with YOU over the next couple days?

I'm having the urge to babble on at this point. But I think instead I'll save it for Diaryland - I feel obligated to give you something new to read there, since you're probably the most dedicated "fan" I have - and instead, check the movie listings, to see if all my movies are actually still playing where I think they are, and see if I have time for a nap.

I hope, after the craziness of getting things together for the holidays, that you enjoyed the ACTUAL "getting together".

And thanks for making time to chat with me a couple days ago. I was feeling pretty lonesome for awhile there, and it really helped :)

Jim H.

Sat 12/27/08 (10:41 a.m.)

This isn�t a full-on career �Year In Review� (I didn�t post the number of auditions and callbacks and whatnot, because I�ve been too lazy to add them up. And too afraid of how depressed it�ll make me when I do), but it was the wrap-up I posted on my �Character Man� blog recently:

The Best Year Yet
Well, here we are - Christmas Eve Day, 2008.

While I could get another audition before the year's over (The town's pretty much shut down at this point, but JS - my commercial agent - says there's always a few casting people still at work), I've gotta believe 2008 - good, bad, or indifferent - is basically over.

Going into this past year, I had serious concerns - The Writer's strike was going on, and SAG's contracts (in both Theatrical and Television, and Commercials) were set to expire - and while I remember hoping against hope I'd somehow be able to build on the success of the previous year, I was more worried going into a new year than I've ever been before.

So I guess the good thing I can say about 2008 is that there were still auditions to go out on, and I still booked some jobs.

And I'm still here.

But while I haven't actually counted yet, I can say with almost 100% certainty that I had fewer auditions than in the past two or three years.

And I booked fewer gigs (Four this year, versus six last year), and made substantially less money than in 2007.

(And that in a year where I, somewhat inexplicably. decided to try to go totally "freelance"; I haven't worked a full-time, regular job since the end of May.)

And honestly? With the exception of doing the infomercial with John Cleese (My first real "brush with greatness" out here), none of the jobs this year turned me on - Not the Yellow Pages commercial (My most lucrative gig this year, but that's not saying much), or the "Principal" role in the low-budget feature film that was really an extra role, or the Wimax print job.

It all, frankly, felt like junk. And it certainly didn't involve much that you could call "acting".

On the whole, very hard not to see this as a very lackluster, disappointing year.

And who knew, early in 2008, that SAG and the AMPTP would still be snapping at each other at this point, with no deal having been made and SAG trying to get its members to go for a strike vote?

And who knew the economy was going to go belly-up? (Probably a number of people, really, but I didn't.)

So here I am, at the start of another new year, feeling pretty much the same way I did last year at this time - hoping, praying (In my atheistic way), that I'll somehow be able to "swim against the tide" and have some decent success, but deeply worried about what the coming year has in store for me.

But my look has changed pretty radically in the past year - I've lost around 80 lbs, and am sporting a clean-shaven look for the first time since I was eight or nine - and I'm hoping that'll create new interest in the "Character Man" brand.

And while things look potentially grim in a couple regards, I have to believe that good things are going to happen for me.

Who knows? Maybe even great things.

What's the point of my giving over to doubt and fear? No matter what, the tv and film industry isn't going to be shutting its doors, and if there's anything going on, why can't I be part of it?

I have to believe that good fortune can happen to me (Which is a reasonable thing to believe, because it has happened to me). But maybe more importantly, I have to start believing that I can draw good things to myself, that I can effect my surrounding and my circumstances by the things I do.

I have to go into the new year with hope. I have to.

This is what I want - Not to just "get by", not to just "survive", but to thrive as an actor.

And that can happen in the coming year.

I'll get my chances, and I have to be prepared to make the most of them.

Cause I don't want to go through 2009 afraid and unhappy. I refuse to.

Instead, I think I'm going to have my best year yet.


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