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10:02 am - Thurs 7/29/04
A National Craze In The Making

A National Craze In The Making

Sat 7/24/04 (1:27 p.m.)

Was just reading about Denis Leary's new show, Rescue Me, that's on FX. It sounds really good.

I gotta get me some cable; the networks have basically conceded the edgy, interesting ground to cable, and whether it's as an audience member or an actor, that's where I want to be. Not watching Who Wants To Marry My Millionaire Apprentice?, or whatever it is.

I was thinking the other day, not for the first time, that I really miss the way tv used to work; you had your favorite shows, you watched the new season, without interruption, then by the time re-runs rolled around, you were pretty much ready to start over again, maybe catching some episodes you missed the first time around. Then by the time you were done with reruns, you were ready for the new season again.

(A writer on the Entertainment Weekly website–Or was it TV Guide?–wrote that summer re-runs also provided a good opportunity to sample shows you didn't catch during the regular season. He also made the point that, while no tv exec would ever want to hear this, summer re-runs also gave you the opportunity–God forbid!– to do other things.)

What's interesting–to me, anyway–is that CBS is winning the ratings race so far this summer, with re-runs of CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond, while Fox, which has made a big deal of all the new programming it's rolling out, has mostly struggled, with the exception of The Simple Life (Which, to me, is another example of a show where, once you've seen one episode, you've pretty much seen everything the show has to offer–"Oh, I get it–They're rich and stupid, and it's funny...I guess").

All the schedule juggling, and pre-empting, and rolling out new shows throughout the year, seems to play against basic human nature, which strikes me as the one thing you wouldn't want to do as a network exec (I think people are, by and large, frustrated and stressed by uncertainy; most people, it seems to me, like to develop a daily routine, a happy little rut they can fall into in lieu of thinking. I know i sure do, anyway...).

Thurs 7/29/04 (6:40 a.m.)

Went to bed very early last night–before 1:00 a.m.–but of course, all that meant was that I woke up even earlier than usual this morning (Around quarter-after-five).

Some time back, I read about a drug, Provigil, that has been approved for treatment of narcolepsy and sleep apnea, and I think I want to see about getting a prescription (The drug doesn't do anything about the condition; it just helps you deal with the resulting fatigue).

It would be so nice not to be exhausted all the time. Maybe even a little better than "nice".

I think, often, that people really don't "get" how tired I am. People are always telling me, when I talk about being unhappy or frustrated with my life, "You should do this or that or the other thing. Make more of an effort to get out, get more hobbies, be more active", and sometimes I just want to yell, "How can I fucking ‘be more active'? I can barely get through the day as it is!".

But I do wonder at the difficulty I have in simply acting on my own behalf, in terms of finding a solution to my sleep issues. It's like I "took a crack at it", and when things didn't immediately work out, I basically gave up ( "Oh well–guess I'll just feel like shit for the rest of my life..."). When I look at it that way, it's kind of...well, it's kind of nuts.

Since I seem to be either unwilling or unable to make the CPAP work, I guess what I need to do–because I can't go on like this forever–is start seriously exploring other options.

I've been afraid of surgery, both in terms of not wanting to mess with my "golden throat" (I joke, but people do compliment me on my nice voice), and because of a relative crappy "cure rate" (I don't want to go through the pain and expense of surgery for nothing). And I think it's appropriate to view an invasive medical procedure as a "last resort" kind-of-option, but one thing I've never really looked into, for some reason, is a dental appliance.

And wouldn't that be great, if I could just put a little rubber whatchamajiggy in my mouth at night, and actually sleep as a result?

It could be a good "stopgap measure", at least until "head replacement surgery" becomes a viable option (Since I've got so many "head-related issues"–baldness, dark circles under the eyes, fucked up sinuses, bad teeth, and a crooked jaw– I've always thought it would just be easier if I had my head removed, and replaced with a newer, more up-to-date model).

I think even if I got an "appliance", and it worked for me, that wouldn't be the end of things–I've been thinking lately that something else is going on, in terms of my sleeping problems, above and beyond sleep apnea–but it might be a damn good start.

____________________

For awhile now, I haven't had more than four commercial auditions in any given month.

In the "Ask And Ye Shall Receive" Department, I wanted to do better than that this month...and had audition #5 yesterday.

It was a national, for Disney (At least my third audition for a Disney commercial), at TLC Booth Casting.

It was pretty simple stuff: In the spot, I'm a tollbooth guy, who has to respond, first, to "Micky" and "Minnie" driving up in a Mini, and then to "The Beast"–Of Beauty and the Beast fame–coming through on a motorcycle.

I think I did okay with it, but I still feel like I need to get better at "visualizing" things. Prior to coming out here, that was never an "issue" for me as an actor–In community theatre, the person you're acting with is usually right there on stage with you--but in commercial auditions, I've often been required to respond to things that aren't actually there. And even though I think of myself as a "visual" person, I tend to feel more "insecure" after those auditions than ones where I have a lot of lines, interestingly enough.

Anyway, think a good thought for me. I'm seriously jones-ing for a big "score" out here, and nabbing a big national would be just the ticket!

In addition to the Disney audition, I crossed a milestone yesterday–had the callback for Smirnoff, and with that callback, have now had more callbacks so far this year than in all of last year.

I have a bad habit that I really want to break–At callbacks, it seems I'm always able to look around and see someone who looks better for the part than I do.

And unfortunately, this callback was no exception; the "issue", in my mind, was that the spot calls for two brothers, and I didn't see another actor that, to my eye, looked enough like me to be my "brother" (But I don't know how long callbacks were going on–maybe all day–so it's certainly possible my "brother" came in right after I left).

I was also disappointed that I only ended up auditioning for one brother (JS had said I was going back in for both brothers). But I saw that coming when the casting person, in the lobby, said they were looking for the brother who chokes on the pretzel to be the more heavyset of the actors. And believe it or not, I was the second most "svelte" actor I saw in the room!).

The spot was a little different than last time; it still had all the same action, but there was a lot of voiceover as well (We weren't there to do the voiceover stuff; just the action going on under the voiceover).

And while last time, the connection between the action in the commercial and the product itself seemed, to me, pretty tenuous, in the revamped spot, they made an association I thought was downright ghastly...

If you remember, the spot starts out with a guy choking on a pretzel, and dying.

Then the dead guy's brother collects an urn with the dead guy's ashes, takes the ashes to some place where they get compressed into a diamond, then sells the diamond for big money.

Well, one of the voiceover lines references how the the dead guy's ashes got turned into a diamond, suggesting the ashes had gone through a "purifying process".

Now, obviously they're not saying that Smirnoff is made with "filtered dead guys", but why would you want to even get anywhere in the neighborhood of that idea?

I think it's a pretty dumb commercial, really.

But I still want to get it.

And the Disney national.

____________________

Well, you've no doubt noticed that I put a "NotifyList" on my site.

There hasn't been a big rush of people signing up, but I thought that if there were even two or three people who would make use of it, it would be worth setting up, so there you are. Just my little effort to make your life easier and more enjoyable.

"Kookla" asked me a really interesting question recently, concerning my online journal...

Basically, she asked if I would delete it once I became famous.

First off, bless her heart for just assuming I'll be famous one day (On my "good days", I also assume it's inevitable; on my "bad days", I fear I'm going to end up keeling over at Borders when I'm 80...if I live that long).

But anyway, the answer to that question is no, I don't plan to delete my online journal when I'm a celebrity. On the contrary, it's been a source of amusement and pleasure to me, to imagine thousands of people reading my journal, while you approximately 30-50 regular readers tell people "You know, I was reading Hoffmaster's journal years before he became famous...".

You folks are on the ground floor of a national craze.

Cool, huh?

And as every single person who reads this thinks "Man, get over yourself, why dontcha?", I'm going to close, and take my tired ass back to bed...

 

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