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12:01 am - Friday, Sept. 23, 2005
Once I Dreamed I Could Dance Like Fred Astaire

Once I Dreamed I Could Dance Like Fred Astaire

Weds 9/21/05

Good things I did today:

1. Applied at Barnes & Noble.

I didn’t have all the info with me I needed (Then again, do they really need the address of the high school I attended 25 years ago?).

And they might end up a bit confused about who they can and can’t contact–The application asks, “May we contact your current employer?”, and since I don’t want them calling David S., I said “no”. But then I listed Tim G. as a “professional reference”, realized I didn’t have his new home phone number in my address book, and had to give them the store number instead.

But they’ll see I’ve worked in bookstores for the past 15 years, and if they do call Tim G. (Or John O., my other reference), they’ll get a very good report. And if they want to call Mary Ellen (From my old bookstore), I imagine she’ll sing a hymn to my virtues as well (Even though, in reality, I was a mediocre employee at best, compared to the real “book people” who worked there during my tenure).

2. Went to apply at Trader Joes, but apparently, they only do applications on Tuesdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Joe R. suggested I apply there months ago, saying it’s supposed to be a really good place to work. But I’ve never had any knowledge of, or interest in, “gourmet groceries”, so I didn’t pay much attention.

However, we recently got a business book on Trader Joes in at the bookstore, and as I leafed through it one evening this past week, I saw Joe was right–It really is a great place to work. Their pay is amongst the highest in the field, their benefits are great, and they actually seem to view their employees as something more than “equipment”.

And hey, if someone actually wants to pay me decently, I’ll happily learn all there is to know about “gourmet groceries” (A cool “perk” of the job is apparently a lot of free food, since they want you to have personal knowledge of what it is you’re selling).

So I’m going back on Tuesday, and we’ll see what we’ll see.

3. And speaking of “groceries”...

Received the application for food stamps in today’s mail.

I started to fill it out, then realized I didn’t have pay stubs for the past month (I have “direct deposit”, and often forget to pick up my pay stubs in a timely fashion). So I stopped by work today to pick those up, in order to get the application out in tomorrow’s mail.

(I told Phil H. what I was doing, and he said it was very unlikely they’d decide in my favor. He told me they’d turned down Darren-his lover/partner/whatever you call it–when he was unemployed, implying that if they turned him down when he had no money coming in, what shot did I have?)

4. I checked L.A. Casting (A casting website), submitting myself for a short film.

5. I called Central Casting’s “union hot line”, for extra work, but once again there was nothing for my “type”.

One “issue” I’m having with calling Central is that I’m afraid of doing extra jobs where I’d make a hundred-and-some dollars, while missing out on commercial auditions that could lead to making thousands of dollars (And pissing off J.S. in the process). But if I wait to call the “hot line” till I know I won’t have a commercial audition the next day, I’ve probably waited too long to get an extra gig either.

As usual, I’m getting way ahead of myself, worrying about something that is nowhere close to happening--As things currently stand, I’d be really lucky to have that kind of conflict.

(And as I write this, Kipper is on my bed, snoring away. I don’t know why, but I find that very funny.)

I know this entry is really boring, but 1) It’s what’s happening right now, and 2) I think if I’m going to cry in here about what’s going wrong in my life, I need to let you know about my attempts at “course correction”. Otherwise, you’re just left thinking “What a loser–Always whining about how tough life is, but never doing anything about it...”.

I’m not full-on “looking for a new job” right now. I probably should be, but I’m still hanging on to the desire that Borders be my last “straight job”, before moving on to the wonderful fairytale world of “Making-A-Living-As-A-Full-Time-Actor”.

But Barnes & Noble is close to where I live (Closer than Borders, actually), it’s a nicer store (Though I don’t think they have nearly as many books,even though they’re much bigger), and they’re rumored to pay a little better; I wouldn’t suddenly be making $20 an hour, but “a little better” is still “better”.

And Trader Joes is closer still–maybe about halfway between Borders and my apartment-- and I’ve already discussed its other selling points.

(A new job being close, as in “within biking distance”, is very important to me. There’s not much point in finding a new job if any extra money made is eaten up by gas and car maintenance. Not to mention the added frustration of freeway driving, and parking. And I’m a fat tub of goo as it is–I’d be friggin’ Jabba the Hutt if I weren’t getting daily exercise on the bicycle.)

Thurs 9/22/05 (9:37 p.m.)

Well, fun news today–I actually got a call about a Notary thing.

It’s not a Signing Agent job–Just someone in my building needing a notarization for a “Notice Of Resignation Of Initial Trustee”–but at least it’s me notarizing something.

(The woman wanted me to go up to her apartment right away, but I was naked and smelly at the time, which I didn’t think would make a good first impression. So since she’s now apparently gone for the weekend, we’re probably going to do it sometime Monday morning.)

Speaking of Notary crap, I did something today I should have done weeks ago–I sent J.S. a little "ad" to put in the weekly agency newsletter (Last I knew, there were something like 200 actors at the agency, and I’ve got to assume some of those people have friends and families who might need a Notary at some point. So we'll see what happens).

____________________

Sent out the food stamp application this afternoon.

I'm assuming nothing's going to happen (I was thinking that even before the conversation with Phil at the bookstore), but who knows?

In any case, it's not like I'm going hungry at this point (And speaking as a fat sack of crap, I could stand to be eating a whole lot less food anyway). That's not what motivated me to apply for food stamps--I just figured if I could save money on food, I'd be less likely to start bouncing rent checks. Cause that's really my #1 concern at a time like this.

____________________

Well, I knew I wasn't going to be able to stay away from the Actors Co-op Group--Next month, I'm signed up for a workshop with Samantha Finkler, casting director for The Shield.

(I've read for someone from that office--Who casts the show Cold Case--but Ms F. works directly on The Shield, and I simply could not pass that opportunity by. Anyway, that's going to be a week from Saturday.)

____________________

Thought I'd missed the Dancing With The Stars "rematch" last week, but they re-ran it before the "results show" this evening.

I was glad John O'Hurley (sp?) won (Surprised, too--I assumed that, given her bigger fanbase and skimpy outfits, Kelly Monaco was a shoo-in, no matter what she did).

He was very honest about how much he wanted to win, and how disappointed he was that he hadn't won last time.

Sometimes when people say that sort of thing, they can come off as assholes, but there was something about the way he said it that I found kind of...touching. He said at one point, "I think this means a lot more to me than it does to Kelly", and that seemed apparent.

And I think I understand why.

So good for him.

(And score one for the old guys...)

With Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and all the Fred Astaire I've been watching (With my last book credit, I bought a dvd of Broadway Melody Of 1940, with him and Eleanor Powell), dance has been on my mind a lot this summer.

The last time I watched the dances in "Broadway Melody", something struck me that I don't think I've ever thought about before: The movie musical fantasy of being so "in synch" with someone that you could just start spontaneously dancing together--romantically, playfully, joyously--matching each other's moves step-for-step without saying a word, is tremendously appealing to me. A perfect visual metaphor for "finding your soulmate".

But watching dance the past couple months, I've also noticed it can make me feel very sad.

And it's not just "Oh, poor me--I don't have anyone to dance with", though there is that (What's the point of having "Fred Astaire" fantasies when there's no "Ginger Rogers" anywhere on the horizon?).

When I was younger, I would watch someone like Michael Jackson, or Fred Astaire, or some other dancer, and think to myself "If only...": I knew I couldn't dance the way they could, but I knew I had talent, and would tell myself "if only" someone had noticed that talent earlier, "if only" I had the money for classes, etc. and so on, I could have been just as good as they were.

Obviously, I was pretty "full of myself", but it was nice to see myself as someone who had great potential, who could be just as good as the best thing going "if only" given half a chance.

If only someone had noticed.

If only someone had cared.

If only someone had wanted for me what I wanted for myself.

If only I'd been able to give myself the help I couldn't get anywhere else.

Now when I watch great dancing, I can enjoy it, I can be moved or excited or what-have-you, but there's no "If only" anymore: Whatever "untapped potential" I had in that area...is gone.

Truthfully, I can't think of a single area in my life where I feel I've "tapped my potential". Or even come anywhere close.

Not one.

I feel like 90-percent of what I'm about, of what I might have to offer, has always been buried underground, dying from lack of air and sunlight.

And that's something to feel pretty damned sad about...

____________________

Well, it's actually almost 2:00 a.m. Friday morning now.

I could just keep writing, because I have a world of things to write about, but I always worry about trying your patience, so I'm going to give it a rest.

And wonder what "potential" I have left...

 

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