8:24 AM - Mon 11.14.22
Well, after a triumphant return to the Lansing area for two sold-out showings of Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong, I'm back in LA, wondering "What now?".
(Our film festival "World Tour" is over for the year. While Jane has applied to a number of 2023 festivals, as of this writing, we don't know what the new year has in store for us. As for Jane, she's headed back to Santa Fe tomorrow and won't be back in LA till at least sometime in January.)
I'd have to say, so far, that the film seems to be a big success - We've won jury awards at our first three festivals, and it seems like we could win "Audience Favorite" at East Lansing (I don't want to assume anything, but the film got a very positive response at both showings).
But a bigger deal than the awards is the reception the film is getting.
Frankly, while I was expecting the film to be well-received, it's getting a more positive, "deeper" reaction than I'd anticipated (Which leads me to believe there are more people out there who are "acting like nothing is wrong" than I'd imagined).
Jane has structured the film very well - What could be a grim story at times is never too grim for long, as she leavens the heaviness with fun visuals, a bit of dancing, or more lighthearted scenes - and she ends the film on an upbeat, hopeful enough note that it's not been hard to get people up and dancing when the end credit music gets "funky".
And people are giving me a lot of credit for my "bravery" and..."perseverance", I guess? (Which is interesting to experience, since I've wrestled with feeling tremendously fearful and prone to giving up on things for most of my life.)
The "bravery" seems primarily to do with the level of self-revelation that's in the film. And I kind of get that - We typically don't want people to see all the things we think are "wrong with us" and I put a lot of flaws on display in the film (I don't reveal everything about myself...but there's enough there that I can understand a "normal" person thinking, "Man, I sure wouldn't put myself out there like that...!").
But for some reason, I don't really see it as that big a deal (I was way more traumatized by the near-nudity I had to do on Shameless than anything I reveal about myself in the film). I don't know why that's the case, but I've been suggesting in Q&As that maybe it's just a "passage of time" thing - I may joke about wanting to "cover my eyes" when this or that scene comes up, but for the most part, it feels like it doesn't really matter at this point.
Or maybe I just want to feel "known". To be seen, as it were?
In any case, it's been very gratifying to put this thing out there - Jane's quirky, heartfelt telling of my "story" - and feel like people are getting something of value from it.
Because honestly? It was something I worried about - As I've joked to various people who've seen the movie, "Sometimes I've wanted to remind Jane - as she was spending loads of time and money on this project - 'You do realize this is a film about me, right?'".
While on some level, I understand that my story is "interesting" (Because people have told me so), there's some distance between that, and people shelling out money to see said story play out on the big screen.
And it's a story I didn't have the wherewithal to tell myself - maybe because I feared no one would give a shit - so how lucky am I that Jane R. came along to prove me wrong?
So I'm back in LA, there's nothing happening with the film till sometime next year at the earliest, and Jane's back in Santa Fe as of tomorrow.
And while I had multiple auditions while I was "on the road", I fully expect, now that I'm back in LA, with nothing to do and the holidays looming, to enter into a months-long "audition desert" (Until, of course, film festivals start up again, where I will then live in fear of going anywhere because of all the auditions, and resulting bookings, I might miss out on).
(I did miss a commercial callback while I was away, even though it was online, because I was "in the air" that day. That was kind of painful - There's no guarantee I would have booked it, but I certainly could have, to the tune of thousands of dollars.)
I actually did pretty well with auditions while I was "on the road" - In addition to the aforementioned commercial callback (from a self-tape I did in my hotel room), my self-tape for a recurring role on a Fox sitcom was sent to Producers (Who, ultimately, passed on me in favor of "The Other Guy"), and I had my fourth audition for an alt-comedy series on Netflix called I Think You Should Leave (Which leaves me of two minds - On the one hand, they're clearly interested in me, which is nice, but on the other hand, @#$!!! CAST me already!).
That's the only down-side of the film festival thing that I can see - They've been great fun to do, but not only are they not money-making propositions, they actually cost quite a bit (For transportation, for hotels, for food, and potentially, for missed auditions/gigs).
Speaking of which, I'm going to Jane's place very shortly, in part to work on a Kickstarter campaign we hope will raise money for me to attend more festivals next year (Wish us luck - and if you can kick in a buck or two when the time comes, that would be appreciated as well).
Well, there's much more I could write about, but I need to clean myself up a bit before heading over to Jane's.
Till next time...