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3:35 pm - Mon 4/15/19

Turns Out I Can Be Bribed With Drugs. Who Knew?

Tax day.

(Happily, I did taxes - or, rather, had them done - months ago, so not having any stress on that front.)

Was tempted to joke online that, since I wasn't experiencing any tax day stress, I decided to go to the dentist, just so I could be unhappy about something today. But I was only there for a cleaning, so I wasn't just exchanging one stressful event for another (And my teeth got a good review; My roots are good and she noticed my teeth were less stained than last time I was there - a good advertisement for starting to use a Waterpik - so my chronic teeth-grinding is the only "issue" at the moment).

Been ducking writing in here again. I'm not sure what that's about - maybe it's as simple as just not feeling terribly energetic (While this isn't exactly "heavy lifting", it does take a certain amount of focus to do well) because I certainly have had things to write about.


Since I last wrote, Jane R. has been here and gone - She flew in a week ago Thursday and left on Tuesday.- staying at The Normandie (Where Mark and Jane Z. stayed for one of the weekends they were here). I enjoyed her being nearby (four or five blocks away) and was pleased she enjoyed the place.

(She likes downtown LA - because of her, I've spent more time downtown this year than in all my time in LA - I think because she likes the "big city" feel. But I figured she'd like The Normandie, with its old-school styling, "continental breakfast" that Mark and Jane were very impressed with, and afternoon "wine tasting". And I imagine she saved money over her previous arrangements, even if she missed not being walking distance from The Last Bookstore, Bottega Louie, and the like.)

I thought we packed a lot into the relatively short time she was here - especially considering I worked half-days at WW both Saturday and Sunday - getting an interview with me and Tim G., more B-roll (Around Hollywood, and at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary), solo interviews, audio recordings, and me dancing with Thea and 15 or so people from Zumba class.

Going in, I was most worried about the Zumba thing - I felt like I'd kind of pushed for it (We'd done the bit with me and Carlos and Salta previously, but I wanted something more in line with a regular Zumba class at the Y), so it would have been pretty embarrassing if we'd went to the Y on Sunday afternoon to shoot the thing and no one showed up.

But it ended up being a lot of fun. Thea impressed Jane and (I think especially) Seth - As I knew she would - we got a lot of good stuff, and I think my Zumba people got a big kick out of doing it.

I was also pleased that me and Jane were on the same page on a point that was important to me - I figured Thea and my classmates would want me to be front-and-center since I'm the "star" of the movie, but Jane agreed that the point of getting this was me doing Zumba with my classmates, and not me "doing a number with my back-up dancers".

Anyway, that was fun, and even if I wasn't really responsible for making it happen - Thea spearheaded that, with an announcement in class and a group text - I was relieved that it came off really well.

But this most recent round of shooting wasn't all fun-and-games (And by that, I don't mean that some of the interview ground we covered was particularly difficult or emotional, though there was that) - There were more tense moments with Jane over the weekend than I think we've experienced since we started work on the project (At least it felt that way to me).

That Saturday, I was a bit miffed because she and Seth changed the shoot schedule on me without saying anything.

On one level, it was not a big deal - it wasn't like I had a better idea, or was going to veto their plan or anything like that. But I didn't like that they hadn't thought to tell me (Though it was somewhat understandable - As Jane would no doubt tell you, I've been extremely agreeable thus far, whether it's been about dancing in weird places, tackling anything that comes up in an interview, or whatever, so they probably just assumed I'd "roll with it"). And l very much want to be agreeable, and like having the reputation...but I also like to go into a shoot armed with some sense of "what I'm in for" whenever possible.

And to be honest, I think them not telling me what we were doing just hurt my feelings.

So that day of shooting started off on a bad note. In addition, I was tired (Because I'm always tired on Saturday), and we weren't doing anything I found especially compelling (At least not till dinner at House of Pies), so I found the day. in general..challenging.

That evening, back at home, I got myself into quite a state deciding what I was going to say to Jane, or if I was going to say anything to her at all - I didn't want to "stir shit up" unnecessarily, but at the same time I did want to express my desire to be kept "in the loop" (And in the end, that's just what I did - I texted her that I wanted to be told what we were doing on a given day as soon as she knew, a sentiment I happily expressed without a lot of extra fuss and bother).

In my mind, the other things were less consequential, even if they weren't just about me feeling tired and pouty, and we actually got angry at each other - basically, we just "pushed each other's buttons" at a couple of points - so I'm not gonna re-hash them here.

Ultimately, we got past all of it. And while I found each incident quite upsetting in the moment (In a word, conflict out-and-out alarms me), I'm ultimately glad it happened - I kind of like that we trust each other enough at this point to be "real" with each other.

And it also needs to be said - The "conflict" we've had in all the hours we've worked together on this project so far totals about five minutes, give or take...

Which ain't bad.

Tues 4/16/19 (2:40 pm)

Heading back to Sante Fe in about a week and a half for more shooting...

While I've enjoyed my previous trips, I wasn't completely sold on a third go-round when Jane first brought it up, for various and sundry reasons.

But in the time since, Jane's put together some things I'm pretty enthused about doing (That Sunday, I'm going to be interacting with a horse for the first time in I-don't-know-when), arranged in such a way that my overriding thoughts while shooting won't be how tired I am and how much I'd rather be laying down.

And she's planning a party Saturday night, where I'll meet David Aubrey, our editor - Jane recently handed him everything we've shot so far, a pretty momentous step - and see Lili P. again (Who played my "dream woman" during out dance club shoot).

I'm expecting a good time to be had (Last time, I was so bummed by having to come back home that I almost cried when Dick dropped me off at the airport).

After this trip, I'm a little murky on what happens next - I know we have to go to Michigan (Which will be nice - I haven't been back in a while), and Jane's mentioned some more trips here (There's still a big question mark regarding what, if anything, we'll get to do with Shameless).

But she seems to have cooled on West Virginia, which both seems understandable - I'm a little murky myself as to what we'd get from it - and mystifying, because how do you tell the early part of my story, cinematically, with virtually no pictures, no people to interview (except me), and no West Virginia?

Clearly Jane will have more of an idea what else she wants/needs in the film the more the film starts to "take shape" (And I imagine David will also have some thoughts on that as well).

She thinks the film is "maybe halfway done", and hopes to be finished shooting by the end of the summer (Maybe?) for film festivals next year.

After that?

Who knows?

Jane's talked to me about PR - getting reviews and, more importantly in her mind, - interviews, and targeting my film festival appearances to get the most "bang for the buck" (My phrase, not hers), since neither of us can afford to have me attend all of them..

We've also talked about me seeing the film - We seem in agreement that I'll see a rough cut of the completed thing, which seems reasonable (I wouldn't want to have my first time seeing it be with an audience, but I also don't need to be seeing rough footage that will just make me anxious)

I think it will be interesting and weird - I've seen myself on camera before, clearly, but not this much, and certainly not in this context (I've never seen myself cry before, for example, so I expect that will be plenty embarrassing all by itself). And I imagine it might be initially tough to "get my ego out of the way", but that's what I need to do in service of the project (And it's a good lesson for acting as well).

It's a little tough to be in this uncertain of a position - I don't know exactly where we are in this process, I don't know what it's going to look like, I don't know what will become of the completed film, etc - but really, that's probably true of most ventures.

I've joked about our editor wanting to cut me out of the film, and at the other end of the spectrum, I've fantasized about being on the Academy Award stage as Jane makes her thank-you speech, but I keep feeling the need to "rein myself in" in terms of anticipating any results.

This has been an interesting, fun project to do most of the time (And it's certainly not something I'm likely to ever do again...unless Jane makes a sequel). So I think the best, healthiest response to this experience is to be in this experience, not to be obsessing over what's going to happen afterward.


Thurs 4/18/19 (12:40 pm)

The (redacted) Mueller report is out today...

I don't know that it's going to make much difference - people seem pretty dug in - but Trump responding to the appointment of Mueller by saying "This is the end of my presidency. I'm fucked."?

Just doesn't sound like an innocent man to me.

But anyway...

Other than the documentary, there's not much other news to report, especially on the acting front - I feel like I'm in some bizarre Sixth Sense scenario where I'm actually dead...but just to casting directors.

After a recent trip to my doctor, I decided to give my CPAP machine another shot (Or to be more accurate, after a recent trip to my doctor, I procrastinated for a week, then decided to give my CPAP another shot).

Because my doctor bribed me with drugs.

(I'll explain.)

I went in for a couple things - To start a prescription for a statin (which I found depressing), and to complain that the thing he gave me to wear for my "tennis elbow" hasn't done shit (Which I also found depressing) - and decided, as long as I was in the neighborhood, to ask for Ambien, when I meant to ask for Valium.

He didn't want to give me drugs, because he thinks a big part of why I struggle with depression is my sleep apnea. So he told me that if I wear the CPAP for a month, and I still feel like I want a little chemical assistance, he'll prescribe something for me.

So I've worn it for the past five days - or thereabouts - while doing my best to abstain from caffeine in the evening.

So far, it hasn't done shit.

I will say this: Since, according to the sleep studies, I don't have many sleep apnea "episodes" while on my side, over the years I've trained myself to sleep on my side, when I prefer sleeping on my back (I think that may be why it hasn't made any difference in my sleep - I just exchanged sleep apnea episodes for uncomfortable, restless nights sleeping on one side till it became too uncomfortable, then turning over...over and over again). But over the past week, I've been sleeping on my back - And while things don't seem any better, they don't really feel any worse either.

So I'm counting this as a win either way - If it "kicks in" at some point, and I start getting better sleep, great. But if it doesnt, I can get something to help with chronic feeling-badness, and that would be nice too.

And I think that's all I've got for now.

Till next time...


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