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8:48 am - Sun 9/29/02
The only problem I'm having with \"now\" is that there's not ENOUGH of it!

The only problem I'm having with "now" is that there's not enough of it!

I was telling Jane in an email recently that, considering how enthused I am about The Power of Now, it's interesting that I've had the book for almost two weeks and have read only 50 pages (The book is 191 pages long).

(I'm going to take it to work today, and check it out one more time. It's not difficult reading, so if I set my mind to it, I'll probably be able to finish it in a couple days.)

I don't think it's resistance that's slowed me down here, though I wouldn't rule it out (There's a certain safety in not upsetting the mental/emotional status quo, even if said status quo makes you perpetually unhappy and dissatisfied).

I think I'm feeling more impatient than resistant; So far, the ideas contained in the first 50 pages of the book--"Now" is all we have, our problem, the thing that keeps up from a more fulfilling, joyful life, is our obsession with the past and the future, and our mind will not help us solve this problem because it's part of the problem--seem like very valid points to me, but points that could basically be made just as effectively in a pamphlet.

But that said, even if the rest of the book is just "variations on a theme"--which it might not be--that still might be a worthwhile thing; If I had just read a one-or-two page pamphlet on "The Power of Now", I probably would have finished it in a minute, thought about it for a couple more minutes, then slid right back into my more familiar way-of-being. But with a book, I'm living with those ideas every day for weeks (So maybe I'm slowing down my reading for that reason--If I raced through the book, maybe I wouldn't be getting as much from it. Hard to say).

Last night, I had a particularly bad attack of not being "in the now" while I was at work.

I was tired, I was bored, my back was hurting, and I felt myself starting to get antsy and depressed and frustrated. I wanted to be somewhere else, doing something else (And unfortunately, my buddy AJ was in the same "space", so it was all-too-easy to fall into a depressed, complaining spiral with him).

But it struck me that dreaming of being somewhere other than where I was, doing something other than what I was doing, being in some imaginary future where I would not be tired and bored and my back wouldn't be hurting, wasn't making me feel any better about being where I actually was.

It might have been better if I'd tried to expand my sense of what was going on "in the now". I was at the store, helping things run smoothly, helping customers, hanging out with people I like, getting to sneak a peak at some magazines (Which I enjoy), making money, and the only realistic alternative to being at the store would have been being at home, and when I worked days the past two Saturdays, I was very bored and lonely in the evening (And Saturday night tv is awful).

So maybe trying to escape "now" is not the answer. Instead, maybe it would help to get more into "now".


Had breakfast with Steve Weller this past Tuesday.

(This was the guy I ran into at the Geffen, whom I hadn't seen since we were both in Hair at Lansing Community College, back in 1982.)

On a personal level, it was very enjoyable. Steve was always a funny, personable guy, and he still is. He's had an interesting life up to this point--After Hair he moved to Florida for a time (Where he roomed with Gregg Benac, who I was friends with for a time back in high school), then to L.A., 17 years or so ago--and I enjoyed hearing about his adventures.

(My staying in Lansing for the past 20 years suddenly made me feel like I hadn't done anything--and he didn't seem all that interested in what I'd been doing the past twenty years--so I let him do the majority of the talking.)

In terms of professional stuff ("What acting information or advice can I get from this encounter?"), it was...discouraging.

Steve gave up acting many years ago--Tired, he said, of being typecast as either "the funny fat friend" or the "psycho biker-rapist" (I didn't ask if he'd ever tried to lose weight)--and exists on freelance film tech work (He actually worked on Buffy, till he got fired over some overtime issue). He'd been working at the Geffen, in an office capacity, since January, while he works on writing and directing projects, and waits for the next gig to come along.

(He had one anecdote that was kind of funny and kind of scary; He talked about an audition where he walked in and saw a dozen guys who looked exactly like him. As a character actor who's been used to being the "only game in town", it was easy for me to imagine how very bizarre that would be.)

In terms of making progress (i.e. getting work), he said the same thing everyone else has said--It's all about connections. You have to build relationships, and from those relationships comes work (People like to work with friends, or barring that, at least with people who they know can do the job).

I enjoyed the encounter, but something in it just didn't feel like we were destined to be buds out here. I don't know exactly what it was--I know the news that he had given up acting a long time ago was pretty depressing, but I think the bigger deal was that he didn't seem particularly interested in me. He didn't ask much about what I'd been up to the past twenty years, didn't offer up any names or contacts (Surely he knows someone), and didn't even ask for my phone number or email address at the end of our time together.

(One thing that occurred to me is that the last time he saw me act was in Hair, half a lifetime ago. So he doesn't really know what I can do, if anything. Thinking along those lines makes it more understandable if he was maybe a little hesitant to hand over his rolodex of contacts; If you're going to say "I know this guy", you want to be able to follow that up with "...and he kicks ass as an actor".)

But I've got his number, so who knows?

Actually, this is turning into a pretty social period of time for me--In addition to the breakfast with Steve, I'm having breakfast with Chris tomorrow (More on that in a moment), lunch with Tony B. on Wednesday, and am probably going to see a play with Cary and Kay on Friday.

Chris is back from George of the Jungle (I called him recently, just to see if he'd gotten back yet). Seems like it was a pretty great experience for him.

He said he didn't make as much money as one might think, since he had to pay both Australian and American taxes (I wouldn't have known that, and it seems more than a tad unfair, but he thinks he'll get a lot of that back at tax time). But when he called the casting directors to thank them for the gig, they actually suggested meeting him to talk about other projects, so that seems pretty damned encouraging.

In terms of the movie itself, I guess the decision hasn't been made yet as to whether they'll try to release it in theaters, or it'll go straight-to-video (Obviously, it would be preferable if it got released in theaters, but whatever happens, he's still the lead in a movie, which is pretty cool). There's some post-production to be done, and he may have to go in to "loop" some dialogue, but the plan is to have it ready to go by March of next year.

Well, I feel like I have a great deal more I want to write about in here, but I'm running out of time--I want to call Cary to talk about some stuff, and make plans for Friday, then I need to catch a nap before work--and I think it's gonna have to wait...

(My last entry, which I enjoyed writing and I think is a good entry, also kind of threw me off; It was supposed to be part of a larger entry, but it took on a life of its own. Oh well...)


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