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10:41 am - Monday, Aug. 26, 2002
Long Entry. Big Finish.

Long Entry. Big Finish

(Just a warning; I feel like it's been awhile since I've actually written anything in here, so I plan on going on for days, or at least as long as I can remain conscious at the keyboard)

This first bit is an email I just finished writing to Bill H. (I just realized that I like copying emails in here, and not just because I'm too tired/lazy to do both emails and Diaryland; I think it paints a "fuller picture" of Yours Truly. And isn't that what everyone is clamoring for, after all?):

Hi Bill,

Yeah, obviously my stats counter isn't doing a lot of stats counting these days; I've never gotten a huge amount of response to what I write, but I do get responses (From You, Jane, Kathy B., Gail, my friend Carrie, etc.), so I guess I have to be content with knowing that a few "hangers on" are still "hanging on". And since the majority of people who read online journals--Or "weblogs", as the kids call them--don't typically comment, I'm assuming there are more people reading my Diaryland stuff than I realize (Since I don't really know, one way of the other, I'm going to choose to flatter myself).

Your trip sounded wonderful, hit-and-miss shows and all. I'd like to be able to do that myself someday (I'll probably be able to manage the trip at some point, though my having a 46th wedding anniversary seems unlikely at this point. And congratulations on that, by the way; I'm starting to get the idea that you crazy kids might actually have a future

I heard from Chris S. recently. He messaged me, at 3 am his time (He's still in Australia, shooting the movie), to say hi and let me know that he has a new, professionally done, very snazzy website (I think it's just, though don't quote me on that).

He's about mid-way through filming, says he's having a great time, and as far as he knows, the Disney folks are quite happy with the dailies (I certainly hope so, since 1. I like Chris, and would like him to succeed, and, 2. I like Chris, and would like him to succeed, and hope to leech off his success as much as possible!).

My current acting experience is not nearly so exciting, glamorous, or fun; Corpus Christi continues to be more of an annoyance than anything else (That said, I'm working on telling myself that something being "annoying" or "disappointing" doesn't mean it's the end-of-the-world. I think it's called "gaining perspective", but I'm not sure...). Anyway, I plan on devoting a large amount of journal time to that very subject, so since we've already established that you're a rabid fan of Diaryland (That doesn't sound right. Perhaps "devoted follower"? "Cheerful acolyte"? Or maybe you just like to read it), I will direct you to a future installment of same, for more than you probably wish to know about Corpus Christi.

Basically, things are going all right here. I've been sick the past four days or so, which has, again, been more annoying than "life threatening" (Still working that "perspective" angle!), but beyond that, and the-show-I-still-haven't-rehearsed-or-gotten-a-script-for-yet, life here proceeds in a normal, stately fashion).

Hope things are going well on your end. Good luck with Hedda, say hi to Lee for me--along with other mutual friends you might meet upon your daily rounds--and I'll look forward to hearing from you when time and agreeable circumstances permit.


(A note; If I'm copying emails I've written to you in here and you'd rather I didn't--Perhaps because of the sensitive nature of the information you've entrusted me with--please let me know. I've felt free to do it thus far, but I have no wish to offend, or at least no wish to offend in that particular way.)

Just checked my voicemail; Jamal, the Corpus Christi director, is supposed to call me sometime before work today, so we can discuss my getting an actual script (A script I should have been given yesterday at the theater, as per a phone call we'd had beforehand. But of course, Jamal forgot. Not that I'm counting up grievances here, but...Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I'm "counting up grievances" here! And it's official--In all my years of doing theater, I have never had this many before even getting to a first rehearsal!).

Right now, I'm veering between wanting to laugh--It's becoming almost surreal to me--and wanting to call and quit, on pretty much a minute-by-minute basis.

On Saturday, I was supposed to come to the theater at 10 am for a publicity photo.

I got there early, so of course, the photographer was an hour-and-a-half late.

And during our phone conversation--the one where we agreed I could get a script from him when we met at the the theater--Jamal had said the fact I didn't have a white "tank-top" t-shirt (Jeans and white tank-tops are going to be the basic "costume" for the show, and that's what he wanted for the photo) was not a problem; He even asked me what size he should get.

(I'm not nuts about the tank-top thing, because 1. I don't have the arms for it, 2. I'm embarrassed by my hairy shoulders, and 3. From my daily bike rides to work, I have a "farmer's tan" that stops about three inches above my elbows.)

Anyway, since Jamal was going to handle it, I didn't worry about it too much (Of course I should have known better at this point, but what can I say? I'm lazy and poor and didn't want to spend the money, particularly on an item of clothing I'm never going to wear in "real life".). So--of course--when I got to the theater, there was no white tank-top (Later, I found that Jamal had left a message on my voicemail at 9:30 Friday night that just a white t-shirt would be okay. But I don't have a plain white t-shirt--All I have are t-shirts from shows I've been in and that sort of thing--and I work till 1 am at the bookstore on Fridays, and don't know where any of the "All Night White T Shirt Stores" are here in LA. But if I'd gotten a little more notice--It seems all my irritation about this show is coming down to my getting little or no notice about things--I wouldn't have had much of a problem with picking one up).

So anyway when photo time came--since the photographer was late, Jamal continued on with blocking until he arrived--I had jeans and an oversized grey t-shirt (I'd thought it was going to be a "group shot", and maybe I could just "hide in the back", but they actually took individual pictures of each actor, and I guess they're going to "composite" them onto the poster, if that's the right phraseology...).

And actually, it wasn't quite true that there wasn't a white tank-top waiting for me; In the back hallway, leading into the bathroom, there was a sweat-stained, damp tank top hanging over the radiator (I don't know if Jamal had pulled it out of his dirty clothes, just taken it off, or what). I asked who it belonged to, to see if I could "borrow" it for the shoot, and Jamal actually suggested I just go without a shirt in the picture, since the tank top was so nasty (And it was); He wanted some people without shirts anyway, and was even trying to get one of the guys to do it nude, with his tank top draped tastefully over his "unmentionables" (The guy, a nice looking black man who didn't seem especially shy during the rehearsal, was looking pretty dubious about the whole thing, but since we were going in one at a time--He was coming it as I went out--I didn't see how that was resolved).

I was very not interested in doing my photo without a shirt on, so I ended up putting on the damp, dirty tank-top. I crouched on a couple of boxes, with my head cradled in my right hand, and tried to look as if I were happy about the whole thing.

By the time the photo thing started, it was quarter-after-twelve, and I would had to have left for work by 1:00 in any case, and since I didn't have a script, and it wasn't like I was getting anything out of the blocking rehearsal anyway, I left after that.

(At one point, I volunteered to just be a body on stage, but since it was basically meaningless to me, and no one else seemed to care--I was surprised that Jamal didn't ask me to jump in, even without my having a script, just so he could get an accurate "stage picture" of what his blocking was going to look like--I counted this as another couple hours of my life badly and pointlessly spent.)

And the best joke of all, regarding all this annoyance and angst?

I had a chance to glance over someone else's script at one point, and the part he wants me to do--"Andrew"--is minimal in the extreme; The only thing I saw that looked sort of fun, in my admittedly cursory glance, was a bit where I play a man possessed by a demon (in between pleas for help, I'm cursing a blue streak).

So all this, for a show I'm uncertain about and a part I don't particularly want to do.

YES!!!. As "Chandler Bing" might say, "Could I be more excited about this...?"

It's about ten minutes till 1:00 as I write these words. I have to start getting ready for work around quarter after 2:00, and I'll leave for work sometime around quarter to 3:00.

I've been doing this entry "off-line", so my phone line would be left open.

An hour or two ago, John C. called from work, asking if I wanted to come in early today, to help get the store ready for "the big event" (The president of Borders is visiting the store tomorrow. The management, naturally, is freaked, but it rates a big "who cares?" for me). And I passed on the overtime, hoping against hope that today would be the day when I would get my script from Jamal and maybe feel like this show was really going to happen for me (Okay, I'll be honest here, I've been pretty ambivalent about this o.t. opportunity anyway, for various reasons that will just sound like a big fat rationalization for not having to do extra work. And there is that, but there're more too).

But I'm guessing, at this point, that Jamal is not going to call. I'm guessing, at this point, that I'm not getting the script today. I'm guessing, yet again, that a call will not be returned, that a scheduled meeting will not happen, and that I will not feel like this is a production I want to be part of.

Truthfully? In addition to all this "they've been too disorganized and amateurish for my taste" stuff, my pride was wounded by the nothingness of my part (The original guy apparently never showed up after the read-through); I know there are "no small actors..." and all that, but if a show out here doesn't pay and doesn't provide an interesting, "showcase" role, what the @#$!! am I doing it for? (And even before, when I realized that the "second cast" I was originally in basically consisted of leftovers, I had a distinct feeling of embarrassment; I actually thought the director had seen a little something "extra" in me at the audition, but it's obvious now that I'm just a body to dress the stage with.

So why hang with this?

1. It would still be another credit, however lame.

2. I still might meet a new friend/make a new connection (Though one uncomfortable thing I'm feeling, as the days go on without my really being in the show, is that this group of actors is going to bond quite nicely without me. I tried to talk to some of the guys on Sunday, but I felt decidedly awkward).

3. Maybe if someone else drops out--which is certainly possible--I might "graduate" to a better role.

4. I can't think of a #4.


(Oh, regarding overtime; When John C. called earlier, I did say I might be able to stay after this evening--Some management and staff have been doing overnights the past couple nights--but he was wanting me before my shift, not after. And honestly? I was kind of relieved, though I imagine people reading this will think, "You can never complain about not having money again, Jim".)

I'm thinking about L. a lot these days.

Her cyber-guy from England, who she was very excited about, who seemed really cool and said all the right things, who was supposed to be coming to visit her on Saturday, basically cut off all communication without any explanation weeks before the planned "visit".

Obviously, I don't know this guy or what his deal is, but I will say this; He'd better be dead or in a coma, because otherwise, there's no excuse for doing this to someone; God knows, I understand having a "change of heart", but if that's the case, you have the guts to tell the person involved, and not just let them emotionally "twist in the wind".

I wish this guy all bad things. Really bad things. The last thing L. needed or deserved was to be played this way. She put herself out there, took a big emotional risk, and all she got for her efforts was a knife in the heart.

I wish I had something to offer her, beyond a lame and ineffectual "I'm here for you...". But I don't. And she's in a "place" I think is pretty understandable at this point; She wants to shut down, close off communication, and lick her wounds.

And it seems all I can do at this point is weep for her...


John O. has been on vacation, and is coming back tomorrow.

I've missed him, though since the new regime, I hadn't been seeing him as much as before (I used to work on Fridays, when he would be the evening floor manager, but that's been awhile now).

For a long time, I've been afraid that John is going to leave. I know he's not happy, and I don't think that's changed much with the new "regime" (His relationship with Padric was strained and awkward--Like everyone else's--but I think this new manager, while perfectly nice, very competent, and all that good stuff, is way too much the "corporate yes-woman" for John's tastes).

And I think he's also kind of in my boat (Though a bigger boat, making more money); He's my age, in a place where he's not content, wanting to do something he's not really doing, wondering to himself, "Is this the best I can manage?".

Anyway, I've had to tell myself that if John leaves, more power to him, and that is just the way of things; At this point, I think I've got some people that are going to be in my life for the rest of our lives, and I hope I make at least a couple more lifelong friends in the years to come, but for the most part, life is going to be increasingly about people coming and people going.

That's just the way it is...


(And speaking of people "going"...)

While I was writing that stuff about John O., Erika called from the Coleman.

She wanted to set up another "producer meeting". When I asked what all a producer meeting entails, just out of curiosity, she mentioned release forms and such...and the membership fee.

It's $75.

I could tell you what all I said to her at that point (And it's all G-rated. Honest), but the long and short of it was this--I quit.

(During my recitation of the indignities I've gone through during this experience, she put me on hold! As I write this, it seems kind of funny, though I wasn't amused right at that moment.)

I don't have the money. And I sure as hell don't have the money to pay people to irritate and annoy me.

As I write this, I find myself afraid that my various friends and well-wishers are going to be disappointed in me. Maybe even annoyed, thinking I should pay the money and hang on, hoping for the best.

Sorry folks. I've "hoped for the best" long enough on this one. Stick a fork in me--I'm done.


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