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9:35 AM - Mon 11.28.16
To Those Who Give A Shit

To Those Who Give A Shit

Lately, I've really been wondering why I do this.

Not so much "Why do I journal?" - It's a long-standing habit that still has some psychological utility - but "Why do I journal publicly?".

It's me in self-pitying, "Why bother? Who really gives a shit?" - mode.

But then two people recently expressed concern that it'd been a long time between entries, wondering if I was "ok".

So, my gift for self-pity aside, at least two people "give a shit" - and I can think of at least two or three others who regularly read these entries and seem "invested" - so I guess that's enough to keep the party going awhile longer.

(My chest did when I woke up this morning, a couple hours ago, and still does. Don't think it's a heart-attack- seems more of a muscle thing, since I'm not having any other symptoms, and it's effected by the way I move my head and neck - but it's still annoying. But anyway...)

Thanksgiving with Cary and Kay and their family was really nice.

Speaking of this journal (And Thanksgiving), I felt a little weird about my last entry, where I wrote about Cary's Dad suffering from "Fox News poisoning", Cary issuing a "no politics" edict, and how I was a little "worried" about the whole thing (And I'm embarrassed about my pseudo-manly "I won't start any shit" reply to Cary, since it implies an unwritten second-half to the sentence - "I won't start any shit...but I'll sure-as-hell finish it" - which is ridiculous).

I felt particularly weird about posting it on Facebook, since the "Fox News poisoning" thing popped up in the little "sneak preview" window accompanying the link. It seemed borderline rude, in a passive-aggressive way, since his Dad could potentially see it/read it (Not to mention Cary perhaps having some opinion regarding my public proclamation on the subject).

But I decided my feelings were paramount, that my "tens of fans" deserved to hear me "speak my truth", and I let it ride.

In any case, it turned out to be a total non-issue - Politics never came up, and his parents were as delightful and charming as ever, as was I (When describing my relationship with them, I always say "I like them, and they seem to like me for some reason". Which is a weirdly self-deprecating thing to say, because I'm especially charming and gracious around them, since they're very nice. So really, why wouldn't they like me?).

The food was lovely, and as I've told people at WW, I felt like I "fought the day to a draw" on that front - On the "Plus" side, I abstained from appetizers beforehand, skipped the cranberry sauce, and had my dessert pie sans "a la mode". While on the "Minus" side, I had "seconds" when I was really full after a single plate, and opted to have "slivers" of all three pies, when it would have been better to have a "sliver" of one pie and "call it good".

I would like to have gone to my Weight Watchers meeting the next day, but instead, had to work that meeting, rather than attending as a member (The irony strikes me from time-to-time - I started working at Weight Watchers, in part, to help me maintain my weight loss, but sometimes, working there actually "gets in the way").

Nothing to report on the acting front...

I told myself not to expect anything to happen this past week, and sure enough, it didn't. But that didn't stop me from desperately, obsessively checking my phone for calls and texts, as if someone was just waiting till the day-before-Thanksgiving to hand me my breakout TV or movie role.

Speaking of movies...

Saw Dr Strange last night, with my friend Mike M (We both enjoyed it, agreeing that Marvel's film division consistently does a really good job making us care about 2nd-or-3rd-tier characters we never gave a shit about in the comics).

Afterward, we talked/commiserated about our current fortunes in the business.

He's younger than I am, started out earlier, is a better "type" (Big, burly guy, as opposed to...whatever-the-fuck-I-am in terms of casting), and is doing quantifiably better than I am.

But he has a wife and kids depending on him, while I'm So however well he's doing, however much better than me he's doing, he continually has to be doing better still, because of all the responsibility crushing down on him.

And we both thought booking a recurring on Shameless was going to be a jumping-off point to bigger, better things, which just hasn't happened, for either of us.

(My manager actually theorized once that Shameless might be a problem - it's been awhile, so I don't remember if he meant that casting might think I'm "spoken-for" or that I've been "typed" as Kermit, or what. I just remember thinking, "So being successful makes it harder for you to be more successful? That doesn't seem right somehow...".)

So it's looking like I'm going to close out another year with no theatrical bookings other than Shameless (Which as I said to my friend Josh recently, is "old success", when I'm jones-ing for some "new success", something to make me feel like I'm "progressing" in my career, instead of feeling dead-in-the-water).

I don't know if it's that I'm "old" now, or I've "lost a step" somewhere, or that I'm old and have lost-a-step somewhere (On the theatrical side, I lean toward the "old" theory, since I'm going out so little that no one's seeing how many "steps" I do or don't have...but after my recent goose egg after eight commercial auditions in the first half of this month, I have to wonder if a "step" has indeed been lost in the audition room).

One of the biggest troubles when contemplating the "Why isn't anything happening?" question is that you have no feedback from anyone, so you're perpetually operating in a vacuum.

And from years of experience, I'm very skilled at filling a vacuum with all kinds of crap (I'm much better with metaphorical vacuums than with actual ones).

For example...

As of yesterday (apparently), I decided I am going to grow my "off-season" beard-and-mustache back - I personally prefer it, and so does pretty much everyone else who's ever expressed an opinion on the matter (I don't recall ever having someone tell me, "I prefer you without the beard").

I could theoretically dye it, along with my hair, in order to not look too old - whatever that means - but I really don't want to (I don't want to be "that guy" in my day-to-day life, maintaining it is either a new pain-in-the-ass I don't want to deal with or a new expense I don't want to have, and most of all, I just don't want to feel that way, as if I'm doing something wrong by just fucking getting old).

But in terms of casting, I don't know if being a somewhat more-attractive character guy who looks older is any better or worse than being a somewhat less-attractive character guy who looks a bit younger (I did this last year for the first time, until I had to return to looking like "Kermit" for Shameless, and I did get some auditions...but did I get more or less than I would have otherwise? And the answer is "How the fuck do I know?").

Like William Goldman said about the movie business, "Nobody knows anything".

And if they do, they sure-as-shit aren't telling it to me...

(Just checked with my theatrical agency about my last Shameless check - I hadn't received any notice about the direct deposit, so assumed it hadn't happened yet. But turns out, it actually happened the beginning of last week.)

So what else is going on...?

Had ice-cream with my friend Josh recently (He had a two-for-one coupon to a new place). That was fun, though I felt a little "Debbie Downer"-ish with him (I'm always uncomfortable with that, fearful that if I don't make each rare outing with a friend fun, instead of a depressing chore, they won't be motivated to do it again).

Have been enjoying an online impulse purchase I made recently, something I've often thought about, but never "pulled the trigger" on...

A week or so ago, was on the website, and they were offering Rosetta Stone language courses at a steep discount (Like 50 or 60 percent off).

So even though I've felt money anxiety ratcheting-up again (with the end of Shameless and nothing else happening), I bought the Latin-American Spanish course, and I've been having a lot of fun with it so far.

I've done the lessons almost every day (I don't think I did anything yesterday), and it was fun for me to recently know a street vendor was asking if I wanted ripe bananas or green ones, because I'd just learned "verde" is Spanish for green.

I'm a little embarrassed that I've lived in LA for 15 years now, and haven't bothered to learn any Spanish. But my recent experience with the car (Where the previous owner spoke no English and I spoke no Spanish) suggested to me it was maybe time to start.

I see it as a good skill to have "in my back pocket", both IRL and as an actor. And as someone said on Facebook, it's good to stimulate your brain, as you get older, by learning new things.

And if nothing else, I just think it's good for my mental health to have a new thing I'm working on, a new little "hobby", as it were.

Well...this is not the entry I thought I was going to be writing (I thought I was going to be "diving a little deeper"), but it's the one that happened.

Oh, one more "news item"...

It's taken awhile to make it happen, but last week I went to have impressions made for an "oral appliance" for my sleep apnea (So, not a CPAP mask - I quit doing CPAP awhile ago, because it wasn't doing anything for me - but a mouth-guard that will hopefully do what a CPAP is supposed to do, with less muss and fuss). So wish me luck on that front - I think it's pretty hard to over-estimate how much better my life would be if I could just sleep

Speaking of which, I think I may just lie down and take a shot at sleeping right now...

(Ever the optimist...!)


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