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11:10 am - Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005
Hoffmaster to Agents: Get On Board \"The Gravy Train\"

Hoffmaster to Agents: Get On Board "The Gravy Train"
This first bit is the "newsy" portion of an email I just wrote Jane:

Not too much more "news" regarding the shoot...I got the script yesterday, and someone from wardrobe's called, asking about sizes and hair color and whatnot, and that's been about it (I don't have a call time as of yet).

I just started reading the script--All I did yesterday, before work, was go through and see if I just had the one line (I felt of two minds about having more than the one line--It would be fun, of course, but I'm also perfectly fine with the line I've got. Maybe I even prefer having one line; After all, it is my first tv thing, and if I just have one line, standing in one spot, it's unlikely I'm going to hang the production up with my technical ignorance, which would be one of my patented "nightmare scenarios").

(Just got a call from Central Casting, about an extra job on Thursday: It caught me off-guard, since I've gotten exactly one other call from them in the past four years, and I'm having second thoughts now, but my first impulse was to turn it down--It would put off my starting at the ArcLight if I took it--so that' s what I did. If it were something more than an extra thing, I probably would have taken it anyway, but I don't want to cash in on ArcLight "good will" this soon, just for background work)

Yesterday was my last day at Borders.

The night before, David called me into his office: Previously, he'd said my working part-time at the store probably wouldn't be workable, due to my schedule at ArcLight (Which I only have a general IDEA of at the present time), but said I could be "contingent" (i.e. available to sub for people), and still get a book discount and whatnot, so I said fine.

But now he was easing me out of even being "contingent", once again using my "availability" as the rationale.

Initially, having only a general outline of shifts at ArcLight, I had listed my availability from 9:00-2:00, which isn't really "workable" under this regime, because there are no "mid-shifts" anymore (Which means, if I work till 2:00, there's no one else coming in till 4:00 or 4:30). But I'd also told him I could conceivably work on my days off from ArcLight--I don't really want to work seven days a week, but I theoretically could--and that I would provide him with my ArcLight schedule soon as I had one (Assuming training goes fine, and without interrupton, I'll be on the regular ArcLight schedule a week from Friday).

For a moment, I got a little hot under the collar. I said, "David, if you don't want me working here, just say so...". Then he blathered on about my "availability", as if that were the only "issue", and I said, "I don't know my availability yet. And I already told you I'd give you my schedule at the ArcLight as soon as I know what it is".

I was arguing for something I didn't even particularly want (I don't want to have to work a second job--I want my "second job" to be the commercials and acting gigs I book--and I'd like to cut my Borders ties altogether), because I was so annoyed at his lame attempt to be "slick", and the final indignity of it all: "Thanks for four-and-a-half years. And don't ever come BACK ...".

But truth of the matter is there's a Borders right down the block from the ArcLight, so why would I go back to #102 (My current store) anyway? If I want/need those part-time hours, I'll just apply at the Borders that's about 50 feet away from my other job.

So we got off that subject, and just talked a little about the ArcLight, about my time at Borders, etc.

Then he said something else that almost got me going again.

He wished me luck.

"And not just at the ArcLight, but with your acting". Then he went on to say "When I see someone who's trying to realize a dream, I can't help it, I just want to send good energy their way", or words very much to that effect.

Jane, I almost bit my tongue off to keep from ripping him a new one--"Are you fucking kidding me? In terms of 'realizing my dreams', you're the worst thing that's happened to me out here. You don't get to fucking act like you were 'in my corner' the whole time, you worthless piece of shit. I have people in my life who have genuinely been behind me, and you're not one of them. You were an obstacle, Dickhead. I made it through the past year in spite of you."

But I didn't say any of that.

Bully for me.

David didn't work yesterday, so I got to end my final shift at Borders with Tim G. and Ashton, both of whom I like very much.

There was no cards, no cake, nothing like that, but Tim bought me a beautiful book of Alex Ross artwork (Alex Ross is a comic book artist we both like), which I was just looking through earlier this morning, and a number of people got my contact info, so we'll see if anything "sticks", in terms of the friends I've made at Borders (Before Tim and I parted company, he suggested getting together sometime with some other members of the old crew, so I hope that happens).

Christy, the girl I like who works at the register, has been away for a couple weeks, and I thought she wouldn't be back before I left, so I'd written her a note, just saying how much I'd enjoyed working with her, and giving her my contact info if she wanted to get coffee or see a movie or something. It was an act that fell under "I'm pretty sure she's not INTERESTED, but I have to take this final shot". And at this point, what's the harm?

But she actually was there yesterday. And this might have been a mistake, but since I'd bothered to write a note, and it's very difficult to get someone alone at the store (Unless you've got the same break time), and I'm kind of shy about this kind of stuff, I gave her the note anyway.

And this is probably nothing, but at the end of the evening, as she went out the door, and other people were saying their goodbyes, she said "I'll email you...".

Polite brush-off? Probably. But I've had some other nice breaks recently--with the ArcLight and the "House" gig--so why not "hope for the best" in this arena as well?

(Of course, I will keep you informed of developments in this "arena"...if there are any.)


As you might imagine, my mind is spinning right now...

With the "House" gig, I've been bouncing back and forth, between imagining my acting career "taking off" now on the one hand, and telling myself to calm down on the other.

It's a good thing, a very good thing, to be sure.

Aside from the actual experience of doing it--and having the money--it's the beginning of credits that will actual mean something to casting people and agents (I don't know if I could nab an agent on the strength of one "co-star" role, but certainly when I get another one, or two more, I could definitely start sending things out, letting people know they want to get on this "gravy train" before it picks up too much steam.

On the other hand, it's just one line on a tv show. And it's a long way from one line on House to a viable career (And while it'll be nice to have that extra money, it's not life-changing fundage, by any stretch of the imagination. It just means I'll be able to eat and pay rent without outside assistance for an extra month or two).

It's fun to fantasize, and beyond that, kind of mind-boggling to consider--After a lifetime of fantasizing about being a professional actor, it's actually happening.

But I have to assume, for the foreseeable future, life will go on much as it has before (Well, I guess it won't be going on "much as it has before", cause I'm starting a new job. But you know what I mean).

I did feel a little sad about leaving Borders last night. It might have sounded like I hated the job and everything about it, but it had its "perks"--I liked my coworkers, by and large, and working around books beats working around hamburgers or floor tiles any day of the week.

But a lot of the people I knew and loved at the store are long gone, and it's way past time I was gone too.

And whatever anxieties/insecurities I have about a new gig, I feel pretty sure I'm doing the right thing.

But more later...


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