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10:23 am - Tues 3.18.2008
Getting A Grip On Myself

Getting A Grip On Myself

Watching a Battlestar Galactica marathon (Very excited that the new season starts next month).

Feeling like there's a lot going on these days, at least in my head, and I'm not doing a very good job of "catching" it in here.

And when I write about something at any length, off-line, it ends up boring me to death in the re-reading, feeling pointless to have spent so much time on it.

So right now, I'm just trying to write as quickly as possible, hoping I can get past my internal censor, and figure out exactly what it is that I want to say.

I'm feeling profoundly lonely these days, but don't really know what to do about it; simply "going to where the people are" won't cut it - it hasn't at this point, anyway - and I can't make close friends appear out of thin air.

Long story short, I want my Monday lunches with Jane; I want my Sunday jogs/breakfasts with Kevin. I want theater back (Community theater provided a lot of "bang for the buck", giving me a creative/social outlet I just haven't had out here). Stuff like that.


"Open Availability" is rearing its ugly head at ArcLight (They want to basically give people two days off, and schedule them anytime they want to the rest of the time). And it could pose a serious problem for Yours Truly.

That's one of the main reasons I left Borders - David S., the last GM there, didn't like that I had a set schedule, and we butted heads a lot over that issue, and related issues connected with my being an actor and sometimes having to call in late, usually the day before a shift (A comparatively rare occurrence,actually. And I think I called out maybe twice in almost five years).

I think a shit job like Borders or ArcLight expecting you to be available around-the-clock is just...unfair; People have second jobs, they have school, they have (In my case) auditions & workshops & gigs, they have family obligations, they have social lives. And I think it's wrong to offer as little as a place like ArcLight offers, while at the same time expecting people to make it the centerpiece of their existence (Which is what you're doing when you say, basically, "We're going to offer you as little as we can get away with, but whatever else you have on your plate, ArcLight has to come first").

I could go on, but I think you get the idea - I don't like the idea of having to have "open availability" (And it pretty much guarantees I'll be leaving them in the lurch at some point, as I have audition conflicts I would never have otherwise. Which means, in all likelihood, eventually ending up getting fired for not showing up, when "showing up" is one of the best things I do).

It's one of those times where I feel very panicky & anxious; I don't want to be at ArcLight, as I've made abundantly clear, but at the same time, I don't want to get pushed out. I want to leave when I'm ready, on my terms, when it feels like I'm primed to succeed.

Feels like I'm trying to make things happen these days, without a lot of forward movement.

The CPAP business goes on and on - the latest is that AirCare, the CPAP supply place, is still waiting for SAG to approve the request from my doctor (Yesterday I was told they've experienced SAG dragging their feet like this in the past). So anyway, that's still "in the offing".

I got an email from Dr. Alessi's office yesterday, saying they've sent a request to SAG for approval for surgery - for the septoplasty (nose stuff) and somnaplasty (throat stuff) - and I should be getting an approval letter at some point; from there, I need to call Dr A. to make an appointment for the surgery.

(Then it'll be my turn to drag my feet - I've been thinking lately that, if I can work out the kinks, maybe life tethered to a CPAP machine wouldn't be so bad. But anyway...)

Jay, Brett's musician friend who's helping me with creating a "reel", sent me his first edit day-before-yesterday.

It's too long - 2 minutes and 40 seconds - so he's going to keep working on it, and send me his next edit in the next day or so.

I'm not as brimming with enthusiasm over creating a reel as I think I should be. I don't know what it is - spending the money, the unimpressive footage, an Eeyore-like feeling that "it won't matter anyway", or what - but I'm totally up for being wrong, and having an "online reel" be the thing that helps me turn the corner in my career (From too-rare costar auditions and gigs, to the wonderful world of Guest-Star roles and - dare I say it? - "Series Regular" auditions).

Probably the main reason I'm feeling blue-ish is the lack of auditions; beyond the commercial-audition-that-wasn't last week, I haven't had an audition in nearly a month, and for me, a month out here without auditions is a month that has no reason to exist (It would be nice if I could figure out how to fill downtime like this with enjoyable, meaningful activity...but it isn't happening just yet).

The other thing that's got me down is that, on some level, I'm still wrestling with the repercussions of my tax situation; I'm not in any danger of imminent collapse, but I've lost the sense of possibility I had for a few moments there (The "possibility" being that I was "on my way" to really building up some serious, meaningful savings).

(Actually, I've kind of "misrepresented" my savings situation post-taxes: My tax bill represents a good chunk of the money I had in my savings account, but it still isn't the majority of my savings; in addition to money in a savings account, I also put $5,000 in a CD last year.)

I have to remind myself that "where I'm at" right now represents a crazy amount of progress; I've gone from "How am I going to pay my bills this month?" (And on more than one occasion in the past, the answer was "borrow money from Mark&Jane or Cary&Kay") to "I could probably make it on what I've got saved for the next five or six months".

I'm just feeling my age these days. And worrying about what life is going to look like for me "down the road" if I don't have enough in the bank.

And oddly enough, in one sense, making my first serious money last year has made me more anxious than I was before, not less; now that I've enjoyed "the finer things in life" (Cable TV/High Speed Internet, going on trips, buying real cheese, etc.) I don't want to slide back down to dial-up and rabbit ears, to not going anywhere and feeling guilty about putting 25 cents in a gumball machine, to buying store-brand "pasteurized processed cheese food product". To calling Cary and asking for money, so I can pay rent or buy food.

I may not be happy right now, but I'm still pretty well-aware that my life these days is, on the whole, vastly improved from my life just a few years ago.

And I don't want to go back.

When talking to Javier about my tax situation, he talks as if the money I made this past year is the way it's going to be from now on, that I have "gone to the next level", basically (So I should prepare for that, instead of thinking of myself as someone who doesn't have any money).

I hope he's right (And it would be nice to feel positive he's right, but I'm not there yet).

I'd just like to be able to get my financial situation together enough to know I'll always be able to "get by" (And at a level that allows me to keep a roof over my head, have cable tv, and buy food I actually like).

I haven't been following the news all that closely these days, but I follow it enough to know my life could be a whole lot worse than it is - I could be in Atlanta, or in that building in New York that got crushed by a falling crane - and I ought to get a grip on myself; I have a roof over my head, I have money in the bank, I'm working four days a week at what is, most times, a really easy job, and at any given moment, I have the possibility that a one-day gig will come along that will pay me thousands, or a tv or movie job will materialize that will get my career moving in earnest.

Things could be worse. Things have been worse.

So get a grip on yourself, Jim.

Get a grip.


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