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9:29 AM - Tues 7.26.22

Reading Writing and "Waiting For Something To Happen"

(I always think this when I start an entry - "I've gotta barrel through this. It can't take me all day because I have other things I need to do." - then it takes as long as it always takes, in part because I read what I've written over and over again. Granted, it's because I care about you, Beloved Reader, and want my writing to be as enjoyable to read as possible. But nevertheless, I have to learn how to "kick my writing in the ass", so to speak. After all, no one's paying me to do this shit. But anyway...)

I have to be honest: I don't feel good.

And that "not good" feeling is coming from the usual source, which is the sense that nothing is going on (Okay, more the reality that nothing is going on, but you get the idea).

I don't do well with "nothing going on" - What can I say? My idle mind really is "the Devil's playground" - because without a sense that "something's happening" I get depressed and anxious and find myself thinking entirely unhelpful thoughts.

The last thing that happened, acting-wise, was the commercial callback for that virtual audition I had while in Santa Fe (Where they called me back but for a different role, one that, in my mind, I was much less well-suited for).

Since then (I just checked, and that was a week-and-a-half ago...but it feels like longer), there's been nothing.

(Prior to that commercial audition, I'd had two self-tape auditions, the week before I left town, for a kid's show called Bunk'd and the redo of Night Court. I would have been happy to get either - with maybe a slight preference towards Night Court - but instead, I got neither.)

I often say that I don't want to retire - and I couldn't afford to if I did - but I'm afraid "The Biz" is going to "retire" me nevertheless.

I'm having that fear big-time right now. Not that "The Biz" is going to "retire me" someday, but that the deed has already been done.

And for quite a while now, the pragmatic need to work has felt inextricably linked to my emotional need to work; I have to keep making money because I need money, but I also want/need to have something to do, to feel like I belong somewhere, to feel I still have something to offer, etc.

Basically, to do the thing I came out here to do.

One thing I've been thinking for a while now is "maybe this is the time for me to get back into theater" (I even went as far as to look on the Sacred Fools website - that's a theater company in Hollywood - to see about auditions. But at present, they have no auditions scheduled).

Because if not now - when I'm not working a day job and have no ongoing TV commitment - when?

The idea is terrifying (The last theatre I did was very early in my time here in LA). I don't know what I have left at this point, in terms of my memory, energy level, my theater "chops", etc, but it feels like I'm definitely in some category way beyond "rusty" at this point.

But am I really going to spend whatever life I have left, with whatever resources I have left, not acting? Waiting for "The Biz", which doesn't seem to have much use for me, and has never really had much use for me, to throw me a bone?


The other "waiting for something to happen" scenario is going on with the documentary.

I'm sorry for the comparison I'm about to make, but it just struck me that I feel like when I have to pee while I'm some distance from my apartment - things get more and more uncomfortable, and the discomfort spikes, to the point where I'm afraid I'm actually going to wet my pants when I hit my apartment building's front door and relief is almost at hand.

It seems like "relief is almost at hand" from the years of waiting...but then as I get my key out, the apartment door retreats in the distance, like a horror movie.

We've only had one rejection so far, that we know about, but that kinda got things off on the wrong foot (We kind of expected that one to be a "gimme").

But Jane remains confident. And I do too, really - I just want things to start happening, so we know we're now in the "doing film festivals" part of the program (Which will present its own challenges, but that's an entry for another time).

(A number of film festivals will be saying "yay" or "nay" starting next month. So here's to hoping we get at least a couple "yays".)

And of course, being me, an unhelpful thought popped into my head about the film yesterday (Not for the first time...but for the first time in a while), which was basically, "I hope this 'changes things' somehow...".

That's not a helpful thought, because that's, 1) A future outcome, that, 2) I can do nothing about.

I'd say we both want the film to have some kind of positive impact - because why do it, otherwise? - but in practical terms, I want it to have an "impact" on the two of us.

I say to anyone who'll listen that, for Jane, I want the film to make money (Or at least return her and Dick's investment). And that desire is two-fold, because to my way of thinking, if the film is financially successful, Jane either gets to make more movies with her and Dick's money or better yet, some wealthy producer will then want to be in the "Jane Rosemont business".

(Though on that last front, this will have to be a wealthy producer who's so enthused about Jane that they want her to do whatever she wants to do - She's expressed pretty profound reservations about the idea of being a "hired gun", directing a documentary on something or someone she's not particularly invested in. She's very much of the "I have to fall in love with my subject to put this level of time and energy into it" school of Directing. Which seems pretty understandable, particularly at this stage of her game.)

On my end, I guess what I'm looking for is someone to see the film and want to get in the "Jim Hoffmaster business".

I'm not really sure how that plays out - since I don't really "act" in the film, no one's seeing if I can really do anything, so they'd just have to find something compelling about the "Jim Hoffmaster" they see onscreen - and while other people are seeing this possibility more than I am right now, that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see it happen.

A number of people who've seen the film have opined that it could be "helpful" in some regard, perhaps as a teaching tool of the like.

That has me sometimes imagining a future where Jane and I are traveling around with the film, to colleges and the like, maybe even a future where I bone up enough on foster care and mental health issues related to same that I become a professional "advocate" of sorts.

It's not the life I would have imagined for myself, but if "The Biz" really does end up "retiring me", it feels like I could do decidedly worse at this point. Something meaningful to do, a sense of purpose, at least enough money to get by would beat some of the tragic scenarios I imagine in my darker moments by a country mile.

I just don't want the film to do whatever it does at film festivals, have that be the end of it, then go back to my "regularly scheduled life" where absolutely nothing has changed.

But as I said, I don't see this as a healthy line of thinking, because I've demonstrated over and over that I suck at predicting the future.

So instead of wanting this or that or the other thing, let's just say "I hope the film results in some good things happening...whatever those good things may be".


Something that's happening these days that I'm very pleased about is that thanks primarily to "The Janes", I seem to have found my way back into reading.

In the birthday parcel sent by Mark and Jane Z., there were three books (Mortality by Christopher Hitchens, and autobiographies from Bob Odenkirk and Martin Short.

I read Mortality, then was working on the Odenkirk book, finishing it while I was in Santa Fe (Where I traded it with Jane R. for Bryan Cranston's book, A Life In Parts).

Now I'm about halfway through Martin Short's book (I Must Say), and eyeing what book/books will be next (I've got enough unread books in my possession that I could go quite some time before I need to buy anything new).

But while this "Reading Renaissance" was, in large part, inspired by Mark and Jane's birthday largesse, Facebook - Of all things! - also played a part.

I was doing the thing I do these days - spending the lion's share of my time online - and saw a thing someone posted on Facebook about reading that really gave me pause.

I don't have it memorized, but the gist of it was something like, "Do you still describe reading as one of your favorite hobbies, even though you haven't really read anything in a long time, you just like thinking of yourself as a reader because you used to be a long time ago, you like how it makes you feel about yourself, and have always told yourself you were going to 'get back to it someday'?".

That's me in a nutshell - I was a voracious reader when I was younger, and very much identified myself as "smart" because of it (And being "a good reader" was something I'd been told long before I knew what "acting" even was).

Then, with the rise of home computers and the Internet, my reading over time dwindled down to virtually nothing (And no, reading articles on the Internet doesn't count).

(And ironically - Or do I mean "paradoxically"? - I was working at bookstores all the while, as I moved into what I've sometimes referred to as my "post-literate stage".)

So I'm very enthused about this burst of reading.

And I'm very invested in "keeping the party going". Because I do identify reading as one of the better habits I've ever had, and I liked thinking of myself that way (As opposed to the many other ways I've thought of myself over the years).

I'm probably never going to get back the energy and enthusiasm of my reading youth...but that said, I can definitely see myself getting back to a place where, whatever else is going on in my life, I'm always "working on a book".

I want that for myself.

Well, I could probably think of other stuff to write about (Another challenge I'm setting
for myself is to practice writing in here when "there's nothing to write about"...because I think, in reality, there's always something to write about).

Till next time...



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