7:56 am - Sunday, Apr. 10, 2005
Sat 4/9/05 (8:30 a.m.)
On Tuesday, minutes after I finished my last journal entry–basically hitting "The Universe" up for some money–I went out to my mailbox...and found a letter with a $1000 check inside.
I'm really not used to that level of service from "The Universe"...!
Someone–who has asked to remain anonymous--had discovered my journal, was "touched" by my writing, and wanted "to help out a little bit" (For the record? A $1000 check is "helping out" a lot!). All they asked was that I "pay it forward" when I get the opportunity.
Beyond the obvious financial assist–which is considerable–this amazingly generous act reminds me of all the help I've gotten in life, particularly in coming out to L.A.--and staying afloat in L.A.--while trying to realize this little dream of mine.
Mark and Jane, the Lansing theater community, Kevin K., Chris S., Cary and Kay, John O., any number of supporters (Both in Lansing and here in L.A.), Diaryland readers, and now my anonymous benefactor...It seems apparent that while I may feel alone sometimes, I've had a pretty big cast of characters behind me on this, providing support and encouragement in ways both large and small.
And let me say this about that--I'm very grateful.
Read another article on "safe blogging" recently...
Turns out I pretty much blew "safe" from the get-go by being so public–Rule #1 for being "safe" is being anonymous (Using a pseudonym, not posting pictures, limiting who can read your "blog", using a service like Invisiblog or Anonymizer to hide your web address, etc.).
I suppose I could start over, drop DL and start up anonymously at LiveJournal or some such place.
But the truth is, I don't want to be "Mr X" or "Actor 1" or "HotStud43" or what-have-you. I don't see the point: If I wanted "anonymity", I could have accomplished that easily enough by not going online in the first place.
In the current issue of The Sun, there's a non-fiction piece by Emily Rapp called "Surviving The Body".
The author is an amputee–she lost her left leg to "proximal femural deficiency" at age three–and something she wrote really "jumped out" at me:
I did not want to be abnormally less than other people, so I had to be abnormally better than to compensate. The only way to be ordinary was to be extraordinary.
That, in a nutshell, is why I grew up wanting to be an actor. I felt "less than", was looking for a way to feel "extraordinary", and acting is what I found that gave me that "extraordinary" feeling.
My T-Mobile audition on Tuesday did not go as well as I'd hoped.
It was another time where what the casting director told me was so useless, if not actively harmful, that I'd rather he'd have said nothing, and just let me do whatever I was going to do.
The scenario was two "Thugs"–I was "Thug #2"--working over a guy tied to a chair. But they don't beat him up, like you think they're going to do; instead, they take his cellphone and start using up his "peak hour" minutes ("Hi Grandma, how are you today...?"). A funny spot.
The casting director said that they didn't want The Sopranos, that it was "more like Steve Buscemi".
Which confused me. What did that mean, that they didn't want "Italian"? Steve Buscemi is Italian.
And was on The Sopranos besides!
And if they didn't want a "Mafia"-type thing, what the hell were all those Italian-looking guys doing out in the lobby? (The actor I auditioned with, playing "Thug #1"? His last name was "Cellini", for Christ sakes!). If they just wanted garden-variety bad guys, where were any black or latino actors?
And, to me, the reason the spot is funny is exactly because it's the "Mafia" cliché... with an amusing twist
Besides, I'm nothing at all like Steve Buscemi.
(That's become a real "pet-peeve" of mine--lazy-ass direction to "do it like so-and-so". Cause it's a pretty sure bet that "so-and-so" is way better at being "so-and-so" than I am! And I don't know how to do "impressions".)
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Afterwards, "Cellini" said exactly what I was thinking–You get this kind of shitty direction from a casting director (Who's probably just parroting what the ad agency told him), and you end up not doing what you were going to do, not really knowing what they want you to do, so doing some sort of half-assed thing in the middle that doesn't satisfy anyone.
(For the record? I thought "Cellini" was a lot better in the room than I was.)
I'm hoping it went better than I thought it did...but I'm pretty sure it didn't.
The film thing I was beating myself up over? Where I told them I worked on the weekend (Instead of telling them I was available "whenever they wanted me")?
It turned out I "jumped the gun". They actually did email me back, saying they would indeed be shooting around that time, but if I could get the time off, I should call and let them know.
But I started to smell a rat–I wasn't having to audition, and nobody was saying anything about money? What was up with that?–so I called the number provided, and sure enough, I found out the "role" was a "featured extra" (Strike one), and the pay was zip (Strikes two and three, and now I'm taking my ball and going home).
So I passed–to me, there's absolutely no point in being an "extra" unless you're getting paid (Particulary since I've now been on any number of commercial sets and am not exactly a "virgin")–and I felt much better than when I thought I'd "screwed up" a real opportunity.
Hung out with John O. last Wednesday.
I hadn't called him in a long time--I have this "thing" where I'd like someone to call me every so often--but I finally "got over myself", and was glad I did; we went to Johnny Rockets, saw Robots at The Grove, and had coffee afterwards.
I had a good time, even though I was afraid I was kind of a bore, and felt a little stressed over how much money I spent--I paid for Johnny Rockets, he paid for snacks at the movie and coffee afterwards, and we each paid for our own movie tickets (A matinee at The Grove is almost twice what I pay in Los Feliz, but John doesn't drive, and the Grove is a good "central location". In any case, I would have done better if I'd just paid my own way and skipped the "snacks", which I didn't really need anyway).
On Thursday, I saw Sin City, which was playing at The Vista (i.e. One of my "cheap matinee" places).
(If John hadn't seen Sin City recently, I would have seen it with him on Wednesday. I had no interest in seeing Robots, but it was way better than Miss Congeniality 2, which was John's first suggestion.)
I liked Sin City, but I didn't love it.
I've seen a number of Robert Rodriguez movies now--El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, and now Sin City--and I have to say, his movies are all very stylish...with absolutely nothing else going on.
The movie looked really cool, and I enjoyed that, but beyond Mickey Rourke (And to a lesser extent, Bruce Willis), the movie didn't really have any heart. I could watch and enjoy it for what it was, but there was nothing there that "sticks with you".
Well, once again I'm feeling like I could just write and write--I really need to get back to doing this every day or so--but some other tasks beckon...
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