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8:40 PM - SAT 6.16.18
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Shameless With A Side Of Zumba

Well, I have to say this has been a pretty nice period of time.

Remember the big party? The one I was kinda anxious about for assorted reasons?

That was last Saturday.

And - Spoiler Alert! - it was a lot of fun.

I'd picked up my suits on Thursday morning - was tempted to buy a belt and shoes to match the blue suit (Which I wasn't wearing to the party), but decided it could wait (...because I wasn't wearing it to the party) - and that was pretty much it for "planning", beyond a couple texts to Mia firming up how we were going to handle transport to the event.

(She lives in Long Beach - I should have offered to pick her up, but I didn't...because she lives in Long Beach - and after some discussion, she ended up parking in my parking spot, I parked on the street, and we took a Lyft to the event.).

We got to the event just about on time, which was too early - She'd gotten to my place a little early, and I'm ashamed of the way I live (Even if my apartment were clean, which it isn't, it just isn't built to impress. And my haphazard sense of interior decorating doesn't help matters), so I didn't want her to see my place.

I also - naively, it turns out - thought getting there "on time" in this instance would be a good thing, because of the red carpet (I figured we'd get on the red carpet first, as kind of "the opening act", then make way for the series regulars - I'm not red-carpet savvy, really, but that just seemed to make sense)

So anyway, when we got there, they really weren't finished setting up for the event. And while Mia was looking to me to navigate things, I didn't know where to go or what to do. I just assumed the various security people dressed in black knew how things were supposed to go, and was counting on them to usher us through appropriate checkpoints and what-have-you.

But for some reason, they let us go up to the rooftop (Where the party would be happening), two of them literally accompanying us on the elevator.

We looked around, saw nothing was happening, and sat down off to the side, only for the people setting up to approach us and politely say "We're sorry - This is a private party" (My response? "Ummm...We're the private party").

So they left, only to come back five minutes later and say, " We're not ready for you yet. You have to go back downstairs".

I wasn't mad, or really even that embarrassed (Though I did say, with a light-hearted tone, as we were headed back down - once again accompanied by security - "We were escorted up by security. It's not like we took out a couple guards and came up on our own...".).

Back downstairs, we wandered around a bit, then I was asked if I was going to do the red carpet - Mia demurred (Which was disappointing, since that was one of the reasons I'd asked her), and I almost demurred myself, since the series regulars had just finishing posing for a group photo, so what did they need with me?

But the woman asking said "Well, you're on the list", and Mia insisted I do it, so I did go out by myself, and two photographers took a couple pictures, while I struck what I hoped were appropriate "red carpet poses".

It was just an in-house "red-carpet" (Meaning it was basically just the studio taking pictures for publicity purposes. It wasn't like EW and People Magazine were there). And I can't imagine the pictures of me are actually going to be seen/used for anything...but it was still fun pretending I was a star for 10 or 15 seconds.

At that point the party was actually starting, so we went back upstairs.

I'd worried because I wasn't exactly sure what this "event" was going to be, but earlier in the week, while I was shooting episode #902, Stephenie (one of the stand-ins), said she was anticipating "a wrap-party on steroids".

Which is exactly what it turned out to be.

The only things, really, that distinguished this party from the yearly wrap parties were the aforementioned red carpet, the number of speeches (At wrap parties, sometimes John Wells has given a little speech - but sometimes not - while at this event, we heard from execs from Warners and Showtime, from Wells, from Bill Macy, and from Emmy Rossum), and a larger guest list (There were a number of actors I recognized from previous seasons there - Harry Hamlin and Sharon Lawrence being of particular note to me, as a fan of LA Law and NYPD Blue respectively).

I'd worried inviting Mia might add "a degree of difficulty" to the event - I tend to "not know what to do with myself" at these things and worried I might "not know what to do with myself" with her, with the other people at the event (Who I mostly wouldn't know), and with the two of us with other people at the event.

(For example - I told Mia beforehand, "If I don't introduce you to someone, it's because I don't know their name".)

And I like Mia, but still don't know her that well, really. We've hung out a couple times, in group situations, but this was a 5-hour long thing with essentially just the two of us.

But it was fine.

Better than fine, really - It was a lot of fun.

The initial wandering around not knowing what we were doing just amused us, which I think was the perfect reaction to the situation (I think my not seeing it as a capital D "Date" helped - I sort of wanted to impress her, but if it had been a "real date" and I'd really wanted to impress her, I would have been embarrassed at not knowing how to negotiate things).

I introduced her to John Wells, Macy, Steve H., Shanola H., and of course my buddy Mike (And probably other people I can't think of at the moment), and she was great at moving in when I didn't know names, in addition to just meeting some folks on her own.

And while I hadn't given it that much thought, she had a nice "hook" when introducing herself/being introduced, as a screenwriter/director working on a show she wants me to star in (I think I introduced her as a screenwriter and director, but didn't mention the show, which did a nice job of connecting the two of us, while leaving some room for ambiguity as to the nature of the relationship - and I'm shallow enough to find that appealing).

But the highlight of the night for me - As it is for any wrap party, when it happens - was the dancing.

I'd told Mia, when I initially asked her, that the only "requirement" I had for her at the event was that we dance a lot if dancing ended up being a thing, and she found that agreeable.

But I didn't know if she really liked to dance, and - this is an issue for me - if she was actually a good dancer...but turned out she did, and she is.

It was super fun (Even with a so-so DJ, and a dance space that seemed like an afterthought). We danced very well together, and - maybe thanks to Zumba? - I had no problem dancing as long as I wanted, and (this was another concern, especially as I was wearing a black suit and never took my jacket off) I didn't sweat that much (That last bit might also have been due to it being a rooftop party, and thus, perhaps a little cooler than previous party venues).

We stayed almost till the end, then I called a Lyft back to my place.

And that was when I realized I hadn't planned the night well enough.

She'd had a couple "adult beverages" throughout the evening (I started with Diet Cokes, but had a rum and coke at one point), so I thought I should inquire if she was good to drive.

She felt like she was (And she seemed okay to me. She'd only had three drinks over the course of the evening, and had eaten - And the food was very nice, by the way).

But between that conversation, and just thinking it would be nice to end the evening with a little party debriefing/quiet conversation (And Mia seemed up for it), I wish I'd had picked up my place, washed my car, figured out what might be open in the vicinity at that time of night - in terms of getting coffee or whatnot - and just basically planned for a potential "after".

Instead, I bumbled and fumbled and apologized and made fun of myself for being a slob, and she just ended up driving home.

So the evening ending a little more awkwardly than necessary, which was on me.

But beyond that, it felt like a big success. I had fun, I think she had fun, and - "Shallow Guy Alert"! - I got to put pictures on social media of me with the best-looking woman at the party (Emmy Rossum looked amazing as well, but Mia did it without a designer dress and a team of stylists - Just a nice black-and-white dress, I assume from her closet, and a captain's hat she borrowed from the funny-props photo booth that looked super-cute with her outfit).

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Mon 6/18/18 (12:45)

Just got word a short time ago - It looks like I'm on for episode #905!

While I want to be in every episode of the show, this is especially nice news on a couple fronts - 1. I don't think I've ever been in the first five episodes of a season before, and 2. #905 is being directed by Bill Macy, marking the first time I'll be in an episode he's directed.

Anyway...

I don't know if there's ever been such a concentrated time of Shameless stuff as the past couple weeks - I've attended two table reads (Rare that I get invited to those, and I don't think I've ever done two back-to-back) shot #902 and 903 (With 903 being two days of shooting, which is also comparatively rare), and of course, there was the aforementioned party - and I have been enjoying it a great deal (Enough that I'm steeling myself for the inevitable disappointment when I don't pop up in an episode - Because I've never been in all the episodes of a season. Last year was a record when I did 9 of the 12. Though I've heard this year there's gonna be 14, so we'll see what happens).

And for now, the fun continues - I'm shooting #904 on Thursday, and #905 a week or two after that.

It struck me last week, working two days on the show, that "If I just worked two days a week on the show every week, I'd be doing okay" - I could live on the amount of money I'd be bringing in (Without a day job), I think I'd feel like more a real part of the show, and I imagine I might even be close to the regulars (I don't know - If they needed me at least two days a week on a regular basis, maybe they'd make me a regular...and that would change everything).

But back here in the real world, this is a busy time, and that won't always be the case, so best to just appreciate it all I can at the moment.

There are all kinds of Shameless things I'm dying to write about but don't feel I can (don't want to get pink-slipped because I divulged something I shouldn't have) - but I feel safe in writing about this - Seems we have a new Alibi regular!

This was a role my friend Tim G. went in for, so I was disappointed when he didn't get it (It would have been fun to get to work with him on a regular basis, and I know he could use the regular gig).

But Steven P's a good guy, tremendously happy to be there (And very appreciative of the warm welcome me and Mike have given him), and we've had a lot of fun in the past couple weeks.

(Honestly? I had a neurotic moment or two initially, wondering if they were looking to replace me or Mike - By virtue of how many years we've been on the show and the raises we've gotten, we might be a little pricier than a new guy - but I don't think that's the case. On the contrary, I'm now starting to see it as a positive development, as a sign that the writers are potentially looking to expand the role of the Alibi and its denizens.)

There's not been a lot of acting news beyond Shameless, which is a little bit of a bummer (I don't want Shameless to be "the only game in town", because I need to make more money and want to feel confident of having a career after Shameless), but I did have a nice audition for a Disney kid's show a week ago.

(I felt like I'd done well, but I didn't book it. But it was still nice to be back in that office, and it made me feel hopeful.)

Outside of acting, there's not much to report...but there is one fun thing that's been happening...

Beverly, one of my friends through Zumba classes at the Y, recently became certified as an instructor, and I think to "get her feet wet" in a relaxed, supportive environment, she's gotten me and two or three other of our friends together to do little makeshift classes of our own.

We've been figuring out a time when most of us can do it, and reserving an available room at the Y

And it's been a lot of fun - Last time, there was the four of us, and Beverly and Salta each have seven-year-old daughters who danced with us for a bit, which was very cute (A couple times we've had other Y members come in and dance with us as well. And it's fun to watch people walk by and look in curiously at us - We don't look like a regular Zumba class, which can have 50 or 60 people, but at the same time, we mostly look like we know what we're doing, so we pique people's interest).

It's been nice - In addition to getting in the workout (Between my Shameless schedule, and a family emergency that had Thea gone last week - with no one available to sub - and leaving again next week, my regular schedule of Zumba classes has been a shambles), it makes me really happy to be included, and to have this new little group of people I enjoy hanging with, who seem to enjoy me as well.

And I think that's it for the moment.

A nice couple weeks.

I hope it keeps going, but if not, it's still been a nice couple weeks, and I thought I should take note.

Till next time...

 

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