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2:27 PM - 06.03.18
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Well-Suited For Any Occasion

Well, seems as if a lot's going on, but it's almost entirely Shameless - related.

(That's not a bad thing, mind you. It's just the difference between "A lot's going on in my life" and "A lot's going on in this area of my life". But anyway...)

The new season has begun (If you're keeping count, this is the start of #9). I shot my bit on the first episode a week ago Thursday.

Didn't have much to do, but it was nice being back.

The start of a season is always an interesting mix of old and new - We're on the same soundstage as the past couple years, and there I was, on the Alibi set, doing a scene in the bar with Mike ("Tommy"), Steve ("Kev"), and Shanola ("Vee") (Along with Rachel, a guest actor who was very nice, and quite happy to be there).

Very comfortable, familiar stuff.

But there's always a big crew turnover from season to season (I guess that's common, particularly as a show ages).

And it's interesting - They're "the new people", while I've been there since Season One...but since they'd already been working on the new season a week before I got there, and will be there all the time (While I'm going to be popping in maybe 8 or 9 times in the next five months or so), it still feels like it's their show, and I'm just "visiting".

But like I said, nice to be back (It took awhile for them to "make it official" with me and Mike, so there were a couple anxious days when we thought we'd been written out of the episode).

As I fully expected, the issue of a raise didn't go anywhere. Casting told my agent that John Wells said if they gave me a raise, they wouldn't use me as much, and that was basically that.

The issue of money and raises and all that, in this context, is very complicated - I get pretty well paid to do what I do on the show, but could certainly stand to have more money flowing in.

And beyond the need for more money, I crave the validation of getting a raise, as the best way I know of saying, "You're doing a good job, we value what you do, you're important to the show", that sort of thing (Though we did get a Season 9 T-Shirt, so...there was that).

So there's always a bit of a sting when this issue comes up, as it's a strong reminder of my place in the pecking order (Which is "Way closer to the bottom than the top").

I very much hoped I'd be further along 17 years into my acting "career" (Such that I didn't have to work a "day job", for example).

But life, and Shameless, goes on (At least for now)...

I'm on for the next episode, and tentatively for the 3rd as well.

Got a rare invite to the table read for the 3rd episode (I haven't kept count, but I'm pretty sure my previous appearances at table reads are in the single digits).

It doesn't pay - hence the "invite" part - but I enjoy feeling "a part of things", since they are pretty much the only occasions I ever have to see/interact with the full-cast).

And it'll be interesting to see if I can figure out why the special invite to this table read (Was just texting with Mike, joking that, since the official "offer" hasn't been made yet, we'd better kick some ass at the table read - Would suck to be invited, then get cut from the episode. Hard not to take that a little personally).

(8:55 PM)

The "100 Episodes" party/event thing is a week from tomorrow...

Thought I was going to do my usual dance of thinking to ask someone, then deciding not to, and going alone, like I've done with every Shameless wrap-party.

But on a whim, I decided to ask my friend Mia (The writer/director who I met when she interviewed me about my experience as a foster kid).

As invitations go, it was kind of pro forma - I did it just to tell myself I did it - so I was surprised when she said yes.

The big reason I thought she'd say no was she might fear I'd consider it an actual "date".

I don't.

If I were 20 years younger, better-looking, and more successful...then maybe. Cause she's smart and funny, and quite lovely.

But not as things stand.

But I'm still nervous about the whole thing. Because I'm nervous about social events in general (And I don't know exactly what this thing even is, which adds another "layer" of complexity).

And while not a real "date", I still want us both to enjoy ourselves.

I'm even nervous about getting a suit, for some reason, though I really think I need one - At present, all I have are a series of suit-jackets from Goodwill that I typically wear with a black pair of Dickies work-pants, and that doesn't seem sufficient for an occasion like this.

(I tried suit-shopping a week or two ago, after work, at a couple outlet stores, then at the Men's Wearhouse near the WW on Beverly. I was really tired going in, quickly became overwhelmed, and left with nothing but the clothes I'd started with.)

So in other words, I'm making something that should just be pure fun into a source of mild-to-moderate anxiety.

It's what I do.

But it'll be fine.

In non-Shameless-related acting news, had an actual TV audition yesterday.

Sat 6/2/18 (5:10 pm)

As I told Mark and Jane when I talked to them yesterday afternoon, it was nice to be at a casting office, and actually have "butterflies" in the waiting room - I haven't experienced that since the beginning of the year.

They seemed very enthusiastic about what I'd done. I was the straight man in the scene, but they still found my reactions, or lack of reaction, very funny (It had been impressed upon me that my character was very "dry"/deadpan about what he's being told. They sent an extra note to my agent to that effect, then the CD reiterated it before I went into the room...which was interesting, because that "take" was the only one that made any comedic sense to me when I read the scene).

But sadly, I don't think it went my way. Feels like I would have heard yesterday.

But it's a guest-star for a pilot, and I don't know exactly what the turn-around time is here, so I'm holding out at least some measure of hope that it's still "in play".

Shameless emailed the script for the 3rd episode yesterday evening, which I read before I went to bed.

And there's a "Frank" plotline that heavily involves the bar and the barflies (Headed-up by Mike M. and Yours Truly).

And if it's not the most times I've popped up in an episode (When I'm typically only in one, maybe two, scenes), it's definitely in the running.

So that explains the table read invite - Typically it doesn't matter that we aren't there if we're just doing a line or two in a scene. But in this instance, it makes sense that they want to hear how this plotline actually "plays".

(So my semi-joking about "not sucking" at the table read now feels like less of a joke and more like really good advice to myself...)

In non-acting news, I bought a bike!

For years, I rode a bike to work, to auditions, to anywhere I could, because I didn't have a parking space of my own (And street-parking in K-town is legendarily miserable).

I continued doing it for awhile, even after I moved (and actually had my own parking space)...but eventually, laziness and lethargy won out, and I started driving my car everywhere.

But recently I had occasion to consider taking up biking again, for a number of reasons too dull to address in here.

That's when I realized riding my old bike really sucked - the tires had gone flat and wouldn't stay inflated.

But even when I got new innertubes, riding was thoroughly unpleasant (Long story short - It's a 7-speed bike, and whatever the speed, I either felt like I was hauling a load of bricks behind me or literally "spinning my wheels" and not getting anywhere).

Not sure how long I've had the old bike - a Schwinn "Willy" (A model that I think was on its way out when I bought it, maybe a dozen or so years ago, probably because of its ridiculous name) - but since I'd just gotten a Target gift card from Mark and Jane (And still had something left on one I'd gotten for Xmas - either from them or from Cary and Kay, I forget which), and I'd just seen a flyer that they were having a sale on Mountain bikes, I went to Target (Two Targets, actually - the process ended up being a little more "epic" than I'd anticipated), and bought a new bike.

After the discount and the gift certificates, it ended up costing me $130.

It's a Schwinn 28", 21-speed hybrid "circuit" bike - I rode it home that day, then to and from work the following Tuesday.

It's an improvement in pretty much every way over the "Willy" (Though I got a lot of compliments over the styling of the "Willy" - It's blue with white fenders, and appealingly "retro", while the new bike, though aesthetically pleasing to me, isn't as much of a standout stylistically ).

But the biggest improvement, thus far, is that I'm not riding it and thinking "This fucking sucks...!"/

I have a slight "buyer's remorse" in one sense - it's a pretty cheap bike, and I don't know that it'll bear up if I want it to be a "workhorse", to use for serious transportation and/or exercise - but on the other hand, if I bought a nicer (i.e. more expensive) bike for that purpose, I'd be stressed out every time I locked it up somewhere (Not to mention, I don't really have thousands of dollars to casually lay out for such a purpose)..

So what do you do?

(I would have ridden it to work today - On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I work at the Weight Watchers store closest to my house, maybe four miles away - but decided I needed to drive, for reasons that will immediately become apparent...)

Went to Men's Wearhouse after work today, and got a suit for next week's thing.

Unlike last week, when I went in and no one took any notice of me, a female salesperson almost immediately approached me and offered assistance.

And that made a world of difference - I literally cannot remember the last time I went into a store and bought a suit, and it would have taken me a very long time to do it on my own.

I walked out with two suits, two shirts, and two ties (It was all BOGO) for $915.

(Well, technically I didn't "walk out" with all that - the suits are still there, waiting to be altered - but you know what I mean.)

For me, that's a crazy amount of money to spend on clothes. But it feels justifiable on a couple levels -

1) There's a red carpet. And while it's hard to imagine crowds of paparazzi dying to get pictures of me while Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy get ignored, if by chance a photo gets taken, I'd like to at least look okay.

2) It seems like an event one should try to dress nicely for. After all, let's be real - how many of these things am I going to take part in over my life? Throwing an ill-fitting jacket from Goodwill over a Hawaiin shirt and calling it good - like I do for the wrap parties - doesn't seem appropriate here.

3) I keep saying it's not a real "date"...but I did invite someone to this thing, someone who is going to undoubtedly look like a million bucks on the night in question. I feel a responsibility to "keep my end up" best I can.

4) As an actor, I don't get called in to play businessmen or the like that often, but it's happened, and I should have a couple of suits to work with, "just in case".

5) I'm a man. I should have the capacity to "dress up" should the need arise.

(I'm fascinated that I clearly felt the need to "justify" spending money on dress clothes...but here we are.)

And with that, I feel I've said everything I needed to say (And probably a great deal I didn't).

(I kind of wish I did have more I needed to say, since this has been keeping me from working out, but I don't, so...)

 

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