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11:24 PM - Fri 9/7/18
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The Next Voice (Over) You Hear...

(Fri 9/7/18. Late)

I'm going into the waning hours of this day vaguely dissatisfied, as if not enough happened, or not the right stuff happened, or something.

It may just be my usual Friday thing - try as I might, I ultimately spend every Friday just waiting for news of a Monday audition that (almost) never happens, then being disappointed (Just read my commercial agent's weekly newsletter - To refer to his outlook on the business as "gloomy" would be an understatement) - but I think it's more that I had an entire day at my disposal, and, as is often the case, didn't make much of it.

I did do some voiceover homework.

Tracy has me working on a book excerpt (With a number of Chinese words/names to look up for pronunciation), in addition to starting work on dialects (Something I've done in a sporadic, generally half-assed fashion at various points in my life as an actor).

I spent maybe an hour on that, all told (I will say this about the dialect stuff - YouTube makes it so easy, not to mention that it's free, that as I was watching videos on English and German dialects I found myself thinking "Why have I not been doing this all along...?").

I've got more time to work on it, but nevertheless, I didn't do enough (And when I'm really doing this stuff, I'm not going to have a week to fuck around with research and what-all, I'll have to do whatever I need to do as quickly as possible in order to get the audition in ahead of the thousand other actors I'll be competing with).

I had my weekly conversation with Mark and Jane (Thursday is the appointed day, but often as not, we have to shift to Friday, occasionally because I have something going on, but mostly because they have lives and do things and I mostly don't).

And earlier this evening, I went to my Zumba Club (As distinguished from my regular Zumba class on Mondays and Wednesdays, the Zumba Club is a "member-driven" affair that started when my friend Beverly became a certified Zumba instructor, asking if she could "try out" some routines on me. We now have a reserved room on Tuesdays and Fridays, and sometimes a dozen or more people Zumba-ing about).

But in my head, I'm defining the day by what didn't happen - I didn't do laundry, I didn't do dishes, I didn't do a dumbbell/resistance band workout, I didn't start in here earlier, etc

And there was enough time for all of it.

(There's almost always " enough time for all of it". I just never want to do "all of it".)

I've been thinking about time a lot these days, particularly how, unlike most of the people I know, I have huge swaths of time that I routinely piss away (Compared to some days off, I was a whirlwind of activity today).

I don't want to go down a rabbit hole of anger and self-recrimination over it...but I really want to do better - As things stand, my tombstone is gonna read "He wasted his life" when I'd rather it say something like "World's Greatest Actor" or "Sexiest Man (Formerly) Alive".

Speaking of Zumba, I felt guilty this week because, first, we didn't class on Labor Day (Not my fault, of course...except that I could have gone in earlier and done a different class - the Y was open till 3:00 that day), and then on Tuesday, something came up that precluded attending Zumba Club that evening.

The "something that came up" was Mia inviting me last-minute to a Dodgers game, with her and Gevork and her cousin Zane (It wasn't something she planned then invited me to last-minute - The whole thing was a relatively spur-of-the-moment affair initiated by Zane).

My default in these situations is to politely decline the invite (Particularly when I have a regularly-scheduled activity I know I enjoy - like Zumba - versus an activity that might just end up boring or socially stressful, or both).

But I like Mia, have never been to a Dodgers game, and thought spending time bonding with my future Director and Producer trumped my regular Thursday night frolic (She also made it as painless as possible, picking me up and depositing me home at evening's end).

We had dinner at Umami Burger, a gourmet burger place I've never been to (It was pretty delightful...but for the price, not so delightful I expect it to become a regular thing. Also had a beer - a Stella Artois - which is not something I do very often).

From the restaurant, we Uber-ed to the stadium.

The cheap tickets were super-cheap. We spent most of the game (Dodgers vs Mets) standing up, leaning on the back railing, only sitting down for the last couple innings.

I had a "Dodger Dog" because I thought that was an experience I should have as long as I was there (And because I like to eat too much). And it turned out to be...a hotdog - Nothing special.

But I enjoyed the outing. I'm not into baseball and thought it would be boring, but it was fine - Without commercials and a lot of commentary and what-all, it moved faster than I thought it would, and it's not terribly complicated, really (Not as far as the basics are concerned) so I didn't struggle to follow what was happening.

And Mia, Gevork, and Zane were fun to hang out with (Favorite moments were a running "bit" with Mia about us getting on the "Dance Cam" - we never did - having a stadium guy take our pictures, and calibrating our various levels of interest in the game...which I'd say, in order of "most" to "least interested" went Zane, Mia/Yours Truly, and Gevork).

In short, if they became friends I regularly, or semi-regularly, hung-out with, beyond whatever happens with the show, that would be a good thing.

But all that said, I still felt a little guilty, at evening's end, for missing Zumba...because that's who I am (But let's say this - I enjoy going and feel I add something to the class..but the class can easily get along without me.)

(One thing I've realized I'll need to "get over" socially, if I'm to be friends with Mia and company, or with any new group of people moving forward - friends have a shared history, so there's bound to be some moments where I'll be "odd man out", as they share "inside jokes", or reminisce about past events. The name of the game is to hang on till we have our own inside jokes and shared past.)

_________________________

Mon 9/10/18 (3:30 pm)

The Shameless Season 9 premiere was last night.

Initially, I couldn't watch it on...the website I typically watch the show on. But eventually things straightened out, I got to check out the episode, and I thought it was a pretty good start to the season.

I was slightly depressed going into it - There was a "Shameless-fest" event at the Linwood Dunn Theater, a screening of the premiere with the regular cast in attendance, and I would like to have taken part in it (Not to be invited by the Producers - that would have been a lot to expect - but to just be able to go to the event as an audience member, albeit an audience member who would be cooler-than-most. But by the time I saw a notice about it, it was already sold out) - but I enjoyed watching the show, I tweeted some during the time East Coast viewers and Shameless-fest people were watching, and I moved into four digits worth of Twitter followers for the first time, which was fun.

I read the AV Club review when it came out, which was decent, but the writer's main theme was basically, "Now that we know Emmy Rossum is leaving, it's going to be hard not to see the whole show through an 'Emmy Rossum is leaving' prism".

Which, yes, is something that has occurred to me. And leads me to believe ER revealing her departure from the show wasn't some carefully planned thing - I think, for whatever reason, she just did it, then the Producers had to play catch-up (As I've said before, I'm not a PR person, but this just doesn't seem like news you'd want out at the beginning of a season).

As I write this, it strikes me that I'm not anxious about the show ending.

Maybe it's because I'm currently flush, and I know there's at least one more season?

Maybe it's because I'm starting this new voiceover thing I hope will turn into something?

Or maybe it's because I've decided to start thinking/talking in terms of "my next series" rather than worrying about "dropping off a cliff" once Shameless ends?

I don't know. It's weird - because I'm pretty much always worried about my continued survival - but, for now, I'll happily take some peace-of-mind.

However short-lived it may be.

(10:15 pm)

The voice-over coaching continues to be fun and instructive. And as I've suggested previously, that tells me I'm on the right path - Even as I'm disappointed to not be emerging fully-formed as a voice-over artist (unreasonable as that expectation is), it's been fun to work on it.

I still feel like I'm not working hard enough in between sessions, but that said, I think I put in more time and effort this past week than previously.

And the dialect-work strikes me as hugely beneficial, and fun to play around with. It's appealing to the part of me that thinks I should have always been this kind of actor - one with some actual skills - and the part that actually wants to keep working as long as possible.

But the performance stuff is...well, I wouldn't say "the easy stuff", because it is going to take some work. I'd just say it comes comparatively naturally to me because I'm an actor and I'm confident I can do it, even if I'm not doing it to my satisfaction right now (And part of that confidence is my trust in Tracy. She's doing, in my mind, a great job of "threading the needle" between "enouraging" and "critical. Because if she were too encouraging, it would feel like bullshit, while if she were only/overly critical, I'd likely get discouraged and quit. Her message to me feels like "You need some work, but you've got the goods. You're going to be really good at this").

But the tech side continues to make me nervous ("Nervous" as in "fighting back panic" just thinking about it).

After my coaching session today, I came home and saw an email that the stuff for my studio has been shipped (there was a delay while they waited to get the sound-proofing stuff back in stock).

And the news left me excited and anxious - I'm genuinely enthused about the possibilities of this new venture...and at the same time, I'm dreading setting things up and dealing with the initial, inevitable frustrations of figuring out new, technical shit.

, which is why I should be fucking around with Audacity more. That needs to be my "homework" as much as working on dialects, or whatever reading I have to work on for my next session. I should be figuring out the program (especially editing), so when I get the interface, I can focus on getting that up-and-running and not feel totally-at-sea.

Right now, that feels less "fun" than working on dialects. It doesn't feel like something I'm just naturally "good at", it feels more like the "hurdle" I need to clear to get to "the good stuff" (auditioning and booking work and all that), even though Tracy assures me she was just like me about the technical stuff, and now editing her auditions is one of her favorite parts of the process.

But all-in-all, I feel like something's gonna happen here. I just have to put in the work, and bide my time.

And even though there's one more thing I could write about, I've grown weary of this endeavor, and this seems like a good note to end on.

So till next time...


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