4:55 PM - 02.16.19
So what's going on...?
Well, I'm sick - With a cold that made last night's sleep even crappier than usual - so my energy and mood are not all they could be at the moment.
But deathly illness aside, there's happy news to report...
On Thursday I had my first on-camera audition of the year - a commercial for Honda - which led to my first callback of the year, which led to my first "avail" of the year (Always feel like I have to explain what an "avail" is - Basically, it's being "put on the short list" after a callback. It's not a commitment of any sort, just an expression of potential interest).
I'm sure I've mentioned in here how "avails" have gone from a source of excitement early on (Cause it meant I was "in the game"), to mostly a source of anger and frustration (Cause now they all-too-often just feel like a "tease" - For example, I had four or five avails last year and didn't book any of them).
But for now, I'm pleased that my first time out of the gate this year earned me a callback and an avail. That's officially better than not getting a callback and an avail your first time out of the gate.
And I'm gonna hang onto that pleasure, best I can, until this avail turns into yet-another frustrating, "close but no cigar" situation.
Along with the audition/callback/avail, had another nice thing happen yesterday - Got an email from Lyle, my theatrical agent, asking about my availability for a possible recurring role on a new ABC sitcom.
Basically, the Producers - or Casting, to be more accurate - sent Lyle an email inquiring about me.
So the first step was to check that I was available for the shoot, which is basically over March and April (Which of course, I am). Then, presumably, Lyle sent them my reel and told them my "location" (I'm curious why they wanted to know that last part - Is it shooting on location, perhaps? Kind of hope not - I don't want to get burned simply because I live in LA).
Anyway, this is a "nice" thing - as opposed to a "wonderful" thing or an "amazing" thing - because this has happened before, and nothing came of it.
And I'm imaging nothing will come of this either.
But I'm not at all opposed to this becoming a "wonderful thing", don't get me wrong. - I would dearly love if I played a recurring role on a network sitcom before Shameless starts back up in June. It would be nice to make the money, have the experience, and more than anything at this point, to feel like I could still have a "career" moving forward (It weighs rather heavily on me that nothing of any real note has happened since Shameless. And I'd love to book a thing without having to audition for it. That would definitely feel like...progress)
Last weekend, I was once again in Sante Fe, doing more work on the documentary.
The centerpiece of the weekend was the big "Dance Club Scene" on Sunday, which basically had two components - Me dancing with my "true love" (aka my "dream woman"), and more general dancing about in and amongst a crowd.
Jane threw a dinner party Saturday night, where I met Lili P (aka my "dream woman").
I'd been a little nervous about meeting her - and Jane hadn't given me much to work with (Describing her as "tall", "older", and "dignified" made me think I might be meeting a handsome elderly librarian) - but she turned out to be quite attractive and very cool.
(Being very kind and generous to myself, she looked my age...but she actually looked younger. And if she didn't vibe to me the way I vibed to her, she hid it well. It seemed clear we'd be able to work well together.)
So anyway, on Sunday we did our thing first - slow dancing to "At Last" (the Etta James song) - and it seemed to go very well. It felt like we were both having fun, and perhaps more to the point, Jane was very happy with what she was getting.
We did two takes of that (Personally, I would have been fine with a few more), then I was secreted away while the dance club "patrons" were ushered in (The "club" was the bottom half of a restaurant converted to a hip LA hot spot).
For a time, I waited in the restaurant upstairs, then I was brought downstairs, and waited with Diane F. - whom I'd met the first time I visited, just before Xmas - as Dick (Jane's husband and AD for the shoot) primed the crowd for my appearance.
As I listened to the crowd practice cheering for me, I remember saying to Diane, "This feels a little silly...but it'll be fun to pretend that I'm a big deal".
Then Diane got the cue for my entrance - I made my way in, hit my spot, said I-don't-remember-what (Something along the lines of "I understand there are some people here who want to dance!").
And when Dick cued up "Play That Funky Music", I started dancing.
And at the risk of sounding egotistical, that's when the ginned-up "excitement" turned to actual excitement - To be very clear, I'm not the best dancer ever, but I'm good enough, particularly at my age, that it's pretty impressive if you don't know it's coming.
I felt like I "set the tone" there for the rest of the shoot.
I danced with Lili for a couple of dances and with Jane's charming 24-year-old great-niece (and Chicago actor) Natalie - who I'd also met at dinner the night before - for a couple of dances, and in-between with various women at one point or another.
The whole thing lasted about two hours, ending when Dick had Jane come up and dance with me to "Uptown Funk" (I was running on fumes at that point, collapsing in a chair at song's-end, but it was still great fun, and a very nice capper to put on the shoot - Jane deserved a little celebratory dance for the work she'd put into making it all happen).
I was pretty proud of myself, not just for how hard I danced - Thank you Zumba! - but for realizing that, even though I don't see myself as a big deal, I was a "big deal" that day (i took selfies with everyone who asked, and thanked pretty much everyone I talked to - and I talked to as many people as I could - for participating).
Afterward, some of us (Dick and Jane, Maura and Wes Studi, Natalie, Seth and the lighting guy - Gus? - and so on), adjourned to the restaurant upstairs, chatting about this-and-that, as I got moderately drunk with Wes (I'd met him and his wife Maura last time I was in town, and didn't think I'd be seeing them this time. But they decided relatively last minute to make an appearance midway into the shoot, which was cool).
(Still very pleased that Wes and I have clearly "taken a shine" to each other. I wouldn't have expected that - half because of how Jane characterized him as very shy and reserved before I met him, and half because, well, because he's "Wes Studi" and I'm just...me. But it's very cool. And it's one of the things that's come from the documentary so far that makes me say "See Jim? If you say 'yes' to things, you never know what can happen as a result".)
During our conversation, there was some very vague, very preliminary talk about a potential film project. But as with the commercial avail and the ABC thing, I don't see much point in getting too stirred-up about it at this juncture...though with all of it, it strikes me as a positive thing that I'm still in a place where nice things like these could happen for me (A commercial would be a very nice thing, but wouldn't really represent "progress" - I've booked commercials before, after all - but booking a recurring role on a Network without having to audition, or booking my first real movie off a friendship with a name actor, would both qualify as pretty cool "firsts").
I left early Monday evening, and was pretty depressed about it - It was part about being a "star" on Sunday, and just another schlub on Monday (Albeit a "schlub" who plays a recurring role on Shameless). But more than that, I'd just spent the weekend having more genuine, lovely "people contact" than I typically have in LA over the course of many months (I like Jane and Dick a great deal. And happily, when they have a weekend here and there with me, they like me too - Both times I've left after spending the weekend with them, I've thought, "As much as I want to stay longer, I'm leaving at exactly the right time - While they still like me and wish I were staying longer too").
The next step with the documentary is Jane coming here on the 27th for around ten days, to shoot some interview stuff, maybe a Zumba thing with Beverly, Carlos, and Salta (If we can work it out), a location shoot at Cary's place (Where I think she wants to interview both me and Cary, though I'm unsure if the two of us are going to talk together or not), and a re-shoot of the dance down the hallway at the Biltmore that we did early on.
Mon 2/18/19 (4:35 pm)
Presidents' Day - One of those Monday holidays I'm not terribly fond of, since it means nothing (Monday is my normal day off anyway), except that I know there will be no auditions, no calls about auditions, no checks in the mail, etc.
Went to my second full-length ballet with Kristie D. yesterday (We saw Cinderella at the Ahmanson, a new production set during the London Blitz).
I was, to be honest, indifferent to the ballet itself - though I enjoyed some of the staging - but I did have a nice time with Kristie (She picked me up, and we ate at a place near the theatre beforehand).
We seem to enjoy each other's company, but there's nothing there romantically (I'd be up for "exploring the possibility" - she's quite attractive - but it's pretty clear she's not feeling that at all), and - here's where I will maybe sound like a jerk - I'm not sure, moving forward, I want to spend the money I've spent on these things in a situation where there is no potential for...well, for anything, really.
But whatever happens moving forward, I'm glad I've done what I've done - Now I can say I've seen a couple full-length ballets, and that wouldn't have happened without Kristie.
Been bored and lonesome today - No Zumba tonight, so I told myself I might go and see Alita at the Vista...but as is often the case at times like this, I couldn't quite motivate myself to get there.
So, still sick (Though not as bad as I was), and feeling blue-ish.
But that said, for now, I've got the commercial avail and the ABC thing - both still "in play", far as I know - and Jane is here next week, so it's not like I don't have things to feel good about.
I could write more (And I probably will write more about the Sante Fe trip in my next entry, cause I feel like I gave it short shrift here). But I want to finish this, and get out of my apartment for a bit.
So, till next time...
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