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12:01 PM - Fri 8.24.18

The Beginning Of My Senior Years

(Had to go back and read my last entry - I almost wrote "episode" - to see where I left off...)

Well, Shameless #909 is "in the can", as they say.

I didn't do much, really, but had fun nevertheless (More on that in a minute).

In a first draft of this entry, I went on at some length about the "mystery" of why they paid me for an extra day (As I said in that entry, "They haven't given me or Mike a raise in years, so it's not like they're into throwing money at us when they don't have to").

But as I write, it strikes me that, 1) It's not a great "look" for me to be questioning it over-much, when the appropriate response is just "Yay! Money!!", and, 2) Since they don't throw money at us when they don't need to, it was clearly a pragmatic decision on some level - I assume there were things going on behind-the-scenes that made the shoot schedule harder to nail down than usual, and it was cheaper to pay us to be committed for the three days than risk having to change things and having us then not be available.

(I briefly theorized that it was a sort of apology/thanks-for-bearing-with-us-over-the- last-minute-offer...but again, that seems extremely unlikely due to the "They don't pay us more than they have to" reality of the past couple years.)

Got to meet Katey Sagal, which was cool (I think I can say that in here, as long as I'm not disclosing any plot details or what-have-you). She seemed very nice and down-to-Earth (And I don't know how old she is - early 60s, maybe? - but I agreed with Mike that she was pretty sexy).

And as I said before, while I didn't have anything terribly memorable to say or do, it was a fun two days.

And that's mostly been the case so far this season - I had one day where I had so little to do I was kinda bummed, but by and large, most days on set for Season 9 have been enjoyable ones, whatever I did or didn't do in the episode.

I think the main reason for that is that there have simply been more days on set, which means more money, more interaction with the regulars (particularly Steve and Shanola), and just more of a feeling of "belonging", which I like.

And while I would like more to do (More funny things to say, more Kermit-centric moments), simply being more of a "presence" on the show means something to me - Getting seen in almost every episode in a scene or two (Or more, in at least one instance this season) can't do anything but help me.

(I've been in eight of nine episodes thus far, and am pinned for #910. And while there's no guarantee, with four episodes left after that, it seems likely I'm gonna break last year's record for "most episodes in a season".)

And there have been a number of a particular kind of scene I enjoy, scenes I'll call "round-table scenes", for want of a better term - Where there's a general group conversation that I'm participating in (As opposed to scenes that really feel like two-person scenes where I just throw in a line from "The Peanut Gallery", as Mike calls us).

Speaking of Mike, one more thing before I move off Shameless - In past seasons, we haven't always worked on the same episodes, but so far this season (And I think maybe last season as well), we have.

It makes a big difference how I feel on set - It's a little uncomfortable to talk about, but as nice as the Shameless set is, there are certain...hierarchies, so when I've worked on an episode without Mike, I've wrestled with a lonely, "man without a country".feeling when not shooting (And I have enough loneliness in my life, without feeling it on set). I don't follow him around like a lost puppy quite as much as I used to, but I still like that he's there to hang with (Not to mention enjoying working with him on-screen).

In other news...

Sunday night was the table read for the first episode of Failed Comedians, the show my friends Mia and Gevork are writing, directing, and producing, in hopes of selling it to Netflix or the like, and having all our lives change for the better.

(Their plan is to write and shoot the first and last episodes of the show, shop them around, and then when someone buys in, to write the episodes in-between, from their plot outline.)

They had rented a space in Long Beach - I presume they rented it, anyway - so I shouldn't have been surprised there were a lot of people there...but I was surprised nevertheless.

I was nervous going in, both in terms of my own expectations (regarding the script, my fellow actors, etc), and with whatever expectations people might have had of me.

(Table reads are interesting things - They're not full-on performances, per se, because this is the first time you're even looking at the material, but there's still a desire/pressure to "do well" that - for me - is both self-serving and a genuine desire to "do right" by the writer. Particularly if they're a friend, like Mia.)

One of the interesting things about the script was that Mia had integrated into the script - in the case of Dimo (The lead) and myself - some of our own standup material.

(Dimo is an actual stand-up, while I, on the other hand, am not, but did that stand-up class years ago, and have my debut set posted on YouTube.)

I'm not sure if it "works" or not - I didn't find much of our stuff very funny, to be honest - but maybe that's where editing will come in (And yes, the show is called Failed Comedians, so maybe the fact that the comedy doesn't really "work" is what works about it, Maybe. I'm not yet convinced on that - I'd prefer we actually be at least kinda funny, rather than completely deluded - but that could just be my ego talking).

She also dropped in odd biographical details - making something of my shirt-wear (I own a number of shirts I would describe as "interesting fashion choices"), and crafting a running gag of the fact that I've previously worked with two of the other actors on the show, in commercials shot many years ago ("Hey, didn't we work on something together...?"), which I was surprised she knew about.

(She also makes good comic use of the fact that one of the actors is an actual "ghost-hunter". And I imagine there are biographical bits about the other actors in there that I didn't recognize because I don't know them yet.)

To be honest, I'm not sure what we've got here, exactly, but I'm on board. It will be interesting to see where this goes, and what I can do to help it along.

So what else has gone on since I last wrote...?

Had my first theatrical audition in God-knows-how-long on Weds - For a single-line co-star on NCIS: LA.

One thing that was nice - It fell comfortably in a time-frame after work, so I didn't have to get anyone to fill for me, and I had enough down-time, after work and before the audition, to not feel rushed.

Other than that, it was a big fucking bummer - Long story short, I don't want to still be going out for one-line costars at this stage of the game (I've been here 18 years. I'm recurring on a long-running popular show, I mean, what the fuck?)...but here we are (I can't be "too good for this shit" if no other shit is happening, can I?).

Adding insult to injury, the character was referred to both as being "in his 60s" and "elderly".

While I "get" that I am no longer young, I don't look like I'm in my fucking 60s, and I sure as shit ain't "elderly"! (And maybe it's a function of my advanced age, but I don't think people in their 60s are "elderly" these days.)

Anyway, I go in, and there are basically various flavors of "old guy" there (And, to my eye, I'm at least a good decade younger than anyone else), to do something any one of us could do perfectly well.

I went in, read the line once, and that was that.

Why did I fucking bother?

Honestly, I just want to go in for roles that feel like actual roles.

Is that too much to ask for?

I know it shouldn't have - I should be "grateful" for a theatrical audition, period - but it ruined the rest of my day, and has cast something of a pall over the past couple days as well, in part because I've been pretty depressed (More than I share with anyone IRL, and more than I've let on in here), and am desperate for something that will make me feel better for longer than the length of a cute baby video or a Zumba class (Even Zumba doesn't always work, as I've struggled in some classes lately, which frustrates me).

Well, I didn't get to Voiceover coaching, and I meant to double-back on the Failed Comedians reading (because something interesting happened afterward)...but it'll keep.

Till next time...



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