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11:20 AM - Mon 8.22.16
Jim Hoffmaster: Artiste

Jim Hoffmaster: Artiste

In my last entry I asked for a "distraction" from the Life In Pieces disappointment ("An audition, a Shameless episode, anything").

So on Saturday my agent told me I'm on "avail" for another Shameless.

This is good news, of course (That's five episodes so far in Season 7 - assuming the "avail" becomes a booking. But who's counting?).

(I'm definitely counting.)

But like the last episode, where I wasn't booked till two days before the shoot, this feels slightly "off" - Got the notice on Saturday, which was a little weird, and it didn't say for what episode, which was also a little weird (I'm also slightly nervous about the "avail" aspect, where I haven't been previously - I don't think I've ever been "availed" then had them cut me loose, but since it happened with my buddy Mike recently, it's now "in my head" that it can happen).

And while it's really no big deal not knowing the episode number - If my bit makes it to the final draft of the script, I'll find out then - there's a little "tension" in not knowing, because there are only 12 episodes in a season, and I want to be in as many episodes as possible.

Now, do you see what I've done here? Because I think it's very interesting...

I "asked the Universe" for some happy news...and I got it - I am, in all likelihood, on another episode of Shameless.

But I wasn't told about it in the usual way, so it's "weird".

And I need to know what episode it is, so I can obsess over how many more chances I have to be on the show this season.

And I'm worried because, while I've been in every single episode of the show I've been put on "avail" for, there was that one time where Mike was released from his avail, so now I'm worried that "Kermit" won't make the final cut.

All that, from one fact - As of now, they want me for an upcoming episode of the show (The "shoot window" is not this week, but the following).

And for a normal person, this would be happy news.

My reaction is troubling, in the same way my happiness over my recent audition lasting about a hot minute was troubling - In my day-to-day life, getting an audition or a booking is about the best thing that can happen to me, so if "about the best thing that can happen to me in my day-to-day life" causes this much anxiety and upset and relatively little happiness, what hope is there?

(Crap! I just remembered - I said I wanted to make this a positive entry, didn't I?)

Well, here's a positive thing - I'm having some weirdness with the "contacts" in my phone (Numbers seem to have disappeared, numbers I put in don't seem to stay, deleted contacts are popping back up, etc).

Why's that a "positive" thing? Because typically something like that would quickly cause me to lose my shit...but today, shit was not lost - I fiddled with it, longer than I wanted to, finally seemed to get the number I wanted to input to stay inputted, then told myself, "If this keeps up, I'll just take it to the Metro store and have them look at it".

If the meds are making it so I can feel frustration and not punch myself in the head over it, that's a good thing (There's a part of me that would like to be walled-off from those negative feelings altogether, but I realize, as an actor, I might need them some day).

And speaking of things that have the potential for frustration, I've recently taken up pencil-and-paper and started to draw again (Inspired by the art my friend Josh has posted on Facebook - more on that in a moment - and from a desire to return to an "earlier version of myself", who used to sometimes read, dance, play music, draw, etc, in his spare time).

So far, I've drawn a picture of an Asian man (The cover photo from an old issue of The Sun), and a picture of Superman (From Frank Miller's graphic novel, "The Dark Knight Returns").

The first picture came out better than I expected, while the second came out worse (I posted them on Facebook & Instagram, and it was fun to surprise people with the fact that I can kinda-sorta draw).

Drawing takes a lot of concentration, which is a big reason I fall out of doing it for years at a time (Currently, I feel like my concentration, due to fatigue and the Internet, is at an all-time low, so drawing is good for me as "mental exercise", if nothing else).

And it just feels better to be someone who has a few active, sort-of creative hobbies, and doesn't spend all his time outside of work playing on the Internet, eating, and masturbating.

But to connect it to some of what's going on for me currently, the most interesting thing about drawing again, at least so far, is that something about it seems to circumvent the crazy-making frustration I feel in many other circumstances (Though - Who knows? - that might be the Wellbutrin talking).

I was drawing, and in neither case was it flawless. And I was discouraged to quickly feel my concentration and focus waning (By "quickly", I mean - in both cases - "way before the drawing was done").

But at no time did I curse and rip up the paper, or smack myself, or anything along those lines - In fact, crazily enough, I was actually nice to myself afterwards, telling myself that I clearly have talent, and will just get better if I keep doing it (Wish I'd told myself that 40 years ago. Then who knows where I'd be today? But I digress...).

With the drawings in question, I was doing what I typically do when I draw - I have a drawing or photograph in front of me, and I try to reproduce it, to the best of my ability (I rarely try to draw things from life).

But Josh has not only inspired me to draw again, he's inspiring me to try and think about it differently.

When Josh draws - at least based on what he's posted on Facebook - he doesn't create an exact representation of the thing he draws.

He does something better.

His drawing have life. They're fun. And since they're drawn the way Josh draws, and aren't just efforts to dutifully replicate the model, he has something that I've never developed, which is a "style".

I can draw. But Josh is an artist.

I will probably continue to do drawings where I'm trying to draw the thing in front of me as faithfully as I can - I think it's probably a good artistic and mental exercise - but I also want to get a little "looser", and see what happens.

It would be fun to see if I have any "art" in me.


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