9:28 pm - Tue 2/25/03
Sun 2/23/02 10:20 am
I had another commercial audition Thursday.
This one was at a place I haven't been before called Z Group Films (On Pacific Ave, a block from Venice Beach), for a lawn-care product called Ridmoss.
I got paged about it Wednesday afternoon while at work (So whatever was up with the pager before, it seems to be fine now). JS had the copy available, so he faxed it to me (Which reminds me--I have a fax machine of my own now. I just don't know how it works), and I spent the rest of my workday sneaking peaks at my lines whenever the opportunity presented itself.
To be honest, I wasn't completely thrilled to get the call.
I know it isn't really working this way, but I'm starting to feel like whenever I express my gratitude for something, it promptly goes away; I say "Boy, I love the weather here", and like clockwork, the rain begins to fall, or "I really haven't been getting sick much lately" and that cues my nose to start doing its "leaky faucet" impression..
And one thing I'd been grateful about recently, regarding auditions, is that I've had a good run of auditions not conflicting with work...till now (The audition was at 4:40 on Thursday; I was scheduled to work at 3:30, meaning that by the time I got to work, I was going to lose 2 or three hours of pay). And I know "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" and all that, but I just wish auditioning didn't sometimes mean actually losing money (And I also felt a little discouraged at the idea of my remaining 401K money not going to buy me a suit or some running shoes or what-have-you, something I might actually have for awhile, but basically just leaking away as I try to pay my monthly bills).
(But all that said, I was grateful that when I approached Kyle on the matter, she just said "Fine. When do you want to come in?". And while I might not want my money "leaking away" just to pay bills and buy food, at least it's there to "leak away"; It's not as if I'm going to go hungry because I missed a couple hours of work this past week.)
Anyway, I looked over the lines (It was a cute spot; Basically, a father very emotionally tells his son about the "secret" passed down to him from his father, which was passed down to him from his father, etc and so forth, and you think it's going to be some big emotional thing...and then he hands his son a big bag of Ridmoss, as he and his wife jet off to play tennis), and I felt like I was as ready as I could be the next day, when I drove down to the beach.
When I got there, they had changed the spot. Still pretty close to the original lines, but they had changed the scene (I didn't think for the better). And I know I didn't have the right attitude; I found myself thinking "Why do I even bother to work on this shit, if I'm just going to have to re-think everything once I get there?". And for whatever reason, I was kind of "jumpy"; I couldn't seem to sit still in the small, cramped lobby (There were maybe ten actors there, a number of "fathers" and just a few "sons").
When it was my time to go in, with my "son", the casting director had us sitting in two swivel chairs as she filmed us with a small video camera.
It didn't go well, and I knew it. When we were finished, she gave some notes to my "son", then told me to "barrel through the lines" (!), and that since we were supposed to be in lawn chairs (The scene is supposed to be the two of us in the backyard), directed me not to "swivel" towards my "son" when I was talking to him.
Again, I felt myself having the wrong attitude--"If you don't want the chair to move, then don't put me in a chair that moves, okay?"--and worse yet, I let some rather simple directions throw me; When we did the scene again, I know I was more focused on not moving in the chair and "barreling through the lines" than I was on getting the lines across.
Shockingly, I didn't get the gig.
I find myself very much wanting to get one of these things. These days, it's not even so much about the money, though of course, that would be nice; It's more about wanting to win something. It occurred to me, a little later that day, that I have experienced more rejection out here, in this arena alone, than in my entire 20-year-long community theater "career" back in Lansing.
Then when I went to work that day, I found out Bryan had an audition coming up for The Shield, for the part of a gay pedophile.
I was genuinely excited and happy for him, but I couldn't help but think "I don't want to be selling lawn products...I want to be a gay pedophile!". I want to be auditioning for real acting things, but I don't see how that's going to happen without a theatrical agent, and I don't see how I'm going to get a theatrical agent without having a real thing to show him (Or her). On a resume, on a reel, or both.
(Somehow, I don't think my minute-long scene in the crappy student film Missing Breath is going to lead to anything better. In any case, I won't have a copy of it until sometime in May or later.)
And this has led me to think "I should really be acting right now..."; It strikes me that my friends back in Lansing, who are not seeking careers in acting, are doing a whole lot more acting than I am at this point (Am I jealous? In a word--YES. Yes I am).
Mon 2/23/03 9:50 am
Well, looks like we're due for another "storm" over the next couple days--Have I mentioned my "weekend" is today and tomorrow?--but the rain isn't supposed to start till this evening sometime, so I'm going to assume I have the day to play (Then this evening, when it'll theoretically be raining, I can do dishes and laundry and so forth).
So what's the plan? I think I'm going to catch a matinee of Far From Heaven at a theater on Beverly, then have lunch at Soup Plantation (Where Juniper was kind enough to give me a gift certificate of hers she has no interest in using), then perhaps swing by the Ross near work, to see if they have the black pinstripe suit I was so emamored of last week while with Cary and Kay, but in my size.
Yesterday at work, I was doing "recovery" (Which means putting books back on the shelf, as opposed to "shelving", which is putting new books out from the back), and I started looking at You Can Heal Your Life, the Louise Hay book.
I read the book a long time ago, but to be honest, I don't remember it, except the part where she connects any physical problem you might have with a corresponding mental/emotional/spiritual condition (ex. Constipation means you're "emotionally blocked").
I thought that was pretty stupid.
But actually, as I leafed through the book yesterday, I thought I'd perhaps thrown out the baby with the bathwater; While I'm not convinced every physical complaint of mine represents some emotional problem/issue I'm not dealing with, some of the "positive thinking" stuff made sense to me.
I used to think "positive thinking" essentially meant lying to myself, saying "everything's just ducky" over and over, when I didn't really believe things were "ducky" at all.
But now I see it not so much as "lying to myself" as "seeing the other side" (The "silver lining", if you will). Not denying that a crappy situation is crappy, but just making an effort to look at it from another, more positive angle.
A good example would be the rain during my vacation; It seemed negative right at the moment, but thinking about it later, it occurred to me, "If this had happened during a regular work week, I would had to have dealt with it" (Either riding my bike to work in the rain, or taking the car and dealing with parking when I got home). As things stood, I got to just look out at the rain from the vantage point of my warm, dry apartment, and that falls under the heading of "Things Could Be Worse..."
One thing I came across in the book that was particularly appropriate to my situation had to do with changing your negative attitudes about bills and money...
I don't know if I'm going to ever get to this level of "gratitude" or "positive thinking" or whatever you call it, but she's actually grateful for her bills (It has something to do with being grateful for the services provided, for the trust these companies put in her-- to provide a service first and bill her later--and that sort of thing).
What she said about bills that I really appreciated is that you can't have all these negative feelings about money--or your lack of it--then expect positive events to spring from those negative feelings.
I connect that to "The Law Of Attraction", which is basically, "Whatever you spend the most time thinking about is what you'll attract to yourself". And it makes sense to me (Which then makes me wonder why I spend so much time obsessing over very un-happy stuff. But anyway...).
I guess when I consider "positive thinking", it boils down to "How do I want to feel?". I mean, the rain's gonna fall, so am I going to feel better convincing myself the universe is against me (Because it rained during my vacation, or over the weekend), or would I do better just appreciating the fact that I live somewhere where I enjoy beautiful, sunny days the vast majority of the time, all-year-round?
(Watching Smallville, the episode guest-starring Christopher Reeve...)
On Saturday morning, I went to a library in Culver City, to attend an orientation for the "Reading by 9" school volunteer program.
Long before the orientation, I felt my interest ebbing. I can't really tell you why
(I procrastinated until the very last session I could attend here in LA). I really only went because I thought I'd mentioned it in here.
I think I've discovered I don't really like meetings (One of the few "up" sides of being a failure in "the real world" is that I don't have to deal with meetings very often). It just seems like they're always so boring, and they make things that are actually very easy sound all involved, and they always seem to go into great detail about things that are of no interest, while glossing over the few things I really want to know about.
And this meeting was no exception.
Early on, I was a little discouraged when someone asked if there was a particular need for one thing or another--The program offers a choice of either individual tutoring, or reading aloud to a group (Which is what I was interested in doing)--and the "Reading by 9" person said there was more of a need for the tutors.
I felt like, "Great, they don't even need what I have to offer..." (A big part of my motivation to do this, to be honest, was having the opportunity to perform). But then I thought, self-servingly perhaps, that "just because there's more of a need for tutors doesn't mean there's no need for read-aloud people".
Anyway-I'm kinda starting to bore myself here-they split us up into the tutor people and the read-aloud people (There were two of the latter--Me and an older black lady), and the "Reading By 9" person assigned to the read-aloud people proceeded to tell us all about her experience in the school system--I wanted to scream "Who CARES?" at her--while rushing us through everything in the manual I might have actually wanted to talk about.
At the end of the orientation, we had a tb test, which was administered by a nurse from Kaiser Permanente, which we were supposed to have read within 72 hours (More on that momentarily).
It just ended up sounding like another non-paying job.
My initial interest was based on the assumption that I'd just be going in and reading funny little stories, like I used to do back at my old bookstore. But there's a little more to it than that; You have to sign in, read whatever, then ask your little charges questions to make sure they learned something, and you have to keep a "progress sheet", to keep track of what you read from week to week, etc and so forth.
But this is one of those things where something that's very simple is made to sound much more involved than it really is; Stripped down to its basics, it really is just reading to kids, and there's really no need for me to feel anxious about that, cause I did that for ten years back at Schuler Books. And I did it pretty damned well, if I do say so myself...
One of the things I had to do today was get someone to look at my tb test and sign off on it, so I can mail it back to the "Reading By 9" folks. It should have been pretty simple--My big concern was that I not have to pay for it (Cause if I had money, after all, I'd just mail someone a check and "call it good")--but I ended up spending way more time trying to make that happen than I expected to. Again, I felt my interest in the whole project all but sputter out completely.
Wow...this has gone on forever, hasn't it? And I have more I haven't gotten to, but I think I'll continue this in the next entry...
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