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11:02 am - Sun 1/16/05
Luck Of The Draw

Luck Of The Draw

Well, it feels like the year is getting off to a pretty quick start, commercially; I have my 5th audition coming up on Monday (A promo for some show called Princess on "Lifetime"), and I've already had a callback and an "avail" (For "", the one where I was a mortician).

Haven't heard about a callback for Jack-In-The-Box, which is supposed to be on Wednesday. I'd like it to happen--and of course, I'd like to book it--but if not, life goes on (The only thing that kind of bothers me, if I don't get the callback, is that I'll never know if I might have gotten it, if not for the Jack-In-The-Box commercial that's running right now).

Called the extra agency, to see if I could get confirmation of my supposed "upgrade" (From "Extra" to "Principal"). Talked to "Kris", who didn't know, but who said she'd talk to the producer, then get back to me, either later that day or the next morning.

Of course, nothing happened (It's happened to me over and over here--If you're a no-name actor in this town, not only does no one feel the need to help you, no one even feels the need to give you the courtesy of a reply).

But "Kris" did say that if I had been upgraded--and she said that from the SAG letter I got, it sure sounded as if I had been--the ad agency would be sending me a new contract (And if/when I get that new contract, I can specify that I want the residual checks sent to JS).

And this was kind of fun, "upgrade" or not--that commercial (The G.E. spot) is going to debut at the Superbowl. I thought that was kind of cool.

And I think that's all the big "commercial news" for now.

I woke up at quarter-after-six on Friday, feeling nauseated, with my bowels in an uproar (I know--TMI. But what can I say? Sometimes journaling isn't pretty).

I don't think I was sick--I don't know what was going on, exactly--but was afraid it was a return of the mystery "morning sickness" that dogged me some time back (Though the good side of that "morning sickness" was losing a lot of weight, since eating wasn't a high priority right then).

I hate to call out at work--I know it's a pain-in-the-ass for my coworkers, and besides, I'd rather save those "personal days" for potential commercial shoots--but when it was an hour before I had to be there, and I found myself thinking about what a long way it is from the main info counter on the first floor to the mens bathroom on the second floor, I figured it was probably for the best.

I did get myself to an audition that morning, for Nissan--one has to have priorities, after all (And it's hard to imagine telling JS I can't make an audition, unless I were dying or something)--but I came home right afterwards, instead of running the errands I'd told myself I was going to do on the way home.

Went in to work yesterday, still feeling a little off, but fairly sure I wasn't going to have some embarrassing biological episode. And sadly, sometimes that's the best I can hope for at work.

Rented two great movies recently, with two performances you have to see if you're a fan of great acting.

Ben Kingsley, as "Don Logan" in Sexy Beast, plays a character somewhere between "mad dog" and "unstoppable force of nature". Physically, I think he's the smallest person in the movie, but you don't doubt for a second that the terror the other characters feel in his presence is justified, and then some.

On the commentary track, Kingsley makes the point that he didn't improvise anything in the movie, that every word he said was scripted. And I can see why he'd want to point that out--1) You want to give credit where credit is due (It's a really well-written part), while at the same time, maybe subsconciously, 2) You want to let people know "I took this great script and ran with it".

And he sure did.

Going in, I had a prejudice against Monster, with Charlize Theron playing serial killer Aileen Wournos: As a character actor, I'm frankly resentful of beautiful people getting to play the leads and the best character parts (As I've said before, "What's gonna be left for character actors to play-Rocks? Trees?").

But putting that resentment aside, I have to give it to Ms Theron--It's an amazing performance. And while they played up the physical aspect of her transformation in the press--How they made her up to look so ugly, how she gained 20 or 30 lbs, etc.--that's not the big story here, because anyone could do that (And again, I imagine female character actors reading the press stuff and thinking "Oooo...they made her ugly and fat. Well big deal--I'm ugly and fat every day").

The amazing thing is the fact that Charlize Theron is playing a role disappears. The fact that it's anyone playing a role disappears. Watching the movie, I felt like I was watching a documentary on Aileen Wournos, that I was seeing this sad, lonely, tortured life play out on screen. And it's not just the makeup. She burrows into this role. You don't see an actress peeking out saying "Hey, it's really me in here".

And the movie has stuck with me for days now. It's the kind of thing that makes you think about the society we live in, about the people who get left by the wayside in life, neglected, unloved, deeply wounded...and very angry.

And of course, I thought about myself, and why I didn't become a serial killer, or at least worse of a person than I am.

Frankly, I think it's just "the luck of the draw". I don't think I'm "better" or "stronger" or made of "sterner stuff" than the people in life who "go wrong". The difference in my mind between myself and someone like Aileen Wournos is that I was handed a better set of circumstances, and a larger set of tools to deal with what life handed to me.

Take away Mrs DeHaven, my talent for/desire to act, 40 or 50 IQ points, maybe add a little more abuse, and I could very well be walking the streets, looking for another victim to take my rage out on.

Luck of the draw. That's all.

Anyway, if you haven't seen these movies, check 'em out.


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