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3:22 pm - Fri 01.01.2010
Let's Make A Deal

Let's Make A Deal

As I sit down to do this (then get up, then sit back down again), I'm torn - I've had nothing to do and nowhere to go since finishing my WW meetings on Wednesday, and I have a pretty good case of "cabin fever"...but I also have a pretty good case of "I-need-to-write-in-Diaryland fever".

Sadly, I also have a case of "I-ain't-got-no-money" fever, which is making "writing in Diaryland" look like a better option than "going out" (I do have a free movie pass to The Landmark, but it's over six miles away, and I'm feeling too tired/lazy to make that trek on my bike today).

I have to go out at some point and do something, cause I'm losing my mind, but for now, here I am...wishing I had cable, cause I'm pretty bored.

(For the record, I technically have cable, but I've cut it down to the most basic package - At this point, I only have it for the dvr, which I love, and the fact I'm too lazy to figure out how to hook up the digital converter box I'd need to watch tv without it.)

So coming into the New Year, I'm feeling some "fiscal stress" - of the "I can pay this month's rent, but after that...?" variety - while knowing, if I can just "get by" till my commercials start running (Any. Time. Now), it will likely be a banner year.

(But right now, I'm feeling the "stress" part way more than I'm feeling the "banner year" part.)


Speaking of "stress", finally had "The Conversation" with Brett, my manager, that I've avoided for a long time, but that I knew was coming.

I don't want the rest of this entry to be about this, but basically, when we were chatting online yesterday, he brought up the subject of the commercial money he hasn't seen from me in quite awhile.

And this is typically the part where I'd "argue my case", then tell you what Brett said in reply, and all that, but the fact of the matter is, none of that matters, because I made a deal.

A couple of years ago, I agreed to pay him his 15% for theatrical stuff, and we negotiated 8% for commercials.

So whatever "case" I've made in here against that deal - how "he doesn't do anything for me on the commercial side", or "I felt coerced into agreeing to it, because I needed him to continue representing me theatrically" - doesn't matter...cause I made the deal.

I'm really uncomfortable admitting that I'm in the wrong here, and that I've acted unethically...but here we are.

When Brett first brought up getting a percentage of my commercial money, I didn't like it...but I had the option of saying "Yes" or "No".

There wasn't an option of saying "Yes", then deciding not to live up to the deal after all because I don't think it's fair.

So, because I do want him to continue to represent me (Cause neither of the two theatrical agents I've had since making the deal with Brett have gotten me out as much as he does), I'm going to go through my commercial pay stubs, and pay the man what I owe soon as I can (He knows my money situation, so he's cool with that).

(For the record, I didn't make the deal in bad faith and just immediately renege on it...but I haven't paid him anything from AT&T last year, or from this past year's and FedEx spots.)

What can I say? When you're wrong, you're wrong.

And I was wrong.

But enough about that...

I was thinking earlier about 2009, and what happened for me last year beyond auditions and bookings.

And here's what I came up with:

1. Mark and Jane came out to visit.

The thing I'm remembering now, thinking about their visit, was having Jane say at one point that it didn't feel "special", seeing me, it just felt "normal".

It's an old saw about good friends that I never used to understand, when people would say about a friend of theirs, "We can not see each other for years, then just pick up right where we left off".

But that was exactly how it felt when Mark and Jane were out here - It didn't feel like an exceptional thing, it felt more like things were "back to normal".

It was nice.

2. October 20th (Or maybe it was the 21st) marked the one-year anniversary of my reaching "Lifetime" status at Weight Watchers.

I have my struggles (For awhile now, I've been wrestling with getting up at night and eating, making keeping to my points more challenging than it needs to be), and my weight is currently up about five or six lbs, on average, from where I'd like it to be.

But the story here is that I stuck to my guns for a year to lose the weight, and a year later, I'm still doing it.

3. I took improv classes (For six months), and a 10-week stand-up comedy class.

It would be easy for me to "go negative" here, bemoaning the fact that I didn't "graduate" at IO West, or that I've petered-out on stand-up after two open mic nights, and two non-paying "gigs".

But again, that's not the story here - the "story" is that I tried two things I had no experience in (And that I was actively afraid of), and made genuine good-faith efforts at each.

And I did it when I was extremely concerned about money, taking a "leap of faith" that if I did these things, which seemed like genuinely good things to do, the money would somehow "work out" (And so far so good).

Both those things are huge for me.

(And for the record, while my ever going on in improv seems pretty close to "never gonna happen" territory - I tried it for six months and never felt comfortable with it - I still feel a few "glowing embers" when it comes to stand-up...but more on that some other time.)

4. Facebook.

I migrated from MySpace to Facebook this past year, and for better or worse, it has quickly become a pretty critical part of my life.

As I think about it now, I'd say the "better" out-weighs the "worse" - Yes, Facebook can be a pretty bad distraction/time suck (I check it way more than is healthy), and it's a little depressing sometimes to have 300+ "friends", the majority of whom you couldn't care less about.

But it's "community" I wouldn't otherwise have. And while it's true only a fraction of my "friends" are people I really have any interest in (And I have to imagine the reverse applies as well), there are a number of people in my FB "community" I am interested in, and who seem to be interested in me, and I like putting my status up and having people comment, or commenting on other people's stuff, and feeling "connected", if only in that casual way.

But I've also made friends/gotten emotional support from FB that's been pretty meaningful to me. Through FB, I've developed genuine friendships with some people in my past (Kerry W., Denise A., and Jane R. spring to mind) who I really barely knew "back in the day", which I think is pretty cool.

And then there's

5. Margaret C.

I first met Margaret back in the 80s, when we worked at McDonalds together.

We reconnected on Facebook this past year, and while both our lives are very different than they were back then (Hers more than mine - she's married with two beautiful children), there's still a real connection there.

Okay, I'm just gonna say it - I'm madly in love with her.

How could I not be? She's attractive and funny and smart and warm-hearted, and just an out-and-out great person.

And if Facebook hadn't done anything for me other than reconnect me to Margaret, that would have made it worthwhile right there.

And I've rattled on long enough here, but I just got happy news (via Facebook, no less) that I have to share: My FedEx commercial has started running!

An actor friend of mine saw it while watching the Sugar-Bowl, and complimented the work (Making me look forward to seeing it myself, to see exactly how it turned out).

And on that happy note, I leave you - Best Wishes for 2010, Friends and Fellow Travelers :)


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