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1:56 pm - Mon 1/24/05
Marathon Man

Marathon Man

Mon 1/24/05 (11:39 a.m.)

I got a lot of positive feedback for the relatively upbeat tone of my last entry.

I think something that's kept me from expressing more...positivity in the past is that when I have, I've felt phony. When I say something like "Maybe it's when you realize there's no ground under your feet that you finally learn how to fly", it sounds good, but there's a part of me that feels like I'm "papering over" how I really feel.

I have this unrealistic notion of personal change–It doesn't just happen the moment you say "Okay, I'm going to change...right now". You have to make the decision, and keep making the decision.

And I'm really good at making the decision, but not so good at keeping with the decision.

But my point is that when I say something positive, in "real life" or in my journal, I struggle with feeling like I'm "faking it", not because it's not how I feel, but because it's not totally how I feel.

And I take my negative feelings much more seriously. I always have. They're more "real", somehow. And how much of a trap is that–To say, in effect, "I'm only really being myself when I'm depressed"?

But when I feel good, when I'm feeling more upbeat, that's just as authentic, just as "real", just as much "the real me", as when I feel bad. Who knows? Maybe it's more "the real me".

And it's not being "fake" to pull the positive thoughts out of my mind and focus on those, rather than dwell on my anger, or my fear, or whatever. If I express some positive sentiment, that's not invalid because I'm picking it out from a number of things that are going on in my head. On the contrary–That's using my intellect in just about the best way I can, to take a step back and say "Okay, in this mess of stuff in my head, what's going to do me the most good?".

But anyway...

I've had six commercial auditions so far this month (Two a week for each of the past three weeks. It would be nice if I got commercial auditions at this rate through the whole year, but that's not likely to happen).

And from those six auditions, I've gotten three callbacks--for Nissan, Party, and Ask Jeeves–which I think qualifies as "getting off to a fast start" in 2005.

So how come I'm not happy?

Something I've talked about in here is missing community theater auditions, where I got to see other people audition for the role I wanted; I used to get really jazzed at those auditions, because it was exciting, and I enjoyed the competition. I liked feeling like a "hot shot".

Most of my commercial auditions out here haven't been like that–I've gone into the room by myself, or with actors who were up for other roles in the commercial–but in two of the three callbacks I've had this month, I actually was in the room with another actor, or other actors, up for the same role.

And in both cases, I got my ass kicked.

The first one was just bad luck–The casting person made a mistake, and had a guy audition for the role I was going for, when he was actually up for something else. And of course, in great show-biz tradition, he was then so good that people were falling out of their seats laughing, and it was hard to imagine him doing anything else (If I'd been a little faster on my feet, I would have asked to do the part he was originally supposed to read for. I would have at least gotten a chuckle from them, I bet).

In the other case, I felt like I fucked up, and took the casting director at his word.

I've gotta get over that, and learn how to translate what casting directors say into what they really mean. Cause a lot of the time, it just ain't the same thing.

Basically, the casting director, right before the three of us went in, gave us a fairly typical "Don't act. Don't be ‘wacky'. Just ‘keep it real'" speech.

I was the only one of the three of us who actually listened to that, and as a result, I came off as dull as dishwater, while my two fellow actors, older (And apparently smarter), played definite "characters", and were rewarded with smiles and laughter, while what I did was rewarded by...silence (All that was missing as I did my bit were the sound of crickets and a tumbleweed blowing through the room).

I don't like to lose these things. I don't like to not be the best actor in the room. And I especially don't like it when there's money at stake, and I don't win the pot.

But live and learn.

I'm also putting a lot of pressure on myself, because of this "Getting out of Borders by the end of the year" goal I've set for myself.

I want that, and think I have to believe it's going to happen in order for it to happen, but at the same time, I can't let that make me go into auditions feeling "under the gun", or being miserable because I'm not booking everything I go out for.

I've gotta pull back, and keep "playing the long game".

I've got to remember–this thing I'm doing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Well, this only feels like half an entry, but I need to sneak in a little nap-time before work....


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