12:10 PM - Thurs 1.25.18
While it's true I am more likely to be in a good mood, to be less sad and anxious when I'm having auditions than when I'm not, auditions are not helping the way they used to.
The "window of time" where I allow myself to feel good, to feel hopeful, after an audition, seems to be getting shorter and shorter (I'm talking specifically about theatrical auditions here, not commercial auditions, where it may take from a couple days to a week or longer to know if I got a callback...but after a callback, the same thing applies).
I'll do an audition, feel good about how it went, but before the day's end, my heart starts to sink.
Then, if I don't get a call the next day, or really, by early afternoon the next day - I "know" it didn't happen (Even though I don't really know - While things move pretty briskly most of the time, and it's fairly safe to assume that if I don't get a call the next day I didn't book the gig, there have been instances where I booked a job after I'd assumed the role had already been cast).
And as I've said before, being put on "avail"/being "pinned" for a role (Which is not any kind of commitment on their part. It just means "You're being considered, so keep your schedule open, and let us know first if you book something in the interim") used to be very exciting, because when I first got here, it made me feel like a "contender".
But now I know I'm a "contender" for roles I go in for (Cause I've booked some of them), so it's just depressing and frustrating to get that communication - I pretty much never respond to a "pin" or "avail" anymore with excitement, because more often than not, they don't go my way. It just stretches out the stress of not knowing, and makes the pain of losing out worse.
These days, I get "pinned", and my emotional response is "Goddammit, just fucking cast me already...!".
Some years into this process, one thing that helped me deal with "pins" and "avails", with "getting close" but ultimately not booking the role, was the idea I'd "bought myself a ticket back into the office" (Or as some article I read once put it, "When you go in for something, you're not auditioning for the gig, you're auditioning for the next gig").
In my time out here, I've had more than one instance of going into a casting office, not booking the role, but then having them bring me back until I did book something (Shameless is the biggest example - I first auditioned for that office when they were doing ER, didn't book it, then auditioned a couple times for Shameless before finally going in for "Kermit"...and making history).
I began feeling so strongly about this bit of wisdom - "When you go into a casting office, you're really auditioning for the next gig" - it made me feel so much better to think about things that way, that it became the wisdom I would give younger/less experienced actors. I became fond of telling people "You just don't know - You think you want to book that job...but not booking the job might be the best thing that could happen to you".
But that "wisdom" has slipped away from me in recent years - It's way easier to have an "Oh well! If not this one, then the next one..." attitude (Or better yet, a "That just clears the way for the bigger, better thing that's coming" attitude) when the next audition is a couple days or a week away, instead of who-the-fuck-knows-when.
And I don't seem to have the fan-base I used to have at casting offices - While "once upon a time" it was fairly common for me to have an audition, not book it, but go back in a week or two later for something else, I can't remember the last time that happened.
So while I'd like to have "bought a return ticket" back to Disney in, say, the next week or two, based on the strength of my last audition, I'd be shocked if that actually happened.
Clearly, it's not because I suck - I actually did quite well at that last audition - so I think the issue is that I used to just be weird-looking, but now I'm weird-looking and old, and there just aren't as many roles "out there" for me as there used to be.
(I don't feel "old", but casting seems to feel otherwise: That role I went in for at Disney was as a guy who was a gangster in the 30s - FTR, I was born in 1961.)
Fri 1/26?18 (7:25 pm)
Just got some bad news - someone I work with on Saturday mornings, someone I'm very fond of, who makes it almost worth getting up at 6 am on the a Saturday, has given her two week's notice.
Basically, she has a real job (As does her husband), so when she recently got a raise that's as much as she made at WW last year, she - quite reasonably - thought "Why keep working six and seven days a week when I don't have to?".
And even though I (mostly) like the job, I wouldn't work at WW if I didn't have to, so it's not like I can fault her...really.
But nevertheless, the news has hit me hard, in a very "fuck my life" way.
In therapy, I often talk about what I've written in here, since it tends to be the stuff that's most on my mind.
But during my last session, for the first time, I actually read my therapist some of my previous entry (About not knowing what I was going to do now that I've realized my dream of being a well-known actor isn't gonna happen - It might have been a little kid's dream, it might not have filled "the hole in my soul", but at least it was something).
His take on what he heard was that I felt "disconnected" (Which I think was based partly on what I'd read, and partly on what he already knows from our time together), and the rest of the hour was spent talking about my getting involved in theater or taking acting classes (Which has been a recurring theme for awhile - Since I pretty much have put all my "eggs" in the "basket" of acting, needing it for an income, for a sense of purpose, a feeling of camaraderie, and for my very identity, it's a problem on multiple levels that, nearly 17 years into my time in LA, I'm not actually doing it very often).
But here's the question - Since acting theoretically means so much to me, how come I haven't been moving heaven and earth to do it?
I have various reasons/excuses for why that's the case - fatigue, work conflicts, financial restraints, fear, etc. - and in my mind, said reasons/excuses are genuine concerns (Actually, when I think about it, all my reasons fit under the umbrella of "fear" - Fear that I won't be able to overcome the obstacles involved).
But I can't help but wonder if my resistance is even more about this not being the "story" I told myself about how this little adventure was supposed to go - I'm having a hard time getting myself geared up to do theater, in part, because it doesn't pay, really (And sometimes you actually have to pay them, if you get involved with a theater that has fees for membership).
And "I came out here to get paid for acting, not to pay someone to act".
Likewise, the idea of paying for acting classes - again, paying for an opportunity to act, and spending money primarily just to put myself in a situation with other actors (To basically buy a group of "peers" to hang out with), is not how this was "supposed" to go (My "peers" are supposed to be the people I work with as a professional actor).
It's a horribly destructive thought-pattern - "I don't want to do this, because it conflicts with the fantasy situation I had in my head" - and I need to shake loose of it.
Pragmatically, I'm not doing anything for my career if all I'm doing is sitting around waiting for increasingly rare auditions. That isn't me "honing my chops" or "making connections" or anything else.
And I'm not doing anything for myself as a person if I spend the last part of my life not doing the thing I most enjoy, that is the closest thing to a "purpose" I've ever had.
Why keep hanging around if I'm not gonna be who I am?
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