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12:55 PM - 02.04.16
Don't Worry - Nothing's Happening

Don't Worry - Nothing's Going On

When you write a journal, and your big news is "I got a haircut!", it's official - There's not much going on.

(But for the record, I did just get a haircut - And I'm pretty happy with it.)

I'd like "nothing going on" to just be the-way-things-are-at-the-moment, and have no emotional response to it, one way or the other, maybe even be able to enjoy it (After all, it's not as if "nothing going on" lasts forever).

But that's not how I roll...

When I feel like nothing's happening, I get anxious and depressed to "fill in the gap". It's interesting, considering I've never exactly been "a man of action", that I need things to be "happening" in order to feel good...but that's definitely "how I roll".

And of course, when I talk about "nothing going on", I'm primarily talking about acting...but here's the thing - I had three auditions in January, which is three more auditions than I'd had by this time last year.

But nothing happened with any of them - I didn't even get callbacks for the two commercial ones - and until you're booking things, there are never enough auditions.

And those three auditions were secured before I had pictures online with my new beard, which I worried was a "mark against me", since casting brought me in based on my clean-shaven appearance (Basic advice for actors I've heard over and over again - Your head-shots need to look like you, cause casting people get pretty annoyed when they don't).

As I think I've said already, while I like the beard and pretty much everyone I know likes the beard (Haven't had a single person say, "I think you look better clean-shaven"), I don't know if casting is going to respond to it.

And I don't know if I'll have to shave it when Shameless starts back up, probably sometime in July.

So it's potentially "problematic" on two fronts - 1. It's a risk that could cost me auditions and jobs, and 2. If I make that determination - and I don't know how I will, unless I just get no auditions with it at all - or I have to shave it for Shameless, which is very possible, I get to be a guy who's uncomfortable with his looks, who can't do the one thing pretty much everyone says improves his appearance.

I know it probably sounds like nothing...but it doesn't feel like "nothing" (I've had to spend $190 so far, for new head-shots with the beard, and to put some of the resulting pictures on casting websites, and I'm not done yet. And again, for all I know, the money spent could turn out to be money thrown away, if not money spent in order to actually lose work).


Between waiting for the beard to come in fully, arranging a head-shot session, sending the pictures to "my people" and waiting to hear back, and getting them onto the websites, it's felt like "pulling the trigger" on this little change that I'm so nervous about has taken forever to initiate.

Another thing Brianna (One of my theatrical agents) has asked for is, basically, "The Complete Kermit" - all my scenes from Shameless- to use in "pitching" me during pilot season.

While it's pretty thrilling imagining actually being "pitched" during pilot season - as an older character actor, "pilot season" has never amounted to much for me (I'm typically just waiting around for the scraps of co-star and one-day guest star roles after it's over) - I actually felt a flash of annoyance, because I've got a load of Kermit stuff already up online (Pretty much everything but the current season - since my stuff mostly hasn't aired yet - and Season 4, which I have to admit, does have two of Kermit's best appearances, where he talks about his extensive gun collection, and when he officiates at the "wedding" of Frank and Sheila).

(For the record, "annoyance" is a pretty inappropriate response to your agent asking you for something in order to show you off to best advantage - a more appropriate response might be "gratitude" or "appreciation" that you're on their mind - but "off kilter responses" are, once again, pretty much "how I roll". It's always been a problem.)

But it's not a simple thing to accomplish, getting all my clips together - I lack the equipment (or the "skill set", for that matter) - so I have to engage my friend Tim G., who has the equipment/skill set combo, and does it out of the kindness of his heart (All he's ever gotten from it is my gratitude, and the all-too-occasional free lunch).

Tim's career (As an actor/ producer of Christian films, and a guest speaker in churches), takes him out-of-town/out-of-state often, so there's the matter of coordinating schedules (Which is always a big challenge in LA, with everyone's odd schedules).

Then I had to go back and find each episode I was in and when I make my appearance.

Then we had to go to my manager's house to get the season 4 episodes, which weren't available on Tim's "On Demand" anymore (Brett - my manager - has them on his DVR).

Then Tim noticed that some of the episodes I already had were captioned, and thought that was distracting (And it is - I've never seen captions on anyone's reel before, and you definitely don't want people reading instead of watching your acting), so we had to go to two libraries in Burbank (Where Tim lives) to check out those seasons of the show so he could re-record them.

Then he had to get a DVD player to play the episodes.

Then when he started putting things together, he noticed my first appearance on the show recorded in such a way that it looks different than all the other clips (So I look shorter and squatter than IRL), so he had to wait a couple days for that season of the show to come in at the library.

Then he had to arrange to borrow a friend's DVD player (Cause he'd had to return the one he'd been using) or go to his house to get the scene.

(On that last point, with the scene where I look short and squat - I was feeling antsy about the wait, and ready to have him "just give Brianna what we've got". But Tim is a perfectionist. And really, since we're talking about clips that are representing my work, as a "calling card" to obtain more work, I should maybe be a "perfectionist" too.)

I think getting that final scene re-recorded is still "a work in progress"...but even after that, we're not done - we have to get the clips to "my people", they have to confer on what they want the final clip to have on it, Tim has to do the final edit, and I have to get it on the appropriate website (Which will involve spending money, which during a time where Weight Watchers is my only regular income, pushes my "anxiety" button - but again, this is an "inappropriate response" to circumstances. The one place where it has to be absolutely okay to spend money, albeit as wisely as possible, is my career).

The time spent and the costs involved are just "the price of doing business". And as I write all this, I'm pretty troubled that I find it so anxiety-producing and emotionally debilitating.

Cause what's the alternative to getting this stuff done, even if I don't know the outcome? Not doing this stuff, and just "hoping for the best"?

I guess I just wish I were at the point where things were just happening, that the basic "thrust" of my career these days involved me auditioning a lot and booking a decent amount, instead of me still just having to make people aware I exist and gin up some enthusiasm about me.

(Looking back over what I've written - I've basically finished the entry and am "editing" now - I think it needs to be said that a big "positive" in needing to put a new Shameless reel together is that it's given me and Tim a good "excuse" to hang out. He's a great guy, fun to hang with, and has emerged as an honest-to-God friend, which can be tough to find in LA.)

Well, I feel like I've gone on too long, and I'm getting bored "hearing myself talk" - speaking of frustration with how long things take, writing these entries seems to take forever - It's now Thursday afternoon, and I've been writing for hours (And I want to do it, mind you, I just feel guilty about all the other things I'm not doing in the meantime) - but I do want to end on a positive note, so bear with me another minute...

I was very happily surprised when Susan S, one of the Leaders I work with at Weight Watchers, bought me a refurbished Mini-Jambox bluetooth speaker for Xmas (I'd been very admiring of hers, impressed with how small it was and the great sound).

But recently the "bluetooth" part of "bluetooth speaker" stopped working (And just when I'd found the perfect use for it - I'd started taking it with me in the car, while playing the Pandora app on my phone. Really fun).

So initially I was pretty bummed, and worried about how easily I'd be able to get the situation addressed.

But turned out, the situation was very easily addressed - the company was beyond helpful - and since my speaker was a refurbished model they no longer carry, they're going to send me the equivalent, but new-and-improved version (They even called - after I'd specified online what color I wanted - to let me know "black" was unavailable, and to ask if "graphite" would be acceptable...which it was).

I had to give them some information online, and ship the speaker back to them (which cost $10-and-change), but all-in-all, I couldn't have been happier with the interaction.

All this speaks to a larger point, which I haven't thought about in awhile - When something "bad" happens, it feels bad in the moment, but you don't really know, "in the moment", that it won't turn out to be the best thing that could have happened.

This little speaker crapping out on me was not a big deal, really, but it was disappointing (I'd really enjoyed those couple of outings in the car). But it led to me having my faith in business/customer service restored, and for minimal time and expense on my part, will lead to me having something actually better than what I had before (And I was pretty happy with what I'd had).

It feels like an invitation to give situations a chance to "play out" before you get too upset about them.

Cause you really just don't know what could happen...


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