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12:14 pm - Sun 7/01/07
No Escape

No Escape

Sat 6/30/07 (1:28 p.m.)

Well, the Passions gig has come and gone.

I shot four episodes, as the “executioner”, from Tuesday through Thursday of this past week.

You really don’t need to set your Tivos/Dvrs for it–trust me, there’s really nothing to see (It’s another glorified extra job)–but if you want proof I was actually there, the episodes (2052-2055) will be airing August 6th-9th, on NBC (It's moving to DirectTV in September).

When I book something, I usually write about it in a book journal, then transfer it here at some point. But after writing less than a page this time, I just didn’t have much to say.

Long story short–and I know this is not what people want to hear–the job itself was really boring (On the second day, the word “excruciating” came to mind). I was so bored at times that I actually longed for the comparative excitement of ArcLight (!)

(Then I remembered I was making over $400 an episode for being bored, and that "longing" went away.)

There were some differences from other things I've done (I had a “dressing room” in an actual building instead of a trailer; the free food I’ve enjoyed on SAG sets was pretty minimal on this AFTRA set; the terminology for this shoot was a little different, I'm assuming because of being on video instead of film), but beyond that, there was a distinct sense of “been there, done that”.

Actually, that “been there, done that” feeling went further than my small body of work on tv and in commercials; I was struck at times, during my three days on the set, by how much the experience reminded me of my theatrical past-from getting stage directions, to the set (which wasn’t much different than it might have been in a stage production), to feeling more like I was rehearsing something than doing the actual thing, to actors having to be continually “shushed” by the A.D. as scenes that didn’t involve them were being worked on.

It really did feel like I was rehearsing a show, but instead of an “opening night”, they were opting to just shoot bits of rehearsal, stick those together, and show that instead.

And while rehearsals are some theater people's favorite part of the process, I was never one of those people--I was always about the part where you got to perform


Still thinking about Passions...

I've written about this before, but this week, I've once again been thinking about my motivation for acting in the first place.

In a word, I was initially drawn to acting as an escape. I wanted to retreat from my none-too-happy real life into a world of fantasy (That's also why I was such an avid reader growing up).

That desire for escape is still inside me, however illogical and unreasonable; over time, additional factors came into play that made acting appealing(the applause/attention, a sense of identity and belonging, creative expression, occasional financial reward, etc.), but in my heart-of-hearts, what I still really want out of acting is something I'm never going to get--to be there instead of here.

I've wondered why my three days on Passions actually left me feeling worse than before, and have thrown me into more of a funk, instead of making me happy that I have another credit, that I made a little money, etc.

But I really know--I did this gig, and felt bored, lonely, and insignificant...just like I do everyday.

I want "escape", but there's no escape to be had.


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