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9:28 AM - Saturday 6.04.22

When An Old Man Dances

Well, it's been a while since this has happened - Was a good ways into an entry when I somehow accidentally pressed the wrong button and deleted everything.

I'm very not happy - that was an hour-and-a-half of writing, all for naught - but in an effort to "make lemon juice out of lemons" as Jane and I like to say, am telling myself this is an invitation to do a better rewrite.

So here we go...

In a bit of good news, I have successfully re-applied for Unemployment.

Happy to report, in this instance, that the third time really was the charm - After having a great deal of trouble initially applying, then almost as much trouble re-applying, my re-re-applying went off (mostly) without a hitch.

(I knew I'd made enough over the time period in question to get something, but still wasn't sure I'd be able to "dot all my I's and cross all my T's" to their satisfaction - For example, for reasons I don't understand, I had to look in three different spots to come up with the needed pay-stubs, which left me wondering if I had everything. But not only did I "have everything", I had enough "everything" - thanks mostly to the tail-end of my Shameless stint - to once again earn the maximum benefit.)

So that's a relief, since I was starting to feel the stress of more money draining away than coming in every time I spent money on anything (And if you've been fortunate enough to never experience that feeling, I have to tell you - It's not a happy one).

Was telling Mark and Jane Z. that, while I harbor a little guilt over all this Unemployment-ing, on another level, it seems extremely...civilized - I have to certify for benefits every two weeks, and if I didn't earn any money, I get the benefit, but if I do earn some money (Though Cameos/Memmos, residuals, acting gigs, etc), I get a reduced benefit, or maybe nothing, depending.

And while I'm not eager to bag groceries at Ralphs or the like, I'd be very happy to get on another show and put Unemployment behind me for the duration.

It's kind of weird, in the last two years, to be in the position I've always wanted to be in but in this unexpected way...I came out here, over twenty years ago now, with the desire to have Acting be "the thing" - to not work a day job, to have acting and auditions be my only focus.

But I assumed that would come about as a result of my success, not because my day job of the past dozen years got pulled out from under me.

But here we are.

And it struck me recently that, since I am kinda/sorta in the position I always hoped I would be in - kinda/sorta - I feel obligated, to the best of my ability, to "make the most of it".

"And what does that mean?", you ask?

I guess it means that, given the time and opportunity to spend my days in creative/intellectual pursuits...I need to spend my days in creative/intellectual pursuits.

But more later - Right now, I have to get ready to go audition for an Adult Hip-Hop dance troupe at the YWCA...which I guess would qualify as "spending my days in creative/intellectual pursuits"?


(4:15 pm)

Back from the thing...

I think it was good that I went - and it was nice to see Thea again (Thea was my Zumba instructor for years, before COVID shut down the Y. Like me, Thea was there for the audition) - and I did have some fun.


I'd forgotten how much harder it is to do choreography than just dance (And it's not gotten easier with age and years since I've last done it). I struggled to execute some of the quicker moves quickly enough, to figure out the count, to work out the transitions, etc.

(The Instructor basically taught the routine by just doing it slowly, then speeding it up. Which would be fine if I were completely on my game of a couple years back...but I think I would have benefitted by getting 8 counts, being told what foot my weight is on going into a transition, etc.)

It was good just to move around and try to get the steps - and it's not like I had a more interesting activity planned at home - but it was frustrating to never once get the (very short) routine down perfectly (The thing was supposed to go from 1:00 to 3:30. But between starting late, a lot of introductions and chit-chat and maybe 20 minutes of explanations at the end about what the group was going to entail, in terms of expense and time-commitments, and the actual learning and performing of the routine lasted maybe an hour).

Ostensibly, this was an audition to be one of the "founding members" of this new thing. But since only a handful of people showed up (As I expected, I was the only guy), we all basically "passed the audition", however well or poorly we had performed (Except one woman who had a weird thing about being photographed/videotaped - She was an "alternate").

(If 20 or 30 motivated people had shown up, it seems unlikely I would have made the cut. Let's put it this way - If I were auditioning people for a dance group, I wouldn't have cast me.)

They're talking about starting with a once-a-week rehearsal Monday nights (With maybe another rehearsal or two added before performances). Which is fine - It's not like I have a lot of commitments right now.

But there's a $50 jacket to buy. And you have to be a Y member. Both of which are quite reasonable - If you're gonna be on a team, you need a team jacket. And the whole point of the enterprise is to be exemplars of staying active and being healthy as one ages, via YWCA membership, so of course you should be a member - but I'm loathe to spend $50 for a jacket that will have no utility at all should I bow out in a week or two, and another $50 a month on a Y membership basically just to have an opportunity to perform.

(The last time I was paying for a Y membership, over time the only thing I was using it for was to do Zumba with Thea a couple times a week. And since starting back after having her baby, Thea's down to one class a week, it's limited to something like 25 people - because of COVID - and you have to make a reservation to get in.)

And, at the bottom of it all, I'm not sure I have the physicality at this point to do this in a way I will find..."artistically satisfying" (I really don't want to look like "An old guy trying to dance". I do not want it to be "cute" that I'm doing it). Or to even do this stuff without injuring myself (I've been increasingly alarmed at how difficult it's gotten to get out of my car, get up from sitting, get on one knee, etc. And I genuinely don't know if engaging in this activity will help me move better, or make things worse. I just know that it was troubling, when I walked home after the thing, to have my hips hurt, my ankle hurt, my back hurt, etc).


Sun (Noon)

Yesterday Thea suggested checking on the possibility of financial assistance (In terms of the Y membership).

I'd feel guilty about doing that - and suspect I wouldn't be eligible anyway - but I might fill out the form anyway, because "Why not?".

And if nothing comes of this, at least I got myself out, got some exercise, and had some social interaction - All good things.

Today it feels like things are slipping back into a familiar groove - listening to my Atheist shows on YouTube (Or going to "Atheist Church" as I like to say to Jane), getting my first notice about certifying for benefits, and having a Cameo come in.

But speaking of Jane, we're going to engage in some communication shortly, so I'd best wrap this shit up.

Till next time...



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