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1:26 PM - Fri 3.20.15
If I Only Had A Heart

If I Only Had A Heart...

Yesterday, one of my theatrical agents sent me a script for a low-budget horror movie, with the idea that I'd be going in to read (For the lead/title role) sometime next week.

So after I got home from Weight Watchers, I started reading the script...and it was abysmal; stupid, ugly, vulgar, gross, with absolutely nothing to redeem it.

(The only reasons I could see to do it were, 1. Elijah Wood is, for some reason, one of the producers, and, 2. it would be a decent payday.)

But if I did audition for it, I'd be walking in thinking, "Please God, don't let me actually book this piece-of-shit...!".

(Cause after all, there'll be other paydays. And I'd rather meet Elijah Wood when we're working together on a real movie, not this cinematic abomination.)

So I emailed my agent and said, "Thanks, but no thanks", which I found tremendously stressful; I don't get a lot of auditions, relatively speaking, no one's looking for me to play leads, I could certainly use the money, and - even though my agents theoretically "work for me", I don't really want to piss them off.

I'd copied my manager in the email, and he emailed me back, to basically say, "give it some more thought" (At that point, he hadn't read the script himself).

So I went back, read some more of the thing, and it continued sucking worse than anything I've read in many a year (I went from reading, to skimming, to skipping to the end, it was just so bad), so I called Brett and left a message on his voice-mail, saying, "If you read this and can honestly say, as an actor, you wouldn't mind having your name and talent associated with it, I'll give it a shot".

When I got up this morning, I was happy, and relieved, to read the email he'd sent to my agents, after reading the script himself, backing my decision to pass it up.

I sent him this thank-you email:

Hey Brett -

I just wanted to say thanks for looking at the script and backing my decision - It's tremendously stressful to me, turning down auditions when they come up (Because they don't come up that often, I need the work, and I don't want to piss off my people), but I would have walked into this audition thinking "OMG, I sure hope I don't actually BOOK this!", and that just didn't seem right.

I agree with what you said to Scot - If you want to be a consistently working actor, the gigs aren't all going to be great, and you have to make peace with that (I've been telling myself that this year - every audition can't be for some great show I've always wanted to be part of, or feel like it's "THE gig" that'll give my career the momentum I've been looking for) - but I feel like there has to be some basic standard where I'm not ashamed of the choices I make, or the work that's out there representing me. You can't help if you want to be part of something good - or at least something competently done - and things go wrong. But if you know something's going to be a suck-fest going in, and you hold your nose and do it anyway...?

I don't want to be that guy.

Anyway, thanks for having my back here. I appreciate it.

My agent wasn't upset - he hadn't set the appointment yet, which means he didn't have to call the casting people and say, "My guy isn't interested after all" - so it was pretty "no harm, no foul" on that front.

But I'm still feeling kind of "stressed and depressed" about the whole thing.

It's easy - downright "second nature" - for me to feel "stressed and depressed" over things like this (Upsetting myself with thoughts like, "So in order for me to have a shot at a big role, they have to scrape the bottom of the fucking barrel like this?"), but I have to be pragmatic, and realize those feelings, whether "valid" or not, are just not helpful feelings to be entertaining.

Better to focus on being happy - and grateful - that I have a manager who, while not wanting me to be too picky about my auditions, was totally in my corner when he read this godawful script, and supported my decision to pass on it to my agent (Who was pretty chill about the whole thing, really - I don't know how many times you get to tell your agent "I don't want to do that" before they get a lot less "chill"...but hopefully, we'll never get there).


10:24 pm

Had a nice WW "coaching session" earlier this evening (I'm sure I've said it before, but I like the coaching thing, by and large, much more than I thought I would - Just wish it paid more. And it didn't sometimes make me feel like I'm "on call" at WW 24/7. But anyway...).

Looks like I'll have an audition sometime this coming week for (a show my manager would probably not want me to tell you about yet), for a guest-star role that, to me, sounds like "Kermit in extremis".

I used to watch the show a lot, but fell off a few years ago. So this evening, I've watched a number of recent episodes on HuluPlus, and it's kind of amazing how this long-running show immediately seems to be the same show I was watching years ago, with no drop off in quality at all. It's one of those "not for everyone" shows, but, for my money, they do what they do really well.

Anyway, having an audition coming for a show I like and would like to be part of (I auditioned for it a number of times years back) has gone a good way toward taking the stink off the other thing, which I think I can now put in the "That was a thing that happened" file.

But the "thing that happened" was a good reminder of what I think is truly important - it would have paid thousands of dollars, were I to have booked it, but for a thing that would have been awful to shoot and humiliating to have "out there", it just wasn't worth it.

My dignity is not for sale.

(At least not for that price - the offer has to at least get into double-digits before I'll even consider selling my soul.)


Mon 3/23/15 (12:10 pm)

(I've gotta wrap this shit up...!)

Haven't gotten word about "The big audition" yet, which means I haven't gotten the sides, but I've re-familiarized myself with the show (Which really boosted my confidence - I totally "fit" in the world of this show), and unless the lines say something very different, or they direct me otherwise in the room, I plan to play it solidly within the Jim/Kermit framework.

(About to start watching The Last Man On Earth...)

Another thing I haven't gotten - that I would very much like to get - is my paycheck for the NEFCU commercial, which I shot over a month ago now.

Emailed my agent about it the beginning of last week, was told he'd have it in the mail "the next day", and...nothing.

I find this...troubling.

So if I don't see it in today's mail, I'll give him a call tomorrow, and explain how I use money to pay for goods and services and what-all, and therefore need to get that check.

(Though I can't get too riled-up about this - I mean, it's not like I've never made people wait to get their money, for whatever reason...)

Another check I think will be coming my way - I was in the preview for this week's episode of Shameless, and I assume the same rule applies to "previews" as it does to "recaps" (Which is basically, "If they use footage of you, you get paid").

And speaking of Shameless, last night was my last episode of the season.

And, if I may say so myself, it was a nice one "to go out on" - A nice scene, and a good episode in general (I said on Facebook that I watched it, then went back and watched it again, then decided to "leave well enough alone" at that point and go back to watching the show - I liked what I saw on two viewings, but I totally have the ability to keep watching work I'm okay with till I eventually think it's the worst acting that's ever been on tv).

So that's it for me and Shameless for awhile, at least as an actor (Season 6 probably won't start shooting till at least July, and of course, I don't know how long till they'll actually require my services).

(And in late-breaking news...)

I found the NEFCU commercial! In the past week or two I'd started checking on YouTube, but hadn't seen it, so I did a more general search, and found it on some business news website.

(I hope I just successfully posted the link. If not, I'll give it another try when it pops up on YouTube or something.)

Well, that seems like a good note to end on, so until next time...


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