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8:45 AM - 08.18.14
Getting Paid To "Hang Out"

Getting Paid To "Hang Out"

Weds 8/13/14 (8:32 am)

I’m up earlier than strictly necessary, because as I was driving home from the set yesterday afternoon – after my first day’s shooting for the show – the “brake” and “battery” indicator lights popped on.

In the past, that’s meant alternator and/or battery issues, but both items have been replaced fairly recently, so…I don’t know what’s happening.

But it’s left me feeling a little anxious about today’s call-time (at 10:30 am), so I’m giving myself enough time – hopefully – to go out, try to start the car, and if nothing happens, curse loudly, then call a ride-service like Lyft or Uber (Or my friend Gerry K., who offered to help out if needed).

Thurs 8/14/14 (1:49 pm)

So happily, I got to-and-from Shameless yesterday without incident.

(The thing I wrote yesterday, about “getting up early in case things go wrong”? Well, shortly after I wrote that, Production called, asking if I could come in a half-hour early…and then I didn’t end up working till the afternoon anyway. What’s that thing about “If you want to make God laugh…”?)

Told myself I was going to go directly from the set to the mechanic…but that was when thought I’d be done by early afternoon; as things stood, I just felt too tired to contend with traffic, go to the mechanic, and walk three miles home (It’s kind of amazing how tiring it is to be on a set, but not really doing much of anything. But more on that momentarily…).

Anyway, the shoot

It’s interesting – My “bit” is really no bigger than some things I’ve done in the past on the show, line-wise, but since it stretches over two scenes, and has an outdoor component, it’s necessitating two shoot days here, and a day in Chicago, which is why I’m making beaucoup bucks for the episode, relatively speaking (Why am I bringing this up? Because if an actor told me they were working multiple days on an episode of the show they recur on, when they’re usually just called for a day, I’d assume they were getting a lot more to do. And as I’ve just demonstrated, it ain’t necessarily so).

So over the past two days, I did the smaller part of what I’m to do in the episode – I had one line of dialog on Tuesday, and two yesterday.

And honestly, I was pretty friggin’ bored a lot of the time (Particularly yesterday, when I realized they called me in as early as they did because they thought I was in a scene I’m not actually in). And in the moment, I thought “This is one of the reasons I want to have more to do as an actor – not just for the acting, or the money, but to not be hanging out on the set for hours with nothing to do”. But as I said to my manager a short time ago, “I get paid very little to be bored at WW, and nothing at all to be bored at home”.

And I got a free lunch out of the deal (Which I ate with my new friend Don, who was the other principal actor in the scene).

And I did have little “rushes of excitement”, as I was getting micced for sound, or having a brief exchange with Macy about acting (We both are big fans of Gene Hackman), and of course, as we were actually “doing the thing”.

And it was interesting to be on the Warner lot, but not on the Shameless soundstage; instead, we were on the “Chicago” back-lot where ER and some other “Chicago Shows” have shot scenes; we weren’t actually using the exteriors, but just taking advantage of the set-space (Since the Shameless soundstage is chock-full of permanent sets – The Gallagher home, the Alibi, etc).

And yesterday my friend Mike M., who plays “Tommy” on the show, popped in and said “Hi” (One of the crew was babysitting his kids for a time, so I think he was just giving her a ride back to the set). He’s a good guy, and it was fun seeing his two kids, Jake and John.

During the break for lunch, the cast who are in the next episode – Ahhh…maybe that’s why Mike was there – had a table-read. And honestly, I was petty jealous; I enjoyed my “free lunch” with Don…but I would rather have been at that table-read!

And under the heading of “telling on myself”, I have to confess to tiny little moments of star-like “attitude” over the past couple days – when, because of timing, where the scene was being shot, where my trailer was located, etc, I couldn’t get a coffee or soda until I actually was called to the set, or yesterday, when I realized that they really didn’t need to have called me till the afternoon (And had “wasted” hours of my valuable tv-watching/web-surfing time) – but since those thoughts were in my head, and not communicated to an AD or the like, I don’t think they actually count as demonstrating my diva-like “attitude”; I think the real “takeaway” here is that I had my little moments of pique, and kept them to myself, instead, reminding myself how well I was being paid to do three lines over the course of a two-day shoot.

Speaking of “pay” (And this is maybe the opposite of “telling on myself”)…

I continue to struggle to “get my head around” the idea that sometimes what I do, what I “have to offer”, is worth a good amount of money, while most of the time, it’s worth almost nothing (In other words, what I get paid at my “day job” versus what I get paid when I’m acting kind of “breaks my brain”).

What I’m coming to realize, and it might sound kind of obvious, is “I want to get (well) paid for actually doing something”.

And it just struck me – one reason I want to “do more” is I want to think, “I’m getting well-paid to do this thing I’m really good at”. But at this point, since I’m not really “doing anything”, that I basically just luck out, and “win the lottery” from time-to-time.

I try to tell myself it’s cool that I’m “getting away with something” when I’m not doing a lot (By getting paid, in this current instance, a couple thousand dollars for three lines and a lot of hanging around on a set), but on some level, “it fails to satisfy”.

In short, I want what I’ve always wanted from acting – More than anything else, I want it to make me feel “special”.

Cause nothing else does, really.


Sat 8/16/14 (6:06 am)

I’ve actually been writing for about a half-hour, editing; now I’m frustrated because I’m ready to write “new stuff”…and I’m out-of-time (I have to start getting ready for work in a few minutes).

The “I get paid a good amount to not do very much as an actor, and get paid very little to do anything else” is an “issue” for me, because of the “self-esteem stuff”, but the “breaking my brain” part, I just figured out, is that I give more of myself, and do more “acting/entertaining”, at WW than I do on the set of Shameless (Or on any set so far).


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