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10:10 pm - Thursday, Oct. 03, 2002
Fun With Phones

Fun With Phones

Sometimes I wonder--Do big stars need to have all the money?

Saw Jerry Seinfeld's latest American Express commercial earlier this evening (In my opinion, it's not very good; Loved Seinfeld, but that said, he's just not an actor), and I found myself wondering why someone with his money would do commercials when they didn't have to (Between Seinfeld, which will continue to make money for him and his descendents for the rest of time, and HBO specials, headlining in Vegas or wherever, and the college circuit, and this guy is probably worth more than the GNP of most small countries).

Catherine Zeta-Jones is another one; Between her own income from movies and the fact that she's married to Michael Douglas, this is not someone who's hurting for money (And again, at least in my opinion, these aren't even very good commercials). And maybe it's an old-fashioned notion in this day and age, but it seems like she's squandering any artistic capital or credibility she might have--You don't see Meryl Streep shilling for Sprint, do you? (At least not in the US; For all I know, she might be one of those mega-stars that run off to Japan to do commercials.)

How much money do you need? How much is enough?

If this were just about the greed of celebrities, it probably wouldn't be that much of an issue--Does it really matter whether Seinfeld is a billionaire, or merely a multi-millionaire?--but the "mad money" celebs make from this sort of thing would change some struggling actor's life, both personally and professionally. And in my opinion, probably lead to more entertaining, enjoyable, effective commercials.


Didn't do very much today, kind of on purpose; I wrote a couple checks, played on the computer, watched tv, and made the centerpiece of my afternoon a bike ride to where my appointment is tomorrow (It's on Willoughby, a block west of Highland, between Melrose and Santa Monica).

(I'll be driving there tomorrow. I was thinking about it earlier today--I've sometimes felt guilty for not using the car more, but in actuality, this is exactly what I had in mind when I got the car; Basically, I use it when I need to, and when I don't, I don't.)

Earlier in the day, I called Cenex (The extra agency), and Wonder of Wonders, a real live human answered!

(To give you a sense of how amazing this is, the last time I made human contact at Cenex was two months after I first got here.)

The casting person asked me for my name and social security number, looked me up on her computer, nixed me, and hung up before I could even get out a "Thanks anyway", but still, it was gratifying to just get through, and it renewed my hope that someday, some glorious day, I will secure another extra gig.

And as long as we're on the subject of telephonic fun...

I was calling local theaters--Or trying to, anyway. I couldn't get recorded information for either the Beverly Center or the Connection--and I flipped past Kristie D's phone number, so I thought I'd give her a call, and tell the self-described "yenta" about my meeting with the commercial agent tomorrow.

But when I dialed her number, or what I thought was her number, who should answer but my friend--and Bruce B's fiancee--Erin (Like with Cenex, I was surprised an actual person answered--since it was the middle of the day, I'd expected to be leaving a message--But I was even more surprised when I realized it wasn't Kristie).

(Bruce and Erin are renting a house from Kristie, but that said, I'm still a little unclear on how I ended up calling them instead of Miss D.)

Being a flexible guy, and liking Erin as I do, I used the snafu as an opportunity to "catch up" with her, and by extension, with Bruce B (She made it sound like, while they're facing some challenges, things are basically going well for them).

At the end of our conversation, Erin gave me Kristie's real number, and I gave her a call, expecting once again to end up leaving a message, since it continued to be the middle of the day.

But Kristie was home, and we had a very enjoyable conversation.

I told her about my meeting tomorrow, and she had some news of her own to share; She was recently signed by what's apparently the talent agency in Detroit! (She also had a not-so-happy experience with a different talent agency. Interestingly enough, it was a smaller and far less prestigous agency than the one that signed her.)

We got somewhat into romance and dating and such, and it was interesting--She's a beautiful woman who's probably gotten more romantic attention than she wants, while I'm a...whatever-it-is I am, whose romantic life has basically been an arid wasteland, but we've both ended up in the same place--alone.

(At least I presume she's alone. She's been divorced for a year now, but I never actually asked her if she was seeing someone.)

And to wrap up this entry, and continue with what's become the theme here--Jim talking on the telephone--this evening I called Catherine Buell, the lovely young actress I spent half the day with while at the Geffen theatre audition, a week ago this past Monday.

I was kicking myself for not at least asking for her number when we parted company that day, because I found myself really obsessing about her afterwards.

So I looked up her name in the phone book, and there was one "C. Buell". So I called, got her machine, and left a message (Which Tony B. said was totally not the thing to do, and he told me I had to call again and actually talk to her).

I've called a couple times since, hanging up when the machine clicked on, but tonite I tried again...and this time someone actually answered.

Unfortunately, it wasn't her.

This was actually another "Catherine Buell", who gets a lot of calls for the other Catherine (I should have been able to figure this out by the area code--The Catherine I met at the Geffen lives in Long Beach--but I wasn't thinking too clearly).

So I called information, got the number for my Catherine Buell, and gave her a call.

And got her machine.

And even though Tony advised me not to, I left a message; I didn't ask her out on the machine, of course--that would be pretty stupid-- but just said who I was, mentioned the "other" Catherine in passing, and left my number. But if I don't hear from her in a day or two, I proably will keep trying until I actually connect with her live and in-person (Tony's rationale about the message thing, and I think he has a point, is that unless you're Brad Pitt or someone like that, a woman will not return your call. It may be 2002, but by and large, the man still is the one who has to stick his neck out in the dating arena).

Well, I think I've babbled on long enough here. And it's about time I get myself to bed, so I can be as fresh as possible for the big meeting tomorrow!

(I was thinking earlier that a nice thing about this is that, since there's no way I can really prepare, there's no pressure. All I have to do is go in and be "Happy, Professional Jim", and I can do that. Still, if you'd think a good thought for me--light a candle, pray, meditate, etc--I'd appreciate it.)


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