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8:35 AM - Tues 3.08.22

The Operative Word Is "Starting"

I don't know if this is the best thing I could be doing right now...but it's probably a little better than laying in bed binge-watching Justified - a great show, by the way (but one I've already watched twice in its entirety) - we are.

Not much has happened since I last wrote. But that said, I'm happy to report that, after complaining about getting no auditions in the days after putting my cat Hamlet down (A week ago Sunday), an audition actually did come in late Friday afternoon.

It was a guest-star for a kid's show - for a Casting Director who's brought me in multiple times (so I know he likes me) - and I did it late Saturday morning.

(It was due yesterday by 5:00 pm).

Jane R. read with me, and I felt really good about it - As I've said before, the days are long gone when I could confidently predict getting the part (back when I was doing community theater and actually saw my competition auditioning). These days, the most positive thing I can say is after an audition is a hearty, hedging-my-bets, "I wouldn't be totally surprised if I booked it".

(Or words to that effect.)

(The only worrisome thing here is my short hair and clean-shaven appearance; this is the third time recently that I've auditioned to play a homeless guy - or in this case, a guy one step away from being homeless - and I'm nervous about losing out to someone who auditioned just as well but looks more the part. But more on that ongoing dilemma in a bit...)

It's funny about me and kids' shows; on the one hand, they're really fun to audition for - It's fun to go "broad and silly" when "small and subtle" is typically the order-of-the-day - but they aren't really where I want to "make my mark".

I basically want to do the kind of stuff I'd want to watch.

And I'm not watching a lot of kid's shows these days.

That said, I want this - It's a fun little role (Actually it's a fun, bigger role than I'm typically up for, which is another part of its appeal), and I really want to "get on the board" this year.

I'd like to book something, or a couple of somethings, that would assure me I'm still "viable" in a post-Shameless, and (hopefully) post-"day job" era.

And that's a "viability" I desire for both practical and emotional reasons - I need to continue to make money, and I want to continue working as an actor (Beyond staying alive and getting my basic needs met, that's pretty much all I really want anymore).

One "practical consideration" is health insurance. I recently received notice that I qualified for another year of health insurance through the union (Thank you, final season of Shameless!). This means - starting in April - I'll have a year to earn at least $25,000 as an actor, so I can qualify for coverage the year after that.

(I'm a few months away from my 61st birthday, which means I'll be close to 62 when this coming year's coverage comes to an end. And I won't be eligible for Medicare till 65. So doing the math, I literally "have some work to do" between now and then.)


Well, the apartment still feels quiet and weird - almost "alien" - without him (I had him for most of the time I've lived here), and I feel decidedly lonelier than I have in a long time, but I'm starting to get used to "the new normal" of Hamlet being gone.

And the operative word is starting to get used to it - I thought I was over my tears, but I still can't seem to talk about him with other people without getting verklempt.

And I've learned something about myself, something especially interesting since I definitely have "hoarding tendencies" - Turns out, I'm more of a "get everything that reminds me of him out of the house" guy than a "hang onto these things because they remind me of him" guy (Or, speaking to the "hoarding" point, more a "get everything that reminds me of him out of the house" guy than a "keep everything because I'll need it if I decide to get another cat a couple years down the road" guy).

I didn't opt to keep his ashes, or a lock of his fur, or have a drawing of him commissioned (I guess I could do that last bit myself, were I so inclined), in part because I'm cheap, but also because I don't know what having a box of "powdered Hamlet" next to my action figures or on my drawing table would do for me.

(That said, I do love the "Hamlet pillow" Jane Z. bought me, and I love that Jane R. is going to print up a couple 5x7s of my favorite pictures of him. But I think that's as much about remembering that people cared about me during this time as remembering Hamlet.)

I do have a rather macabre keepsake - I took a picture of him, post-mortem, that's still on my phone (There's a definite Jane R. influence there - She has post-mortem pictures of her deceased family members, and I remember thinking, in the moment, that "Jane would want me to get a picture...").

While that might sound weird or gross, I think it's helped me deal with the decision I made - seeing that picture, contrasted with videos I have of him in earlier, healthier times, really showed how unwell he was and has made me feel somewhat less guilty about the whole thing.

Well, I think that's all I've got at this point, so I'm going to go back to my Justified binge (It's a great show - If you've never seen it, treat yourself now and thank me later), attempt a nap, then draw some stuff (Sold another drawing recently - or the sale of another drawing is "pending", anyway - so that feels like an engraved invitation to "buckle down" and take my drawing a little more seriously, particularly in a post-Shameless/post-"day job" era).

Till next time...



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