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8:14 PM - 09.03.18

The First Time I'm Seeing You Live we are.

I have a number of things to write about but am not sure what order to put them in...

Remember, at the end of my last entry, how I mentioned "something interesting" happened at the Failed Comedians reading?

Well, since I know you've been dying of curiosity ever since, unable to focus on anything else, I'll cut to the chase - A woman gave me her phone number.

And I haven't known what, if anything, to do with it - Not to belabor the point, but I can't remember the last time a woman gave me her phone number.

There was a pretext - She's lost a great deal of weight (And is a Vegan), while I work at Weight Watchers, but am currently substantially over goal and not losing any weight (And am not a Vegan). So it was like "If you have any more questions about being Vegan..." (She was also adopted, while I had the whole foster care thing, so there was an additional "we weren't raised by our biological parents" connection there) - but I've been frozen in place, fearing the "pre-text" was just plain-old text, and in calling her, I'd make a fool of myself

Complicating factors? She doesn't even live in LA - She's been living this nomadic existence and was literally leaving the state a few days after the reading (And so far as I know, not coming back, at least not to live)- and, like Mia, she's way too young and pretty for me to be thinking about anyway (Again with the fear - "You thought I liked you or something? Dude, you're, like, my Dad's age...!").

The only thing that's clear to me in this situation?

I have absolutely no interest in becoming Vegan.


Of the various things I've got going on right now - Weight Watchers, Zumba, Shameless, etc - the only thing that feels like it has serious, potentially life-changing "growth potential", is my recent foray into the world of voiceover.

I've enjoyed my coaching sessions with Tracy (My voiceover coach), even when I feel like I've never done enough homework before coming in for a session, and have been embarrassed to be told, in so many words, and more than once, that I'm reading well and/or doing a good voice, but forgetting to actually act (I'm not used to having to imagine everything else in a scene - including my scene-partner - in addition to my own performance).

But the fact that it feels enjoyable and challenging to do this stuff - and I don't find her critiques debilitating or deflating (In part because she's very kind, and very encouraging, and in part because I believe I'm gonna figure it all out) - strongly suggests this is a good path for me to explore..

And good thing I think that because otherwise, I would find it all too daunting.

Everything about Voiceover other than the acting are things I have always defined as "not me" - being a "self-starter", being business-savvy, mastering "tech stuff" (like decent sound-recording, editing/uploading/downloading shit, etc), and so on.

There's also a boatload of anxiety about spending a lot of money on a thing I don't even know is going to be a thing, if you know what I mean (Thanks to a lot of work on Shameless, I'm currently about as flush with cash as I ever get. But it's still really uncomfortable for me to spend a lot of money on something where there's no guarantee of a return on my investment).

And maybe above all, there's the issue of dealing with a crazy-low tolerance for stress and frustration.

For example...

In the past week or so, to get comfortable with Audacity, the sound recording program I recently downloaded, I was recording myself just talking about nothing into my computer.

I decided it would be fun to put the resulting file on FB, just to say "Hey, this is what I'm doing right now"...but I couldn't find it on my computer.

I don't know if I hadn't named it, or hadn't saved it correctly, or what, but I couldn't find it to save my life, and as my frustration built and built, becoming completely intolerable, I started "acting out".

On my face..

And this was an instance where nothing was riding on the outcome at all - So how would I respond if that were happening when I was trying to get an audition in on time?

And that's both why I'm deeply afraid of this new venture, and why I absolutely have to see it through - I can't let my low-tolerance for mental/emotional discomfort stop me from doing something like this that makes complete and utter sense (I've been getting compliments on my voice and my acting most of my life - So honestly, if I can't can't make a mark in this arena, where can I?).

So after some trepidation, I called the sound place Tracy recommended, talked to her sales guy, and bought nearly $450 worth of stuff (Which was me getting away cheap).

(Or as I said on Facebook, "I did part one of 'You have to spend money to make money'")

And there will be more money to spend - There are demos I'll need to put on VO websites, for one thing - but I really do feel like, if/when I get over myself and start actually doing this, something will happen (As I've said in here before, I've not always had the success I've wanted as an actor, I've never gone into a new acting arena and had absolutely no success).

At the very least, I'm sure I'll be able to "make my money back"...eventually.


Sun 9/2/18 (7:00 pm)

(As I begin this, I'm waiting to hear back from Tracy about whether we're doing our VO thing tomorrow - Unlike previous weeks, she hasn't given me any "homework" to do, so between that and the fact that it's Labor Day, I'm left uncertain as to what the plan is here. But anyway...)

I shot episode #910 of the show on Thursday.

It was fun...but I was disappointed that call was just late enough that I didn't get to Zumba that night (I typically work Thursday nights, so can't do Thea's Thursday night class. But since I'd gotten someone to work for me, I'd hoped the day would consist of doing Shameless, having a little downtime, then making a special Thursday night appearance at Zumba. But 'twas not to be...).

I'm pinned for #911 (Which will be my 10th episode of the season). The official "offer" hasn't come in yet, but Mike saw the preliminary shoot schedule, and as of now we're on for the 17th.

There'll be three episodes left after that. And while wanting to be in all three seems a lot to hope for, I'd like to get at least two of the three (With one of the two being the final episode - As I've said before, I really like being in the first and last episodes of a season in part because John Wells often directs the season finales, which is cool).

But the biggest Shameless news this past week wasn't about me, it was Emmy Rossum making a public announcement that she'll be leaving at the end of this season.

I found out about it before shooting on Thursday.

While I wouldn't say I was "besieged" by fans with questions, I did get some texts and facebook messages asking about the "rumor" before I actually knew what the deal was (That was interesting - I've known about it for some time now but didn't know whether this rumor was indeed "just a rumor" or if the cat was out of the proverbial bag. So my initial response was a nervous, I'm-not-sure-I-have-permission-to-talk-about-this, "Ummm...I'll have to get back to you on that...!").

The timing seems...weird - on the other hand, what do I know? I'm not a PR person - but I heard it was because the story was getting out, and ER wanted to "get ahead of it".

When I first heard about it (as a rumor last year, that was then verified by ER herself early this season), I was panic-stricken, thinking, "Well, that's it for the show...".

Then I heard we'd be continuing on without her, at least for another season (Again, as a rumor that was later verified to be the case). And I felt like I'd gotten a reprieve from my own execution.

Then a few months ago, I heard a couple people on-set opine that the show could go on for a long time still (Not series regulars or decision-making types, but people who had some relatively informed opinions nevertheless).

Considering that getting another season felt like a "reprieve", I was surprised that hearing people talk optimistically about seasons beyond that left me...ambivalent.

On the one hand, I enjoy being on the show, enjoy having an income that means I only have to work a single, part-time day job, and I am very frightened about what life might look like post-Shameless.

On the other hand, I'm not getting any younger or cuter, and am really hoping my Shameless exit will be when I transition to a bigger role on another long-running hit show, and not because Shameless becomes irrelevant before petering-out entirely, leaving me a weird-looking, unemployed actor in this 60s that no one is particularly excited about (Though hopefully, by that time I'm making decent money with VO work and will have that to sustain me, and won't need to get three shitty day-jobs to pay the bills).

It was interesting reading the response on the Internet

Some people were wrecked by the news and wanted her to stay, while other people thought her character was played-out anyway (And there's a fair contingent who think that's true of the show in general), while still others were sad but realized actors leave shows and wished her well.

Some people thought, moving forward, Lip should be "moved up" to Lead, while others thought it should be Debbie, while no one I saw thought it should be Frank (Despite universal acclaim for BM's acting ability).

(Some of the comments actually made me glad I don't have a bigger role on the show - It would be uncomfortable reading about how my character was boring or played-out or what-have-you, or that the show I've worked on for years isn't good any more and should be canceled. I chafe sometimes at having a small, inconsequential role on the show, but the good side of that is I don't matter enough to get bad reviews.)

FWIW, I lean toward moving Lip into the lead position, giving Kev and V more to do (With some real plotlines, and not just comic relief), and letting Frank keep being Frank.

But I'm not a writer, and I have no idea what they have in mind - I'm just crossing my fingers that whatever happens, they'll have regular need of my character (Until I book that great Series Regular role, and Kermit gets killed off - Perhaps dying in a tragic strip-club accident).

In any case, it will be genuinely interesting to see what happens

(Trying to think if there's anything else I needed to get to...)

One last anecdote...

I don't get recognized that often, but it does happen from time-to-time.

The most recent incident of being recognized happened a week or two ago.

I was leaving for WW, locking the door of my apartment, when someone came out of an apartment, saw me, stopped, and said only, "This is the first time I'm seeing you live!"

For a moment, I found the comment confusing - Since I didn't know the person, I wanted to say, "This is the first time I'm seeing you live too" - but then I realized he was talking about Shameless, and we had a nice little conversation in the elevator as we headed out.

Till next time...


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