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1:11 am - Weds 1/25/06
A Shaky Foundation

A Shaky Foundation

Mon 1/16/06 (4:13 p.m.)

In recent weeks, I’ve had the opportunity, on more than one occasion, to work an extra shift at the theater. To work on what would otherwise be a day off.

It’s been the source of a rather epic psychic struggle.

I know I need the hours; I can’t live on $7.75 an hour, especially not when I’m essentially working part-time (This week, I was only scheduled to work four days–two closings and two shorter shifts--that would have maybe totaled 25 hours. I asked to work yesterday, and got an extra 5 ½ hour shift).

But I don’t want to do it.

Once, when I was asked if I wanted to extend my shift till closing, I did say yes, and was happy to get the extra couple hours. But until asking for the extra shift this week--to at least maintain the shitty status quo–I’ve passed on any opportunity to work on a day I’m not scheduled.

I’m embarrassed to write about this, because I know it doesn’t look good–and just doesn’t make much sense–but it’s something I’m having to deal with.

Tonite, I’m closing concessions at “The Dome”, so that’ll be a full shift (At least seven or eight hours).

But more on this later, because speaking of work, I have to start getting ready...

Thurs 1/19/06 (2:26 p.m.)

On Tuesday night, I was scheduled at the theater as “usher/ticket taker” from 6-11:00. But then while I was doing my ticket-taking thing, Hannah asked if I wanted to take her closing shift at concessions (sweetening the deal by saying she’d basically do all the closing stuff before she left), so I said yes, since all it meant was going to the Zone 1 concession area at 11:00 and hanging out for a few more hours (And Michael was the closing usher, and he’s a good guy, so that was cool).

I just wanted to mention that I did that.

Apparently, to get full-time hours at the theater, you have to be available to work six days a week. I don’t understand that at all–and neither did Doug, one of the supervisors I asked (I said, “How come you can’t get full-time hours working five days a week, Doug?”, and he said, “I don’t know, Jim”)–but there it is.

Well, I’m not going to do that (Tell them they can regularly schedule me six days a week). I don't want to be committed to work six days a week, either from a personal standpoint (I don't have a lot in life, and I have virtually nothing going on socially, but be that as it may, I want a fucking "weekend"), or from a "pursuing my real career" standpoint (If there are screenings to attend, or showcases I should be showcased at, or anything like that, I do not want to be passing them up because I only have one free day a week).

But I am prepared to take it on a week-by-week basis–For example, this coming week I don’t have a casting workshop on Thursday night, so I’m thinking about going in tomorrow night and saying I could work that night, if they need someone (Editors Note: They didn't end up needing someone that night).

I’m also open to future arrangements like with Hannah on Tuesday (A lot of people don’t like closing, while I don’t really mind it much. And if it gets me the hours I need without interfering with auditions/workshops/favorite televison programs, all the better).

(10:55 p.m.)

So far, I’m not getting quite as much as I’d hoped for from my SAG membership, but it’s had a couple benefits recently...

Last week, I saw a free screening of The Squid And The Whale (It was a Writers Guild screening, but SAG members were invited as well).

(Really good movie, by the way. Everyone does a great job, but Jeff Daniels and Owen Kline are “first-amongst-equals”. Anyway, see it if you get a chance. You’ll thank me later.)

And just now, I checked my mail, and my first-ever free dvd “screener”–for the movie Crash--was in the mailbox, I guess “for my consideration” for the upcoming SAG Awards.

(I saw Crash in the theater earlier this year. It would have been even cooler if the screener had been for a movie I hadn’t already seen, like The Constant Gardener or Transamerica, but I enjoyed Crash and am totally up for seeing it again. And depending on who else is nominated, I could totally imagine voting for Matt Dillon for “Best Supporting Actor”).


Realizing, not for the first time, that when I don’t have auditions, pretty much everything goes to hell for me, emotionally.

No auditions mean “no opportunity to book gigs”.

And when I have “no opportunity to book gigs”, I feel more stressed over finances, I feel depressed because I’m not doing what I came out here to do (Or in the case of auditioning for commercials, I feel depressed that I’m not doing something that’s at least in the neighborhood of what I came out here to do), and without the positive feeling that “something could break for me at any moment”–and the distraction--that auditions provide, I fixate on the unhappier aspects of my life, which seem like pretty much all aspects of my life, other than occasional moments where I feel like things are going in the right direction, albeit very slowly, in terms of acting.

It popped into my head recently–“I don’t know how to give myself what I need”.

Specifically, I don’t know how to feel less lonely. The people who know me have their own deals, basically–jobs, families, etc (Not to mention most of them are thousands of miles away)–and are pretty much already doing what they can to attend to my need for companionship. And if you go up to complete strangers and say “I’m feeling sad and lonely. Can you talk to me, or give me a hug, or something?”, you’re probably going to feel even more sad and lonely when they mace you and call the police.

And even when there’s some occasion to “go out”–as there has been with some people from the theater, and more recently, with John O.–it’s stressful because of “the money thing”.

(Met up with Cary last Wednesday in North Hollywood, where we had a burger at Moe's. I had a great time, and Cary generously grabbed the check, as he always does, knowing that I am financially one step away from "homeless person".)

Mon 1/23/06 (4:54 p.m.)

Smoking Cigars In My Underwear

Feeling a bit better today, since I had two auditions (One for Washington Mutual, the other for Dominos Pizza).

The Washington Mutual audition is the source of the title for this entry–When someone from JS told me about the audition, they told me to take a cigar, since I was supposed to be playing a cigar-chomping old-time banker.

(Turned out they had two big boxes of cigars at the casting agency, but what are ya gonna do?)

When I came home from my second audition (They were at 11:00 and 11:25 respectively; fortunately, they were not very far apart), I got undressed, and since I had the cigar in my pocket, I lit up.

I’d planned on doing an entry as I was smoking a cigar in my underwear, but I got distracted with web-surfing and blowing smoke rings, and the moment passed. And while I’m likely to be in my underwear again sometime very soon, it’s very unlikely I’ll be smoking a cigar.

I don’t really “get” cigars. I mean, with cigarettes, you’re inhaling all that sweet nicotine goodness, but you don't inhale cigars, so what's the point?

Weds 1/25/06 (1:07 a.m.)

Working an usher shift at the theater later today (11:30-5:30 at the Dome). A couple shifts opened up earlier this week, they posted them up in the breakroom at work, and here we are.

If it were a snack bar shift, I probably wouldn't have taken it (Snack bar has, on the whole, kind of kicked my ass this week. And I'm doing it four days out of five next week).

If it were an evening/closing shift, I probably wouldn't have taken it either, because Wednesday night is "Lost Night", and "Veronica Mars Night", and I've gotta be home so I can watch one (Lost) and tape the other (Veronica Mars).

And of course, if I'd gotten called about an audition today, I wouldn't have taken it either.

But when office hours ended at my agency, and I knew I wouldn't have an audition today, I asked one of the QC's at the theater--A "QC" is ArcLight-speak for a supervisor-- if the shift was still available.

(It was...and once again, here we are.)

Anyway, it worked out with my needs and desires, and that's a good thing.

It's getting late (Actually, this is pretty early for me, but I have to be up relatively early tomorrow, so I should be going to bed soon)...

Still troubled by the "audition thing"--It's such a shaky foundation to build...well, to build anything on--and troubled by the idea that I've got nothing that truly sustains me.

But it's late, I've bored you long enough, and I can always piss and moan about my lack of a family, a God, and pretty much anything else regular people use to keep themselves sane in my next entry.

I can't wait, can you?


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