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12:27 PM - Fri 8.08.14
"Shameless" To The Rescue

Shameless To The Rescue (Alternate Title: Life After Shameless)

Thurs 8/7/14 (8:40 am)

When I start writing relatively early, like this, I’ve noticed my first impulse is to write about how bad I feel, and how much I’m thinking about going back to bed (Or how much I’m dreading the fact that I have to go to work feeling like this…though today, I don’t have to work till late afternoon). But I don’t think there’s anything terribly interesting about that, and I don’t think it’ll get “terribly interesting” until I figure out what I’m actually going to do about it.

(Like “address my sleep issues”, or “ start taking ‘performance-enhancing drugs’”).

Anyway, my perennial, debilitating fatigue is not exactly news – What is is that the Shameless shoot has been confirmed (For Tuesday & Weds of next week, though I don’t have call times yet). And for this episode, I’ll be going to Chicago for location shooting, during the week of the 25th.

(As of now, I don’t have a “call time” for that either. And since I’ve never done it before – gone on a “location shoot” where they had to fly me somewhere and put me up – I don’t know quite how it’s going to go at this point).

Right now, I just know I’m pretty damned enthused about the whole thing; I’m going into my 5th season with the show, and I’ve never made one of the Chicago trips for location shooting, and it makes me feel “more a part of things” – that’s a “shared experience” I’ll now have with more of the cast (Though in terms of the actual scene, it’s just me and Bill Macy, and maybe some guest actors).

The novelty of working more than one day on the show – for a single episode - is pretty cool, but what’s also cool is that multiple days (And location shooting) means more money.

A lot more money.

My new theatrical people have gotten me a $250-an-episode raise, so between that and the multiple days of work (And I don’t know if one gets a “bump” for out-of-state “location shooting” or not), this is going to be far-and-away the most I’ve ever gotten paid for an episode of tv.

Fri 8/8/14 (9:17 am)

Was woken up by the exterminator around 8:30, who wanted to know how the bait he’d put out a week or two ago was working (And the answer, since I’m still seeing the little beasties, was “It has not been completely effective”. So there was a brief discussion about going to the next level, and I guess “bug-bombing” the place, but for now, he just “re-baited” – a little more extensively than before – and we “called it good”.

But back to Shameless

I got a callback for the GE commercial I auditioned for this past Saturday (So I’m “five for five” in getting callbacks from my commercial auditions). But sadly, I couldn’t do it, since the shoot would be this coming Tuesday, the first day of my two-day Shameless shoot (When I mentioned this on Facebook, a couple people said “nice problem to have”. And it kinda/sorta is…but while I’m getting a big payday for this particular episode, a national commercial would likely pay out at least two or three times as much, so I can’t be quite as blasé about missing out on opportunities like that).

(But I just had another commercial audition yesterday – for Net10 – so “life goes on”…)

I’ve posted a number of updates on Facebook about this particular Shameless gig – that I booked it, that I was invited to the table read, that I’m working two days, that I’m doing location shooting in Chicago, etc – and while those are all legitimate “news items”, people have responded as if each thing is a new, “fresh success”, and not facets of a single positive event (“making a good thing better”, as it were); I’ve had a number of people comment on how well my life/career are going, pretty much all based on this one thing.

And it’s good, don’t get me wrong (I hope I’ve made it very clear by now how enthused I am about working two days next week, and going to Chicago, and making way more for one episode of the show than I ever have before). But from where I’m sitting, it’s less like “my career is going great”, and more like “Shameless is saving me from what, so far, has been a disaster of a year”; I have booked no “new business” so far this year, and I’m into Year Three of not booking any national commercials.

And while I’m a pretty happy camper when it comes to being part of Shameless, which I genuinely think is a great show, I can’t be happy if it’s the only thing happening - That’s way too “all my eggs in one basket”. As a recurring gig, I have no idea from one year to the next how many episodes I’ll get, how much I’ll get paid (Though my manager wants to push for “guest star” status regardless at this point), and, ultimately, how long the show itself will last.

(Every so often, people will ask me about whether the show’s getting another season, how much longer I think it’s gonna run, etc., and of course, I don’t know much more than they do, but I will say this - Showtime has a reputation for “running their shows into the ground” (ex. Dexter), so if/when Shameless ends production, I think it will most likely be one man’s decision: Bill Macy’s).

While I don’t really “know” him, he seems like a really good guy. But the fact he (Or Emmy Rossum, for that matter) potentially has that much power over my future is…disconcerting.

But beyond the money/uncertainty aspect, I just want more of a career than “Kermit”. I want to do different things, I want to do a little more than I’ve gotten to do, and I want/need more “visibility” (The number one response I get when I tell people I’m on Shameless is, “Oh, I don’t get Showtime”).

And ultimately, I’d like to put “day jobs” behind me, and have acting be “What I do for a (comfortable) living” for the duration of my time here.

So basically, “Yay!” for Shameless, but I really, really, really want other things to start happening in 2014 too.


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