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10:47 am - Weds 9.11.2008
Sometimes I Worry

Sometimes I Worry

Had therapy with Javier yesterday.

The session centered around my news - I start Weight Watchers training tomorrow morning (At an 8:45 a.m. meeting in Culver City).

This ostensibly good news has opened up a Pandora's Box of anxieties I was already having trouble keeping a lid on of late.

What's troubling me, you ask?

I'm worried about the national election - In a country where Republicans have been in control for most of the past eight years (And everything's gone in the dumper as a result - we're at war, the economy's terrible, our standing in the world has been badly damaged, etc.), how can the Republican presidential candidate still be running neck-and-neck with the Democrat? What can people possibly be thinking?

I'm worried about elections for the Screen Actors Guild (An election that could have a more direct impact on my life than the national election) - on the one hand, there's the group in power, whose hearts seem to be in the right place, but who may be too combative and reactionary to get anything done (And who might wreck the union in the process, as the opposition says they've already done); on the other hand, there's the group who may be willing to screw over the "little guy" and play kissy-face with management just to keep "business as usual" running smoothly, and keep their big paychecks coming in (And basically wrecking the union in the process).

How do I vote, without being afraid I'm doing more harm than good? What's an actor to do?

I'm worried about sustaining a life/career - financially and emotionally - where I can have entire years where nothing happens (Like 2008's shaping up to be), where auditions (and gigs) are only likely to get more scarce the older I get, and where, not only is there no guarantee of success, success ("Success" meaning "being able to make at least a modest living") is actually very, very unlikely.

On general principle, I'm worried about "the future" - What happens if I don't "make it" as an actor? If Cary and Kay move away? If Jane dies before I do? If I'm poor and alone in old age? (Assuming I make it to "old age", and don't die prematurely from being "poor and alone". Cause that happens in this wonderful country of ours.)

I even have residual worries that, when I die, a vengeful, Old Testament-style God will say, "Hey, guess what, my agnostic friend? Turns out, I do exist. Now off to Hell with ya, ya little scamp...!"

(I don't worry about that last bit as much as I used to - cause it just seems so unlikely - but I included it so you could get the picture: At some level, I even worry that, when I die, my troubles might be just beginning.)

In the face of all that, worrying about a new job at Weight Watchers is pretty small potatoes...but it's "pretty small potatoes" in a sack of potatoes I'm hauling around that already feels pretty full.

I'm not so much worried about the "job" part of the job - the "Receptionist" position at Weight Watchers is essentially just another low-paying, service industry job, and I've definitely been-there-and-done-that (You have to do the "Receptionist" position before being a "Leader").

I'm more worried about...

1. The fact that this still isn't going to be a solution to my money issues. There just isn't enough money involved, no matter how many hours I work, to pay all the bills. Meaning I'm still going to have to rely on very un-reliable acting to "fill in the blanks".
2. Having to become an early riser. And not just an "early riser" (Cause I do that anyway, even when I go to bed at 3:00 a.m. - I just get to go back to bed when I get tired), but an early riser, who never sleeps well in the first place, who then has to actually go do things and be awake, who can't just go back to bed the moment his body says, "You know what? Being awake sucks...!"
3. Conflicts with auditions (Assuming at some point, I start having auditions again).

Part of the point of signing on to work at Weight Watchers is that the hours are basically around "normal" people's 9-5 work schedules - Early mornings, late afternoon/early evenings, and weekends - and are thus pretty conducive a life of auditions.

But there's no way to schedule myself for a meaningful amount of hours at Weight Watchers without risking conflicts with early morning/late afternoon auditions - and I'm extremely "conflict-averse" when it comes to auditions.

4. In addition to time-conflicts, I'm also concerned about energy/stress levels - Going to auditions "too pooped to pop", or being stressed out of my mind, cause I'm exhausted from being up since 6:00 a.m. working meetings, or had to race across town to make the audition on time, or freaking out because an audition is running over into a Weight Watchers meeting I'm supposed to be working (It's what actors have to do...but that doesn't mean I have to like it; in my world, I'd have nothing getting in between me and my auditions).

Well, I think I've "painted the picture" - I am currently one anxious, worried guy.

I've already gone on too long, and I have a bunch of other things to do (And even without a job, I'm "exhausted" right now), but next time, barring some "late breaking news", I plan to write about why the "ostensible" good news of my new job at Weight Watchers is actual good news.

Stay Tuned.


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