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8:18 PM - 10.15.16
An Aging Work-In-Progress

An Aging Work-In-Progress


"What a cunt...liberals are so full of hate."

My brother Tony posted that on Facebook today (His comment on a video he posted with a "psycho-liberal Trump hater" going off when pulled over by a cop).

On one level, it's really funny (albeit inadvertently).

On another level?

It's really not funny at all. In fact, it's kind of horrible.

(Didn't watch the video, because who gives a shit, really? I could post videos of angry, asshole, intellectually-challenged conservatives 24/7 from now till election day, only taking breaks to eat, sleep, and jerk off, and never run out of material. Anyway...)

____________________

Feel like a lot's happened since the last entry...

On Tuesday afternoon, right after therapy, got a notice about a commercial audition on Wednesday.

My first response, in spite of myself was "Oh shit! I hope it's not in the morning...!" - I have two WW meetings on Wednesday - so I was relieved to see it was at 3:00 pm.

Then, within maybe an hour or so, I got notice I had another commercial audition.

At 11:30 am.

So, as is often the case - to my bitter chagrin - I was way more stressed at having to find fills for my meetings than excited over having auditions (Particularly since, during the Jewish holidays, it's virtually impossible to get a fill if you need one - It's the only time I feel kinda resentful towards my Jewish coworkers).

But I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to make things happen, to no avail.

In the evening, I wanted to go to the downtown Y, where Thea, who I do Zumba with a couple times a week, is teaching a class on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm through the month of October.

As I pulled out of my parking spot, I saw I clearly had some sort of leak.

At that point, I didn't know what it was, but all the same, my heart sank, and I felt furious at myself for making too quick a decision, and deeply frustrated that I'd tried to do the right thing, and spent money in order to do the right thing (and have the car checked out beforehand), obviously to no avail.

So I started downtown, toward the Ketchum Y on Hope street, someplace I'd never been to before.

But even though I was using Waze, I couldn't find the place - It told me "You have arrived at your destination" and I couldn't for the life of me see anything, no street number or YMCA sign or anything.

And I had to go to the bathroom.

I ended up driving around and around, in rush-hour traffic, downtown (I've driven through downtown, but have virtually no experience driving around downtown), as my need to go to the bathroom became more and more urgent, trying to find the fucking Y.

The anger and frustration and desperation built and built (By that point, I was close to the "point of no return", all but certain I was going to piss myself, in the new car I'd just said I really wanted to keep clean) - and finally, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, I totally lost it.

I was alternately screaming myself hoarse, trying to hold myself back from outright anguished sobbing (I never feel more alone than when I'm in this state), when I just started hitting myself in the head, hard as I could (Smacked myself in the face a few times, before pulling back, by telling myself I had auditions the next day and couldn't "mess up my face").

Totally defeated, I finally gave up and started making my way back home.

Absolutely desperate to pee, I poured a bottle of sparkling water out on the sidewalk, then pulled over maybe six blocks from my house, got in the back seat - one of the new car's features I haven't mentioned are tinted rear windows - and (mostly) peed in the bottle.

I finally got back home, furious at myself, disappointed I hadn't gotten to go to my class, and still really wanting to smack myself around.

So I called my therapist, who was busy, but said he'd call me back (which he did, within the hour).

In the interim, I eventually settled down, to the point where I felt a little silly when he called back.

But we ended up talking for, I don't know, maybe a half-hour, and it was helpful - I was really depressed and angry that the "episode" had happened (I hadn't exactly felt like I was "cured", but the fact that I hadn't done something like that in months had been very encouraging), but he helped me get to the, "Rome wasn't built in a day"/"It's a work-in-progress" place where I needed to go.

He also helped me see "where I'd went wrong".

What happened clearly wasn't just about not being able to find the Y and missing the class I wanted to go to - I was mad and stressed about not being able to get a fill, then about my car's leaky whatever, then about not being able to find the Y while I desperately needed to piss - but I'd just let things build.

When I was trying to get someone to work for me, I never said to myself, "Jim, you'll do what you can to find somebody, but ultimately, you're an actor, 'ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and people will understand'".

And when I saw the leak, I didn't say to myself, "You don't know what that is - Maybe it's no big deal. Maybe it's the transmission, which will be a little inconvenient, but won't cost you anything. You don't know what the deal is, and you were planning on taking it in anyway, so no point in sweating it right now".

I didn't do anything to "calm myself down", so I had a major head of anger and frustration going as I headed downtown, into a situation I find hugely frustrating (Not being able to find someplace, particularly someplace that's supposed to be right in front of me), a situation even more frustrating when I have to "piss like a racehorse".

I'm very embarrassed to be writing all this, but "it is what it is".

I have "issues".

I'm "a work in progress" - An aging "work in progress"...but a "work in progress" nevertheless.

And I clearly need to "up the dosage" on my meds.

____________________

Mon 10/17/16 (11:25 am)

So where was I...?

On Wednesday, I had two commercial auditions.

With the one in the morning, I was going in for the role of "zombie".

Notes on the audition said to "go all out" in terms of the "look" (In other words, "come in in full-on zombie regalia").

I sometimes struggle with this kind of audition note - If I don't have the stuff at hand, the time/money to get what's needed together, or lack the expertise to do it, it causes me a lot of agita.

But I've also, over the years, had enough experiences where I walk in, and a few people have "gone all out" to do whatever specialty thing is being asked for, while other people have clearly just walked in off the street (and everything in between), so I could kinda/sorta rationalize it being "okay" if I didn't really "go all out".

When I woke up that morning, as I was still in bed, it popped into my mind that I knew someone who could do the makeup for me...then realized she would be in school (She's the high-school aged daughter of my friend Tim G).

So after a brief stab in the direction of a zombie makeup (Getting out my makeup kit from community theater that I haven't used in decades), I gave up, just put on my most non-descript clothes, and counted on the dark circles under my eyes, my jacked teeth, and my amazing acting ability to see me through.

So I drove to the audition, and when I walked in, everyone - to a person - was in full-on zombie makeup (Makeups that ranged from "good for a Halloween costume party" to "ready for filming").

And I felt like an asshole.

(I auditioned fine, otherwise - there wasn't much to the bit, though I thought it was cute - but I don't expect the decision-makers to look at the tape and say, "Okay, let's bring back the only guy who didn't do what we asked him to do", and I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself for not figuring out a way to "make it happen".)

The afternoon audition was fine, I think, but on my first take, I missed a very simple bit of direction I'd been given, so he had me do another take, then I was done (Again, there wasn't much to it - all the more reason to be annoyed that I messed up that first take - but it was an amusing-enough bit).

I didn't walk away from either one feeling like anything particularly "magical" had happened (Though let's be clear - You can walk away feeling the "magic", thinking you totally rocked their world...and still not book. But nine-times-out-of-ten, walking away feeling good about what you did is the only satisfaction you're gonna get from the experience).

On Thursday afternoon, I had another commercial audition (I remember thinking "I might be dead-in-the-water theatrically, but nice to know there's at least some life left in my career commercially").

It was another thing where it was just a small bit, no lines, but took advantage of my facial expressions - which people often comment on in my acting - so I walked out feeling relatively hopeful about that one.

But on the whole, considering auditions of any kind have been pretty "few and far between" and here I was, having three auditions over two days, this little "wave of opportunity" left me feeling slightly deflated and depressed.

Anyway...

Took the car in on Friday, and learned the leak was power-steering fluid (If you recall, I'd been pulling for the mystery leak being transmission fluid, because that had been fixed relatively recently and was still under warranty).

Tuesday 10/18/16 (7:50 am)

So, I had an option with the car - I could fix the problem, to the tune of $750, or just keep replacing the power-steering fluid (Which -let's be honest - I was never gonna do, at least not on a consistent basis. That's just "not how I roll").

So I opted for the fix.

Afterward, I thought - as I often do at times like this - "It would be nice if I got a check right now big enough to make this expense immaterial".

This almost never happens.

But "later that day"...

Got an email from my agent, saying that Shameless wanted to close the deal on episode 12.

My agent said, "Nice way to finish the season, huh?", and at first I didn't understand what he meant - I thought he was referring to how I like being in the last episode of the season, "...because then my season ends around the same time as everyone else's".

But that's not what he meant - I actually missed it the first time, but as I looked over the email again, I saw that they're paying me the week-long guest-star rate for the episode.

They've never done that before (And to be honest, I don't understand why they're doing it now). It's the most I've ever gotten paid for an episode of the show.

I'm scheduled to work two days - today, and next Weds - but am "oh hold" for the rest of the week, so in a pinch, they can bring me in any time they want during the week. But it's over twice what I'd normally get paid for two days on the show.

It's a nice chunk-of-change - Even after everyone gets their (very substantial) cut, it's still going to be more-than-enough to cover the car repair.

I don't get it - and initially even got a little panicky bout it (Considering every possibility from it being a typo, to them killing off my character, with the extra money being their little "severance package") - but to quote my agent, who was in turn quoting his father, I don't want to "kick a gift horse in the teeth".

Well, I'm not really quite done, but I'll leave off for now, because I have to get ready for my busy "actor day" (I have an audition for Silicon Valley in a few hours, and Shameless at 3:00 pm).


 

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