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3:52 PM - Tues 10.15.19

Of Broken Streaks And Hopeful Developments

Well, was going to be shooting on Shameless today - and getting interview footage for the documentary from my trailer - but production pulled a fast one on us...

If it were just about me, it'd be no big deal - Okay, we're shooting my stuff on Monday now, and so what? My only inconvenience was that I had to get someone to work for me today at WW - but it means Jane has to pay the union person she hired for today a "kill fee" for the cancellation, not to mention having to get someone else for when we do shoot (If today's person isn't available then) and possibly end up paying more in flights and a longer hotel stay (Jane is scheduled to leave on Thursday, and was planning to come back next week for "a long weekend" to attend the cast party with me a week from Saturday)

But on the somewhat-brighter side - When we worked out shooting our thing during episode #11, we didn't know if I'd be in #12 or not, so we had no choice. It was basically #11 or die.

However, I have now gotten word that I am in #12 (Yay!), so there's maybe a bit of "breathing room" (At this writing, I'm unclear whether the decision is to go for shooting during #12 - I don't have a day or call time for that one yet - or scramble to make it happen during #11 on Monday. But at least there are alternatives).

So Jane was understandably stressed yesterday. But she consciously - and successfully, I'd say - put that aside for yesterday's shoot.

She thought it would be cool to have me talking about acting in an actual theatre, so she rented space at The Complex on Santa Monica Blvd, and we shot there for a couple hours.

There'd been a little bit of...tension the night before over what was going to happen the next day - I was very skittish about doing what she seemed to want (basically for me to bust out some "Acting!" on the spot) but was having a hard time giving her some concrete alternative . but we ended up with something we both seemed to be quite happy with (I tend to think, perhaps selfishly, that if I'm enjoying what I'm doing on-camera, the audience is going to as well. And I did have a good time - It was a mish-mash of filming me walking around on stage, getting some still pictures, talking about favorite roles, sharing what I'd like to do as an actor, talking about what little "technique" I have..with a bit of "busting out some 'Acting!'" and general fucking-around for good measure.

We went to House of Pies afterward with Seth and Tom (Our DP and his assistant), where we had an interesting discussion about Religion and Atheism, and I had them drop me off at home after.

(And now, I have to hop in the shower and get ready to head out for some more shooting...)


Thurs 10/17/19 (10:53 pm)

Well, Jane left this morning - I went over to the hotel around 9:00 am and had breakfast (I would say "had breakfast with her"...but she'd already eaten).

Then we spent some time hanging out and "looking at stuff" on her computer, while trying not to stress about the challenge of filming me in my trailer at Shameless ( A challenging situation because there's not going to be a load of notice about what day I'm shooting, it may or may not fall on one of the days Jane will be here, and she'd have to - in a likelihood - find a new union DP in a hurry).

It would pretty much be up to Jane to make this happen, but I'm starting to lean toward bagging the shooting me in my trailer thing, and just trying to snatch a soundbite or two from the series regulars I work with (Steve, Shanola, and maybe Bill M.) at the wrap party, which is a week from Saturday.

I find this whole situation pretty frustrating - It took almost the entire time we've been shooting this season to get to where we were at the very beginning (Me being interviewed in my trailer and that's it), and I'm annoyed it took that long to get so little - but I don't think the documentary lives or dies on getting that footage (It'd be a pretty bad comment on what we've gotten to date if it did). I'll be disappointed if it ultimately can't happen, but if we could get something out of the wrap party (Or if Jane could sweet-talk Macy into letting us interview him) that wouldn't be a bad "consolation prize". But anyway...

It didn't feel like we did a lot this week, really. And I don't think there's really that much left to do - In my mind, the last thing we need to get where there really is some "meat on the bone" is West Virginia in January.

But when we did shoot, it seemed like we got some good stuff.

I particularly enjoyed the theater - It felt good just being in the space (and remembering when I used to actually be an actor) - but we also did some other interviews I enjoyed (And early on in her time, we got some good stills - If I were at a level where I somehow needed a "personal photographer", Jane would be it).

And cinematically, we got a couple more "locations" that I think will add some visual interest to the mix (Me in a cage at the abandoned zoo in Grittith Park, and in the all wood-panelled basement lobby of my building as I talked about my childhood pareidolia, when I was so scared of the faces I saw in the panelling I was afraid to go to sleep because I was afraid they'd "get me").

When we started this, I remember having some "issues" over filming in and around locations that "didn't have anything to do with me". But I think I'm a lot more clear-headed about it now - the film needs to be visually interesting as well as emotionally engaging. And if we only filmed in places that have personal meaning to me these days. we'd be shooting in all of three or four locations.

(In other words, if I want them to pay attention to my shit, we can't put them to sleep with the visuals.)

Well, I thought I got a little bummed when our West Virginia trip got postponed till the new year...but then Seth told Jane this time out that he thinks editing the film could take a year.

When Jane and I have talked about the film being done and attending film-festivals and the like, the time-frame has always been a non-specific "next year" sometime.

But a full year of editing, where I'm just sitting around waiting to hear when the thing will be an actual "thing"? That's a lot of extra anxiety for a chronically anxious guy like me to take on board.

Again, I don't really know that it matters, or why it matters to me anyway - It'll happen when it happens - though it seems the doc might get a little more "traction" if I'm on a TV show that's still in production when it hits the film festival circuit.

Would like Seth to be mistaken - though he certainly knows more about this sort of thing than I do - but it'll take as long as it takes.

(But I hope not that long.)


Fri 10/18/19 (5:30 pm)

I'm sad to report - I had two streaks going recently that I was quite happy about...but both ended recently, in quick succession.

I hadn't hurt myself since "the episode" where I gave myself a black eye a few weeks ago. But on Wednesday, while at work, I was having a bad time of things (Was essentially on my own, dealing with a combination of equipment failure, cranky member, and possible operator error) with no recourse to calling anyone or doing my calming exercises or retreating from the situation.

I didn't hit myself in the head or face, which is something...but I did chomp down. hard. on my right index finger (Hard enough - and painfully enough - that, for a panicky moment, I thought I'd broken the skin and really injured myself).

I knew I wasn't "cured" of the problem just because I hadn't done it in a while...but I was still really disappointed in myself.

So clearly, work can be a little bit of a problem, in that I can't escape the thing that's stressing me, and have few tools "on hand" to deal with it (Other than trying to internally "talk myself down").

Which I will address with my Therapist when I see him Tuesday.

(9:50 pm)

(Watching Score: A Film Music Documentary...)

The other streak that was unhappily broken this week was a lovely run of auditions I felt really good about.

Auditioned for Black Monday yesterday afternoon, and really felt like I screwed the pooch.

When I think about it, I probably wasn't as terrible as I thought I was (The casting person did give me some redirects, so clearly I wasn't hopeless)...but "probably not as terrible as I thought I was" is nowhere fucking near good enough.

I could write an entire entry on this shitty audition - some of the circumstances leading up to the audition didn't go my way, and I do think that had an impact, but it was mostly the story of my doing a lot of prep work...but still not enough prep work (If I'd gone in knowing that scene the way I should have, getting there later than I wanted to then being called into the room before I had even sat down would hardly have mattered.

But in both instances of broken streaks, the only thing to do is to go forward, and try to do better next time (I have to say, after taking a Lyft to the audition, it was a long walk home. And I was tempted to smack myself around a bit, which I did not, and I was tempted to hit every fast food joint/bakery along the way, which I also did not. Which suggests it's possible to feel shitty without then engaging in behavior that makes you feel even shittier).

Well, it's gotten late, and I have an early morning tomorrow, but I want to "plant a flag" in terms of my next entry, which will start with Jane and my visit to the Museum of Death.

Till next time...

Saturday 10/19/19 (6 am)

Postscript: It looks like I'm shooting episode #12 on Friday, which is the day after Jane gets back in town. It's not definite yet - This is a "pin" and not yet a "confirmation", and Jane understandably doesn't want to get burned twice (So is going to wait-and-see about finding a new DP until we know for sure), but I feel hopeful about this development.


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