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9:38 AM - Thurs 5.21.15
Commercial gigs, Strip Clubs, and "Saying Yes"

Commercials Gigs, Strips Clubs, and "Saying Yes"

Well, the big news in these parts is I've booked my second commercial gig of the year!

I got the word yesterday morning (My agent told me I was "on avail" Monday evening - which basically means I was "on the short list" - but when Tuesday came and went with no news, I started thinking it hadn't gone my way. As you might imagine, I was quite happy to be wrong in this instance!)

The initial audition (The day after Mothers Day) felt pretty good, and the callback (on Monday) also felt pretty good.

(And if you're thinking to yourself, "Only 'pretty good', Jim?" - because, after all, I did book the gig - my answer is "Yes, only 'pretty good'". I knew I hadn't tanked the audition, by any means, but I still left, particularly after the callback, not sure I'd quite gotten where the Director wanted me. But the fact that he'd complimented my take on the material, given me direction, and even came over to adjust my collar at one point, suggested things had gone "pretty good".)

I don't know if it had anything to do with getting the gig, but something I felt very good about was the way I blew in and out of the room - Confident, friendly, clearly in command of myself - because I think that's important, and it can be harder to do than it sounds (It was also nice that I got a few minutes with my fellow actor in the spot before we went in. We didn't even go over the spot, just chatted about his son's recent visit to the Dentist - and how I needed to see my Dentist - but I think it helped us when we got in the room).

Anyway, that's a thing that's happening now, and I feel "pretty good" about it.

I don't know exactly what company it's for - All I know it's an "Energy Company" - and I signed an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), so I can't really say anything beyond that, in terms of the spot itself.

But it's fun, I'm looking forward to doing it, and I'm just happy to be putting another one in the "Win" column this year (It's not a "National" - at this point, it's just "Internet" and "New Media" - but they might elect to "go national" with it at some point, which would be lovely).


My 54th birthday was last Friday.

I tried to make a lunchtime thing at House of Pies happen, but that didn't work out (So I didn't end up doing House of Pies on my birthday; instead, I hit a doughnut shop in my neighborhood, since donuts have been much in my thoughts lately, and had two donuts, with a large cup of coffee, loaded with cream and sugar - Sadly, they weren't very good).

And Howard offered to do something with me later, but I declined, because Howard is gay, and I'd gotten the idea in my head that I wanted to have some kind of "erotic experience" on my birthday (I was basically thinking "massage parlor" or "strip club" - buying myself a hooker would be way too fraught-with-peril for me, for various and sundry reasons).

Tried to think if there was anyone to ask to accompany me on this adventure - but my friend Tim G. is married, and a Christian, so he was out, and for whatever reason, I was too nervous to ask my friend Josh - he's younger, and I guess I thought he might be too "evolved" for such a thing, or creeped-out by my old-man sexuality or something?

So I was on my own.

I'm way too neurotic and ashamed of my body these days for a massage parlor, it turns out (There are at last a half-dozen in my immediate environs), so it was basically down to "going to a strip club".

I could have rode my bike, or hopped on the Metro "Red Line", and gone to the Deja Vu in Hollywood, easy-peasy.

But for some reason, I didn't do that - Instead, I walked miles, to a hole-in-the-wall club called Cheetahs, across from the Vista in Los Feliz.

That was a mistake - As is often the case in my life, I "zigged" when I should have "zagged".

It was a small club, and there was no one even dancing when I walked in - Just six or eight women sitting at the bar, with a couple of men who looked like strip-club patrons out of Central Casting.

I went to the can, then got money from the ATM (Another mistake - I should have walked in with whatever money I was willing to spend, because the "service charge" for the transaction was $7).

Then I ordered a Diet Coke, and sat off in a corner by the bar, surveying what there was to survey.

Nobody seemed terribly interested in me - and for the record, I didn't see anyone I was "terribly interested in" either - and after a few minutes of feeling awkward and silly, I got up and started toward the door.

That's when I bumped into a dancer I hadn't seen before.

She was maybe 5'8", bottle-blonde with a bob, attractive enough (Though with a little bit of a skin issue, upon closer inspection), and she was the first person who seemed interested in dealing with me, so I thought, "Okay, why not?".

We sat down where I'd been sitting, and after some brief chit-chat, she asked if I was going to be getting any dances.

I said yes - because, after all, that had been the plan - so we went into a side room that was basically lined with continuous cushioned "benches", she told me the price ($20 a dance) and the rules (ex. No ass-grabbing - I wish I'd asked, "What if it's my own ass?"), and she did her thing.

I've been in strip clubs before - though I'm pretty sure the total number of times is in the single digits - but it's been probably a decade since the last time, and this was maybe the third time I'd ever gotten a lap dance (Just to give you a sense of "where I'm at" when it comes to strip clubs).

She was in what was basically a bikini, and when she did an entire dance without taking anything off, I thought, "Well...okay" (I had a vague sense in my head that it was a "progression" - the first dance is just a dance, the second is the stripping, and the third is where the "bumping-and-grinding" kick in).

The first dance did very little for me (And she had her eyes closed most of the time, which I found off-putting), and, again, I just felt vaguely awkward and silly.

But I said yes to a second dance, I don't know why - to be "agreeable"? To see if things got any hotter once the clothes started coming off? I don't know.

When the second dance ended and she still hadn't taken anything off, I went from feeling "silly" to feeling like a little bit of a chump (My theory immediately afterward was that I'd presented myself as a strip-club novice - which I basically am - and that being the case, she could "string things out", and I'd be happy just to be there and wouldn't know the difference).

So I said thanks at that point, and paid her (Saying something like "I'd better pace myself". Which I guess could mean either "I only have so much money", which was true, or "I'm about to come in my pants, and don't want the evening to end that soon", which was definitely not true).

I stayed a moment longer, watching another dancer (A big, Teutonic-looking blonde) take the stage - and proceed to not do very much with it - then left.

And I realized something, not really for the first time - I don't have the money to be a strip-club aficionado.

Even when I told myself it was "okay" to spend money to do this on my birthday, I left feeling like, "That would have been money better spent on pretty much anything else".

Now, if I'd actually had "an erotic experience" that night - and I don't think that's impossible (If I'd gone to a better place, had experienced a more talented dancer who was a better actress perhaps) - I might have felt differently.

But I'm not sure I would have - With money being a chronic "issue", I suspect money spent on strip clubs and the like will always feel like "money better spent on pretty much anything else".

So I went back home and ate a giant bag of cheese corn.

But I did have one "erotic experience" on "My Special Day"...

Some years back, a long-distance female friend, who's married, but who has something of an "alternative lifestyle" (which I won't share with you, because that's her story to tell, and not mine), sent me a sexy picture of herself (Which had been part of a photo session she'd recently done).

That picture was on a computer that died awhile ago, but remembering it made me think that my friend might be game for indulging me on my birthday, and sending me a sexy picture (I don't think I've ever said this before, but that's something I always fantasize about on my birthday - an attractive woman I know giving me the gift of letting me see her naked).

So I asked - and it might be pathetic, but that was pretty "erotic" to me right there, since it's been years since I've communicated to any woman that I'd like to see her naked.

My friend - who as I've suggested, is pretty open-minded about these things - said yes, and once she got to her computer, sent me the "copyright release" photos from another photo session.

It was lovely, and there was one photo I particularly liked...but I think I've been creepy enough at this point, so I'll leave it at that.

But it was nice when I thought, "For my birthday, it would be sexy to see an attractive woman I know with no clothes on", that there was someone there to "answer the call".


On Sunday, I spent the day with Howard and his friend Beriau (Along with our friends Donald M. and Kevin G.), trying to shoot some videos for YouTube.

Awhile ago, Howard started entertaining himself by posting little puns and jokes he'd come up with - about screenwriting, culture, movies, comics, etc - on Facebook.

Someone told him, "You should do something with these", which tied-in with conversations the two of us have had, about how we should "do something" for YouTube or what-have-you.

So he came up with the concept of us being "Two Old Guys Sitting Around A Table Telling Jokes".

And Sunday was us trying to record four "webisodes" of the series.

We didn't finish - We only got three of the four (Donald - our "Director" - had a time constraint, and, as happens, everything took longer than planned...and there were some unfortunate "artistic differences" toward the end that also didn't help maters) - and honestly, what we did get probably isn't any good.

For various reasons - the scripts needed to be shorter/tighter, we needed more rehearsal, we should have had our lines down, etc - we just weren't ready to go.

And, honestly, it's hard to see how it "does anything for me", in terms of drawing attention/paying work my way.

But all that said, I was glad I did it. It was mostly fun (Though it ended up being a long, tiring day, and my body hurt from sitting in a folding chair for however many hours), and I was happy with myself for saying "Yes" to something like this, instead of reflexively saying "No".

However good or bad the work was - It will need extensive editing to be at all watchable, I'm guessing - I spent time with friends trying to do something creative, and I didn't just say "no" because I was afraid it "wouldn't be good" or would be "a waste of my time" or whatever.

And for me, right now, saying "Yes" whenever possible is a "win"


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