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9:22 AM - Tues 7.05.22

Suffering Is Caused By Desire (Says Me and the Buddha)

After weeks of waiting and anticipating, going nuts because the "offer" was so slow to arrive and I didn't get the script till the day before, I did my second episode on American Gigolo this past Thursday.

It could hardly have been less of a thing.

This is precisely why I was trying not to "anticipate" it (i.e. to blow it up into something it was never going to be). When I heard they wanted me back for another episode, I allowed myself to think it had something to do with me and how I'd "popped" in the role, instead of just being a simple bit the story required (A possibility Jane R. suggested. Though, in my defense, I had entertained that possibility myself).

In spite of knowing better - this is not my first rodeo (Or my first co-star gig, for that matter) - I started imagining how the scene might play out, what interesting things might be required of me as an actor, and even how I might be working with Jon Bernthal, the series lead.

I would have been better served if I'd just said to myself, "How nice that I'm getting another payday out of this, and that I'll be back on a set again...", and left it at that. Because, really, that's all I could know (And before the offer came in, not even that - From the time Production says they want you for a role to when the actual "offer" gets made, there's every possibility they can get back to your agent and say, "We've very sorry, but the character doesn't appear in the latest rewrite of the script...".

(And that's not just a theoretical possibility. It's happened to me before.)

When I got the script (Or rather the "sides" - Not the whole script, just the stuff that's being shot that day), it was a big come-down from what I'd been building up in my head - No Jon Bernthal, no capital-A "Acting", not even any lines, just a montage where I had a very simple bit of business to do.

And as if the Universe was making fun of my over-inflated ego, the whole experience was less than it had been the first time - the pleasant drive I'd had the first time was less pleasant (I'd wanted to take surface streets, but missed a turn or something and somehow ended up on the highway anyway), the accomodations were less comfortable (I was only contracted to get a "honey wagon" - the smallest thing they can put you in - but the first time they'd put me in a trailer anyway, which had felt like a nice little "grace note"), and I somehow even managed to screw up my own lunch order.

But I will say this - Kyle, the first AD, was very nice (For that matter, everyone I interacted with was quite pleasant). He seemed very impressed when I put myself through the paces - checking in with hair and makeup - without his having to get me.

And even with them running late - we were scheduled to go to the set at 4:30, and that didn't happen till 6:00 - I wasn't hanging out forever before things happened (I've had any number of times where I've waited six, seven, eight hours or more before shooting my bit on a show or commercial. So less than three hours from call time till shooting was nothing).

So anyway, we get in the van at 6:00, it takes about ten minutes to get to the location...and we're done at 6:45.

They didn't even do coverage on me ("Coverage" is when the camera is on you, as opposed to other characters in the scene).

So the only part of me in the scene will be my hand, doing the bit of business in the script.

(For the uninitiated, when they don't bother to film your face, that's a very subtle sign that the scene is not about you. At all.)

So as I think you've gathered by now, this was a pretty disappointing outing.

As I said before, if I'd just kept things to the pleasure of an unexpected payday and to just be "working", I would have been so much better off - As it was, I feel like I managed to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory".

But, to be kind to myself, while it's true that "suffering is caused by desire", it's very hard not to "desire" when I'm so hungry to "do what I do". Not to just show up and basically be a warm body, but to be a meaningful part of the whole thing.

(But enough about my lifelong desire to "belong"...)

In other news, Jane R. went back to Santa Fe yesterday.

My life is nicer when she's here than when she's not, so I'm always sad when she leaves...but in this instance, I'm actually going to Santa Fe in less than a week for a couple days, so the sadness will be postponed till I get back.

(Until and unless Jane gives me the go-ahead, the reasons for this trip to "The State of Enchantment" must be kept secret. So I'll just say "I expect to have fun".)


(7:30 pm)

Well, I've spoken to Jane, and she told me I can tell you I'm going to Santa Fe for a little "reunion" with the people who played a role in the film when we shot there.

I'm only going for a couple of days, but I do expect to have fun. And I think it'll be good for me to get away ("Get away" from what I couldn't say, exactly - Maybe to just put acting on the back burner for a few days. I think it's good just to remember the world is a little larger than my relatively small "footprint" here in LA).

But you know the one thing I'm going to want when I get back is auditions/gigs.

And not fucking "warm body" gigs either, but gigs where I actually do something - I haven't given up my dream of a series regular on a good show, but till then, I'll settle for a tasty scene or two.

With that, I think I'm outta here - I've got more I could write about, but I'm kinda over it (And this afternoon I went to Samy's Camera, to buy accessories for a camera I was given years ago, but have never done anything with. So I'd like to take that out for a test run).

Till next time...



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