10:43 AM - 07.27.17
But if there's some especially good news, I always like to start there (I guess just to prove I'm not depressed and unhappy about life all the time).
And yesterday, I got a couple pieces of good news...
While at work, I heard I'm on for the next episode of Shameless (Which is the 6th episode, and the 4th I'll have shot for the season).
(They're in Chicago next week - still hoping I'll get to go to Chicago again before the end of the show's run - so I'm shooting sometime during the following week, once they get back.)
Sadly, it breaks the odd-number "cycle" I'd been on (Episodes 1, 3, and as of yesterday, 5).
But while I was sort of tickled at the idea of a season where I'm only in odd-numbered episodes, that would have meant only getting six episodes, which would be down from the past two seasons.
So anyway, I was happy about hearing I'm on for the next episode. And while there are no guarantees, it makes me feel hopeful there'll be more episodes to come.
But getting contacted about shooting another episode of the show, while nice, is not exactly unexpected - After all, I am on the show, and the show is currently in production, so that's a thing that could happen at any time.
This other bit of good news, however, falls under the heading of "manna from heaven"...
While still at work, I heard from my commercial agent - He'd just negotiated a $5500 payment for Internet use for the Exxon commercial I shot back in 2015 (Which aired for a time on cable TV and in some movie theaters - some friends back in Michigan saw it in front of Rogue One, I think it was).
Now after everyone gets paid, I'll see maybe $2000-and-change of that $5500...but it's basically "found money", from a thing I did two years ago that had seemed to run its course, and that's pretty cool.
And the fact that this can happen is one of the serious up-sides of being a working actor (I mean, it's not like Weight Watchers is ever going to contact me saying, "Hey, you know that one day you worked a couple years back? We'd like to give you some more money for that").
And add that money to the money that's been coming in from Shameless (And in addition to the episodes I've shot so far this season, I've also recently gotten some nice residual checks, primarily from it now airing on Netflix), and the Swedish Dicks check I'll be getting any day now, and for the first time this year, I'm having that "I think I'm going to be okay for awhile" feeling that is as "financially secure" as I ever get.
And that will take the telltale stink of "desperation" off any auditions that, hopefully, will be coming my way in the next few weeks and months - I'll still want to book them, because I want to work, and to feel some "forward momentum" in my career (And to keep that feeling of "financial security" going for as long as possible), but I won't need to book them.
And I think it's true that "wanting the gig but not needing the gig" makes a difference how you perform in the room, and how you come off to the folks making the decisions.
So "Yay!" for good news.
Shooting yesterday was fun (Though once again, I underestimated how long I'd be there - After a couple schedule changes, my call time was 1:30, but we didn't start shooting till at least 3:30, and didn't wrap till almost 7:00. As I've said before, that's a short day on the set, until you consider that all I did during that time was a one-page scene where I had four lines).
Happily, my friend Mike was working on this one too, so I hung out in his trailer for awhile, catching up (He has a lot on his plate right now, with moving into his new house, and dealing with some medical stuff, so since I don't really have anything going on beyond Shameless, he did most of the talking and I did most of the listening).
I enjoy working on the show with him a lot more than I do working on the show without him. So I always want to check when I'm pinned for an episode, to see if he is too (Or sometimes I'll just check when I haven't heard anything - "Have you heard anything yet?" - to get a sense if either of us are working on the episode)...but it just hit me that it's kind of insensitive to do so (Which is maybe why I'm generally the one who initiates those communications) - It's nice if we're both working and we can celebrate together, but a little awkward if not (When someone gets to be happy, while the other person gets to have mixed-feelings. Though as I've already suggested, I'm disappointed if I'm shooting and he isn't...though of course, I'm more disappointed if he's shooting and I'm not).
I attended another short-film festival on Saturday (Invited by my new friend, writer-director Mia M).
As I've suggested before, my "default" is to say no to these sorts of things, primarily because I find them socially uncomfortable and rarely enjoy myself.
But I'm trying to not be that guy, because I don't think life should be about saying "no" to everything. And pragmatically, I should be "getting out there" as an actor and..."pushing my brand", or whatever-the-fuck you call it ("Jim, I think the phrase you may be looking for is 'meeting people'...").
Anyway, I was pleased Mia had asked me - I had helped her with a GoFundMe promo-clip for the film she's working on getting produced (Andre), but after reading the script, passed on playing a role in the actual film.
I felt tremendously uncomfortable doing it, because I don't like hurting people's feelings and/or making them mad, and I assumed turning down the role would do just that, and be the end of our fledgling relationship.
So I was happily surprised when I got the invite (Not a "date" or anything - she invited a number of people - but I was just pleased that she hadn't "taken it personally" that I didn't want to do the film, and still was up for hanging out with me).
Like the last event I went to - the FilmLA short program that was the debut of Great Again - this was another uncomfortably "loose" affair (Though much smaller-in-scope).
One thing that was kind of weird was that we didn't end up seeing that many films - There were three "programs" of, I believe, four films each, and we didn't get in the theater till the last film of the first program, then left a couple films into the second.
I was a little uncomfortable with that, because it seemed rude somehow (Even though I only sorta liked one of the films I saw, and found another one excruciatingly dull).
But I left with Mia and her friend Dante (The rest of the rather loose assemblage had peeled off), and we ended up walking around downtown for a bit, trying to figure out where to go nearby for food and drink, as Dante, a big architectural/LA history buff, acted as tour guide.
I don't know the name of the bar where we ended up, but it seemed pretty fancy - It had an amazing view of the city - and had drinks and enchiladas (I drink so rarely that I am now a serious lightweight - one rum-and-coke was all I really needed to get a decent buzz on).
Even though I felt tremendously boring, as if I really had nothing to talk about beyond Shameless, I had a good time just hanging out and listening to the two of them. (I'm pretty sure Dante is sweet on Mia - I think I know when a guy's trying to impress a woman - and I'm totally with him, because Mia is quite lovely. If I were 15-20 years younger, I would have been trying to impress her myself).
So was I glad I went?
Yeah, even if the actual event was not much of a thing, I enjoyed the little "after-party" - Dante was a cool guy, and it was nice to get to know Mia beyond our very brief interaction on the "Andre" thing, or occasional brief FB messaging (And she seems like someone with the wherewithal to actually make projects happen, so beyond just seeming cool, I think she's a good "professional relationship" to cultivate).
(And in defense of the event - I did get a nice charger in one of the event organizer's "swag bags", and won tickets for some film next month that premiered at Sundance. But on the other hand, c'mon! A free bar where I couldn't get a goddamned Diet Coke? WTF was that about?)
Okay, this wasn't the entry I'd thought I was going to write, but it's the entry that got written.
Sometimes, that's just what happens.
(I'm going to try and get to the couple of things I've been wanting to write about tomorrow - Maybe as three separate entries. All I know is "I got a lot of stuff on my mind...".)
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