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8:36 AM - Thurs 5.11.17
Shameless Dreams And A Birthday Death March

Shameless Dreams And A Birthday Death March

Last night, I dreamed I was back on the Shameless set...

Only trouble was, I had no script and didn't know what I was doing in the episode.

So I wandered around backstage, looking for a script.

At one point Macy looked up from his script (which I was trying to sneak a peek at), then saw me and smiled, saying "It's really good, isn't it?".

I wasn't sure if he was talking about the episode in general, or what I was doing in the episode in particular - but in any case, I just nodded and walked away, too embarrassed to admit my dilemma.

There were other people around, but I don't remember anyone specifically, and I didn't ask to look at anyone's script. I just kept walking around, hoping I would find a spare one somewhere.

Than I woke up.

(Note: In real life, Shameless, unlike many shows, doesn't provide scripts/sides for the day's work on-set - They email you a copy of the script, and you take it from there. So there aren't copies of the script just floating around on-set - If you want to look at the scene/scenes that are being shot, and you didn't bring your own copy, you pretty much have to ask to look at someone else's.)

This dream comes on the heels of asking Brett whether Lyle, my new agent, had "introduced himself" to the Shameless people (I had hoped this would be a "backdoor way" of inquiring about my status on the show).

Brett said he'd contacted Melanie - one of the casting people - and told her Lyle was my new agent. She said she's not working on Shameless this year (They have at least one other show they handle called Animal Kingdom), but that she would CC the people who were, and ended her communication by saying "Jim is great!".

So, apparently I am great...but still in limbo. And always am, really, from season to season - It's just troubling me more this season because of the whole "unresolved plot-line" thing.

So it kinda makes sense that I had a dream about the show, since it's in my thoughts...but interesting that I didn't dream about not being on the show (ex. getting turned away at the gate, or being on-set and having no one know me), which has been my big worry, but rather, had a more typical "anxious actor dream" where I'm on the show, but not prepared to perform.


One reason I'd like to know if/when I'm back on the show (Beyond the question of income) is I'd like to know if/when I need to "transition back into Kermit" (i.e. to shave and dye my hair).

This is mostly just an emotional thing (I like the way I currently look, and don't want to "do the deed" till I have to), but there's also a pragmatic element - I had an audition last week, and callbacks aren't till the 19th or the 22nd, so I can't do anything at least till then...but if I get another audition in the interim, that kicks the "I can't change the way I look" ball further down the field, and eventually, I'm either going into auditions saying "FYI - I'm going to have to shave and dye my hair before callbacks", or walking in that way when I was submitted with the white hair and beard - I don't think either thing is optimal.

I'm actually thinking, after the coming season of Shameless is over, of staying with the brown-haired, clean-shaven Kermit "look", even though I don't like it, and no one who's ever expressed an opinion on the matter likes it (I should clarify - I don't recall anyone ever specifically saying they don't like the way I look clean-shaven, but I always get effusively complimented on the beard, and no one's ever said they prefer me without it).

Why would I consider going with a look I don't like, in part because no one else seems to like it either?

Because casting-wise, no one seems to give a shit that I look nicer with a beard - Last year was the first time I justified looking the way I want to look in part as "leaning into" the fact that I am "old", particularly in Hollywood casting terms.

But in the aggregate, I lost auditions (If I'm remembering correctly, I had two more theatrical auditions than the year before, but my commercial auditions dropped off by, like, a third). And I don't know if that's why I lost auditions...but I don't know that it isn't.

And this year, so far, has been abysmal - In March, April, and so far this month, I have had one audition each.

If you can build a career out of that, if you can even make a living out of that, you're a better actor (And better at budgeting) than I am.

The tough thing about trying to figure this stuff out ("Why are auditions not happening?") is that I'm operating in a void - It's not like anyone is saying "You're doing this, and we don't like it, so don't do that anymore. Do something else" (And if the thing I'm "doing" that they don't "like" is "getting old", what am I supposed to do about that?).

So I'm just flailing, basically. But I have kind of noticed a lot of character actors on TV, who are at least my age or older, have pretty clearly dyed hair (It seems like while you can be graying as an older actor, having all white/gray hair puts you solidly into the "elderly" camp, and there's really not a lot of roles there).

I'm also wondering if I'm "muddying the waters", by going half a year looking like "Kermit" and the other half the year looking I don't know - Jane thinks that demonstrates I can be "another product", but it doesn't seem like anyone's clamoring for that "other product". I think here in Hollywood, they want you to be a thing, and if you're not a thing, or you're more than one thing, you're nothing.

It's also struck me, somewhat unhappily, that it's possible the thing I need to "lean into" about myself isn't my age, but the fact that I'm odd-looking - I've wondered, particularly in a post-Shameless era, if my next "look" might be to let what hair I have grow out, and let my beard go wild, to stake out the "Homeless Guy"/"Hillbilly"/"Weirdo" territory that my casting kind of "shades into" (I certainly get more calls for that sort of thing than I do for "Lawyers"/"Judges"/"Politicians"/"Professors"/"Scientists"/etc).

That idea makes me unhappy on two fronts - I don't want to have to walk around in my day-to-day life looking like a homeless hillbilly weirdo (Particularly in a world where I still have to have a day job, not to mention a world where I still occasionally think about getting laid).

And in my heart-of-hearts, those aren't roles, by and large, that I'm interested in playing anyway (I could write a whole entry about "acting as wish fulfillment" vs "acting as a job").

Do I want to work, or do I want to keep trying to live out some modified fantasy of myself as an actor (Where even in character roles, it's clear that I'm a smart, funny, cool guy in real life)?

3:00 pm

(Just got off the phone with Mark and Jane. Very enjoyable as always.)

Was back at the Dentist on Monday.

It was theoretically just a checkup, but late last week, I was flossing, and flossed the work that was done on one of my front teeth right off (It was a little bit of a mystery - didn't feel anything pulling, didn't feel it come off, didn't see it, didn't feel it in my mouth, didn't feel myself swallow it, nothing - I just ran my tongue over my teeth, as I've been doing a lot lately, and it just wasn't there).

Was worried there would be some tension - meaning they'd want to charge me for the repair work and I'd want that not to happen - but it was no big deal (She didn't even ask, or chastise me for doing something wrong - And it was my fault. I'd forgotten I'd been instructed to not floss normally - by doing it, then pulling the floss out - but to floss, then pull it through when I was done.

So it was kinda "no harm, no foul"...but I wish it hadn't happened, because I'd worried about the stuff coming off since she did it, since it doesn't really feel natural, but like there's just shit stuck on my teeth (I'd worried specifically about it coming off my right front tooth, but it actually came off the left one. Which feels like yet another reminder about the futility of worrying - I worried and worried, and still wasn't worrying about the right thing).

So now I'm worried that it's just tenuously attached, and could come off any time (Like an audition or a shoot)...though so far, everything has held up okay.

Nothing else going on really, that I can think of.

Thought about sending my mother something for Mother's Day, which I didn't do last year (And maybe not the year before), but apparently that's turning out to be a nice impulse I'm not that interested in following through on (Though I could probably have flowers sent if I call it in tomorrow...which would cost me more than if I just bought her a card and a Target GC, which is what I'd been thinking to do).

My birthday looms...

I'm a little surprised and disappointed to still be feeling a sense of sadness and mild dread as the day approaches, since I invited friends to have lunch with me.

I thought my angst was mostly about being alone and having no one to celebrate the blessed event of my birth with...but while that may be true, I forgot to contend with all the "mortality stuff" (I also find myself thinking about something else - or someone else - I'd like to do on my birthday...but I think I'm going to have to limit my birthday indulgences to a piece of cherry pie "a la mode" and an adult beverage at evening's end. A certain high-end escort is not on the menu).

Lunch will be fun, and there's a birthday parcel coming from Mark and Jane, and that'll be nice.

And as for the "mortality stuff"? Yes, my approaching birthday means I'm moving ever closer to the day of my demise...but really, so does every day, so that's nothing new.

(And on that cheery note...)


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