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11:19 pm - 11.04.2011
Pass The Gravy

Pass The Gravy

Just finished an email to Jane - Hi Jane! - So while I still have a little "writing mojo" left, I thought I'd squeeze out a long-overdue entry...

With the Progressive commercial on the 19th, and two return visits to Shameless (last Thursday, then again on Monday), I'm feeling a bit of post-busyness letdown (Though the year's not over yet - I just had an audition for an "Old Spice" web commercial yesterday - so who knows, really, if "the busyness" is "post" or not?).

I don't want to oversell what I'm doing on Shameless (It's a small role still), but I'm pretty happy with how things are going - I'm of course happy to be "recurring" on the show, but beyond that, every time I've gotten a script, I have a fun bit to do.

And however it comes across onscreen (I'm thinking here about people watching the show who know me personally), I'm really starting to feel like I'm "acting", like "Kermit" is not just "'Jim Hoffmaster' under an assumed name", but an honest-to-god "character", one who's informed by me, but who isn't me.

I like that.

When I got the call that they wanted me to come back to shoot an additional scene for episode #7 ("A Bottle Of Jean Nate"), I actually hoped, for the first time, that it wouldn't be a scene with Bill Macy.

Don't get me wrong here - I'm still getting a big kick out of acting with him, and am hoping there's a lot more of it in my future.

I just thought it would be good if I were more "integrated into the show" by interacting with other characters as well ("Cliff" and "Norm" and the rest of the gang on Cheers didn't just talk to "Sam" or "Diane", after all, but to each other as well).

And happily enough, the additional scene had me interacting with two other characters in the bar (Before we're surprised by the appearance of a 4th character, played by Jack Carter. And if you're old enough to know who Jack Carter is, yes, he is still alive-and-kicking).

It was a fun little scene - one of my lines is "Many foster kids become prostitutes", which I found pretty funny, all things considered - then when Jack made his appearance...well, as I told Jane earlier, it's the kind of thing I'm afraid I'll have to do at some point, but "If 80-something year old Jack Carter can put modesty/dignity/whatever-you-want-to-call it aside, so can 50-year-old Jim Hoffmaster".

It was easy and fun (Which has me once again thinking about how "satisfying" it's supposed to be when you you work hard for something, versus how much I absolutely love when things come "easy").

My scene on Monday was once again with Bill Macy, on location at an old hospital in Hawthorne (That was doubling, for our purposes, as a mental institution).

Jenna Elfman guest-stars on the episode, so it was fun to get to meet her (We didn't work together though); at one point during some down time, the three of us were hanging out, the two of them talking about their kids, and as I told Jane earlier, it made me wish I had kids of my own, just so I could have participated more in the conversation.

(We did talk about Louis CK's show for a bit - Bill wasn't aware of it, while Jenna and I are big fans.)

Anyway, once again, I had a fun little scene to play.

Something that's a first for me is being in the position of learning details about a character as I go along; in each episode, I've gotten a new piece of information about "Kermit", and it's fun to feel him getting more and more "fleshed out" by the writers (And I guess, in turn, by me).

So that was the last episode of the season, which means it's all over for now.

I'm a little saddened by that - It's been a fun ride - but it'll be cool when the episodes start to air, and hopefully the ratings will be such that I'll be back next season.

My other "recurring", Austin and Ally, starts airing next month, and is shooting new episodes till February.

It doesn't have the "cachet" of working with Bill Macy - it feels like he's warming up to me, btw, which is fun - and there's pretty much zero chance of "character development".

But it's an amusingly silly character, the set's been fun both times I've been there, everyone's very nice, and I really enjoyed the live taping.

Besides all that, after two shows (This one, and I'm In The Band) I feel like I have something of an "in" with Disney and this casting director.

And if the point of all this is to be a "working actor", that's nothing to sneeze at.

(9:20 pm)

(Back from Weight Watchers...)

I always tell myself, at a time like this - when I've had some success, and it's likely "things are going to be okay" for awhile financially - that "anything that happens now will be 'gravy'"

But that's not really how it works - Since there's no guarantee what kind of payout I'm going to get from the Progressive spot, I still want/need to book something else, "just to be safe".

Ditto Shameless (And Austin and Ally) - It's not like having small recurring roles on two shows, nice as it is, is "where I want to be" career-wise, so I'm still feeling like I want/need more to happen.

So I'm not really sitting here thinking to myself, "Okay, I had some good stuff happen this year - that's enough".

I wish I were...but I'm not.

I'm not sure I'll ever get to "enough".

In my email to Jane I said - at least I think I said - that the problem is that I have just two things (Food and Acting) that make me feel good.

One's a problem, in part, because I can't get enough of it (I've worked twelve days as an actor so far this year...and I'm pretty sure that's a personal record).

And the other is a problem because it's all too available to me.

But really, there will never be enough food or enough acting to fill the emptiness that's always been with me.

I guess it's progress that at least I understand that...but it's the kind of "progress" that somehow doesn't feel like progress at all.


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