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9:20 pm - Fri 2/7/14
That Thing I Do

That Thing I do

(Watching You Can Count On Me, with Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo...)

Feeling a little queasy right now, wondering if the expired WW "Veggie Omelette" I just ate is turning on me (I've eaten a bunch of expired WW items before with no ill-effects, but...ya never know. Maybe, despite my previous experience, there's actually a reason these things have expiration dates. But anyway...).

Stomach issues aside, I'm having one of those times where I feel like I should be in pretty decent spirits, but I'm really not. But I'm going to endeavor to "swim against the current" here, and we'll see how it goes.

One thing I did want to make sure I wrote about is that, chronic money worries notwithstanding, I'm grateful that I'm "making it".

In the past couple months, three people I know on Facebook have struggled with money issues more severe than mine; one was temporarily homeless, the other is only staying afloat because of the generosity of his roommate, and I don't know what's happened to the third.

I may feel chronically, almost constantly, stressed about money, but the fact is, I've stayed afloat on my own for years now, without going into serious debt (At this point, I think I'm down to around $1000 in credit card debt). It doesn't mean I'm content with where I'm at or that I don't want to do better, but the plight of those three individuals made me realize things could certainly be worse, and I'm genuinely grateful they're not.


One of the things I was expecting when I got my cat Hamlet was that it would be a good long while before there'd be any "medical issues" (Mostly because of his relative youth - He's about three years old - and the assumption that a rescue place wouldn't give me a sick cat).

So it was pretty discouraging when, right from the get-go, he had some issues with his bowels.

I've felt some guilt over what I did - or failed to do - regarding this situation (Basically, the guilt was over not responding quickly/decisively enough to the situation), and even more guilt for some of the thoughts I had ("The @#!! rescue place sold me a broken cat...!"), but I'm happy to report that, after 4 different drugs, a test of his stool, and pricey "prescription food", he's now pooping like a champ.

(I'm considering testing whether he'd now be okay with the food he was previously eating - since I've got 2 bags of it left - or if I need to stick with the "prescription" stuff.)

Anyway, I'm relieved that situation is resolved. It was a bigger deal than it really should have been, I guess because I saw it as my effort to do something to make myself feel better (By getting a pet) turned almost immediately to shit, no pun intended (by adding more expense and worry to my life. Which as I've said before, I knew was "part of the package", but which I just hadn't expected so soon).

Sat 2/8/14 (4:46 pm)

My episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine aired on Tuesday.

I was nervous about watching it, more so than I usually am when something I'm in airs.

For one thing, it felt like a little more of a "thing", since I pop up a number of times during the episode, than some things I've done before.

And for another thing - I'm overusing the word "thing" here, aren't I? - the shoot presented a couple challenges that left me worried about how the final product would turn out.

The early word from the Michigan contingent was positive, but I take that with a grain of salt, because what else are they gonna say?

(I think, for the most part, people who like what they see are complimentary, people who feel like they "should say something" say something noncommittal, and people who don't like what they see don't say anything.)

But when I finally saw it myself, I thought it was basically fine - I was disappointed they cut a line the director gave me we when I shot my first scene, and opted not to use a take of another scene that I'd liked, but beyond that, "it got the job done" (I know that sounds like I'm "damning myself with faint praise", but I'm really not - With a large regular cast of funny people, my role was not really to be "funny", for the most part, but to just set-up the regulars to be funny...which I did).

One thing I worried about was that I went into the shoot thinking I was going to be "Deadpan Guy", thinking that was how I'd gotten the role, but after my first scene - where the cops are introduced to Holt's partner, Kevin (Where he talks about how funny Holt is, and I say, deadpan, "There's no one funnier than Ray Holt") - I was basically directed away from that in subsequent scenes.

That left me worrying that the characterization would come off as "inconsistent", but I thought afterward an argument could be made that saying everything in a deadpan voice (As opposed to the deadpan delivery of a single line) isn't so much a "character" as a "comic device" (Seriously, if you met someone in real life who said everything in an emotionless monotone, they wouldn't come off as having a personality - you'd think they were mentally ill).

And, while as of now I've only watched the show the one time (I used to watch my scenes over and over when I had a dvr), I don't think it came off as bad as I would have imagined ("It's like he's playing one character in the first scene, and a completely different character the rest of the time...!").

It was...fine.

Though I've realized something - I've wanted a scene where I appear a number of times in an episode, and with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I got my wish.

But really, if I'm only going to have a handful of lines, It makes more of an impact to have them all in a scene rather than scattered throughout.


Mon 2/10/14 (2:27 pm)

Went to my friend Tim G.'s house earlier today, to get some help with my tv clips (A long time ago now, my manager requested I get some of my more recent things up on Breakdown Services/Actors Access, and this was my attempt to follow up on said request).

Turns out, he had called me before I left this morning, to tell me he couldn't find the stuff we already had from last time on his computer...but I didn't get the call, because I didn't have my ringer on.

And of course, I didn't think to bring the stuff I have on dvd - in the event of just such a possibility - so all we were able to do was put the Brooklyn Nine-Nine appearance on a flash drive I bought (Paying way more than I should have, because I bought it at Rite Aid when I should have went to Staples)...which I somehow lost in between leaving Tim's place and getting home.

I was...extremely not happy. And I mean "extremely" - You would be alarmed if you saw a video of me, already disappointed from my fruitless effort to get this task accomplished, after I realized I couldn't find the flash drive.

I've said it before - It can take such a Herculean effort to get myself motivated to do anything, that I get tremendously frustrated when I'm thwarted in some way.

(And when I'm inadvertently the cause of something not happening - WATCH OUT!)


Speaking of things "not happening"...

I was supposed to shoot my last episode of Shameless for the season on Thursday.

My call was at noon, but shortly after I got there, I found out that Steve H., who plays "Kev" (The bartender) had the flu.

At that point, they didn't know what they were going to do.

They thought he might come in, if he was ok'd by his Dr. as not being infectious (Someone else in the cast just had a baby, so would likely not appreciate taking the flu home to her newborn...not to mention all the adult actors who would probably prefer not to get sick).

They also floated the idea of trying to call another actor in, and re-writing the scene accordingly.

But in the end, after I'd been there about three hours - spending some time hanging on the set while they shot the scene before mine, then watching To Sir With Love in my trailer - the A.D. knocked on my door to tell me they I could go home.

In the moment, I didn't know exactly what this meant. I assumed I'd get paid for the day (I'd showed up, and signed the contract), but didn't know how they'd handle the fact that they hadn't shot the scene - Would they scrap it (And try to write something that didn't require half-a-dozen principals, extras, and so on), or would they just re-schedule it?

(Seeming to complicate things, it was for the last episode of the season, and they were scheduled to do their second week of location shooting in Chicago right afterward.)

Long story short - on the "Where do we go from here?" front - I'm currently scheduled to go back a week from Wednesday.

It was interesting - I won't lie and say I wasn't concerned with what it might mean in money terms, but I was more upset, by far, that I wasn't going to get to act that day.

And it was kind of nice to realize I felt that way; it's important to me to get paid (Out of practical necessity, and as a source of validation), but it's still mostly about "getting to do what I do".


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