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5:20 pm - Sat 4/05/03
Jim's Vida Loca

Jim's Vida Loca

Sat 4/05/03 3:10 pm

When John O. came back from his week-long vacation, I finally found out what the deal was regarding his shift in management position (From "human resources" to--I think--"merchandising").

Basically, he was called into Marie's office some time back, where he was presented with the "reorganization plan" (The last "reorganization" took place a little more than two years ago, shortly before I started working at Borders). And since the "reorganization" of his particular position involved all his current duties and a raft of new ones--Of course, for no extra pay-- he opted to step down.

It sounds imminently reasonable to me.


Had an audition on Friday, for a feature called A Day Without Mexicans, or something like that (Interestingly enough, I got this through JS, my commercial agent. I don't know if this was an aberration or if he's "branching-out" into features--Obviously, it would be great for me if he were!--but in any case, I was happy to get the call).

The audition consisted of my reading a scene--As "Grower #1"--where I had two lines: "What about prisoners?", and "I certainly can't. I'll take care of myself".

I thought I read the scene well enough--pretty good, actually--but I left with a bad feeling, like it just wasn't going to happen, and that I had, in some vague, ill-defined way, scewed-up somehow.

Before I went in to read, while still out in the hallway, I heard her talking to the guy before me, and they were having a grand old time, laughing and joking like old friends (Who knows? Maybe they were). But when I went in, the best she could manage for a conversation starter was to ask me how long I'd been here in LA, and was I liking it so far? And the best I could come up with for a response was basically, "the weather's nice...".

Not the most scintillating conversation I've ever taken part in...

Then she asked if I had any questions about the scene, and I didn't think about this till afterwards, but it was a real misfire on my part to say "no"; By not asking about the context of the scene, I was basically just guessing as to how it should play (Why didn't I ask what the scene was about? I don't know, really...I think it was part assuming I knew what the scene was about--I really didn't--and part not wanting to look like a capital-A "Actor" who needed a detailed explanation of his "character arc" to do a two-line scene. But it was a mistake; I had a moment to demonstrate my seriousness as an actor...and I blew it).

In two years out here, auditioning for plays, movies, and commercials, I haven't once had that "hitting it out of the park" feeling I had routinely back in Lansing (The closest I think I've come is an audition for a student film called Befriending Gumbo, which I didn't get). And while that "out of the ballpark" feeling doesn't guarantee you'll get the gig--there are many other factors involved--it's a feeling I desperately want to get back.


When I woke up this morning, it was as if my mind was just continuing a train of thought that had begun the day before...

I was thinking about the war, and how parents, of any age--and particularly mothers-- probably have an especially strong feeling for the young people involved in war, because they serve as "stand-ins" for their own little Johnny or Janie. It becomes personalized, because as parents, they feel a kinship with all parents, and can relate to the nightmare of losing a child.

I don't have that. The closest I can come, which is probably not very close at all, is to imagine myself in a war, or to imagine being on the sidelines, helpless, as people I care about are at risk, or wounded, or killed. What would that be like? How would I feel?

I don't know if my lack of real feeling regarding the war is a failure of imagination, or an act of will; Can I not imagine the horror, or do I not want to?


I watched Jane's show, The Waverly Gallery, finishing it yesterday morning.

When I thought about it, I had the same reaction to it that I had to About Schmidt; At first, I thought not much was going on for me, but by the time I got to the end, I was deeply moved.

The production itself was pretty shabby--to the point where it distracted me as an "audience member"--but I thought the acting was quite good (I had issues with one performance, but didn't totally trust my objectivity; Basically, it was a role I would have done better).

And Jane was great. For me, she actually got better as she went along, I think because as her mind slips away--She plays a woman with Alzheimers--I felt more of Jane's sweetness and vulnerability coming through. The performance became less about "acting old" and more about connecting to a scary place where who you are, what you are, is slipping away.

I was very interested in my reaction to a scene near the end of the show, where her character is being led away from her apartment for the last time, to live with family members; Her confusion and upset felt palpably real to me, and watching it, I found myself getting a little teary.

I knew I was responding to the events of the play, but I wondered if I wasn't also responding, at a level outside the play, to witnessing Jane's distress, and to a sneak preview of her someday "slipping away".


Along with the tape of Waverly Gallery (And Jane, if you're reading this before I've emailed you back--Yes, I did sent it along to Bob and his wife), there was my first installment of Six Feet Under episodes for this season.

I love this show.

This is the kind of material I'd like to be doing as an actor right now (I'd just like bounce between this show and The Sopranos, with maybe a six episode arc on The West Wing, and a guest appearance as an evil demon on Angel). I don't think it gets any better than this, top to bottom.


Well, if you can believe it, I've got a ton more to say, but feeling the need to get in that pre-work nap--A short night tonite, but still...--so we'll have to get back to this later.


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