9:31 am - Mon 12/20/04
Sat 12/18/04 (2:47 p.m.)
Got a message on my voicemail from the producer of the spec commercial I did this past Sunday.
They found my journal.
I actually wish they hadn't; their office is way the hell in Venice, and when I had to go there for my wardrobe fitting last Saturday, parking was a major pain-in-the-ass. I may just call and tell them they can toss it (At this point, it's not really a "journal" in and of itself, but basically "Diaryland on Location", and I've got three or four blank books just like it here at home. I can just take up where I left off in a new one).
The producer wasn't at the shoot, far as I know, but said he'd seen the footage, was very happy with it, and thanked me for my participation (My first thought was "You don't really need to thank me. You paid me". But it's still nice to be appreciated).
Having a little "Jazz Fest" today–From Oscar Peterson, to Duke Ellington, to Count Basie, to Louis Armstrong–and it's made me realize something: I've got a pretty amazing weapon in the war against my "bad feelings".
If you're depressed, and you're still depressed after listening to "Satchmo", you may need to check yourself into a hospital.
Saw the new Clint Eastwood movie Million Dollar Baby on Thursday.
Lousy title (Seriously lousy title). But a great movie. Easily my favorite Eastwood-directed effort (It may be my favorite Eastwood performance as well).
I hesitate to write much about it, because like the critics I've read, I want you to be able to experience the movie for yourself (And the movie takes a turn you probably won't see coming). But it was touching, thought-provoking, funny, and pretty much everything I want in a movie (The interplay between Eastwood and Morgan Freeman is worth the price of admission all by itself).
If you're fans of a good story, well-told, go see it. It's definitely going to be around at Oscar time, in a couple different categories.
Sun 12/19/04 (9:27 a.m.)
George Clooney had this to say in this month's Esquire magazine:
For some reason, we've gotten to this place where liberal is a bad word again, which is truly insane. Look at American history. Start with the Salem witch hunt. The conservative view was "Well, they're all witches and should all be burned at the stake". But the liberal view was "Maybe there aren't any such thing as witches". Liberals thought women should be allowed to vote. We thought it'd be okay for blacks to sit at any lunch counter they wanted and wherever they liked on a public bus. We thought that'd be all right. We've always been on the right side of history eventually. So I don't understand how you lose the moral argument.
I don't understand "how you lose the moral argument" either, George. And yet somehow, we have.
And I think we're seeing it play out yet again on the issue of gay marriage; in 20 years, people will be saying "It used to be illegal for gay people to get married. Can you believe it?".
A couple days ago, someone left some videotapes in the "giveaway area" in the lobby of my building.
It was mostly episodes of The Sopranos that I'd already seen, thanks to my video "care packages" from Mark and Jane. But one tape had the very first episode, which I'd never seen, so that was pretty cool.
And another tape, in addition to The Sopranos stuff, had a couple episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, a show I've been very interested in, but have never seen (As I'm fond of saying, whenever the subject comes up, " I can't afford cable, because I work at Borders").
I thought Curb Your Enthusiasm was brilliant. The "character" of Larry David, which I guess is not that far removed from Larry David in real life, cracks me up. As I know from personal experience, it's not fun to have everything in life upset or annoy you, but it sure is fun to watch everything in life upset or annoy Larry David!
And the process of the show is fascinating; I guess they basically start with an outline of the show, and "fill things in" by improvisation (I don't think that would work in every situation–hard to imagine a really involving, one hour improvised drama, for example–but for a half-hour comedy, it works like gangbusters, at least with this particular group of actors).
And Cheryl Hines, who plays his wife, is pretty cute.
I've sent out submissions to seven theatrical agents, and have ten more waiting to go out in tomorrow's mail (I don't know how many more I'm going to send out before the month's out, but I recently bought three sheets of 60-cent stamps, so if I used all those up, that would a good thing).
I was going to buy a new copy of The Agencies (We don't sell it at Borders, for some reason, but it's available at Samuel French on Sunset, or Skylight Books in Los Feliz). But Ross Reports also has agency listings, and I'm already paying for that (As an add-on to my Backstage.com subscription). The only downside–To Ross Reports–is that unlike The Agencies, it doesn't say anything about the agencies in question, beyond union affilations (SAG, AFTRA, etc). So in all likelihood, I'm sending some headshots out to modeling agencies, and places that only represent children or minorities or other types who aren't me.
Right now, I'm focusing mostly on agencies in my more immediate area (Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, etc). If nothing happens there, then I guess I'll go a little further afield (Burbank, North Hollywood, Studio City, etc).
I was reminding myself yesterday–this is dull stuff, and seems pretty pointless (Mass mailings are a notoriously bad way to try and get an agent), but all it takes is for the right agent to take an interest, then I'm off to the races.
And in any case, "dull and pointless" or not, it's pretty much my only option right now.
It hits me, as I write this, that I really need to get "tape". If some agent should take an interest, and wants to see something I've done, what do I say to him–"Just take my word for it, I'm a really good actor"?
If I had the Time-Warner spot, and that fucking student film I did going on two years ago now, I'd at least have some things where I'm kinda/sorta acting. All I have right now are the HBO spot that wasn't deemed fit to air with me as the lead, and that "Tracks Are For Trains" public safety video I did with Scott Alman back in Lansing (Where I look, appropriately enough, like a cleaned-up hobo Scott originally found hanging out at the railroad yard). I wouldn't feel confident giving an agent either of those as a representative example of what I do.
In our "What Are The Odds?" Segment:
A week or so ago, I bought ten boxes of Eggo waffles, cause they were on sale at 10 for $10.
(What can I say? I really like waffles.)
The next day, my toaster broke.
Fortunately, toasters are cheap and plentiful, and available at any number of fine retail establishments in the Greater L.A. area. But I thought the timing was pretty friggin' hilarious.
But speaking of timing, I've got to get myself moving towards the worksite. See ya!
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