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1:44 PM - Tues 4.26.22

"Well, I gave it a shot...!"

Okay, I'm giving myself a couple hours to make this happen, so let's see where it goes...

Having dinner with Jon - my commercial agent - this evening (At House of Pies, if ya wanna know), which makes me think about the current commercial situation.

In news that didn't surprise me at all, Jon recently emailed to let me know my Merge Mansion commercial is done paying out - Basically, a deadline passed where they'd have to pay me more money if they wanted to keep running the spot, so Jon called and said, "Where's the money, honey?", and they told him the commercial was dunzo.

(If I'm getting this right, if your commercial runs for a cycle, doesn't run for a cycle, then starts running again, they have to pay you a little something-something for that cycle when it didn't run. "Why?", you ask? Because a union commercial contract means that when you have a commercial running, you can't be in a commercial for a competing product. So they're paying you a fee for your exclusivity. That's how I think it works anyway...)

Now, even though I had a strong suspicion things were going to go just the way they've gone, I was still disappointed - The last big commercial payday I had was for the Coke Energy commercial a couple years back (grossing close to $30,000), and Merge Mansion was nowhere near that.

But it wasn't very hard to "get my mind right" on the matter - While I would like to have made more (Because of the whole "having no regular income" thing), there are worse things that could happen to a boy than making close to $7,000 for a day's work.

So I'm not depressed by this turn of events, I'm not "angry" (how would that even be a "thing"?), but the dial on my "anxiety meter" has been turned up just a bit.

It looks like commercials probably won't be the thing keeping me afloat while I wait for my "Series Regular" ship to come in - For the second time since I've been with him, my agent issued a message to his actors, which was basically just that (As actors, while we need to continue to be professionals and take what commercial auditions we do get seriously, we should focus on "the other stuff" because union commercials are going, going, gone).

It seems like a pretty seismic shift in the landscape because, for decades, commercials have been how the majority of "working actors" made the bulk of their living.

But my sense of it is that union commercials have been dying-on-the-vine for a very long time, certainly as long as I've been a professional actor.

I remember, early on in my time here, being in casting offices, and hearing the old duffers - like I am now - waxing nostalgic about commercial payouts from the past ("I booked a Ford commercial back in '72 and it ran for five years and paid for my house, my car, and my three kids' college educations...and our vacation home in Maine...").

I've had some success commercially...but I've never had any commercial pay out in such a way that it meaningfully changed my circumstances (Let's put it this way - I don't think commercials have ever made my life appreciably better, financially. They just provided a financial stopgap so things didn't get worse).

So why am I going on about this? Well, as I said, dinner with "The Man" tonight is making me a little nostalgic about the past and what-all.

But I'm also just looking for some reason to think things are ultimately going to be okay...and realizing "success in commercials" is not going to be my get-out-of-fiscal-jail-free card.

(Just for fun - Checked my calendar, and my last commercial audition was over two months ago. In a word, "Yikes!!")

In medical news...

Went to the Dr recently, primarily to follow up on my ongoing flirtation with diabetes (Or "Diabeetus" as me and Jane R. like to say, channeling the late Wilfrid Brimley).

When the blood test results came in (and I'm starting to think it's a mistake to look at them before the Dr has a chance to, because I immediately got confused), I thought my A1C meant I was officially "diabetic" but that the number was not-bad "considering", which I found depressing.

But the number actually puts me in the "pre-diabetic" camp, a camp I've been attending regularly for years now.

So the news, on that front, isn't "great"...but it isn't "terrible" either. It still feels like I can turn this ship around, if I so desire (And I do desire...the trouble is I also desire to eat constantly. But anyway...).

The news on the cholesterol front seemed less good - I think the last time my "good cholesterol" was bad, but everything else was okay...but this time out, all my numbers had gone in the wrong direction.

...which my Dr had predicted, since I was up, like, 16 lbs since he last saw me.

So at this point, my big problem physically is that I eat too damned much - I probably weigh a good 20-25% more than I should - and if I wasn't such a big fatty-bo-balatty, I'd be way better off.

So that's a thing I'm going to change.

In mental health news, I'm seeing a shrink again.

I've been talking to the one who prescribed my Wellbutrin - Dr Chin - every month or two. But my efforts to see someone more regularly (Something I was initially quite resistant to do)
had been stymied by insurance bullshit.

But the bullshit has gotten worked out, and I'm having my first full-on session with "Isabella' tomorrow.

Which I think is a good thing - I debate with myself constantly over whether my current life is "better" or "worse" than my life "Pre-Pandemic", but whatever the pros and cons, it's undeniable that I am spending loads more time alone than I used to, and I think it's made me a bit more "squirrely".

I'm enthused about her - We seemed to have a nice bond - and enthused about the nature of the therapy she's described.

In other words, I am cautiously optimistic - The shit might actually help.

(Time will tell.)

One of the issues I'll be addressing with Isabella is my fear of mortality, a fear that grabbed me hard maybe a decade ago and won't let go.

Speaking of mortality, someone I know who's been battling cancer for a long while has finally decided to stop chemo (Which isn't seeming to help, but is making him feel like shit) and just squeeze as much "quality time" as he can out of the time he has left.

It troubles me just to write it, but there's really no other choice that makes sense at this point (And just got a confusing text about my appointment tomorrow...but anyway...), because what's he going to do? "Fight to the end" and feel too shitty to do anything anyway?

And that's all I'm going to say about his deal, except that I'm oddly jealous - If his public pronouncements are any indication (And I believe they are. Why's he gonna bullshit people now?), he's going to die knowing he "lived a good life".

He's had family he deeply loves, he's spent his life engaged in creative pursuits (Pretty much always to some level of acclaim and, I imagine, personal satisfaction), and has spent the last number of years with a woman he deeply loves.

When my time comes, on the other hand, what the fuck am I gonna be able to say for myself?

"Well, I gave it a shot...!"?

(As you might imagine, the feeling that I have "lost at life" is high on my list of things to discuss with my new shrink.)

But on that note, I need to start cleaning myself up for dinner (Haven't decided whether I'm going to walk to the place or not - decisions, decisions!).

Till next time...



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