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12:46 pm - 10.09.2012
The Will and the Wherewithal

The Will And The Wherewithal

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Fri 10/05/12 (10:14 p.m.)

Well, I’m pretty sure I know what you all want to hear about...

My rash, right?

It’s subsiding, but it leaves my future a little murky as it goes; I suspect that might have been my first-ever outbreak of Shingles (The reason I “suspect” and do not “know” is that I didn’t go to the doctor to have it checked out). But the rash seemed to come on suddenly, with no ready explanation, and I believe I’ve had smallpox (Why don’t I “know”? Because no one told me that’s what was happening...but in the summer after 4th grade, I lived with relatives of the Pupos in Miami. And while I was there, I developed an itchy rash all over my body, that I was admonished against scratching - And when I did anyway, it seemed to spread to any uninfected spot I touched becoming general scabby grossness - and I don’ t recall anyone telling me I had Smallpox, but that’s what it is, right?).

I’ve also been very ache-y, from my lower back on down, and have this odd “nerve pain” that runs from a spot on my right shoulder blade to under my armpit (The same side as my rash). That seems to fit with the info about Shingles I gleaned from the Internet (Though it “presents” in varied enough fashion that you can have it without demonstrating all the symptoms).

On the other hand, I’ve not been in a terrific amount of pain - and that seems to be something everyone talks about with Shingles, how much it really hurts - and the rash was not all that itchy (For a time, it just felt like an “abrasion”, like a “rug burn” or the like. And after that, it really was mostly uncomfortable because of its location).

So I don’t know - Maybe? Maybe not?

I guess there’s not much to do at this point but get to the Doctor if it happens again - If it’s not Shingles, I want to get the shot, and if it is, I want to get advice on how to manage it.

The idea that I have Shingles is pretty depressing (I’ve always perceived Shingles as “Old Person’s Disease” - As I told my friend Nathaniel, “I feel like I’ve aged twenty-five years in one fell swoop”)...but what can you do?

Mon 10/8/12 (11:24 am)

Since June, I have had three commercial auditions.

Three.

The good news is that I got callbacks for all three of them.

The bad news?

There were three of them.

This dovetails nicely - and depressingly - with the interview I recently read with a commercial casting agent, who said the ratio of non-union to union auditions in his office was currently 60/40.

This is the kind of thing that’s very frustrating and very stressful, because it’s hard to see what, if anything, I can do with/about this information.

And that’s the way acting news always seems to go, in the direction of increased competition/diminishing opportunities/less money.

I can work on “acting better” when the ever-diminishing opportunities do come up, but there’s so much that’s “out of my hands” it’s hard not to give over to pessimism and panic.

But I’m not going anywhere if I can at all help it - Where would I go? - so there’s nothing to do but soldier on, and hope I’ve “got enough going on” at any given time to get enough work to at least keep myself afloat, while all the while dreaming of the “bigger, better deals” that may never come..

But I’m not dealing very well with the stress - The stress of constantly worrying about money, the stress of wanting so much more to do as an actor and getting so little (After a decade of living in LA), the stress of feeling things get harder and harder while I feel weaker and weaker - and I’m hard-pressed to figure out what to do (To both “better my situation” and feel better about my situation).

Have had some good tv auditions lately, but haven’t closed the deal on any of them (And again, considering this is a “numbers game” there just haven’t been enough “numbers”; and when I’m not booking, there’s no such thing as “enough numbers”), leading to me struggling with panic on that side of the scale as well.

And my much-vaunted “recurrings”? I’m doing less on Shameless this coming season than the season before (At this point, there’s one or two episodes left to shoot in the season), and it’s starting to look grim for Austin & Ally as well (After getting a number of completely-unsolicited assurances I’d “definitely” be back on the show in the second season).

And underlying all this angst is deeper, darker stuff; it actually struck me that, as frightening as this “career stuff” can be (asking myself what I’m going to do - physically, emotionally - if my “career” has already peaked), it’s a garden party compared to the stuff I’m trying to shove as far down as it’ll go in my already overstuffed psyche - leading a pointless existence, living alone, dying alone, feeling like I have “failed” (To rise above the sad circumstances of my childhood, I guess).

The fear - the terror, if I really let myself feel it - is that no one can help me, and because of my fear and my fatigue, I can’t summon the will or the wherewithal to help myself.

I want to believe that things can get better, that I can get better, that I haven’t run out of time to create a better, more satisfying life than I have, to be more like the “Jim Hoffmaster” I fantasize about being than the disappointing specimen typing this entry.

But honestly?

It’s looking pretty “iffy” right now...


 

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