12:16 PM - Mon 8.21.17
Unlike some recent entries, where I had so much to write about I struggled with where to start and how to "fit it all in", at the moment there's not really much in the hopper.
Yet I've had a really strong urge to write in the past week or so - Go figure.
So I'm just gonna "write about stuff" and see what happens...
Well, the solar eclipse has come and gone.
I'm not sure when I became aware it was gonna happen - over the weekend, maybe? - but while I felt some desire to "be part of things" and watch it somehow, there wasn't enough FOMO going on to seek out some "eclipse glasses", or to even make a viewer out of a cardboard box (I don't think of myself as a terribly "crafty" guy, so was afraid I'd do it wrong and blind myself. And beyond that, I'm just not that big on "doing things").
When it was supposed to be at its peak here in LA, went down to my car to get some things, and was surprised that, not only had we not been plunged into total darkness, I was hard-pressed to tell if I was seeing any less light than I normally would at 10:30 in the morning (I don't have much of an outside view from my apartment).
(I feel a need to explain: I'm not stupid, mind you - I just didn't know what to expect.)
But the most interesting thing to me was that, even though I'm not an idiot, and I know you're not supposed to look at the sun in general, let alone during an eclipse, I felt the urge to look, I guess to see if this thing that was supposed to be happening was actually happening or something.
So maybe I'm a little stupid.
(I've seen the pictures people took on Facebook, and while I thought a few were kinda cool, for the most part I was underwhelmed - Though I imagine that might just be a case of camera-phone photos not measuring up to "the real thing".)
(My theatrical agent just called. I'm not sure why exactly, because he didn't seem to have anything substantive to say. Guess he just wants to remind me that he's "on the case". But anyway...)
Jerry Lewis died yesterday, at 91 years old.
I never found him funny. Not for a minute (I don't even think he made me laugh as a kid - I think even then, before I was an actor or really understood what "acting" was, I looked at his spazzy schtick and said, "Ugh! People don't act like that - That's just too much...!").
And, MDA Telethon aside, he seemed like a shitty human being - I'd read interviews with him, or stories about him, and he always seemed vulgar, angry, aggrieved, and egotistical (I think the first interview I ever read with him was in Playboy in the 70s).
And the whole "women aren't funny" thing just made him sound like a misogynistic moron (Especially when my first thought upon reading it was "Seriously? Women aren't funny? Dude, you aren't funny!").
Though, like many others, I was impressed with his work in The King of Comedy, in part because, whether it was really true or not (And it's almost more impressive if it's not true), it seemed like he was letting us see a little of the real Jerry Lewis through the character (I think that's why I never responded to his comedy - there was no "there" there, if you know what I mean).
But even though he didn't float my boat, either as an artist or with who he seemed to be as a person, he was clearly a giant - It would be stupid to suggest otherwise
I've read enough about comedy to know just how big he and Dean Martin were in their heyday, and how much of an influence he's had on an untold number of actors, comics, and film-makers, and on pop-culture in general.
(And like some other posters on Facebook, I am hoping his death will now allow his legendarily bad, unreleased movie The Day The Clown Cried to be seen - If you're not familiar, it stars Lewis as a clown who entertains the Jewish children at Auschwitz).
So while I don't have much sentiment about the man - virtually none, in fact (Though if I had the time and inclination, I could mount a fair defense for why he became the basically unpleasant person I perceived him to be) - I was still saddened by his death.
It's the self-pitying sadness of feeling my world slowly-but-surely "falling away" - "Jerry Lewis" might not have meant much to me on a personal, emotional level, but he was part of the world in which I lived.
He was someone I knew existed as long as I've known I exist...and now he doesn't.
And someday I won't.
At my age, I should be just acknowledging that "death is a part of life", but I'm still not quite there.
I still mostly just find it...creepy.
Shot Shameless #807 on Friday.
I've complained on the last couple episodes, when I had afternoon calls, that nothing happened for hours, that what initially seemed like a good thing (getting to "sleep in") ended up kind of sucking.
Well, when Friday's call was initially 6:00 am (Then revised to 6:30), I wasn't thrilled - I would have preferred something in the 8-10:00 am range - but when I wrapped at 1:15, I thought that was pretty cool.
(One nice thing about starting in the morning - If you're the first thing up, you're going to start on time. A big problem with later calls is that you might come in with them way behind schedule, and who knows when they'll get to your scene.)
Again, I had a nice amount to do, relatively speaking (It's always going to be "relatively speaking").
And not just "a nice amount to do" - A bit that, for me, was novel and fun, where I got to do something I never really get to do as Kermit.
I got to be angry.
It was just a line or two - To Macy - but it was fun to be angry with his character, and have him respond to it.
It felt like...acting.
I've been pretty happy with what I've gotten to do so far this season (Along with the fact that they're using me in a lot of episodes)...but I am generally frustrated with the limited "emotional palate" I work in - Kermit never gets really sad, or really angry, or really anything.
So it was fun, for just a second, to have that (And I discovered a new thing about Kermit, which made me think "Kermit is more of a mess than I realized...").
I'm in the next episode - haven't gotten the script yet - which I'll probably be shooting next week sometime.
It's being directed by Emmy Rossum - her 2nd time in the Director's-chair - and while I missed her debut, I'm excited to be there for Round 2.
(In the category of "this is so pathetic you can only admit it to a friend", I told my friend Tim today that I'm excited about her directing an episode I'm in because that means I'll get to interact with her somewhat, and can look directly at her without it being creepy - I've only really acted with her the one time, and while she recognizes me as being on the show, I'm not sure she would actually know my name if pressed.)
I mentioned earlier that I got a call from my theatrical agent that wasn't about anything in particular?
Well, later in the day I got an email from my commercial agent that was, in a way, worse - He put "Yikes!" in the subject heading, which immediately made me wonder, "Okay, did I fuck up somehow...or did he?".
Turned out neither of us had "fucked up" - he just realized he'd forgotten to answer me when I'd recently asked how he was doing with his weight loss (He knows I work at WW, and had recently asked me for help - I suggested he try WW online, and was just following up to see whether he'd actually done it).
While I want to be the actor who enjoys getting calls from his agents to just shoot the shit or get advice about weight loss, it's always going to be a let-down if they're not calling about an audition or a gig.
Weds 8/23/17 (11:25 am)
Back from a commercial audition...
The role was "creepy clown" - They wanted us in clown costume, but no makeup.
It's the second time in two weeks I've had an audition where they wanted me to come in a costume of some sort (Last week it was "Scrooge").
I find these requests stressful, because I don't have the money or space to maintain a "wardrobe closet" of pieces I may never wear (Though I guess they would at least be deductible), and have no sewing or craft skills.
So in both cases, I cobbled together what I could (temporarily glad for my "hoarding" instincts), and came up with outfits that at least "suggested" what they were asking for.
And it was interesting how each one went - I thought each outfit was comparably "suggestive" of the role I was up for, but with the "Scrooge" audition, I looked "cobbled together" (While the other actors looked ready for a touring production of "Xmas Carol"), while with today's "creepy clown" audition, I looked like the only actor who'd made any effort at all...though maybe I was just the only actor there who normally dresses like a clown.
Anyway, I don't like it, because it's another thing to stress about when I want to stress as little as possible (Don't get me started on self-taped auditions...).
Well, it's been over a week since the Nazi rally in Charlotteville VA (Where a counter-protestor was murdered, and two state police officers died), and I'm still horrified over 45's response - He blamed the violence "on many sides...on many sides", had to be dragged kicking and screaming to say something any decent human could and would say instantly ("Nazis are bad"), and it made him so angry to have to say that he immediately went back to his "many sides" bullshit.
It's stunning - We have a President who cannot, in his heart-of-hearts, disavow Nazis and KKK members (Like others on the left, my view of his racism has shifted - I used to think he was just stoking racism for his own ends, without actually holding those views himself, but now it feels clear that we have elected a "White-Supremicist-In-Chief").
I'm not a historian, or an expert on the Presidency, but I can now say with no uncertainly that, at the very least, this is the worst piece of unadulterated shit who's occupied the oval office in my lifetime.
(Congratulations 45 - You're making Richard fucking Nixon look good in comparison.)
(Got word while I was writing this - I'm on for episode #809. Which, if things hold - I'm tentatively shooting #808 next week - will make this my longest streak of consecutive episodes on the show. Sweet...!)
I've had a couple commercial auditions this month, which is good, but still nothing on the theatrical front...which is less good.
Would have had a Will & Grace co-star audition on Friday, but it conflicted with the Shameless shoot (Some would say "Nice problem to have", but to me, it's just a problem).
The situation has once again brought up a certain "tension" in the life of this working actor, which is basically "I want to be a guest-star actor, feel I've earned it, my skills warrant it, and I need those kind of roles in order to move forward" versus "No one seems to have any interest in bringing me in for those roles, but I still need to make money and keep working".
When I got the notice about my rent increase, I considered telling my team "I'll take anything - No job is too small or humiliating" (This just applies to Lyle and Brett, my Theatrical agent and manager - On the commercial side, unless you're big enough to be a celebrity spokesperson or something, commercials are just commercials...though I guess even there there are "levels" - Jon doesn't send me out on local/regional things, by and large).
But I don't really want that. I don't want to believe that the opportunities for forward momentum are gone, and now it's all about scrabbling for whatever crumbs I can get.
So for now, me and my team are on the same page - We're shooting for guest-stars, unless the project is such that getting in at all would be a "feather in my cap" (The Will and Grace thing would have applied here, since that's the kind of project where casting would be looking for, and getting, big-name celebrities for the guest-star roles).
Because if I lose all hope that things can get better, that there are more mountains to be climbed, more victories to be won, and more fun to be had, what's the point of going on?
(Gotta give props to Brett at this point - He hasn't always been the best cheerleader, but I just talked to him a short time ago, and the conversation ended with me feeling much more hopeful about things than when it started.)
Was thinking about Shameless and my role on the show, and why I'm so hungry for other things to happen - Pragmatically, I need for other things to happen so I can keep making money, so I can keep eating and having a roof over my head and stuff, while creatively, I like to act and want the creative outlet that comes with playing different roles.
But the other day I realized there was something else - I want to get other things, to succeed at other things, to prove that I can, to prove that getting Kermit on Shameless was not some fluke, that it's not all I can do.
Not sure who I need to "prove" this to - to myself, I guess - but in terms of motivation, it's right up there with "putting food on the table" and "getting to do this acting thing I really like".
Much as I like it, I do not want Shameless to be my biggest/only claim-to-fame out here.
And if I have anything to say about it, it won't be.
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