1:48 pm - Mon 1.08.2013
Not much is happening.
In what should feel like good news, my commercial callback last Thursday turned into an "avail" the next day.
In other words, "they like me, they really like me"...just not quite enough to cast me outright.
I'm sure I've mentioned before how "avails", which used to be pretty exciting, have lost a good bit of their luster over the years.
It makes me wish I kept better "stats" - in terms of how often "avails" have gone my way versus how often they haven't - but I can say that, in 2012, I was "pinned"/"on avail" (synonymous terms in the tv and commercial world for "On the short list") four different times...and only went on to book the gig once.
That "stat" being fresh in my mind is what's got me feeling a little pessimistic about my chances here. Though really, there's no law that says 2013 couldn't be the year "the pendulum swings in the other direction".
Worrying worrying and worrying some more about money - The last time I made a deposit at the credit union, I was left with less than $2000 in the bank (After deducting my January rent check).
That's a pretty puny "cushion", when you work a service industry job that just covers your rent, with very little to spare (And less than that, after they start taking automatic monthly deductions for my health insurance, which just got approved: with SAG-AFTRA, it's up to you to make your quarterly payments).
If some really positive things don't happen, and fast, things could get ugly in a hurry...
My Shameless episodes from last year just aired in a marathon yesterday, so I should be getting something from those (Though I don't know exactly when that will happen); beyond that, for now, there's just WW and whatever dribs and drabs of residuals from my other tv stuff that comes my way.
But as I told Jane in an email earlier today, when talking about this stuff, "I feel a downward spiral coming on...", so I'm going to save that for a later entry (A "later entry" that will hopefully never come, because instead I'll be reporting on all the acting/commercial jobs I'm getting).
Speaking of "acting"...
This weekend, I'm playing a small role as a zombie in a short film my friend Cary is doing (With his producing partner Jonathan).
To be honest, it's not something I'd be doing if it weren't Cary - It's not much of a role (Though a good script), there's not much money involved, it's shooting in Long Beach, etc - but it is Cary, and I owe him many, many times over (I'm not exaggerating when I say I wouldn't still be in LA trying to be a big-time professional actor if not for Cary's help, over and over again, through the years).
So it's the textbook definition of a "no-brainer"; if he wants me to play a small part in making this project happen, I gotta be there (And really, I should be doing it for free, and waiving my salary...but unfortunately, the current state of my "financials" will not allow for that).
And it's not like "there's nothing in it for me"; it's credit on the resume, it's a little credit towards my SAG-AFTRA benefits (They're doing it under the SAG "Low budget film" contract), it's experience, and if I play my cards right, I might get a free meal or two out of the deal.
And considering I do a lot of crying in here about how little I actually "act" since I've decided to make acting "the centerpiece of my existence", it's an opportunity to "do what I do", while at the same time getting to play hooky from "work", and getting some comparatively rare "hang time" with my friend Cary.
Tues 1/8/13 (8:42 pm)
Well, I'm not sure the exact time, but within a couple hours after starting this entry yesterday, I got an email from JS, my commercial agent - I booked the 5th 3rd Bank spot!
In pure "dollar terms", it doesn't really solve my money concerns, at least so far as I know - It's a regional commercial, and I have no idea what the payout will be beyond the shoot fee - but it just feels good to book so early in the year.
It makes me feel...hopeful.
And while, no, by itself it isn't going to "make my year", it does allow to be optimistic in a more "realistic" way (Instead of waiting for the one job that'll "Put Me On Easy Street") - I can say, "Well, now I've got WW, I've got residuals from Shameless and my other shows, I've got a likely tax refund, and now I've got this commercial. And it's only January - I've got all kinds of time to book more work".
And speaking of "more work"...
Got a call from Brett today - He got a call from the Two Broke Girls people, wanting me to come in tomorrow to audition for a small co-star role as "Gross Guy".
Brett hadn't submitted me for the role, because they hadn't put the role on Breakdowns; it's so small they just decided to call a few actors they already know...and I'm an actor "they already know".
Now, you might think getting calls for auditions because "they already know you" would be a happy development.
Used to be...but now, like "avails", it feels like something of a mixed-bag; hard to feel a big sense of "career accomplishment" when the casting directors who "already know you" see you as being just the actor to play a role one step above being an extra.
It's money, and it's a credit, and I'd get to meet Kat Dennings, who I think is cute and funny.
More importantly, I don't have a multi-cam sitcom on my resume - unless you count Austin and Ally - and if having a Two Broke Girls credit on my resume "opens the door" for other CBS sitcom auditions, it's pretty clearly worth doing, even if I'm not really "feeling it" (I've gone in for a bigger role on the show before, which is what's really bothering me here - from a three-page scene to a two-word throwaway bit just doesn't feel like I'm "moving up in the world" the way I want to be).
And it's kind of amazing how quickly life gets "complicated" (Example - To do this audition tomorrow, I had to get a "fill" for one of my meetings at Weight Watchers. Add that to the "fills" I had to get for this weekend - for four meetings and an open hours shift - and I'm really "testing the boundaries" of my "full time" status. On the one hand, I can't be prioritizing WW over acting work, but on the other, I just got health insurance through WW, based on my full-time status).
I don't like "complicated". I just want to basically feel good the majority of the time, and get to do what I like to do, without feeling anxious and guilty and sad all the time.
I have a commercial shoot coming up, I'm shooting a movie this weekend, and I have a tv audition tomorrow.
But I don't really seem like I'm too happy about it, do I?
Makes me wonder what's going wrong in my head...
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