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7:26 PM - FRI 11.17.23
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The (Mostly) Good News Hour

It's always nice when I can start one of these on an "up" note...

My theatrical agent, who I haven't had much contact with in the past number of months, texted me last week, letting me know the episode of Loot I was going to shoot before the Writers Strike is back on!

As you might imagine, I was quite pleased to get this news, particularly since I didn't know how the situation would resolve - For all I knew, maybe they'd write me out of the episode or scrap it entirely (Or maybe that would just be it for the show - During the Pandemic, for whatever reason, a number of shows didn't make it back into production afterward).

As an "acting thing", the bit on Loot is nothing much - I'm basically a "featured extra" - but it's me on a set, maybe getting to meet Maya Rudolph, maybe scoring some free food, and those are all good things.

But let's be honest - It's mostly about me getting paid (Which is a perfectly fine thing to be focused on. I've said to myself, more than once, that it would be better for my mental health if I stopped bemoaning the "nothing roles" that come my way, and instead appreciated the opportunity to make money in a more enjoyable way than bagging groceries at Ralphs or what-have-you).

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Another nice thing - "Awards Season" seems to have started up.

And while I never figure into "Awards Season" in terms of receiving any awards, as a SAG-AFTRA member, I do have some say - a little more this year than in most years - in who does receive said awards.

My emails are blowing up with notices about screenings, both live and digital, and I received my first DVDs in yesterday's mail.

Yesterday I saw a morning screening of Saltburn (Complete with a "light breakfast" reception beforehand), then in the evening watched Cassandro, one of the DVDs I'd just received.

Today I watched a digital screener of Freud's Last Session, tomorrow night I'm seeing a screening of Maestro with Josh, and on Sunday, I'm catching an afternoon screening of May/December.

(And I might watch something after I finish this - In addition to the screeners I have access to, some of the things are already on Netflix or Amazon, like Air or The Killer, for just two examples. So basically, it's a world of cinematic possibilities...)

It just struck me that I feel about this similarly to how I felt about the strike - I think it's important (Maybe not as important as the strike, but still "important") and take my responsibility seriously, but I already feel guilty in advance about not taking it seriously enough (I like movies, obviously, but I don't know if it's going to be possible, or if I'll have the energy, to see all the movies that are going to be available to me...but I'm going to try).

One nice thing that strikes me about all the potential movie-watching? It'll be nice to have it as a distraction from a time of year that, otherwise...isn't my favorite.

(And that's all I'll say about that...for the moment.)

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Another big thing swimming around in my enormous head these days is the SAG-AFTRA contract, which is quickly coming up for a vote.

I'm a little crestfallen, from what I've gleaned so far, to discover the deal is maybe not as good as I'd hoped and dreamed (It's not totally terrible - It seems like there were definite gains in certain areas - but my current sense of things is that the issues of streaming residuals and AI didn't really go SAG's way, and in my mind, those were the big issues).

Unlike previous years, I've been trying to do my "due diligence" in finding out the particulars of the proposed deal - I did a Zoom meeting last night with a non-partisan labor group that laid things out and took questions from members, and my commercial agent sent a video of a Negotiating Committee member who didn't vote to approve the contract being interviewed on Sam Seder's show (His view? Basically that the Negotiating Committee "fell apart at the five-yard line" and took a bad deal when it comes to AI and Streaming).

And tomorrow morning, I'm doing a Zoom with SAG to have them lay out their case for voting "Yes" on the contract (Cause what else are they gonna say? "Vote no on the contract we just spent months negotiating"?).

As of this writing, I'm feeling like I may have to vote "No", in good conscience - It feels like the contract gives us some nice "side-benefits", but doesn't do nearly enough on the things I think are critical moving forward.

(I suspect a "No" vote is going to be largely symbolic - As I've said previously, I don't think the majority of members are going to have the stomach to go back to the picket line. I don't want to myself, for that matter - but as the Negotiating Committee member said on "Sam Seder", "Even if a 'Yes' vote is inevitable, if there's a substantial number of 'No' votes, Leader ship will take note that some members are paying attention...". And I'm trying to "pay attention" here.)

And I guess that's all the news that's fit to transmit for now.

(Till next time...)



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