07 December 2007

When the shit is falling from the sky, plant seeds.

I guess that's my interpretation of Winston Churchill's brilliant-and-simple quote, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

The schizophrenic nature of The Bidness occasionally makes for emotional volatility that would make the Dow Jones Industrial Avg blush. Volatility seems to pick up when testing new highs and lows, and I found myself riding the coaster, presumably, at a 52-week low.

Booking droughts are common among actors, and certainly no stranger to me. I had very high expectations of myself going into 2007, with 7 jobs in the last three months of '06. Kind of a difficult pace to keep up. Sometimes, you know you're close. I've been kicking at the door since October, an entire month I spent on Avail for four different jobs.

I finished October like Alex Rodriguez does. O-fer. So what you do is you give thanks for the knowledge that you're on the right track, you're not a Yankee, and you've jumped through that many hoops and done almost everything possible to get the job. (Either that or you can be pissed off about 2nd place and keep attracting more of it. Filthy habit I picked back up.) That last hoop is where chance comes into play. Wait--actually, it's more like Community Chest, given that not only do you have to nail the audition and however many callbacks, but you have to please a committee of ad agency, client, and production people.

This week, volatility was sharply up once again for Me (ticker symbol: SMRT). The price was up in anticipation of the Pirates 3 DVD release, which was to include the Tales of the Code short film I shot last year at this time. It happened to be the one and only reported special feature not included in the final packaging. So I'm left to assume it may appear on whatever monster Trilogy Box Set they come up with. (The sooner the better!) I was really looking forward to posting a recollection of that 16-hour night shoot and expressing my endless gratitude for finally having an incredible character and scene for my reel. Instead, my stock plummeted on the news, and investors reportedly spent an hour crying into and/or beating the crap out of pillows. An hour later, I'm putting the mental train back on the tracks with a same-day commercial audition...and then another. Nice, I'm back, stock price recovering after early weakness, time to go.

Here's where the poetry of life kicks in. Off I go for an afternoon of opportunity. If only my car would start.

Battery's dead, so I have an opportunity to be grateful to Mom, who still has me on her AAA account. Driver comes out just in time for me to be just in time. $109 for a new battery, but at least I don't have to worry about that for a while, right? Now, if only I could pay my rent this month. Off to my audition...for the role of a tow truck driver.

I gotta hit the fast-forward button before this gets too dull--good audition here, good callback there (yay), a check doesn't arrive on time, will my rent check bounce? (boo), Mom calls to inform that the new well we had to dig (back in NC) because of the drought is not, after all, contaminated (huge yay), two straight-to-callbacks the next day, one with a director who knows me and digs my work (more huge yay), perfect time for the car to overheat for the third time in two weeks (boooo), so I miss the second audition and take it straight to my dude at Midas, where I sit for an hour and he can't for the life of him find any leaks. (Yay? Boo? WTF.)

I do believe, at this point, I deserve that Super Bowl commercial that ends up playing incessantly for the next 12 months. Way back when I experienced this bottom-scraping before the 7-booking streak, the well ran completely dry and I was literally down to less than $20 in the bank. Now I'm back, and after rent is paid I will be at $21. The difference this time is a full year of dues-paying, well-digging, and seed planting. While the residuals of last year's tidal wave are long gone, I reinvested a lot of them in myself--headshots, reels, MacBook, a wardrobe that doesn't look like I picked it out in junior high school--they're all part of the reason I've gotten to this point. I'm going out more often, and all the time through the mountains of poop raining down from the sky on actors by the nature of the industry, the wilting dollar, and a debilitating strike. But I've seen much, much worse and with far fewer resources.

So I plant seeds and let the bullshit fertilize. And now that it's finally raining water on Los Angeles, some of them are gonna grow.