Monday, March 28, 2011

I’m tired, really tired, but after a few hours of sleep after working last night/this morning my alarm chimed to wake me. I’m scheduled to be a part of a group of actors to read Fairfax High School student scripts at The Greenway Court Theatre space. It was a complete blast. The space was great (complete with props), the scripts were great and the students’ attention span was great. The only thing was that we didn’t have time to read all of the scripts that had been written. Afterward a few hours of that I was off to my audition…the first one since who knows when.

Audition: “Ford” @ ASG Casting. This was fun and I think I’m really right for it.  Commercials have always been very important to me, but now they are even more important because so much of the scripted programming has gone to AFTRA. SAG is where my pension & health credits and medical insurance are. I know there is talk of the two guilds merging in the future, but I don’t know what that looks like as of yet. Plus, the SAG insurance premiums are set to increase…again, starting July 1st 2011.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Check this out. March 25th 2001...exactly 10 years ago today, I took a 60-day leave of absence from the same job that I currently work at overnight in the restaurant. That lead to over 7 years of totally making my living as a performer and I have to say that it felt great to look at my tax returns back then knowing that every penny was earned as an actor.

I’ve been back at the restaurant for almost 3 years. Wow. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up the pace I’m moving at, but I’m making it work for now. I think I’m doing the right thing. No, my life isn’t perfect, but I’m trying to make things better.

I have to say that one of the greatest things that has come out of being at the restaurant this second time around is that I’m looked at as someone that is pretty good in the area of personal finance. What do I think about that? Well, I’m certainly NOT a professional, but I AM certainly an expert on how I, myself, completely turned my situation around and became totally debt-free in just 15 months. I’ve been on a mission to convince my fellow employees and most anyone else I encounter to do the same…and I have to say that it’s working.

Some have taken baby steps, others bigger steps and yet other haven’t done anything…yet. The key is that they are at least hearing it and maybe sometime in the future they will act on it. It’s a way of giving back for me.

Again, I don’t know how long this tour of a survival gig will last, but I will at least be able to look back and say that I learned a lot.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finally it’s here! Today is the day I’m scheduled to get my taxes done. I’m hoping for great news in the form of a relatively large return. I’m also very excited to see how, or if, some of my investment choices help to lower my taxes.

The main reason I’m hoping for great news today is that I plan for my tax refund, if I get one, to play a part in the dental procedures that I have planned for the near future. I’m trying my hardest to NOT go into any accounts that I’ve deemed OFF LIMITS to myself. It’s so hard to stay true that because I’m so eager to get this over with, but…I have to be patient. I think…no promises that I won’t do what I hope I won’t do…jus saying’.

45 minutes later...

Uh, I’m a bit speechless. Yeah, my reward for having a better year in 2010 than 2009 is that I get to pay more in taxes. I actually owe the broke-ass state of California a few bucks. For the federal I will get a refund; much less than I’d hoped, but a refund nonetheless. I am not a happy, but I’ve gotta figure out exactly how I’m going to get this dental stuff completed.

I’d hoped, by now, that the DEGREE commercial would be running and I’d be receiving payments, but that, obviously, isn’t the case. I can’t seem to just book a commercial and have it run these days to save my life. I don’t know what the deal is with commercials and me in recent years. Maybe I just got spoiled with all but the last 5-6 bookings. It seems that no matter what I book, it just….ya know what? Forget it. I’m just irritated right now. I’ve gotta go deep and figure this out…and I WILL get it figured out. I’m going to stop venting and put my thoughts to a much more constructive use.

The good stuff; and there is good stuff. The major thing is that the funds I contributed to my 401(k) at the restaurant made a huge difference in the IRS refund that I’m due. Without those contributions I definitely would have owed the IRS a substantial sum… I don’t even want to think about that.

I’ve been trying, without too much success lately, to find exactly when, or if, the DEGREE commercial will start running. I hate having to do that, but I’m trying to plan something and this commercial is a part of it. So I apologize to the universe…and the people I’m contacting. I’m going to go back to my original contact at the advertising agency, the guy who put me in touch with one of the producers.

Wow! – CUT TO: 6 hours later…

That original contact at the ad agency already emailed me back! He cc’d the business manager for the account and said she might be able to help. So hopefully, I’ll know something on Monday. I’ll get a handle on this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Audition/Producers: “Melissa & Joey” @ Rick Millikan Casting. This was a fun little bit that I would have been happy to do; not much dialogue but that’s okay. I felt like it went well. It was 2 or 3 lines…who knows? You go in, do your thing and it’s over before you know it.

When I checked-in with the guard at the CBS Radford gate I mistakenly told him I was there to audition for “Melissa & Leo’ instead of “Melissa & Joey”...ooops!

Actually, the most interesting part of the experience was the journey to and from the casting office. I took the long way because I’ve had great memories on the CBS Radford lot and I wanted to revisit a few places.

The casting bungalow was next to the one that we did the table read for “Good Morning, Miami” which lead to me appearing in 14 episodes. I just shook my head while sitting at the reading when I found myself at the table in between two entertainment legends…comedy director James Burrows & Film/TV star Suzanne Pleshette.

I walked past the stage 16 where the episodes of “GMM” were filmed and the building were I auditioned and booked the role. That was also were I booked the Bonnie Hunt pilot and “Yes, Dear”. Good memories of success!

Audition: “Pennzoil” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. Ooops. I just remembered that I’m not supposed to discuss this audition…I didn’t sign any non-disclosure form, but I think I remember seeing a sign by the door.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wow, I shouldn’t be slinging burgers @ 4am. Yet I am and I’m trying to make the best of it while staying focused. It’s hard, unbelievably hard. It’s one thing to do it for a week, a couple of weeks or a month. I’m coming up on 3 years of fulltime, 5 shifts a week duty. I do not recommend it. I’m not Superman and it’s taking its toll on me, but I try to maintain and hang in there with a positive outlook. I think I do a pretty good job of that, but I cannot wait until this stretch is over. In the meantime I’m going to make it work for me. I think they call it “paying my dues”. I sure hope my dues are being deposited somewhere and someone is keeping track, lol!

I remember working with an actor on a cable show several years ago, before I was working at the restaurant I’m currently at. This was probably in 2005; I was making my living solely as an actor then. The actor was telling me that once when he had to go get a survival job he ended up being there for 7 years. I remember how my body shuddered when I heard him say that. Wow, I’m almost at 3 years.

Not sure what I’m getting at, but I do know that I’m very thankful for the steady employment at my night job and the fact that it was there for me when I really needed it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Audition/Tape/Producers: Death Valley” @ Kelly Wagner & Dominika Posseren Casting. This audition was the direct result of driving out there a few weeks ago and dropping off my photo; a general drop-off for the show, just to let them know that I’m here and available. How do I know? The casting director told me. Many believe that doing general drops around town is a waste of time, but I still believe the practice can be effective.

I don’t know too much about the project, but hopefully if I don’t get this role I’ll be brought in for something else during the season…but I don’t know how many episodes they are doing.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Audition: “Safeco” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Wow, this was a great time! I was a part of a great group of actors, but we didn’t really “act” per se. We entertained…and entertaining we were. It was a real laughfest and one of the major reasons why I’m an actor.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Audition: “Verizon” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This went okay, not bad, not great. I think I’m pretty right for it though so maybe I’ll get to the next round.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Audition: “Carl’s Jr.” @ Spot Casting. This audition went really well! I had a great young actor to work with and we hit it off right away while rehearsing and knocked it out of the park in the room. Next!