Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Is it possible to "cure" Depression?

As you may know, I have somehow managed to survive this past "winter" without any major or even minor-but-noticeable bouts of Depression. Mommy's Sadiversary passed mostly unnoticed. I mean, at some point, I did remember, but it's not like I was particularly morose. Stephen's Dad's Sadiversary passed, and I honestly don't remember if either one of us commented on it at all. I skipped Thanksgiving; Christmas was whatever; Mommy's birthday passed much like her Sadiversary. New Year's Eve/Day were "meh". We ALWAYS ignore Valentine's Day, because #StupidHallmarkHolidaysAreStupidHallmarkHolidays HashtagWhateverThatBritishDudeOnWhatcultureSaysForWankersAndThenRepeatsForWankers

The Ides of March... Saint Patrick's Day... Easter... Arbor Day?... Mother's Day... #MayTheFourthBeWithYou (Star Wars Day)... #AndAlsoWithYou (Standard Presbyterian Response Day)... Cinco de Mayo... essentially SPRING! and no S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, a.k.a. Winter Depression)

Granted, I did my best to stay busy. I was on set as much as possible, but when am I not on set "as much as possible"? I did a lot of volunteering at the union offices. I went to a lot more meetings and seminars and whatnot (including the health fair) being hosted by the union and/or the Foundation. I've gotten involved, yo.

I bought VO equipment and have been using it (a little; probably not "enough"). I'm reading books about VO that I've checked out from the Lab's library. I seem to be the only one who even knows they exist for lending. I've talked about my "career" with whomever has any insight, and I've discovered that I'm probably at a crossroads of sorts. Like, I KNOW that I need to "pick" some direction and then FOCUS. But it's hard! There are so many cool things I could be good at, in this industry! There are a couple of seminars that I Must Take to help me with that, but I haven't seen any openings listed in awhile. And, with the way my career has ebbed and flowed, chances are really good that when they do come around again, I'll be too busy! Which is, of course, not a bad thing.

But. Last night, while volunteering for the VO Lab's Orientation session, I discovered a feeling I haven't felt in a really long time.


I felt genuinely happy, y'all. My birthday is coming up, and I'd had my standard (getting old) "hitch in my giddy-up" pretty much All Day. When one decides to start utilizing the VO Lab, one must attend ONE Orientation. Because of my volunteering, last night was my FOURTH. So what? Big deal. I was smiling, grinning, laughing, dancing, playing as I greeted all of those newbies, and I felt 100% like my old (young) self. HAPPY.

And it rolled over into today, too! I worked a commercial at the beginning of the month, and my paycheck still hadn't reached my mailbox by this morning. So I had to call, y'all. The payroll company is in CHICAGO. The CSR I reached is in Kentucky. I hate making these "where my money at, ASSHOLE?" kinds of calls. Everyone hates making them. We shouldn't have to make them!
But I did it. And I was courteous, but direct. Charles was able to track my check, which had been cut ON TIME but mailed to our old address in Burbank, because for Some Stupid Reason, Payroll Companies Don't Look At Your Brand New Timecard Or W-4 Or I-9, they just figure nobody ever moves. It's been SIX years since I worked for this payroll company. Or, to be Even More Accurate, six years ago, I worked for a payroll company that has since been bought out by the current one. Meaning, this particular payroll company should not have had ANY of my previous data "on file".

Now, did I cuss Charles out? No, I Did Not. Did I remember that none of this was his fault, and say so? Yes, I Did. Did I make it so clear that I was grateful for his help that he actually LAUGHED on our phone call? Yes, as a matter of fact, I DID THAT, TOO.

*** who the fuck is this person? ***

I vaguely remember happiness, y'all. I remember joy. I remember playing and laughing and singing and dancing just because. This is where I am today. I like it. I doubt my Depression is gone for good, but boy, do I like me TODAY. I like Happiness.

I wish for you all the happiness or joy or freedom from pain you can muster. Please join me in this feeling of good. And let me know below what's up with you! I miss our give-and-take! Our repartee! Our interaction! Comment, y'all! And thank you in advance. :D

Sunday, May 20, 2018

So much going on with me these days, I Can't Even

First of all, when did "I Can't Even" get added to our normal, everyday verbiage? Was it when the Dumpster Fire was elected? Maybe. I think that's when I started using it.

Whatever. Lemme explain my title.
I've been a background actor for many years now. You know this. I've paid a monthly fee for a service that manages my calendar and helps me book work via their connections with casting. In December, the service I was using dropped the ball Big Time and caused me to be suspended for a month from the one casting company that has 80% of the jobs, so I fired them and re-upped with a service I'd used many years ago.

Since our return from North Carolina in July of 2014, the service that dropped the ball found work for me a total of 4 days in 2014, 28 days in 2015 (counting multiple "recalls" on shows like the muppets), 30 days in 2016 (again, many of these were "recalls", which means the service just managed my schedule once I was booked on the first day), and 36 days in 2017. That's fewer than one booking a week, for three-and-a-half years. And I was paying them to get me booked. Only once in that 3.5 years did I get a commercial, which pays a higher rate than television/film.

In 2014, I got to be the Script Supervisor for "Fragile Storm". That was an amazing film, and quite possibly the highlight of that year for me. In 2015, I reception'ed at Arthur Murray and guided tours at Warner Bros. - Warner Bros. was the highlight of 2015 (but also the muppets, because #DuhItsTheMuppets). 2016 was more Warner Bros. until that temp assignment ended #SadFace, and then a little more Scripty work, like on the "Magic FunHouse" set. At the time, I guess Magic FunHouse qualified as my highlight, but when I didn't book the second season, my ego took a hit. I just Did Not work enough in 2017, so I volunteered as an AD on a two-week shoot, and got my part-time retail gig at the pet supply store. I booked a recall gig as a hipster tech employee on a fun show, which would have been the highlight of 2017 if it hadn't been the show that my service fucked my life over with.

*** switched gears by re-hiring the older service. So far, in 2018, my new service has placed me on set 20 days. Three of those days, I've been a stand-in (which is a higher base than background). Two of those days have been on commercials. I'm on hold for some work on Tuesday. I'm averaging better than one day per week, and often those days are longer than 8 hours, and there are "bumps" involved, like wardrobe allowances, working in smoke, mileage reimbursements or meal penalties. Through my own connections, I booked a week as a Craft Services person and two days as an AD. I'm no longer working off-set, except for the monthly bookkeeping gig I do. I haven't hit my normal SAD or any other Depression. Stephen has noticed that my outlook is better since returning to the better service. #Grateful #WorkIsGoodForMyMentalHealth

I feel good. I'm volunteering a lot at the SAG-AFTRA offices, for screenings and such. I'm attending screenings off-site (last night, Netflix hosted a screening/q&a/reception for Stranger Things 2. It was awesome). I'm attending membership meetings and health fairs. I'm making use of the services my union and the Foundation have to offer. I'm trying to hit 5000 steps a day, most days, and on some days, I hit 10k without even trying. The furbabies are being super-affectionate of late, and my breathing is mostly in check. And I feel good!

Now I just need to get PAID. ... and return to a more-regular blogging schedule, of course. #IDoThisForYou #ButAlsoForMe

What have you been up to? What would you like to see here? Do I need to return to reviewing stuff? I've SEEN soooooo many shows & films since my last review.

Friday, May 11, 2018

I skipped April Fools' MONTH, y'all.

You may have noticed (I only just did) that I haven't blogged in over a month. I mean, I was aware that I haven't been blogging; it's not like I thought I was sleepblogging (that IS a thing, isn't it?). What I mean is, I'd seen in my Google email, in the past week, that one of my more-recent-ish posts had gained a couple of new comments, so I visited the stats page I usually post screenshots of to see where traffic's been focused this week.

Y'all. Traffic this week has been focused on April of 2014. When we were still in North Carolina. Most of the traffic's been semi-sequential, so I went ahead and hit the post with the new comments and tried to reply under this account. For whatever reason, Blogger isn't recognizing my Google account... On The Published Page of My Google/Blogger Blog. So I can't yet reply to the two new comments. Dammit, Google!

So instead of commenting, I just re-read most of my April 2014 posts. We were in the midst of selling selling selling our shit, and I was new at the whole blogging thing, and Aunt Gloria had just died. Damn.

So after feeling those feels, I went to the "Posts" page, to consider posting again. And THAT'S when I noticed my month-plus absence.

I apologize to any of my readers who read with any regularity. I've been grateful to be pretty damn busy, in industry. To the two newest commenters, I apologize for not reading your comments sooner, and for not replying on the post (as is my wont). I'll rectify that as soon as Google/Blogger allows me to.

And I apologize to the bloggers I've linked here ====>
since I've also not kept up in my reading. You may very well be both a reader of mine and a blogger I read, so our communication's been #PrettyDamnWonky of late. Yes, that's a legit hashtag! I just used it, and so can you! And then it'll trend, or something!

Ennyhoo. This isn't a real post, unless it is. I haven't forgotten about you, dear readers. I hope to post something a bit more "substantial" soon. I hope to get back into my good habits, and soon.

Is there anything you'd like me to talk about, "and soon"? Burning, pressing issues that have naught to do with the politisphere? Good, clean (maybe not-so-clean) fun topics to discuss? You know where to post that! (hint: comment below) :)