the leash gets shorter

As time goes on I find myself doing things I never thought I’d do… going to the casting director workshop being one. Trading stocks being another. Making a film out of my shallow pockets. Having an online journal. Finally giving up my 1990 Mac Classic for a real computer. I’m sure someday I’ll add getting married, having kids, and buying a house to that list (though the thought of the first two makes me want to run outside very fast and keep going).

Now… I’m getting a cell phone.

I love gadgets. Love them. Always have. I probably got that from my father, though he understood them and could fix them. Not me. I’ll always remember one of his best pieces of advice to me had to do with gadgets: Always Save the Box. Words to live by. I’m telling you.

Two years ago I got a pager, which I thought was bad enough. I always referred to them as leashes. But eventually I grew to accept mine as an ever-present extension of my pants. (I hate it when it clasps not only to my pants but to my underwear and pinches my skin. Don’t you hate that? Don’t you? Oh, nevermind.) I accepted that as an actor I needed to always be available and reachable in case I was needed on the set immediately (which never happens, but shut up anyway). And usually my friends are good about not using the number, even though it’s on my home machine, so generally when it buzzes, it’s some sort of acting/writing related thing.

But last night I realized that in a week I’m going to be on location for 4 days straight. I’m wearing 5 hats on this shoot. We might be shooting on the beach and have to find a lost actor, or order pizzas for the cast, or call the rental house with a question about the camera. What, are we gonna run around trying to find a pay phone? Shit, I realized, I need to get a cell phone.

I thought about renting one or borrowing one from a friend for the week, but then I realized I had been looking for a legitimate excuse to get one for a long time. It’s like shaving my head. I’m really curious to know what my head looks like, but I would never shave it on my own. However, if some director were to ask me to do it – I’d happily buy the razors myself. It’s an excuse. Change is always easier when the impetus comes from without. Even something you want to do anyway. In other words, it’s much easier to get fired than to quit. That way you can’t second guess yourself. Ain’t self-deception grand?

So honestly, I’m looking forward to getting a cell phone. I’ll probably call people from my car, "Hey Jack, guess were I am?" "Your car? Same as yesterday." "Um, yeah, ain’t it cool?" "No." Click.

I’m going to be the most reachable person in the world. Home phone. Work phone. Pager. Voice mail. E-mail. Regular mail. Cell phone. Tons of possibilities for anticipation. Endless ways to offer me big contracts, money, roles, a lower credit card rate, the opportunity to donate my car or truck, a really good deal on a year of Popular Mechanics…

Um, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.

This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

I’m really not that excited about the new Star Wars…People, please go to Restoration Hardware. It’s one of my ill-chosen stocks and it is plummeting…Tecate beer: not bad…did anyone see the "reality video" show this weekend of some circus worker getting their head stuck in an elephant’s ass…