TJ Answers a Question About How He Handles Bad Days

Nov 21, 2008 | TJ's Skeletons

TJ: Hello to all!

Before we begin, I’d like to say a quick something to “The Ladies Three”, (Stephanie, Rebecca & Sharon)

Thank you ladies, for breathing life back into this site. It looks wonderful. I continue to be truly humbled that any of you would want to celebrate my works and get to know me a bit more. That means the world to me.

Since you have taken the time to ask, I will take the time to answer, ALL the questions you have had for me over the years.

I look at this as our own personal interview. You, and I.

So…

 let’s set the scene appropriately

Shall we?

It is 10:45 in the evening on a rather chilly night.
Currently “Your Hand In Mine” by Explosions in the Sky plays in the background. We are in the office of my home in Los Angeles. We sit in very warm, cozy overstuffed chairs. We each have our own individual pots of tea beside us. I’m drinking Jasmine/Chamomile and you are drinking…? As well, we have glasses of cold water just to the right of our extra warm tea cups (brought back from Japan on my trip to Tokyo with my kid sister )
The lighting is low, and candles burn.
The mood is tranquil.
We smile a very fond friendly smile at each other as we sit back…
and…
then,
we begin:

Croactive asks:
“We all have bad days; ‘bad hair’ day, ‘no brain activity’ day, ‘nobody loves me’ day, ‘aching all-over’ day, ‘get out of my way’ day, ‘feel so small’ day, ‘wanna stay home’ day… and such.
Do you have them? How do you handle them – how do you get the energy and self-confidence to get in front of the camera and smile (when you are depressed) or look sexy (when you feel like sh..)?”

TJ: hmmmmm, the bad days, the sad days, the nobody loves me days, the feel small days, the wanna cry days, and the look-the-other-way-and-not-at-me-days, yes. I have them, have had them. One of these days, our days, real days, I’ll sit you all down around my little campfire and talk, for real, and we’ll chat into the eve about what goes on behind closed doors in a place known to you as the Jeffersonian, known to me as stage 6 or sometimes simply, as home.

In terms of acting, in terms of stepping in front of the camera on such days, it’s simple. You see, to me,the camera, the camera is one of my very best of friends, who doesn’t like it very much when I lie. And this one eyed friend of mine with the sharp focus contact lens (no need for two eyes, when the one you have is so powerful) demands truth out of me. So on those days of sad days, or bad days, I have two doorways to walk through: LIE, or TRUTH. I can lie in front of that lens by not showing what is really going on, I can hide, and I have. And I do. For sometimes, truth hurts too much to reveal. But the beauty of that friend, that lens, is that much like a true friend, they know when I’m lying. And they see truth. So other days, if I risk being vulnerable in front of them, it, you, then I stand the chance of being real. And you say “I like that scene. I don’t know why, but he was really real in that take”. Hard. Harder then it seems. Some scenes don’t allow it. Some relationships on set make it difficult, but the best thing I can do, is consider feeling what I feel and let Jack feel it too. And, like in life, though we feel sad inside, our exterior relationship with the world and others shifts & changes moment to moment. What I’m saying is, when it’s safe (and sometimes, it is safe) I’ll risk being truthful on those days. But, when it isn’t safe (and most times it isn’t safe) I find a way to dig deep like we all do at times in life, and mask truth for the sake of the day. It’s why we like to watch acting. Because in our real lives, we are all actors every day! Communicating to the world truthfully whether it’s real or not. It’s a great question. It’s a hard answer. I hope it makes sense.

CHOICE: I could sit here in our virtual interview for the next few months answering these questions when I have a moment here or there and compile a large “here’s an interview” type article…or, I can send you these replies as I write them. In spurts. When I have time. What do you prefer? If in spurts, I’ll always let you know where we are, what time it is, what I’m listening to while I reply. And what’s going on in that now of now. For now, I’ll send this along to all of you for a quick read, and a vote.

Thanks for sitting with me.

Explosions-in-the-sky just ended.

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