How To LA — My 2 year anniversary
How to LA
It’s been 2 years since I moved to Los Angeles. In that time I may not have worked for a corporation but I’ve produced an award winning short film, done some guerrilla film producing, written several short films (that are in still in the works), working on a feature screenplay and co-writing another feature screenplay. So I may not have made money, gotten a paycheck but I have worked.
What I do have is a belief in myself, a belief in my system of working and navigating the world and I practice it daily. I am in fully in love with life, my journey, and myself. Each feeling leads me to a thought, so why not think good feeling thoughts?
So how is Los Angeles these days now that I’ve gotten the preamble out of the way? It is great, it is glorious, it is magnificent and I’ve not done it all yet!
I’ve taken a bus to Santa Monica. That was cool! I’ve yet to take the train to Santa Monica but will do this for sure!! I’ve tried restaurants that are cool hip spots that even the locals and those that have been here awhile haven’t gone to.
What about the film industry? What about it? Well for me I am still learning the ropes and anyone in this industry will tell you there is so much to learn. I have learned that I love to write stories. I find stories every day and twice on Sunday! I always see a different angle. I’ve done my homework, taking an Aaron Sorkin online class, taken an in person feature script workshop and just plain old writing.
I’ve learned that people in the entertainment industry only like you if you can do something for them. This was a lesson my acting coach and friend John Lansch warned me about before I got here. That said, I have made true friends in the industry that manifested into amazing friendships that I cherish and have helped me grow as a human being. They know my flaws and still want to work with me and be my friend!!! That is priceless!
I’ve met people in the industry and people outside the industry. As I’ve told anyone moving here, find and have friends outside the industry. They keep you sane!
In the last year, I got to attend many film festivals in support of the amazing short film I helped produced called Fragile Storm. I have made so many connections, learned a lot about the festival circuit and honestly had a lot of fun in the process!
I’ve learned that the entertainment industry is a small group. Everybody knows everybody. There are lots of stories to tell here and no time to tell them. But this is the same in any industry. Have fun, create connections & see the greater good in your work!
I’ve learned that there are not flat parking lots here and that parking costs a ton of money. I wrote this piece on my not often updated howtoLA site. The city of Los Angeles has a study to correct this huge image problem in terms of making money on parking but still, it exists for a reason. I’ve plugged meters using my credit card more times than I can remember.
I’ve learned that you can be anything you want to be in this amazing city. I’ve heard countless stories of people creating a service that people want. One of my actress friends makes cannolis and sells them. If you have a service or a product you can be an entrepreneur in this city, not just the entertainment industry.
I’ve learned that everyone telling you what you should do out here is mostly about themselves, not about you. I’ve followed my own path and done quite well. Not made money, but I am happier than I’ve ever been. Again, that is priceless!
I’ve learned that I love to walk everywhere here and I do like public transportation & Lyft. If I can walk there I will is my motto. I have a 2-mile radius around my apartment whereby I walk to places like LACMA, The Grove and my own grocery store. I love it and it gives me energy. I love Lyft because I get amazing stories and have made an occasional friendship with a driver. I’ve taken the bus to Santa Monica and that was cool! I want to ride the train all the way to the Santa Monica Pier. I even have a TAP card!
People out here that are working in the industry all have what they call survival jobs. It pays the bills why they keep working their craft. Myself, I have tried to get a job using my PeopleSoft skills that I have but that has not come to fruition yet. That said, that is my own doing because truthfully I am not fully aligned with that outcome. I do love having no boss each day and I incorporate my spiritual routine into my workday. I have it good, very good!!! I do wish for a retail job or some other survival job to accentuate my bank account and social life however.
Los Angeles and the surrounding area is a beautiful city with easily accessible beaches, mountains to hike, nightlife, restaurants, and to me: great people. It’s hard to believe it has been 2 years to the day that I moved here with a car full of stuff and 2 four-legged kids, but I did. Both are doing great. Darwin, my cat, has failing kidneys but he’s on a strict diet now to counteract that. Ginny still barks at the dogs walking by. My mornings are always cool and the afternoons warm.
I do miss the occasional thunderstorm because I love the lightning, the sound and feel of rain, but I don’t miss the bugs and humidity that comes with that.
I have learned that no matter where you go, your problems go with you and I’m no exception. That said, in the 2 years here, I have allowed myself to grow and each day all I ask of myself is that I get 1% better. I’ve discovered a spiritual but not religious way of thinking out here because of a friend of mine that I hang out with. It has helped me and that’s one of the great things about this city. There are churches, Buddhist chant groups, a monastery (I’ve visited one & meditated there) and more. It’s always open to your interpretation. Some make fun of this, but me I love that you can openly practice your way of thinking.
I am finally practicing my way of thinking that aligns with my true self. I’m just me, trying to be peaceful, wake up happy, in love with myself, and in love with my life. It’s a fun freaking journey and it is hard to believe I’ve been here 2 years.