This week will mark three months since I moved to LA. The honeymoon phase has ended and the reality of settling into my newly adopted city has become a reality. I realize that in chronicling my journey out west on my blog, I never completed the last chapter. For those who read it, I’ve been stuck seeing Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, like some weird Sisyphean character that is forced to watch the same bawdy burlesque show night after night! I apologize for not completing the journey. I’d like to say that I was holding off until I could make an accurate impression of what LA was and how I felt in it, but the truth is I didn’t know what to say.
Since I moved, I’ve continued the momentum by going full speed ahead. I landed a social media job at Kono Social, where I manage small businesses’ social media accounts. It’s similar to the work I did with ChatterBlast before I left. They hired me (after reading my blog no less!) and mentioned that they’d be willing to be flexible if I wanted to audition. To my actor friends, I’m a sellout for having a full-time job, and to the finance department of my company, I’m a bohemian that gets to wear jeans and hoodies to work. I think I like it best that way. I had heard too many stories before I moved of young actors and comedians who came to LA only to work odd jobs that barely paid the bills. They would leave after a year when it didn’t happen for them, feeling crushed and defeated. I refuse to believe that a creative life is synonymous with a life of poverty.
On a lighter – or dare I say sunnier – note, the weather is phenomenal and I’ve loved gloating to all of my friends back east when they complain about the cold. “Yeah, the weather’s been kind of bad here too, it rained for a little bit this morning but now it’s sunny and 72.” I’ve started taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) so that’s satisfying my performing outlet. It’s humbling to start training again after being on a successful improv house team in Philly, but when I look back, I realize that I never really had a solid foundation at an acting or comedy school outside of Temple. I’ll admit that oftentimes my ego gets in the way of doing good work and training. It’s great to be at the center of the entertainment industry and to meet creative and inspiring people who are always working on something – directing a webseries, starring in a commercial, or writing a one-man-show. There’s a buzz here that I love. If Philly was a place to experiment artistically, Los Angeles is the place to use the tools you have to make it happen.
There are parts of the city that frustrate me to no end – the never ending traffic, the let’s hang out soon mentality of people who “like totally want to hang out,” but you can never track them down to schedule anything, and the high price of gasoline and everything else in the city. Full disclosure: LA has reminded me that for the past ten years I totally missed driving and I love having a car. Through my darkest and most doubting moments, and there have been plenty, I feel confident in my move and I’m proud to say that my head is still above water. In 1913, William Mulholland made a speech at the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The water system would help the fledgling metropolis to irrigate the land and create a population boom. Mulholland bellowed, “There it is. Take it.” For me, those five words uttered one-hundred years ago are still a slogan for those that flock to the city in search of something more.