I’ve been in Los Angeles for a little over seven months now. Some crazy things have happened to me, I’ve done some things that you really can’t do anywhere else, but ultimately I’m looking forward.
Forward to what? I really don’t know.
I know I haven’t really spent too much time talking about why it is I’m here in LA. I’m here because I’m interested in the Film and Television industry. Because I want to act. Because I love the worlds that we make for ourselves and that are made for us on screens that we visit or that we carry in our pockets. Because I want to participate in that world building.
I’ve had some really exciting auditions since I’ve been here. The most recent audition I had was for a low budget feature film and consisted of myself and three other girls. We were called in based on our headshots/resumes and the casting director told us he had picked us out of at least a thousand of them. I was the only one who was non-union and who didn’t have an agent. I didn’t book the part, but I was so happy about even getting in the room that I walked around with a smile for a couple of days.
One of my first auditions was for a television promo that paid a ton of money. I still have no idea why I even got called in.
I’ve auditioned for a couple of student films, but mostly the auditions I’ve gone on have been for TV shows (not exciting ones, re-enactments like Tattoo Nightmares or Sex Sent me to the ER), random promos, short films, or features.
I’m not sharing this to brag, in fact I’m sure to the seasoned actor here what I’ve talked about is less than impressive. It certainly seems less than impressive to me. One of the things that’s been hardest for me here is reshaping my idea of what success is. Because of my accident, I’ve really only been auditioning since February, and I’ve had some great opportunities. I know that the fact people are calling me in based solely on my headshot and resume is an achievement. But still.
For someone who is as competitive as I am and who has been generally successful in many pursuits in my life, it has been very difficult for me to accept that I simply don’t have much of what I need even available to me. LA is a very closed off town. You have to be a bottom feeder and slowly make yourself strong off of the crumbs tossed down from above before you can hope to ascend to greater places.
me right now
I’m not saying I didn’t know this before I came. Okay, maybe I didn’t realize to what extent I would be closed off from things, but still. I came to LA knowing that this would be hard and take many years and there was still a huge potential that I might not get anywhere.
That’s just the nature of the beast.
I’ve got three jobs right now, so it can be hard to even feel like there’s any purpose to me being here. I could be doing this whole work my butt off doing things I don’t like somewhere cheaper.
One of the things I told myself when I moved here was that I wasn’t giving myself a date. That was a huge question I got asked over and over, “well, how long will you stay? what if things don’t work out the way you want? is there a time when you’ll pack up and head home?”
I don’t like these questions because this city is like a wormhole that swallows up time and spits it back out in strange configurations and you can spend what feels like years trying to establish yourself and wake up broken hearted in three months. Or you can work diligently and try to keep your spirits up with no real understanding of how much time is passing you and then you lift your head up and it’s been a decade. What was most important for me is not attaching some sort of meaningless time signature to my time here, but instead to try to get as much fulfillment out of my life for however long I was here.
I’m of two minds right now. Part of me is focused on being here and working towards a state of success here, no matter how long that takes. I’m working on a project that will make me Sag-e and also give me material for my reel that actually looks like me. I can look into the potential here and see a place where I’m happy. The problem is, I may never get there.
There’s the other, louder part of me that yearns to leave and travel and experience and be elsewhere. She doesn’t know what she wants, just that it’s not here, and it’s certainly not doing this.
So who knows where I’ll be in five months. I may renew my lease or try to find cheaper housing and grit my teeth and get through the difficulties and focus on the good times. I may go home and work to pay off my loans and write a book or move to France or join the Peace Corps.
Probably not the Peace Corps.
For right now, I’ve got five more months before I have to make a decision. So, I’m going to try to experience this city a little more. I’ve just been living here so far, but it can’t be such a huge tourist destination for no reason. I’m going to seek out the things that I can’t do anywhere else and do them. Maybe I’ll learn to love this city rather than simply endure it. Maybe I’ll make some great memories. No matter what, I’m going to try to shake it up a little. Stick around and you’ll hear about it!