Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Within The Vicinity

Pay attention to your neighbors.

I once took a six-week fencing class at the Los Angeles Community College. On the last day of class, I discovered that I had been dueling with very talented and successful writers, one producer and several amateur artists. One woman had come to L.A., after a stint writing for a succesful Canadian sitcom. This the great thing about L.A., the company you unknowingly keep can be a vast and untapped resource. Companions that I had little ambition to take note of (how very L.A. of me), until we sat after class discussing our respective careers and our teachers foray into screenplays. I was taken aback, surprised at the lack of ego and pretention and their willingness to share whatever insight they could offer into the industry culture and their estimated success in the bewildering Los Angeles landscape. At a theatre performance, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Kathleen Turner, I sat next to a woman who translated the show's events for the blind into a tactile experience. More recently, a co-worker of mine shared that unbeknownst to her until a week prior, the famous Korean actor named Rain (as in, famous like Brad Pitt) lived just a floor above.

Unfortunately, I have nothing to share here, but I want to point out that if you decide to move to L.A., don't become a hermit. I happen to love my lonesome ways, and given my experience in the fashion showrooms here, an experience I liken to a mock celebrity environment (cut-throat and untrustworthy as it gets, with drug use on the side), it has been hard to trust people in this town ever again. Slowly, it gets better. My sister is far more social than I'll ever be, and the high expense of entrance fees and drinks is enough to make you want to stay home, but she's deftly focused her career and her friends have only widened her prospects.

Photo by Liz Chrisman

This is not new news, but just a helpful reminder. Even to myself.

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