As my second time here (well technically 3rd) comes to an end I thought I would write a practical blog. One that will inform people of the things I have discovered in LA. The good the bad and the teeny annoying bits (there aren't a lot) Apart from the annoyingly blue sea and my annoying smug face in some pics... Sorry not sorry.
My overall time out here is hugely positive. It truthfully has been the best time of my life. The sun and freedom help. The time to think and reflect because you take time out from the real world, is always going to be useful and deeply appreciated. But I have had other trips where I have done similar thinking. But this city, for me, creates a whole wealth of opportunity and chance and inspiration and hope, that no other place has given me. It's a city people are quick to judge and you assume it's full of people, that other people are quick to dismiss. Because why wouldn't you? The preconception is It's a town of flakyness, of insincerity, insecurity, bravado, show, false promises and broken dreams. It's surely fickle and in genuine and full of try hard wannabes with distorted ambition. It's a city full of houses with gates and pools and pianos built into the floor with glass panelled stairs and hoovers made of gold, and then you stop off at the traffic lights and a homeless man with a trolley full of stuff, will ask you for a dollar, and even though you see this back at home, nowhere have I seen the difference be so distinctive and so obvious. A town full of money, and streets full of homeless.
The city can be strange. My time here has been off kilter a few times. You do lose yourself slightly in a world that is somewhat, unreal. But the only reason we feel that it is 'unreal' is because we are made to believe we should live another way. That life in the sunshine, not brutally working day to day, is a treat. It's something only the special or the lucky do. Only the talented or the rich. And in some regards, I still believe it. If you don't have money it is harder to live a certain lifestyle. Days with spare time and evenings with spare sunsets. But... its not entirely true. I met many people out there living on the same budget I live on at home. They work, they hustle, they get up early or work until late and not everyone is cruising around in a matte Bentley.
As a side note... LA looks hideous in the grey overcast days. If it rains, it's like a tropical storm and the whole city looks horrendously dull. Also people cannot drive here in the rain. To be honest, I find that people cannot drive here full stop. Aside from the fact that you can turn right on a red light, and pedestrians can cross the road when the lights turn green for the cars, they also do not say please and thank you whilst driving at all. They do not wait to see if you are letting them into your lane, they will just go (and mo you down in the process). They will speed up if you're trying to get into a lane, so that you cannot maneuver yourself over. Driving here can induce heart burn, headaches and outright rage. But there is always Uber... which comes with its own risks all the same.
LA is massive. I feel it's hard to do more than two things in one day. You can try. But it takes time. Everything here seems to take time. From the moment you wake up until the time when your head hits the pillow, you wonder how an earth your day was so full and busy with not actually getting stuff done. It's an odd concept. People will ask, what you did that day? You feel exhausted. You quickly went to the bank and then popped to the grocery store, before heading on a little hike and then having a coffee meeting later that day. All of that just there would take maybe 3 hours back home. Here, for some weird time warpsy illusion, that would take you 8 hours. You cannot 'pop' anywhere, and nothing is just a 'little'... Everything is epic, everything takes time, and nothing happens quickly. Because in between all of that you have to sort your stuff out for the rest of the day. Make sure it is with you. Because you don't want to have to be heading back 30 minutes in the opposite direction to get your heels for later. You then drive, use the sat nav and maybe get lost, more than likely sit in tons of traffic on the 101 and wish that you had listened to Google maps when it had showed you all red roads. Once you arrive, you have to find a space. It can take you 30 minutes just to find a one and then when you do, you spend 10 minutes reading over the sign more than 100 times. Because the signs here are the devil. They are sent to try you. Confuse you. They try and lure you into a false sense of security and make you think you can leave you car there for a good while and then you come back to a parking fine because you had parked an inch too far away from the curb or your bonnet was a centimetre too small for the road you were on between the times specified.
Once you trust that you can, you head off to hike. And the hikes are spectacular. You don't want to just do a little hike, you want to get to the top. You want to take in the epic views and contemplate life and your dreams and what your going to do next, and whether your car may have been towed because you think you may not have tucked your wing mirror in between 8.12am and 8.17am. You take your time, you catch your breath, you take a selfie, you take another... and then you have to get back down. All of this and you haven't even got to your coffee meeting yet. So yes, things do take a while here. There is a lot of space in-between places and horrendous drivers whilst getting to them places. But still, the pros out way the cons.
LA is full of beautiful things. Cute coffee shops, amazing restaurants, great classes, blue seas, pretty houses, lots of sun and sand and kale...
Firstly I feel obliged as and actor to give some info that I know other actors have been asking regarding my time here. What classes are good and are workshops worthwhile? Do you have have a chance to meet Quentin Tarrantino and is it appropriate to give him a hug or ask for a job in his next Sci Fi meets Greek tragedy film (this is not inside info, please don't sue me)
So in the next blog post (I thought it best to divide into two because I do talk a lot) I shall give my top tips on having a scrummy ol time here, whether your an actor or not...