I haven’t posted in three weeks, which I apologize for. I’m working at a social media job that has me writing 5,000 words a week in blog posts alone. That isn’t really an excuse, but the blog format does lose some of its mystery when you’re up to your elbows in it everyday. I just didn’t have the moral fortitude to add another six hundred words to that count. I spend those words elsewhere.
Things in Los Angeles have not settled down. I’ve lived here long enough to have paid two months of rent. My life continues to run a gamut of emotions, which, admittedly, I am not used to. I moved in with Amber, from the Bad Girls Club, which is sort of amazing. I never expected to be living with a reality TV star (I suppose that’s not something that people would expect, anyway). In many ways, it’s nice to have someone who challenges me to go out and be social. I’m not naturally a social creature.
A huge part of succeeding in Los Angeles is being here. I mean, obviously. How can you work in Los Angeles without living in Los Angeles? Waking up in the morning is surreal. I’ve met interesting people. On Monday, I went to the premiere of Husbands (Season 2 out today!). The event was at the Paley Center for Media, a public event, so much of the crowd was just fans of the show. As the 7pm premiere time drew closer, members of the Buffy and Caprica casts started filing into the theatre.
That’s how it is here, I guess. Or maybe it isn’t. I’m in a place where I have nothing to measure anything against and the thing is, living completely without the ability to measure is normal. Jane Espenson’s advice (which isn’t new, but, c’mon, Jane Espenson said it to ME) “Just…keep putting yourself out there.”
I’m sure she knows how hard that is. How painful that can be. Perhaps it’s creator’s self-doubt or maybe it’s something else, but putting yourself out there is HARD. Standing in a room screaming “NOTICE ME!” while everyone else is doing exactly the same thing is trying. Of course, you can try something different, but that’s no guarantee, either.
But, the point is, momentum. Much like writing this blog post, it just got faster and faster as I went. And, maybe meeting Jane Espenson and Brad Bell at the premiere of Husbands was just another way of putting myself out there.
Don’t miss the first episode of Husbands Season 2 today!
As I eyed a 6’0″ axe at the Renaissance Fair last week, I was struck with the thought that maybe I could wait on getting that new computer. My current compy is only four years old and in fair condition, but that’s four years at 2,000 words an hour. Some of the buttons are wearing off, sometimes it just gets obstinate and refuses to load anything, but it’s seen me through my first paid writing gig, a pilot episode, a Big Bang Theory spec script, three novels, two trips to Michigan, and a partridge in a pear tree.
So, I figure I can wait a year. Maybe sell one of those three books…
But, I digress. Back on point.
My perceived need for a new compy put me in another frame of mind. Way back when Lion came out (I’m running Apple; you can read all about my indoctrination here), I tried to update only to find it didn’t run Microsoft 2004. Those three novels disappeared. With hat in hand, biting back the curses on my tongue (I didn’t read the fine print), I shuffled my way to the Apple store and muttered, “Please, sir, may I have my files?”
They were nice it worked out huzzah yeah apple but NOW…the time has come for me to upgrade to Lion.
And do everything else before I move to LA:
Save up money
2. Upgrade the compy
Find homes for my instruments that will not make the journey
3. Meet up and settle friendship communications
4. Acquire boxes
5. Measure how many of said boxes will fit in the car
6. Trial run with packing the boxes
7. Agonize over everything that doesn’t fit
8. Find a place to live
Get a job
10. Have a major freakout, regret the decision, run around in circles, yell at my parents for no reason, talk to my cat about all the opportunities, decide to go anyway.
11. Order Not for Tourists: Los Angeles
Add new categories to blog: TV Nonsense, Movie Nonsense, Los Angeles
So, what? Am I missing anything? Let me know, because I really need to shut it down and get going. I met with a friend, Ben, who used to live in LA working as a writer and as he described this place to me, I could see/hear how much he loved it, how much he missed it, and how much he hoped to go back to it.
While people have been telling my how much I will hate LA, I’ve been answering with “But it’s what must be done”. But, after meeting with Ben, I started to think, “Man, I could really love living there.” He was the first person to say to me “Just get there. You’ll see.” I understand that people are in awe of the choice, or proud that they know someone relentlessly pursuing their dreams, or afraid that something will happen to me. But, I think the profundity of Ben’s fascination with LA burned away the lasts wisps of doubt and fear.
I’m as prepared for culture shock as one can be.
Ben said, “You’ll meet a lot of people like you.”
And that’s interesting.
Because I like me.
I like me a lot.
I’m moving to Los Angeles.
I’m moving to Los Angeles!
Oh, my God, I’m moving to Los Angeles.
Well, not until later in the year, but reality is setting in and it’s setting in hard. The other day, my dad told me we needed to talk about when we wanted to head out there. To look at apartments. Which I am perfectly capable of doing on my own, but, I mean, come on. What are fathers for if it’s not negotiating real estate? Also, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, I’m sure I can see the Hollywood sign from every window in my apartment no matter where I live.
In other news, sometimes I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality. You know when you watch those movies/read those books where there’s a pretty obvious ticking clock?
So, here’s my trouble.
How do I say good-bye?
I made a new friend (which is amazing, by the way) and she is going to school at MIT. In Boston! And, despite the distance, we have kept up our friendship through Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.
But what about the others?
I honestly can’t remember who I had this conversation with, so, if it was you, let me know.
“I’m leaving.” Me
“Okay. So?” You.
“I feel like I’m trying to cut off all my connections because it doesn’t hurt as much when I finally go.”
“That’s how it’s always been.”
“Yeah, but you have roots here. But, your parents are here.”
“I might be the one keeping them here. When I leave, they really have no reason to stay.”
So, here’s this.
Typical Midwest middle class family.
If that phrase doesn’t help you form a mental image, I apologize. This post may not make that much sense.
The first family member I told about my move to Los Angeles was my younger brother.
“When are you leaving?”
His thumbs twirled as he delved back into Call of Duty, and I could see his brain processing the news as ‘I get your room’. I called my older sister, who lives in Washington, D.C. the next day.
“Oh my God! That’s so cool! Have you told Mom and Dad yet?”
“Are you going to?”
After a pause that was longer than it needed to be: “I guess.”
“You’re going to have so much fun. I’m jealous.”
“Really? I’m having an anxiety attack.”
INT. KITCHEN – AFTERNOON
MOTHER sits at the table on her computer.
I didn’t sugar-coat it. I want to write for TV. LA is the place to do it. I told her about some of the places I found with housing potential.
Mom: “Can I just say one thing?”
Kate: (sighs) “What?”
Well, she kept it to one thing. Silly me. While I was worried about affording rent and a car, not to mention food and healthcare, I should have been thinking about my drug budget. I’ll have to stick with the cheaper drugs for a few months. The mountain of cocaine is a dream…no. I don’t do drugs. It’s never been an issue. Now, it is, for some reason.
I let her ramble. Things like: “you don’t have a home there,” and “I guess that means you’ve given up on horseshoeing school,” came up.
I kid you not. My mother had a dream for me and it was shoeing horses. How do these things happen? Mom had my whole life planned before I hit ten years old. She even picked out the guy I was supposed to marry by the time I was eight. Seriously? In the words of Sarah Palin: you betcha. Imagine her disappointment when he moved away after second grade.
I know this because she told me. It is one of my greatest failings (in her eyes) that I haven’t pursued a relationship with a guy I haven’t seen or heard from in sixteen years who may or may not remember me.
Are you starting to see why I need to break free?
Let’s tack a lesson on here:
Life’s hard. The economy sucks. People will do obscene and degrading things for minimum wage just to have a job. Can you imagine what they would do for more?
But, things can get better. Maybe you don’t need to pack up the car and take a Thelma and Louise dive into something, but you need to get out. You need to be on your own. Your parents will never see you as an adult. They had dreams for you, but you aren’t their horse-shoeing Barbie.
Lesson learned? Good. I’m going to make the world a better place.
Things are about to get really boring. And, then, really interesting.
Probably to Los Angeles. New York isn’t off the table, but it’s less likely. If I fail, it’s going to be in a blaze of glory, like a Katy Perry song or something.
I’m hoping there’s no Midnight Train to Georgia moment.
I’d been kicking around the idea for a bit. Last night, I got the marvelous advice from Shawn Scarber: “You’re broke here. Why not be broke in LA?”
So, January, at the latest.
I’m not completely without guidance. This blog by Amanda Pendo is quite inspirational. Now, I live in that space that all procrastinating writers love: the Research Phase. Can you really trust anyone on Craigslist? In the land of beautiful people, will I stand out in mediocrity? Am I crazy? Will I ever see my family or friends again? (If you don’t hear from me, my phone plan’s probably been canceled.)
Doing some spec scripts right now. Modern Family and Warehouse 13. I’m flexing my network (hopefully, not to the breaking point). I’m looking for a writing assistant position, maybe a fellowship, maybe a production assistant, maybe a Starbucks employee.
Here’s your latte, Mr. Scorsese.
Watch the blog. Things might get interesting.
Cue Defying Gravity from Wicked.