It’s so weird traveling. I love it and despite it at the same time. I love it because it reminds me that there is a whole world out there beyond my usual four walls. That there are endless possibilities. That there are people with minds and ways of seeing completely foreign to me. Whose voices are voices that I never normally hear. Who have weird senses of humor that I can’t believe they get away with. Like this guy on the airplane sitting behind me who loudly exclaimed that he was glad that this other (slender) guy was sitting next to him because – thank god – he’s not another Jabba the Hutt.’ I mean, come on!!! I could never say that to a total stranger. Who can? It takes a certain kind of person who can say that. Not sure that that’s a good or bad thing, but still. Almost a Trump-like person. Again, not an admirable person to be compared with (IMHO) but I was intrigued. So I kept listening and it turned out that this guy was anything but a Trumpite. He was a Hollywood exec type who liked to do a lot of name dropping. He was a co-producer working for Cameron Crowe and every other comment outta his mouth was ‘Jerry Macguire’ this and ‘Tom Cruise’ that. I was intrigued at first. I wanted to know how the mind of a Hollywood exec sounded. I listened for a long time but then the plane started going through some serious turbulence. So much so that I was gripping my book and saying my prayers (and I’m agnostic unless a serious emergency is at hand – I figure God has enough on his plate and s/he doesn’t have to listen to me unless there is a really bad situation to deal with). Anyway, there I was panic stricken and all this guy did was interrupt the flow of his conversation for half a second by saying ‘Yeah, turbulence is a bitch sometimes’ and then he was back to his nonstop monologue of self-glorification.
When I finally got off the plane and my dad picked me up, we drove along the 405 freeway and I started remembering the good ole days when I first got out of college and started working little jobs on movie sets. There was one job I got that totally turned my stomach in regards to ever wanting to work in Hollywood (stop reading now if you have any genuine dreams of ‘making it’ in Hollywood – I’m not here to crush your dreams. Really, I’m not. I just want to set the record straight and offer a different version of the Hollywood story. Sure, some people are cut out for it and that’s awesome. For me? I felt guilty for years because I wasn’t interested in getting into that ratrace. I thought there was something wrong with me. It turns out: nope. There are just different strokes for different folks and I prefer doing the freestyle.)
So anyway, back to the main point (sorry but I like taking meandering paths at times). I was working as a prop person (I think the term ‘prop mistress’ is demeaning and sexist) on this set. And I found myself doing a lot of standing around waiting for the director and cameraman to take a certain shot. A lot of primping and fluffing and talking and eating from the appetizer table and then more talking and more standing around and more chitchat and more networking and namedropping and then more eating. And then maybe…10 seconds of a scene was shot. And then more talking and standing around…. You get the picture.
I’m sorry but with several identical experiences on movie sets within about six months, I was done. I didn’t get it. I didn’t know how on God’s gradually less green earth that would be remotely interesting to anyone but I’m glad, for some people, it is. And I’m not saying this to be all ‘sour grapes’ and Aesop’s fables-ish about it. I just am honestly glad that I made that decision a long time ago to get the hell outta dodge. No guilt. I do not want to live here. EVER. I love my family but this town? No way no way no fucking way. I love the warmth. I love the sun. I love the open skies. I love even the tinsel town aspect. I love the new eateries that pop up and I love the people watching opportunities. And not because care to sound disdainful. I am genuinely curious about people and I want to know what all kinds of people are like…. With the proviso that I can get faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrr away when I need to. Very far away. Writing helps me get away.
P.S. There are sweet and kind and nice people in LA, too. I ran into several already. And I will write about them as well. Next blog.