Time had been passing, and I had been meeting all sorts of people that were their own unique mixture of wonderful, interesting, crazy and fun.
But what the heck was I doing here? Didn’t I move to Los Angeles to be an actor? Sheesh, I’d only been on one audition since arriving, and I got it through my friend from High School. What was I doing in this town?
I started asking myself these questions as “Judgement Day” approached. May 7th would be my six month mark. You may recall from my first week of being in Los Angeles that I damn near walked to the airport to buy a one way ticket to New York. I instead made a pact with myself to stay a solid six months before I made any decisions.
But what decision would I make? I had stopped pining for NYC some time ago. But was Los Angeles really where I wanted to be?
One month before Judgement Day I took a very definitive step in moving into a guest house-style room that was offered to me by my old pal, singer extraordinaire Jes Hudak. As Jes was a friend, and not some random Colombian dude, renting a room from her was a little different. If I decided I wanted to bail in four weeks, I’d be inconveniencing a friend as opposed to a landlord. So taking this step more or less solidified my place in Los Angeles.
But what for?
I certainly had to stay for a while just to restore my bank account. I started looking for a second job, which would be necessary regardless of what my decision would be on Judgement Day.
As opposed to looking for a job in close proximity to my new place, I opted for just the opposite. I wanted to work in a completely new neighborhood, so that I could explore even more of LA. The thing is, I really love LA. There are so many areas and so many amazing people. I loved going to Kings hockey games at the Staples Center. I just started going to baseball games at Dodgers Stadium. I loved checking out new venues to see music. New restaurants, new coffee houses, new parks. There was so much, and I was fully aware that I had just started to scratch the surface of it all. I loved LA – all of it.
I secured a second job in Santa Monica and started training at the end of April. Although I had yet to reach Judgement Day, I officially started a new phase of my life I projected would last about two months: Operation Sanity. The goal was to not go insane, given how busy I would be.
I had yet to actually step foot in Santa Monica before my interview. It seemed so far away, despite the fact that it only took about forty-five minutes to get there. It may as well have been in Japan. But walking into my first day of training, I could tell it was a part of town I was going to really enjoy. My coworkers were beyond lovely, and I was happy with my new place of employment. Walking out onto the street at 5pm, I took a deep breath of the crisp air and a smile came over my face.
“Hey man” asked a teenager passing the other way, perhaps prompted by my big grin. “You wanna do some ‘shrooms?”
I was a bit thrown off. “Uh…”
“Yeah man, I’ve got some shrooms, you wanna do some?” he repeated, this time calling attention to the brown lunch bag in his hand.
“Um – oh. No thanks, man. I appreciate it though.”
Noticing the perplexed look on my face, the kid felt the need to explain his unsolicited offer. “You just look like the type of dude that likes to do shrooms.”
Welcome to Santa Monica, Jesse.
Unfortunately this was the only time this happened to me. Not that I wanted to actually do shrooms with this kid, but I would’ve liked it if he was always kind of hanging out outside my work, hoping that this would be the day that I’d be down to shroom with him. He just seemed so excited about the prospect of it.
Reflecting on this bizarre run-in, I was only further reminded of the lack of purpose I had in this town. Sure, I didn’t want to do shrooms, but what was it I that I ought to be doing to keep me from a nice little hallucinogenic trip after working my day job?
Ah, jeez. Acting. I’ve been avoiding it for so long. But if I’m not here to act, then what the hell am I here for? Where’s the kid with the shrooms? May as well, right?
Since I’d been in Los Angeles the only thing I’d been sticking to was this blog. I’d dabbled in music a bit, but not to the extent to make me think I can do it day in and day out the way that’s necessary. Should I quit acting and be a writer? Ah jeez, that would mean I wouldn’t get to act anymore.
Feeling a bit lost, I attended a Casxio concert the night before the 7th. That would be the 6th. Judgement day looming over me, I thought it best to just dance the night away. And dance I did. One thing I love about LA is how much more socially acceptable it is to dance. That’s not to say everyone does, or even most people do. Rather that if you decide to you won’t be as ridiculed as you would in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
After the show, I decided to stick around and have a drink.
“Dude, how’s it going?” I hear behind me, a hand gripping my shoulder.
There he was: Jay. I’ve talked to this guy a net total of seven times in my life, but for some reason I always thought of him as a really good friend. Sometimes you just get that from people with no way to reason it.
“How’s LA treating you.”
Funny you should ask. I broke it down for Jay, explaining to him the circumstances that led to me needing to leave to New York to my uncertainty about why I should be here.
“I’m not going to tell you what you should do, but I’ll just say this – you have to love LA.”
Yes. Go on…
“You can’t look at this town as a place you’re going to just live for a while ‘til you can build your career and make enough money to move somewhere else. People smell that shit. That’s what I did when I first moved here, and nothing went right. But if you love this town. If you love everything about it – it will love you back.”
Well, shit, Jay.
I can’t help but think it was fate that Jay just decided to give me advice that night. It was the fourth time I’d seen him since I’d been in LA, and he didn’t bother on any of the other occasions. This was just what I needed to hear.
If I was going to stay in this town, I needed to embrace everything about it that it had to offer me.
Feeling as though the problem was solved, I went to bed only to wake up the next morning thinking to myself – so what does that mean?
Feeling kind of crappy, I decided to hit up a yoga class before work. I was hoping to take some time and sit down with myself to assess everything as part of Judgment Day.
I guess it’d have to wait.
So there I was, mid-yoga pose, when it came to me.
A TV Show. Based on my move out here. Based on this blog.
No! Don’t do that, Jesse! You hate stuff like that, right?
I do. I hate when people essentially turn their life into a screenplay and expect other people to give a shit.
Feeling a bit deflated, I took a deep breath while in child’s pose (the yogi maverick was doing Warrior 2).
Then it came to me – the economy.
“The Economy”. A show about a guy that loses his job and moves to a crazy house.
There it is. And so this lame and crappy post puts an end to the Chapter portion of my blog. I thank all of my readers from the bottom of my heart for reading. I’m off to start writing something that will only be of use in Los Angeles…
‘Til the next wacky experience necessitates a Chapter – Jesse Gavin