…Yup, that’s right, I am leaving LA/ Lala-land/The West Coast/Hollywood. And it is a wrench.It has been a brilliantly fun and enlightening adventure, there have been fab sing-a-longs and some disappointments but a lot of good times too. And a lot of Sun. And waaaaay too much driving.And I didn’t score an agent or a manager, but I think that I have learnt enough to warrant coming back.
I mean, it was a great time (Feb/ Mar) to be out here in LA IF you have representation. And to get that, I need to attend a few agent showcases and to be ready for those, I want to have rehearsed a couple of pieces with a couple of friends, so that when they see me on stage, they are getting my full response to “show us what you have”.
I also learnt that it is about the art of networking out here in LA, that if you can make connections to people and then get or use those connections to get to the people who matter, then you are one step ahead of the competition and ultimately more likely to get work, or at least auditions. I learnt that to be ‘in the right place at the right time’ actually requires planning. That a good PR rep can put you in the place at that ‘right’ time and also open the lines of communication for you to do the rest. But they don’t come cheap and that they have to see something in you first, before they take a chance in you. After all, it is a business out here and as a new actor on the scene, you are asking people to take a chance on you. Maybe that’s why people who get established in their own countries/ locations then come out to Hollywood do well, because those in Hollywood can see what you bring to the table and what they can work with. I also guess it means that they can sell you on that basis – good at adverts? Then use that to get people to see that you are good on set, professional and quick to learn. Good in TV dramas? Use that to showcase the same out here, after all, Pilot season is all about new projects and a vast majority will be drama-based. Look good on camera but have no formal experience? Then get yourself along to one of the multitude of acting coaches and their classes and hone your skills, you’re more likely to get work if you have the talent to back up your initial promise (be that an introduction, a good look or a strong CV).
Other than that, there’s not much else – it sounds simple, in theory (hence the masses of people who think they can make it here), but the practise is a different matter and that’s what separates those who work (as an actor) from those who wait tables or have the dead-end jobs and don’t work as actors.
I wish that there were fewer people here, or that the talent pool was less diverse, or just that I had better connections, but the fact of the matter is, I have what I have and in the time that I have back in the UK, I have to make it count. In terms of making contacts that work in the US, in terms of getting work that will fill my CV out and make me a more useful prospect to those in power and in terms of making sure that I am sure of my abilities and that I can hit the ground running, should the opportunity come along.
I guess being here in LA has taught me that the actors here (working or not) are all in a state of readiness – the constant taking of classes and training, the sending and re-sending of taped auditions, the giving out of cards/ postcards/ showcase posters is all so that if your opportunity comes along, that you have the skills and the tools to be able to go from no-one to an A-lister.
Is it possible? Yes, that’s why people flock here, because the dreams can come true.
But is it possible to become that without hard work, luck and talent? I’d say no, but then there’s a Paris Hilton to prove me wrong…then again, would you class her as A-list? I think not. She’s just known.
Also, I have a lot of photos that I have not found a blog post for yet, so I am going to add them into this one, my final West coast blog…maybe with a word or two.
May have mentioned them before, but Pizza Olio on West 3rd street are THE best pizzas ever, hand-made in a lovely wood-fired oven. Check them out
This is mainly for my brother as he really introduced me to Leslie Nielsen via Police Story (great TV series) and the Naked Gun films. Was totally random to step on him (well the star) when out and about in Hollywood with Tom.
So even though Nike got into trouble for naming a colourway on their trainers ‘Black and Tan’ (here – thanks to the guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2012/mar/18/nike-foot-black-tan-trainers) I see that it is alive and well as a drink in the pub! AND that the drinker had no idea of the history of the name (he just thought it looked cool).
And this one is just for fun. Seriously though, if you need help with a pasta salad, I’m not sure you should be home cooking…and how does it ‘suddenly’ make a salad to add imitation bacon and some seasoning? Surely, if you just made the pasta as a meal, when cold it becomes a salad? And if that was too hard, there are a multitude of places that do take out and so you wouldn’t really need this. Still, there you have it.
And I may have mentioned cakes, but since everyone is obsessed with cupcakes and I have gluten-intolerant friends (who struggle to find edible ones), the quest to find a good cake that we can all shop at is made that much harder. Unless you check out Crumbs in Beverley Hills (http://www.crumbs.com/) which was a delight in that it was a fun place to be (the waitress/ server was funny) and they had gluten-free cakes for Mandy. But the funnest part (yes, I know that isn’t a proper word) was this at the till (sorry, cash register)
And that is about it for now, I hope to be back in the States sometime later this year and by that point to have (somehow) secured management and definitely aim to be back out for Pilot Season 2014. I shall keep up to date with any and all things acting that relate to me on here, so keep your eyes peeled for further posts.
All that is left as I hang out at the airport (oh there is NOTHING to do at the terminals, seriously) is put up a couple of snaps and get some last-minute charge into all my electronic devices before the flight back…
So long, farewell LA, I’ll see you again.