Surviving the Drought: L.A. Land

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Last week I was in L.A. for the first time EVER. 

 

Here is what I learned:

A) I don’t hate it.

B) Downtown can get pretty gross.

C) I like food trucks.

D) It is kind of nice when people are nice.

E) Vertigo can be really shitty.

F) There is a shortage of I.V. liquid valium in L.A.

G) You can buy wine in supermarkets and drugstores (!!!)

 

The reason I had finally decided to visit L.A. is because a feature film I wrote and directed (Living with the Dead, now on Amazon VOD!) was having a brief theatrical release in some wine town in Northern California. I was given only two weeks notice that the screenings got pushed back to October but I had already bought a non-refundable plane ticket (which the company screening the film reimbursed me for) so why not? Free plane ride!

I stayed with a filmmaker friend of mine who lives in Korea Town and was nice enough to put up with my stupid ass while I began the trip with an awful case of Vertigo. There’s nothing like feeling your immortality when you experience the floor becoming the ceiling. After spending a whole day in the ER (you may not think Vertigo is not an emergency, but trust me, when it’s really bad it really is and fuck anyone that says otherwise.)

I woke up early the next day, armed with drugs to keep my world from capsizing, and took the subway further into downtown L.A.

Why am I going to downtown L.A. where the homeless population rivals its residents and the streets are black with so much dirt that I immediately regret wearing sandals? I’m on a mission. A book mission.

At The Last Bookstore, located at 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, as soon as I walk in I know that I'm in a magical place, a holy place; like a church for bookworms like myself.

 View from the second floor!

View from the second floor!

 Going up the stairs feels like going down the rabbit hole.

Going up the stairs feels like going down the rabbit hole.

 Welcome to Wonderland!

Welcome to Wonderland!

 Beautiful book tunnel

Beautiful book tunnel

I end up going on a mini-bookshop tour during my trip and spending a total of $78.65  on books. And this was me showing restraint.

With a trip to Amsterdam, London, and Dublin coming up in October, I can’t stop thinking about how I need to book (pun not intended, even better that way) as much work as possible before I leave the country. I have to make that nice book spending money.

Problem.

I’ve been having a bit of a dry spell lately. It seems like 70% of the BG jobs require having a car. A fucking car. I’m losing work because of I don't have some gross, gas-guzzling SUV or a taxi from the 1950's or a pickup truck. Come on production! Stop trying to save money by only hiring BG that has some bullshit automobile. This is the whole reason I live in New York City and not L.A.

I remember a similar thing happening last year where I only got a day of work each week and wondering why that was.

 

FLASHBACK

BEGIN CHRISTINE’S JOURNAL ENTRY:

July 27 2016

I haven’t booked work for the rest of this week yet at all and starting to believe that I won’t. I might get some work on the weekend if that Jake Gyllenhaal movie is still shooting. Why haven’t I booked work? Am I that hideous looking on camera? Have I not been nice on set? DON’T PEOPLE LIKE ME?

Since when have I given a shit if people like me?

Is this why actors are stereotypically insecure?

END CHRISTINE’S JOURNAL ENTRY

 

Honestly, not know when I’m going to work next can be scary, and somewhat like the vertigo, it’s a literal lack of stability. I’m in a boat that could capsize any minute without warning.

In Los Feliz, I head to this sweet little shop right next to the Los Feliz movie theater, Skylight books. I can’t help it; I pick up a couple of things:

 Because you can never have enough books or tote bags, right?

Because you can never have enough books or tote bags, right?

It’s a kind of funny of how I’m spending money on books and not booking work (the pun is the only funny part.) It’s just this shitty feeling of restlessness and the kind of not-knowing-neediness that comes with being a freelancer. C'est la vie and all that bullshit.

I catch a book event at Book Soup in West Hollywood before I have to go to LAX. It’s for Kelly Grey Carlisle’s new memoir, We Are All Shipwrecks. I have way too many books, even from this trip alone, and not enough dollars. I look at the author and think about how much life is in this book, how much it means just to be in this room right now, that we actually are all shipwrecks, just boats in danger of capsizing; we all have hard times. I check out the price printed on the inside of the book jacket. $24.99

Fuck it. How can I not?

And I know that even though L.A. might have a draught, that they will survive it; just like I'll survive mine. 

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