Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week 6: Busyness

Many of you are no doubt asking yourselves,

"What the f#!k is Kevin up to?"

Luckily for you, I've designated the day of the SUN as the day of days to report about what the f#!k I am up to.

Here's what the f#!k I am up to.

THIS PAST WEEK!  I think the most exciting bit has been, and the part that was hardest to keep from making an entire post about, was bed.  I have been without a bed since October.  It had been 57 days since I slept in a bed and I was hurting for it so bad, I didn't even know I was hurting for it so bad.  I'd love to say I slept like a baby, angel, or other thing that sleeps real well, but I didn't.  All I did was sleep like I was on an overnight drunk then woke up and felt that "sleep hangover" you get when you still haven't gotten enough sleep and you whole body hates you.  I felt that the first few nights until I got caught up on sleep... so I must have been supremely sleep deprived.

This makes sense.  I mean, I am super thankful to my roommates that posted me up these past few weeks, but when one roommate works until midnight and the other works at 5am and your air mattress is by their front door, sleep isn't something you get much of.  I've passed through that gauntlet and made it to the end.  For that, I deserve praise.

The new digs are nice, a tad girly but tidy, and my roommate, although I have seen very little of her, is nice.  She gave me Korean style pot stickers because she wasn't going to eat them so that was cool!

 Flowers on the bed. Watch out ladies. (I've since replaced the bedding with my own, manlier dressings)

The below pictured item is the elusive washer/dryer. It's cousins around the city eat quarters and bits of your soul, but this wonderful piece of machinery resides in unit, and has become as a close friend: never asking money or commitment from you, and only wishing to help you by washing your clothes...


^New best friend^

 "But what else has been happening Kevin?  Anything work related?"

I'm glad you asked. YES! Lots and lots of work related things.  I got signed on to 2 websites where I can find and submit myself for roles.  These two websites have absolutely been helpful getting me to auditions and in front of casting peoples.

WB Backlot. Pretty neat!
Granted, most of the jobs I've been called to are student films and non paying gigs, I am still happy to be working so prolifically.  This week alone I have had 13 auditions, 1 short film for a student, and later today I'll be shooting a promo video/commercial that I am pretty excited about.  Again, while these aren't paying...
(and a depressing thing that is as ALL AUDITIONS COST MONEY! Gas, parking, time(is money), I'm watching my bank account siphon through my fingers as I stupidly walk around saying "this is fine!" )
...I am happy to get in front of people and do my thing.  I've auditioned as fiances, boyfriends, teenagers, "FREELANCE SCIENTISTS", computer wizards, stoners, and many other things.  I basically wake up, shower, and I'm out until late auditioning.  I'm "working" constantly, and that is gratifying.

It is also surprisingly tiring.  I never realized how powerfully draining switching from role to role is until I have to play 4 roles in 3 hours with the same amount of enthusiasm, poise, and creativity all the while driving like a mad man across town in between just to make sure I make it to my next audition in time to find parking. It is emotionally draining and I have come home multiple times and found myself in a bad mood and skinny as a damn rail because it dawns on me that I never ate anything.

Good things do happen though, and funny weird things to. Obviously I've gotten people's attention and have been cast in things which is good, but I've also met some new people and had some adventures throughout.  For instance;
Kirstin and Thai food

In passing I mentioned, waiting for an audition, that I had an audition south in Longbeach, and Kirstin, the girl that I was waiting with, said she did to.  I mentioned it was for some "Shakespeare modern day Hamlet" and she said "... me too..."

So, disregarding all of the advice she has ever received about how to handle strangers, Kirstin accepted my invitation to ride together and hopped into my car to head to Longbeach. Lucky for her I am not a creeper and we had a nice drive together through rush hour traffic.  We even stopped off and ate Thai food after the audition.

This past Friday, to get myself out of "work" mode, Lauren and I snuck off down to the "Atomic Ballroom" to dance the night away with swing, blues, and some other dances I don't know yet.  It was quite the set up, and the crowd was diverse in age ranging from highschoolers (a lot of them actually) all the way up to some older ladies and gents, one who I can only imagine was 70 something. (that old man was easily the greatest dancer out there. Spry and able to lead the follows with a few simple gestures. I was pretty thrilled to watch him).  Lauren and I took a blues lesson which was fun, but my first priority is to learn 8 count Lindy.

The dance community is a lot different here than in Nashville.  Now, I do have a biased opinion as I love my home town and the dance community there rocks (go to the "5 Spot" on Monday nights and check out the "Jump Session" on Friday Nights at Nashville Swing Dance Foundation!).
 I know them, I know how most of the follows move, and I was doing it at least once a week.  Here everyone is so technical.  I had one girl get frustrated with me and just started muscling me around and leading herself which threw me off.  It is a different vibe here and I am still searching for my place in the swing community.  Also, I feel as though I have plateaued and need to finally take some lessons to move over this little blockade.  I need some new moves in my repertoire, and, while most of the ones I know I have stolen, the ones I want to know now I need to really focus and learn if I ever want to know how they work.

At any rate, it was a fun night all in all and I'm happy to have checked out the dance community there.

So that has been my week.  Busy like the words in this post.  I will hopefully stay busy all this week.

Christmas is fast approaching and I'll be back in Nashville soon.  I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends and family for sure.  Its hard coming home to an apartment and thinking you'll call someone up only to realize that they are literally thousands of miles away.  But that is how it goes. At least I'll get to see them over Christmas and the new year!

Til next post!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 5: Suppositions on Settling In

I'm not completely settled obviously. I'm staying on an air mattress next to the front door of an apartment where one of my roommates works at 5am and the other til midnight.  I've not had a decent nights sleep since I left Nashville all those many days ago. I'm mildly miserable with a peppered dose of adventurous spirit.  These will all be funny memories down the road... I hope.

My week has been much more reserved than previous weeks.  I am attempting to settle into these new environs and have successfully bought food from a super market.  That is cool.  I've made some good things, like a pasta with Italian Sausage and Pan Seared Brussels and Italian Sausage with toasted Sour Dough (Sausages were the Manager's special. Can't say no to them prices).  I've also failed miserably with this horrifying concoction of a can of condensed french onion soup, rice, and lentils. It may be possible to make that edible, but you'd need more knowledge of cooking and more tools of the trade than I have at my disposal.  We won't talk about that any more, it was a sad meal.

Also on food, I've not made one in a long time but I've reverted back to my college days and made my "famous" Heart Stoppers.
This is what it is. Feel free to make them in your own home if you are tired of your arteries not being clogged!
HEARTSTOPPER (Not fried yet)

Kevin's "Famous" Heartstopper

     2 Slice of Bread (Your choice)

Fry the bacon in a pan.
Fry the bologna in a pan.
Fry the egg in a pan.
Fry the toast in a pan.
Slather on mustard an mayo.

Die a little

Feel free to use that recipe any time, any where, and always give credit where credit is due. (Unless no one will know, then take the credit yourself. You didn't earn it, but who is gunna know?!)

This week I also met up with some friends of friends from back in Nashville.  One of those relationships where "I know someone out where you are going to be so you should both meet up and be friends because we are friends then we have more friends" type things.  BUT! wtf else was I gunna do?

I met up with them in Glendale at The Hermosillo, a brewery thing there, and we had a good night drinking beers and chatting about this and that.  I've noticed a strange thing here in this city, and maybe this is just me, but there are two types of relationships that start in the city.  

Friends of Friends of Friends
1.You have the people who meet you and keep their distance. Maybe they already have too many friends, maybe they hate you, I don't know.
2.Then there are the people who welcome you into their lives with open arms.  Its kind of like meeting up with an old friend and catching up, except you need to catch up on their entire lives because you just met.  

Number 2. is the majority of people I have met here and its been overwhelmingly nice to have so many new faces in my life. In particular when new faces are basically the only thing in my life.

Of course, perhaps these people are always like this, perhaps its my perception, perhaps its just me (I'd like to think I'm personable and nice and approachable).  Whatever the case, its been fun meeting all these people who genuinely want to find new, fun people to hang out with.

I have again invaded Corey and Emily's home, my surrogate Thanksgiving family, for Emily's Birthday.  This was last night, it started at 8pm, I left at 5am. It was a romping good time.

Party Party Party
Man of house. Birthday girl.


I had a bit of a hiccup this week.  I came out here because I am an actor (IMDB can be quoted as stating that fact) and there is work for actors out here.  Sure, there are already a lot of actors out here, but I happen to be a well above average individual when it comes to that skill, so I moved.  I suspected it would be hard, intended to not have an easy path, and set my teeth and came.
I've had an overwhelming amount of success since I moved out here.  I've been in 4 films with speaking roles, 2 of which I was the lead,1 supporting, and one featured, and I've been on 4 more sets as an extra.  I feel like I am making strides in the right direction.  Well, maybe not "strides", perhaps waddles, or like... inches, but I've felt like I have been working and doing things, and I've had more auditions in the past month than I ever had in the entire time I was in Nashville which makes me think I've made a good decision. (I still miss you Nashville)

I have had 3 major auditions/roles since I have been here that I was very excited about. One of them was the Nightwing Webseries I believe I mentioned where they left and never informed me so I didn't get to audition. A let down but a short hurdle to jump. The next was a student film that I am still waiting back to hear about and hope I got.  If I get it, I will have sweet telekentic powers (mind bullets) and that just sounds fun.

The last exciting audition/role, and most sour of defeats, came this previous Tuesday.  I placed my name in for a role in a film, a featured extra role on a SAG/AFTRA pilot.  I figured If I got it I would have only 2 extra things left before I became SAG eligible.  That would be optimal.
That night I got an email stating that they wanted me for the PRINCIPAL boyfriend role, and that they would Taft Hartley me, which means I would be SAG eligible basically as soon as the shoot day was done.  This was unbelievable.  I was thrilled, ecstatic, and ready for that to go my way.  I promptly responded with the all clear that I was available, then gave up 2 auditions for paid work that would have been on the same day as the shoot.

Wednesday rolled around.


Thursday night and I've got no script, no shoot schedule, no information, and a slowly, sinking suspicion that I've been duped.

Friday was a rough day.  I'm usually pretty good about picking myself out of the mud of self pity, but this time I had sunk pretty deep.  Took me pretty much all Friday to pick myself up and feel decent again.
Its not that I was depressed about not getting the role.  I was, of course, but the major defeat was suffered psychologically.  I came out here with the full knowledge that 3 years minimum was going to be my run time to get even close to where I want to be, 5 years more likely.  

But! To have the carrot of success dangled in front of your face so early, then to find out its actually a gilted turd wrapped in a bow with the words "Eat shit" all over it... thats a heavy defeat.

I wanted that so bad. I thought I had it.  That was what got. That was what was difficult to shirk.

My father poignantly stated when we were watching the World Cup:
"If you aren't willing to cry when you don't get what you wanted, you didn't want it bad enough in the first place"

I suppose to be defeated so hugely, to take that hit so hard, I wanted that role desperately enough to feel it.  I'll take it as a win.  At least I know my wants are directed that way, now its all about setting to my conviction and sticking with it.

I will get to where I want to be. I won't take anything less.

What could go wrong?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 4: Friends, Fridges, and a Big Dead Bird

I've been around this city a month now.  It has been a lot of fun and supremely expensive.  I'm getting closer to settling into some style of routine and I'm both thrilled and scared of that. I'm excited because I look forward to finally feeling like this is a place I'm going to be staying.

On my trip here, Tio, one of my kind hosts, told me I wouldn't feel like I had totally moved away from home until I had found a routine in my new city.  This is apparently true. I'm getting closer and closer to finding that routine.  I've just signed for an apartment and I'm so close to getting my own space. I feel like that is the first step.  Then (hopefully) some income.  I don't know how. I'd prefer to just do extra work and all that but most likely I can get a job at a brewery somewhere.  (Hire me Golden Road) I figure if I'm not working in my passion I should part time in my other one.

I'm also frightened by this prospect of sameness.  I like to feel challenged and different.  I like new things coming my way.  If I find a routine then I'll get comfortable with it, settle in, get a job and start adulting... hard.  But I will have to work doubly hard to maintain some type of interesting things to keep me sane.  Its so easy to slip into routine and realize four months later that you have done nothing interesting with you life, always waking up, going to work, and spending all your money going out with friends on a specific night.  I want to maintain that sense of adventure, and routine, while it helps alleviate stress of my daily life by giving you a map, it also can trick you into never deviating from that map.  Its a dangerous game and I know me.  Gotta stay on it and keep interesting things happening to me.

Of course, in a city this weird its hard to miss out on weird stuff.  One of my crowning moments was getting to see Harry and Libby again after a 2 year stint of "kinda keeping up" on facebook.  You know, a 20 something friendship.

Two years ago in the fall of 2012 I cast aside my American bonds and rode a plane over the ocean to spend 3 months "Studying" in the UK.  I traveled to the University of Kent, Canterbury and thought I was prepared for all the festivities that awaited me. 
Turns out, as a senior at a well to do party school in Tennessee, I WAS prepared, and had a romping good time.  
However, I wouldn't have been as successful at it had it not been for my flat mate Libby and her boyfriend Harry.  Libby me to Harry the first night we were there at Uni and Harry and I were inseparable after that!
(If you have ever heard any story from my UK trip, Harry was most likely involved)

We had discussed meeting up in California as I planned on moving here and he was going to study abroad in San Francisco, so as I left I always kept that in mind.  Now, years later, that thought has come to fruition.

I met up with Harry and Libby on Santa Monica pier. Upon their arrival, I heard them and had forgotten what a "proppah" accent was, and they reminded me that I sound VERY American.  We walked the pier, rode the Ferris Wheel, and I had the pleasure to introduce them to their first funnel cake.

After Santa Monica we scooted down, at the sun's sinking, towards Venice Beach and watched the skateboarders be generally awesome on in their cement jungle gym.  It was a great reunion and I'm happy to say I got to see them.  Harry and I have made plans to meet back up and Libby will just have to wait!  I'll be back over to the UK soon.

Thanksgiving was swiftly approaching though you'd never know it.  When people say the Holiday "Black Friday" I find it so repulsive.  Every Fiber of my being is opposed to Black Friday.  The only thing Black Friday is good for is showcasing the shit of humanity and creating a "Holiday" for other countries to use as fuel against America.  Its a disgusting display of avarice and consumerism that has taken over our other, slightly less disgusting, Holiday where we eat ALL of the food and say #blessed. 
We had a Hoiliday where we ate beyond our capacity for the sake of celebration and said....
"No, they still don't hate us enough for having all the food... we should kill each other for XBoxs.... that'll show 'em!"

While I do HATE WITH A PASSION Black Friday, Thanksgiving is still a grand Holiday.  People joke and say its about us killing the Native Americans but its actually about family.  Hokey as that sounds, Thanksgiving in my family is important. I adore the food and the company and the kitchen as people tell me to "GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!" Its such a loving, tender environment.  And ssitting around a table and talking about things is just wonderful and I missed my family this year.

Luckily, I had a surrogate. Corey, a friend here in town, invited me to spend it with him and his Framily (Friend-Family) this Thanksgiving.  People who have been here, know each other, and probably got their shit together so the food will be good?  Sign me up!

The bulk of the guests arrived at 4:30pm and the festivities began.  We drank (I was in charge of beer. I did not disappoint), we ate, there was music, we ate, no one danced, we ate, everyone else was done eating, I ate.  It was a great time and I was, in fact, #blessed, to be invited to the Thanksgiving festivities with Corey, his wife, and all their friends.

Capping off the evening we played Heads Up, which I do believe EVERYONE else played on thanks giving as well.  Its a sily game where you put a phone on the head and people try and tell you whats on the screen without SAYING whats on the screen.  There are videos taken, hilarity ensues. "You coulda beena contenda" was the line of the evening.  It was a blast.

Thanks for the invite Corey!


Post Thanksgiving I spent more time with my roommates.  As I am not paying rent I do my best to be useful.  My usefulness, and by my I mean my car's, can be measured.  That measurement is 64x28x29.5

It happens to be my credit score... bad joke.

It happens to be a fridge.  Guess what. It fits in the back of an Envoy.  NEWS TO ME!  But it was a lot of fun minus all the hard work.  Sarah had a friend come and help us, and she commandeered a dolly for use in the fridge's exodus from its home to its new resting place, which was very useful. 

I think, the moral of the story is that if you let me stay for free, I will be sueful to you... keep that in mind my friends... keep that in mind.

Until next week!
What could go wrong?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 3: Musings and Movings

I've been here three weeks now.  Needless to say, I no doubt have been something of a nuisance on the people's lives whose space I am encroaching upon.  I enjoyed their hospitality and the fun times we had, but I knew that I needed to let them get their lives back in order.  So I started my search for a new location.

In between when I made that decision and where I am now, I have done some shit!

I got on with an audition Monday while I was on set for a film Johnny Whitfield was doing.  Both of those things were exciting!  First, the speaking role in Johnny's film was a blast.  Mostly improv supporting with another guy.  We bumbled through trying to pick up some girl at a party and said the most outlandish BS on set.  It was a blast and Johnny is a boss for giving me the chance to be on set.

The audition I got was for a webseries about Dick Grayson as Nightwing.  Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to audition for a supporting role in that.  I'm a big fan of comics and in particular Batman, so I was jazzed and working up to that audition all week.

I also visited Venice Beach.  Let me tell you, that place is crazy!  
My experience was as follows:
I parked a bit off and walked a few blocks to the beach.
My first experience was the smell of some stanky skunky marijuana.
I was offered, by people in green scrubs, medical marijuana license.
They claimed that "The Dr. was in."
A homeless woman screamed profanity at a man as she searched for things in a trash can.
Skateboarders and people on bikes are mad if you are on the bike path.
They don't give a shit if they are biking on the "no bikes" path.
Lots of people selling "Art" along the walk.  Some of it was good.
I didn't stop anywhere from food, but I want to try something.
The sand on the beach is like fairy dust between your toes.
I walked through a literal shit-storm of seagulls.  
I walked away poop free.
I accidentally bought a Regae CD for $1.
I decided not to go back until I had someone to enjoy it with.

Venice Beach. Tis' a silly place.

So Friday rolled around and I told my roommates I would be gone by Friday, so I was.  I am lucky in having numerous friends here in town and so I hopped into the car and drove to my friend Sarah's apartment.  IIt was a win win as I had a full bed and she had no bed, so she gets to use my bed while I'm subletting another apartment!  WIN!

But, I haven't really seen her since I moved in.  I've mostly seen her roommate Molly and Molly's cat, Beatrice.  They are both awesome as well.  In fact, the first night, before I'd met either, I was sitting, like a peasant, in their new apartment.  I was reading a book by street lamp light through the window as they neither had lights nor internet.  It was some pilgrim shit.  Molly walks in and I introduce myself (she was expecting me).  She said "Nice to meet you... wanna go to a show?"  Naturaally I said yes.  We hopped into the car and went to a rock show in NoHo somewhere, then headed off to Paolis'.  This may seem like your classic Italian Restaurant, but no!  They were an Italian Restaraunt, bar, and Karaoke venue... it was great! 
Beatrice is a fluffy kitty.

 Here is some proof.
Molly expressing herself with some Florence + The Machine

That was a romping good time, and good thing to.  Remember that audition I had been so excited about, with Nightwing and scheduled at 7:22pm?  Well I drove an hour through rush hour traffic, arrived at 7pm, and informed the girl at the front desk of both my arrival and my impending audition.  She apologetically informed me that the people who rented that space had already left... at 6pm.

Now, I'm not saying they are required to call me and inform me of their plans, but I'm  a non-union actor auditioning for your webseries that wasn't going to pay me ANYTHING if I was cast.  It would have been beyond courteous to inform me that you were leaving.  And in this modern age with the technology we have, it would have been no harder than a few key strokes on your phone.  Maybe they forgot, maybe it slipped their minds, maybe they couldn't find my information.  I want to believe they simply forgot, or couldn't reach me... I want to believe.

With my venting done and my night set back on track with some fun karaoke, I was blessed with an email about a Lead role in a student film, and so I spent my weekend filming and doing what it is I cam here to do.

I'm flustered about the audition and the gas I used getting there, but its all going to come out the same in the end I suppose.  Keep on trucking, keep on hustling, keep on trying.  That's all I can do I guess.

Almost forgot, I ate a delicious hotdog from The Infield, a baseball park themed hotdog stand, and they rocked my socks off. Cheap and delicious, what could be better? 

Also, if you have never tried a "Fatburger"... damn son, that burger is bonkers!

I should eat more healthy stuff...

Well, what could go wrong?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 2: I Got Sick

I am blessed to have nice friends, in particular ones who think of me when there is money to be made.  Shortly after my last post I received a call from Chloe about a catering opportunity for her work.  They would have been short staffed and so she requested I join them for a jaunt back into the world of catering.

I promptly agreed.

Another Kevin from catering.
Obviously working hard. 
It was a mostly uneventful... event.  The DJ played plenty of decent songs, the Best Man said things in his speech which we funny and riskay all at once, there was a table packed to the brim with cookies, and I discovered and solved a problem with the plumbing in the kitchen we were using at the event space.  Thanks Grandpa Elmo for those crash courses in how pretty much anything with a motor works.  Its nice to be useful.

The most interesting and funny part of the night was my new friend I made at the wedding.  I was busy running food here and there, snagging glasses off tables and being a generally smiling and helpful person when I met eyes with an older gentleman, probably in his late 60's.  I smiled and asked him how his evening was doing as I went about my common catering things.  I suppose at this point we became best friends as he sought me out and asked questions and bantered with me the rest of the evening.  While it was fine and nonthreatening, the vibe he was shooting me wasn't all together my cup of tea.  Either way, I was a nice human being and made an extra $20 on top of the night's pay.  A funny cap off to a funny night.

Sunday I hopped in with Lauren and my current housemates and we snagged some seats at the Upright Citizen's Brigade for some good ol' Improv shows.  $5 a pop for that was an easy amount of money to spend on good entertainment, and Kiran, one of my house mates, was participating in one of the shows.  It was a great show with the fledgling comedic improvisers and I was happy to be a part of it.

Kiran and the crew after the Improv show at UCB
At this point I have been to multiple auditions at USC and I must say that if nothing else, the students of USC are worshipers of wheeled transportation.  Bikes create a peninsula out into walking paths, their chains and bars capped through their wheels as people zip to and fro on longboards and skateboards and scooters and golf carts.  Everywhere you look there is some form of transportation run on human power.  Its not particularly important, but I found it an interesting thing to witness.

I spent a majority of the week going to auditions.  Two Monday, two Tuesday, a meeting with a manager Wednesday and another auditioning Thursday.  Somewhere along the line I should have stopped and snagged some rest.  I have yet to do so.  To late now as I spent Tuesday on to today with a damn head cold.  Its unhelpful at auditions and an all around bad time, but thems the breaks.  New city, little sleep, little food, and you find yourself sick.  Spent most of my week snotting and sneezing and pounding Advil and Muscinex down my face.  Enough to keep myself moving.

The good news, I got cast in 2 films.  One is a short for some student project and the other was a filmed scene from the Movie "Catch Me If You Can".  I actually just finished Catch Me last evening (yesterday).  The director and crew were all very nice and professional, they all worked in their respective roles.  It was pretty seamless and we were working and waiting at nice increments where it was not unbearable.  My co-star was a charming young woman and I was happy to have met her.  She was not at all quiet or nervous about being there which has often happened, and I had a lot of fun working with her.  Also, she had some added cool points as she was just in a film called "Batgirl Rises" which is cool to me.

I think the biggest news is that I've found my own place.  I'll be subletting a place in Glendale come Dec 9th which I am very excited about.  I cannot wait to have my own space. I am beyond a doubt certain that the roomies I am with now are excited to have me to be in here anymore either, which makes sense, so it is almost a win win.   A little bit more time and I'll be moved into my own space for at least 2 months.  More than enough time to figure myself out.

All in all, it was a fine week.  I feel like I'm making progress even though I've got no idea where that is taking me. I'll keep you up to date best I can, in particular about this stupid head cold.

More auditions this week, more rehearsals this week, more work this week.

What could go wrong?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Week 1: LA is Strange

I say this with the utmost respect for the city.  I mean, I live here now and hating the city I live in would be a bad move on my part.  All that said, its such a strange place.

We're a mile from the ocean and the most popular places to eat are hamburger places.  I love hamburgers, and so far I have had Habit, The Counter, In an Out and plenty other burgers from places who are not necessarily known for their burgers.  That just seems like that's where people want to eat, so that's what it has been.  They've been good, but lets get some of that (irradiated) seafood I know and adore.

EVERYONE has some place to be, and they need to be there faster than you... no matter what.  People race me off the green light, they cut me off, they can't quite figure out which lane they want to be in, but they are pretty sure it is ALL OF THEM, and then, when they are half in your lane driving sideways down the 405 they are inevitably still in the wrong 3 lanes and need to be in the 3 lanes over.

You become something of a hermit because you think: "I should go out and meet people/Get food because I'm dying"  and then you remember the last time you did either of those things it took you 20 minutes to find a parking spot. The rest of the time you were there hoping there wasn't some sign stipulation that is going to leave you with a ticket or a towed car.

These are my first impressions but they have certainly left impressions so far.

All in all though, I'd say I'm doing pretty well.  Within 5 days of being in the city I had an audition schedule for a film and was going to be an extra on a friends movie.  I've quite possibly found a temporary place to live where I'll be able to have my own space up in NoHo.  I've got another audition looming on the horizon and I've done some fun stuff.

The fun stuff.

I hesitate to say "fun" for this, but I signed on with Central Casting.  Background work is definitely worth the effort.  You get paid... you read books... there is a lot of holding.  Good times.

Chloe works at Golden Road, and I was supposed to wait to go there with here, but after I signed on with Central Casting, I was already over there.  I dropped in for a bear or two and had a blast tasting the deliciousness of this fun brewery.  The gose was quite good.

I've been to Manhattan beach 2 times so far.  Once was with a hamburger day date with Lauren.  We tooled around and drove the streets looking at random things and getting acquainted with the city we live.  There is a free aquarium on the pier which is neat and food and shopping all around there. Afterwords we snagged a bite to eat at counter that was something of a great experience.  I may have sounded like I was complaining abut all the hamburgers earlier... I wasn't. The second time was with a friend from Nashville who happened over while she was touring colleges.  They were both pleasant experiences.

Flowers y'all
I spent an afternoon (mostly because I was locked out of the apt) in the park across the street from where I currently stay.  While it would have been convenient if I could have not been stuck out of the apt, I did enjoy enjoying the sights smells of the park.  They had wild flowers of some caliber growing around the edges of the park and they were quite sweet to the nose.

One of my honorary flatmates had her birthday which was a blast.  We went out for a mellow evening at a place called public school n Culver.  It was a lot of fun and, while so much stuff here is supremely expensive, it was easily worth it to spend the evening with my friends here!

My gracious hosts
I went swing dancing.  This was by far one of the better experiences I've come across since I've been here. I've been down and out on swing dancing since I left New Orleans those weeks ago, and I've been feeling anxious to find  a place to go.  Luckily, I finally sat down and looked for one on Thursday, found out there was a dance happening on Friday and it was 10 minutes from me.  Snazzed myself up (best I can with what I got) and sprang on out the doors.  I danced and laughed my way from 8-12pm at Rusty's Rhythm Club and met a lot of fun people while I was out.  It was cathartic for sure as I had been feeling cooped up an anxious for a little bit. New city jitters.

I'm not sure exactly what life will be like here, but so far I'm doing good.  There have been some moments when I want to just get back to what I know in Nashville, but every time I get an audition there is this surge of excitement.  I know that for at least 5 minutes I get to act.  For 5 minutes I get to do what I love and, if in the mean time I have to work some grudgingly boring job, I'll be fine because... every now and again I get 5 minutes that will eventually get me in the door.  That is great.

What could go wrong?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Trip: Day 14

So I thought it was appropriate to end this stream of TRIP posts as my trip comes to a close on the 31st of October, also known as Halloween.

I intended to make it to Las Vegas for Halloween, however, going to Vegas by your lonesome sounds bad, on Halloween sounds worse.  So instead, I decided to head on into LA, as you know.

I spent my day traveling around the Culver City area and buying a few groceries and just walking through the mall.  It was confusing because all these weirdos were in costume, but then I remembered the date!  

I at at BJ's Brewhouse, and I can honestly say that I don't like their beer.  Its as though they asked what was popular to make, made it poorly, then spent a lot of time making cool labels for their beers... Not impressed.  At least they make good food.

Then I went back to the apartment and was so stir crazy I about went insane.  I watched a few horror films: "Haunter" and "Fright Night".  Classic fright night!  (If you haven't looked up "Evil's filmography on IMDB... do it)

When Lauren and the crew came home, we all started getting ready for the evenings festivities.  Lauren tosseda round dresses and costume ideas as Kiran worked on her "Deviled Egg" costume (which was a white shirt, devil horns, and a yellow yolk in the middle of the shirt).  I was, of course, Captain America.

Sean came home and we all, after a bit of dinner, ran around down to the Culver City Hotel for some drinks and hangouts, then our party split up with some of us heading back home, but Sean, Myself, Michael, and 2 others all snagged ourselves an UBER and headed for West Hollywood.


THe party, as it turns out, was hilariously fun and everyone was having a good time.  Tony Stark, Zombie Capone, some girl with a giant Tick on her, and Gollum were all in attendance.  There was even a streaker!

I mingled and met some very cool people including a comedy troupe, The Glorious Act that We Do.  I promised then I would watch some of their stuff (which I have yet to do) and also told them that it had better not suck.  They seemed to think that was funny so I haven't made any enemies yet... which is nice.

Drinking, mild dancing, drinking some more, and an UBER home was how our night was spent.  Once home, Mike parted ways with us, and Sean and I were left to get back up those daunting stairs to the apartment.  Sean may have had the key, but I had the motor functions to use it.  Once inside, I kept Sean awake with water, movies, and a nice purge of the stomach.  I figured he'd prefer to feel bad tonight rather than HORRIBLE the next morning.  We watched Cabin in the Woods, an old classic, and finally I passed out.

It was a hilarious and fun evening, and I got to hang out with a lot of fun, nice people.  I am looking forward to more parties and work, and meeting new people for sure.

This trip has been great.  A fun look at the country and an exhausting, satisfying experience!  I'm glad I made it, with or without the losses and gains I've found along the way.  I'll for sure remember Bill and our adventures, and I am so glad for all the hosts and friends I've stayed with and met along the way.

But now, The Trip is over.  I've got to work on making it not about travel, and about making a place for myself here.

I've moved to LA, I've got no job.  I'm far away from a majority of my friends and family.  
I'm technically homeless, and I'm completely confused by this cities layout.

What could go wrong?

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Trip: Day 13

After the story with Bill, I was feeling both depressed and exhausted.  I mean, this trip has not been easy when I think about it.

I consider myself quite good at long distance driving now because I can go and go and only stop when I need gas, but once I got situated (On this couch I'm staying on) I was dead.  MY hands were shaking and I was just tired as hell.

I spent the morning of October 30th, 1AB (After Bill), being tired but productive.

I searched and searched for housing and attempted to play with the dogs that live here.  They weren't having that shit.  Some stranger in their house and they just sat there looking at me...

Mostly the housing search has been a complete bust, but I wasn't expecting to find a place right away.  That being said, I may start moving a few more things into my friends house here as they have storage space and I have things I'd like out of my car while I'm traveling around and looking where I can plant myself.

After a few hours I got bored and went to the gym in the facility and then cleaned their sink of dishes...  you get really bored when you've been on the road for 2 weeks and, when you finally get to your destination, no one is around to hang out with.  You sit around in an empty apartment all day twiddling your thumbs and, while you are working on things, it's still like... WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE?

Eventually Lauren came back and we walked her dogs.  They pooped, she picked it up. Classic dog walking story.  Then we sat around and ate a small dinner.  The girls of the apartment were particularly excited about TV's offerings.  
First, Bones was on which my momma likes so I was kinda up to speed on that one.  Then SCANDAL.  I tell you, those writers know their audience because the whole damn episode was "girl power!" all the way.  I'm totally fine with that, but like... yikes on some of it.  Lastly, How to Get Away With Murder was on.  That was, while silly because I didn't know what was going on, and very enthralling show.

So, with TV night closing down, I took over the TV and watched Howl's Moving Castle.  I you haven't seen it, it is great.  I've seen it once before but it was here and so I watched it.  

No where near the excitement offered by most of my trip, but this day had its pleasures.  Mostly, it had its laziness.  I'm anxious to get started on this whole "adult-ing" thing, but... I got time to watch cartoons I think.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Trip: Day 12

So I decided after much deliberation and comments from others not to do Vegas alone.  I had no real intention of doing it alone, I had every intention of finding some one willing to meet me there and explore the city with me.  I was wrong and so I decided it was in my best interest to skip Vegas and head on into Los Angeles.  I've seen the signs for Los Angeles.  I'm so close to my final destination.  I want to be there!

Its at this point our story takes a dark turn.

As I mentioned, I was unable to make this trip happen how it was intended with me and another individual.  No one could or would come so I found myself alone.  Well, almost alone.

Luckily, I had Bill Murray, my pepper plant and living companion since 2010.  He was a volunteer pepper plant we dug up in our back yard and he was awesome.  Couldn't be killed no matter how hard I tried!  He was the best, and I referred to him as Bill.  He was my buddy.

Well, as it happens, California is pretty strict on their border when it comes to foreign plants and produce.  This hadn't even dawned on me as a possibility.  

To explain where this is going, Not only have I had this plant since 2010, I've just made a trip across the country for just under two weeks with him.  I've seen New Orleans, Austin Texas, Roswell NM, the Grand Canyon and places in between.  I've walked the Grand Canyon and slept in freezing weather.  I've done so much and seen so much, and my pepper plant, Bill Murray, was with me most of the time.  I took him with me to eat a few times.  He sat next to me while I slept almost every where.  I looked insane carrying this pepper plant with stickers from places we had been all over his pot.

And, at the border of my final destination, a man grabbed Bill by the stem. Ripped him, roots and all, from his home, and tossed him like a piece of garbage into a bucket where they will no doubt incinerate him if they have not already done so.

Sadness is a strong feeling I had, but worse than that was shame.  I was given the option to turn back with him and drive those 40 minutes back to civilization in Arizona to where I could have, and should have, mailed Bill back home.  I could have taken him to someones store and let them have him.  I could have left Bill in the hands of someone who may have taken care of him.  For God's sake, I could have taken him up from the roots myself and murdered him.

Instead, I let some stranger kill him in front of me.  I let him be murdered and I had every chance to save him.  I feel ashamed, I am racked with regret, and my heart feels like it has been ripped from my chest.

I sold Bill out for personal gain. For my own selfish desire, I let an innocent die.

I Judas-ed Bill Murray, and now I have to live with that.

I drove the rest of the trip in silence.  I may have cried.  I may still cry.  
I loved that stupid plant, and I killed him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Trip: Day 11

After those stars and the freezing temperatures, the only thing I could do was work on getting my car restarted.  It took very little time as the LOA people no doubt have had to do this numerous times before.

My tent packed, my car up and running, and my tuna salad from a can (Bumblebee) eaten, I decided it was time to head to see this "big stupid hole in the ground" known as the Grand Canyon.  I hopped in the car running on the taste of a dream still left in my mouth and no good sleep to find and just drove.  Silence.  Silence for my companion and thoughts streaming in and out of my head like a tide that can't make up its mind if it is low or high.

I payed some duckets, stuck a tag onto my car, and I was in.  The grand canyon isn't as not-populated as you might think.  There is a whole damn town inside the park. Grocery store, post office, the whole 9 yards.  I went to the grocery store and snagged a cliff bar and some Hawaiin macadamia nut things that were very, very tasty.  I decided no food I got in the grand canyon that was hot or cold would be worth the jacked up price to get it, so I stuck with my already bought almonds, cliff bar, the Hawaiin things, and some sunflower seeds.

From there, I drove to the visitors center and walked.

And for the rest of the day, know that if I haven't been telling you what I was doing, most likely. 
I walked.

From the visitors center, I crested the hill and there it was.  Off of Mather Point I saw the drop and then the huge expanse of land ahead of me.  The grand canyon in all it's glory!  I can't say it was breath taking as I've been jaded by movies and television, but I can say that to use the word "awesome" to describe it would be one of the first time's I've ever heard awesome used properly.  It truly is awe inspiring.

From Mather Point I wound my way around the lip of the canyon.  Not sure how long it is, but I walked from Mather Point to the Bright Angel Trailhead.  I took stops and pictures along the way and it was a relaxing time.

At the trailhead, I went down.  I wasn't about to go to the Grand Canyon and not be adventurous!  I hiked down into the canyon a mile and a half, then I hiked back up.  I would have gone further, but I was running on no sleep.  Screw that.

Going up, as you might imagine, is not as simple as going down.

Once at the top, I found a spot, and I sat.  People watching be something I do and some thing I do very well, I sat there and watched the people go here and there, talking all kinds of nonsense.   I must say, I've people watched at a lot of places, but never have I ever come away thinking:
"There are beautiful people everywhere!"

And its true.  The Grand Canyon is full of beautiful people.  The languages are all over the place and it is something to hear Chinese and french being spoke on either side of you.  Then there are the differences in style.  What I would never consider wearing was worn by an entire bus full of people as just part of it.  It's fashion and its not mine I suppose.

Most notably, the differences in faces of people.  When I say beautiful, lets be serious, I don't mean everyone there was movie star worthy (A lot were, but not all by any means).  I mean that there were such different structures of faces staring out of everywhere.  Noses and eyebrows and cheekbones and lips all combined in the gorgeous hodgepodge of people walking here and there.  It was incredible to see and it just struck me as something beautiful.  Humans, all of us, looking different but all the same.  I just thought that was something incredible.

4:30pm, I snagged a prime spot next to a tree close to the edge of the canyon, and I just looked out.  A California Condor flew 15 feet above my head, and as the sun started going down, a whole lot of people jealously rustled behind my some what secluded spot.  This sunset was mine, and I was not moving.

The sun crawled its way down the side of the canyon, and as its last rays went out behind the rim, i snagged my keys and went to my car.

I found myself, after about an hour, at Williams' Grand Canyon Hotel/Hostel.  I met two ladies from France on holiday and we hunted out some food.  We ended up at the Brewery (I may have influenced that decision) and at some tasty burgers (and a veggie burger for one of them) and then we drank some good beer.  The beer was much better than I expected it to be, but I am totally okay with that.

After that, we headed back to the hotel and said our goodbyes.  I was exhausted and my knees kind of hurt. I needed a good nights sleep, and I haven't slept in a bed for a long time.  

Good Night!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Trip: Day 10

Driving. Another day of driving for 8 hours. I mean, it's not terrible, but it's not ideal. Of course, there were things I needed to do before the driving came.  Such as aliens. I needed to see aliens!

The International Museum of UFOs (or something) was everything I knew it would be. Newspaper clippings, first hand accounts, pictures and admissions from govt. Officials after the fact. "They weren't human!"

There were hoaky displays of aliens landing, and a really cool designed door from a Mayan site in south America that they had on display (probably one of the cooler things they had).  I Milled about the museum learning and snapping pictures and then looked through the end gift shop. About noon, I decided it was time to leave this place, so I snatched up my belongings, checked out, and I was on the road.

The breakfast at the Best Western was what you expect; sausage, ham, cereal, egg product. They had all the common stuff. I had a bit, grabbed boxes of cereal and some oranges and left. I figured I could stop on the way. I did eventually.

Stopping for gas, I realized I was about starved so I went into the store. Inside was a burger joint known as Laguna Burger. I had a good feeling about it so I sat myself down at the bar and ordered.

1/2 pound of meat, mustard, hatch chiles, onion, pickles (Xtra of course) and some hand cut fries and I was in business. An absolutely delicious butger, and locally sourced if you are into that!  Lester and Thomas, the fellas working there did me right.

I got back on the road.

Out of all the places I have driven, New Mexico, I must say, made me feel the most adventurous.  Crawling plains and steep plateaus in the distance. The tree ed, earthy colors and the low sitting flora. For me it had such mystery and beauty about it. I was driving through and all I was thinking is that I would be back. I wanted to get to the tops of the plateaus and explore around them.  I'll be back New Mexico!

Driving driving, hunting for deer, driving. I didn't want to hit one of those deer or elk, but the last 200 miles were in the dark and I was on the edge of my seat.

Finally, I arrived at my KOA site and set up. 2 things.

First, using your car lights is a good idea to set up a tent in the dark UNLESS you don't have the car running. In the words of Forrest Gump, "I am not a smart man".

Second, no matter thetemperature, you are about to freeze your bollywogs off at night. Arctic fucking temperatures appearantly. I did not realize that, though it was cold, it would continue to drop down to the coldest shit you have ever tried to sleep in.

All that said, my battery dead, my phone dying and my nutskies frozen... it was all worth it to see those stars. Beautiful swaths of light striking every corner of that black nothing and I would sleep naked out here just to look at them. Insignificance noted universe, I get the message. Thanks for the view!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Trip: Day 9

You wouldn't believe how easily your brain can occupy itself for 8 hours of driving by yourself.  I got some weird stuff going on up in that noggin.

The drive was long but pleasurable. Texas going west turns into hills and valleys and winding roads and ranches. It was amazing to see so many ranches, and the fences went on for miles.  People told me that Texas was boring mostly, but I disagree.  I've lived a majority of my life traveling between Tennessee and Illinois.  Seeing the rest of what this country has to offer is amaizjng.

I'm not talking about the cities. I'm talking about it all as a whole! The towns, the people, the food(especially the food), and the countryside.  Look at a map and Texas is some arbitrarily chosen color connected to Mexico and the rest of the US. THAT is borong. Seeing that that shape for what it is and mapping that out in your head, that's incredible!  Brush and trees and creek beds dried up. Rocks and marments(mostly dead, but still) and the biggest damn trucks you ever seen. That was what I wanted to see, and I did.

As I neared my destination and crossed that state border into New Mexico, I was growing tired of driving. Most of it had to do with the suns ceaseless shine which, as a whole, I love. However, when it is pulverizing your retinas with its cancerous rays and you blink and see its circle in you eyelids, you grow weary of its embrace.

I pulled into Roswell NM as the sun went down, kicking and screaming, and throwing some final suckerpunches through gaps in trees right into my eye holes. I snatched up my phone, parked in a McDonald parking lot. As I decided my destination for the night, I heard a small sound to my right. Looking up, I about dropped some mud at the sight of a pair of blue eyes, connected to a one legged man in a wheelchair, peered into my car from the driver side.  I decided at that moment, I would get a hotel.

I snagged up my room for a decent price. More than I wanted to pay, but cheaper than its usually $100+ rate.

Now, all I have to say about Roswell NM...

"I want to believe"

If anyone's wondering, Texas bugs are juicy and they smear easy.