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?