Monday, April 13, 2009

Greener Grass

It's occurred to me more than once that I am a whiny ingrate. Yes. Yes, I am.

One reason why:

I have a burning, passionate need to get away from L.A. Back in October, I was struggling to break out of Southern California (please don't call it SoCal, that's vile) and at least make the hop, skip, and jump to Northern California. You know, Southern California's bookish older sister.

Well, that sure didn't happen. Somehow, I ended up at a job just a few blocks away from my last job. ("Valkyrie" was on the Sony lots, now I'm at Sony Imageworks). I have a sort of fear in the back of my brain that I've completely missed my chance. I will be stuck in L.A. for the rest of my life. I will never leave.

And when I really think about it:

- L.A. has tolerable weather. I hate extreme cold (55 degrees and under) and I hate hot humidity. Where else would I last even two consecutive seasons??

- L.A. has great variety. Drive an hour to the snow-covered mountains. Turn around and drive back, then an additional hour to the sunny beach. Make a quarter turn and drive a couple hours to the arid desert.

- L.A. has good food. Anything you want, you can find. Pigs' and chickens' feet? Go Downtown. Good Mexican food? Go to El Taurino in Pico Union (it's so appropriate that their website be broke down). Good pho? Go to Westminster (admittedly, a bit of a trek, but not that bad). Good jjajangmyeon (짜장면)? Go to Cerritos.

- L.A. has fun stuff nearby. Disneyland. Knott's Berry Farm. Magic Mountain. Sea World. L.A. Zoo. San Diego Zoo. San Diego Wild Animal Park. Reindeer in Yucaipa. Long Beach Aquarium.

- L.A. has good shopping. Beverly Center, Century City, Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, Rodeo Drive, South Coast (in Orange County), Fashion Island (in Newport Beach), and all the knock-offs anyone could want in Downtown.

- Did I mention the weather?

- L.A. is where my whole industry is based. Jobs are relatively easy to find here for me, and I know I could stay gainfully employed here.

- Koreatown.

- My friends.

- My family.

So in looking at it logically, I know that I love L.A. I do! Other people tolerate L.A. because they're here for school or work. I know this place well, I love it, and I appreciate it.

Still, this need to leave has not abated since my October post. If anything, it's gotten stronger. It's not necessarily that I want to LEAVE, I think it's more that I want to go somewhere new. I want to try something new.

I will always love L.A., but I think now is the time to fall in love with a new city. (New country, too, perhaps.)

How I go about doing that is the difficult thing. Jobs in foreign countries (or even different states) don't come by every day, and the worst part of finding a job in this business is the timing of it. You can't leave an employer at any time, the way you could most other jobs, because for us, if the movie isn't done, we're not done. There is a very clear endpoint of a project, and that's the point at which I become available for a new project.

The last day on any given job is always up in the air until the bitter end, which adds onto the uncertainty of when I'm available for a different project. Oh, the studio pushed the release date? Then we're working two more weeks? Okay. Oh, they want to do re-shoots? We're working another week and a half? Okay. Oh, the director's throwing a fit? He's going to Dubai for a little rest? We're working another three weeks? Okay.

I am usually contracted to be done working on a show about a month before I actually stop working on the show. This means that between a current job and the next job, I'm stuck juggling and trying to figure out dates and trying to keep everyone happy.

So with all those factors, how can I possibly think that I'll ever leave this bleeding city?

City of Angels, my left eyeball.


Anonymous,  April 15, 2009 at 1:45 AM  

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


ate April 15, 2009 at 8:45 AM  

i know where you're coming from...same dilemna as the day I decide to get a major haircut, is the same day my hair turns lovely on me.

jeanny April 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Hailey (Ann?): Thanks!

Ate: I hate that! Or when you schedule a facial and wake up that day with great skin. Grrr.