How do you write a blog about moving to LA and breaking into the entertainment industry…
When you no longer live in LA or work in entertainment?
Last year I watched someone close to me shuttle back and forth between LA and the east coast for six months. Cancer swept through his family like a twister, then disappeared just as quickly, leaving three dead and a lot broken.
It made me think about my own family. We’re close, but I was always so eager to leave town I never gave us a chance to grow closer. To this day, I’ve never made it to one of my siblings graduations, or a single 21st birthday.
When the family needs me, would I be the person they need me to be?
Or would I be the distant relative who shows up every other Christmas? Someone who never forgets to send birthday money but only makes it back home for funerals? The thought breaks my heart.
So I took a new job, outside of the entertainment. I packed up (again) and drove cross country (again) and now live in Brooklyn.
Did I fail?
I moved out five years ago to become a screenwriter. I worked with amazing people, got close on a few TV projects, and fell short.
On the black and white scoreboard, yes, I failed.
Once I went to see Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) speak at a Writer’s Guild of America event. He told a story about back when he was unknown, he worked in landscaping. A co-worker was another writer. Bill said he’d love to read his stuff.
“What have you written?”
“Nothing yet,” the guy said.
“How long have you been in LA?”
“Seven years,” he said. “But I got ideas.”
Everyone sees themselves as Bill in that story: the hardest working artist in the room destined for greatness.
From any objective point of view, moving to Brooklyn puts my foot solidly in the “other guy’s” camp. The also-ran.
But I see is a slightly different path. Not as clear, not as obvious. Still destined for greatness.
Can you write about LA and Hollywood if you no longer live there?
The marketer in me says no way.
It’s an uphill battle. The positioning is awful (“dude in NYC who used to live in LA writes about making it in LA”). Who wants to listen to that guy?
Then there’s the teacher in me. Who says if you have knowledge that others want to learn, you should teach it. More importantly, if you have the ability to teach — not everyone does — then you have an obligation to teach as many people as possible.
And I still have things to teach.
Could you do me a favor?
If you’ve learned something from this blog over these last few years, could you leave a comment and let me know what it was?
It’d be a big help to know what people come here to learn. I really appreciate it.
Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker