I Moved to Brooklyn

moving to los angeles, personal stories
road trip

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.

brooklyn bridge

Brooklyn… the new digs. P.S. Are we friends on Instagram? Follow me at: christopherming and I’ll post pictures of the cutest dog ever

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

6 comments… add one

  • Bruna Skrzypek

    Hi Chris,

    I wish you all the best in your new path. I wanted to say that your blog really helped me (if everything works out well, next year I will be living in LA for some time) and I believe that even though you are not living in LA anymore, you can still contribute for those who are willing to, I mean you have 5 years worth experience in doing that. For me the most important thing that I’ve learnt from your blog is that simple being in LA won’t transform you in an outstanding filmmaker/showrunner/etc, it takes a lot more, a lot of work, and many more – and this made me think in a more realistic way about it. Also, your tips about how to get a place are wonderful (I will be using it on the next months).
    Anyways, thank you for all and all the good luck for you!
    And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 🙂

    • Chris Ming

      Thx so much for your note, Bruna. Keep me posted on finding your place.

  • Rene

    Hey Chris,

    This particular post struck a chord because I’d just read this post http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html which puts everything into perspective and should make EVERYONE want to move back close to home.

    Keep posting, I enjoy getting your emails, even as a working TV writer in Australia with no intention of ever moving to LA.

    • Chris Ming

      Tim Urban is great 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing that post I hadn’t read that one yet

  • Hi Chris! I found your blog recently while contemplating and planning my own move to LA for the animation industry. Your blog provided a lot of great insight on the entertainment business as well as solid career advice. I was encouraged by your articles to work harder and be braver when encountering set backs. Your articles are always a great read and I wish you all the best!

    • Chris Ming

      Hi Yudi, thx so much, I really appreciate it. Lmk if you have any specific questions. Keep me posted on your decision to move to LA.

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