So here I am. I finally arrived in Los Angeles after a brief stopover in San Jose (my old college town) to visit some friends. I had researched two places to check out as soon as I pulled into town, and by a weird sense of irony, I ended up getting off the highway a block away from the apartment without even knowing it. I had no map, just a loose set of directions.
1. L.A. is confusing, buy a Thomas Guide, or get GPS.
2. Talk to someone, anyone who lives in L.A. to get an idea of where you should live.
3. Research more then a few places to live.
I checked out the first apartment in the afternoon, 2 girls were looking for a roommate in a nice 3bd 2bth in Sherman Oaks. It was clean, the girl I met was nice, but I wasn't sure. So I checked out the second apartment, which is directly in Hollywood, close to the Arclight theater. The light was out in the elevator, my first indicator of a less then plesent experience. I was told that I could move in after they had seen a few other applicants, but they told me that I would have to keep a low profile so I didn't have to be added to and thus extending their lease. I spent the night in a hotel to ponder the move, and when I woke up I decided then and there to get the first place. My first real decision turned out to be fairly comical and ultimatly OK. There have been ups and downs to living there, which have added to the colorful life I have developed since moving to "The Valley".
4. "The Valley" is not a horrible place, don't let the detractors get you down.
After moving in, I started applying to every production company I could find an ad for. I actually got a few interviews right away, but since I was so discombobulated from the trip, I came off sounding like an idiot. It didn't help that I was dressed pretty poorly too.
5. Own something that you can wear to an interview and to a wedding.
After a few false starts I was leaving an interview when I got a call about an intership I had apperently entered. I thought, why the hell not, i'm not doing anything else. After having a great interview, doing some fast coverage and turning it in as quickly as I could, I got the job. 2 days a week I work in development as a reader mostly. My job has changed over the last seven months i've been there, but primarily i'm just a reader.
6. An internship in development is almost as good as an actual job in development.
I found out pretty quickly that I needed actual cash, so after not hearing back from anyone, I went to the movie theater, applied, and was quickly hired. My previous retail experince pretty much paves the way for me to get hired about anywhere. I spent a good five months doing that until my sister's college graduation got me to quit and visit home. It was for the best, because when I returned, I actually got my first production job, in reality tv, as a transcriber.
7. A job is a job, just keep repeating that to yourself.
So what do I take from the last 8 months into the next 8? Not much, i'm pretty much where I started, abit a few thousand dollars lighter. You do need money to get your start here, there's no question about it. So unless your current job will transfer you, save some cash before making the big trip. I've made some serious contacts through the internship, and made a ton of new friends, even reconnecting with an old high school classmate that I never knew existed! I got to know L.A. pretty well and can honestly say that even though i'm not really any further along in my career then I was when I got here, I still feel that I made the right decision in coming here.
Besides, I doubt my parents would let me move back in with them... right?