Thursday, August 23, 2012

L.A. Reality

Well, 16 months after I first decided to go to L.A., I finally arrived here on Monday night. The temperature even at 8pm was toasty and I was lucky enough to get a taxi driver who was a born-and-bred Los Angeleno, so he gave me loads of useful information.

The apartment I'm staying in is fab and possibly the most fab thing of all is that it has a pool! Seriously, in this heat you need it.

I ventured down to the Melrose Avenue area yesterday in search of a cell phone and stumbled across both the vast and luxurious Writers Guild offices and The Grove, the maddest shopping mall in the world.

The Writers Guild offices made me smile, thinking of the tiny one-room office that the Screenwriters Guild have back home. This place is HUGE, all black glass on the outside and there's a jaw-dropping script library where you can go and spend 10 hours reading (which is what I felt like doing). It made me determined to become a member of the Guild like, yesterday. All non-WGA writers should go there on frequent pilgrimages to reaffirm their belief that they, too, can become Members.

The Grove is kind of like an outdoor shopping mall created for a film, complete with dancing fountain and an improbably good-looking, United Nations-like cast of extras. I kept expecting someone to burst in and do a chase scene - or a song and dance routine. Afterwards you go to the valet desk to collect your Lamborghini or in my case, order a taxi (No wheels for me. I'm the crazy Irish girl who walked there from Santa Monica Boulevard).

So far, I've seen a lot of typically L.A. stuff. Egg white omelettes everywhere. A burger advertised with no bun (WTF?). Lots of tiny lapdogs being taken unwillingly for walks (I am living in the gay capital of California). Botox shots listed alongside manicures. Some truly manic driving. People jogging everywhere, all the time. The best thing was a guy I came across on my walk this morning, who appeared to be auditioning for a record producer on his mobile phone on the street. He sang L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole. I hope it worked!

L.A. jokes aside, I'm really happy to be here and can't wait to get started on the road - however long and rocky it is - to becoming a repped, paid writer. And a member of the Guild.



Rachael said...

I studied in LA for 6 months and had the most amazing time! Enjoy it! x

eilism said...

Thanks Rachael! Any tips for a newbie? Places to visit, things not to do?

Yolanda baker said...

Wow! Ok, here's what you need to do:
1. Go to the original Tommy's in eagle rock and order the double chili cheeseburger with chili cheese fries.
2. Get tickets to "the price is right".
3. Get a free one day pass to the 24 hour fitness at Sherman oaks. It MUST be the sherman oaks location. There you will see too handsome-it's-impossible men working out. I almost collided into the actor who played the slavic doctor from the show "ER" - he was very sweaty.
4. Find a friend with a COSTCO card and visit a local store. Visit during the day and try all the free food samples.
5. Visit the huntington library.
6. There is a Ralph's supermarket on pacific coast highway in Malibu. Pretend you're shopping while you watch charlie sheen try to pick up on a young cashier.
7. While you're in Malibu, say hi to the ocean.
8. Visit east l.a. with a local guide and savor the food. And Chinatown. San Gabriel has the best Chinese restaurants in the country.
9. If you really want some inspiration with perspiration, take the MTA bus route #252 from east l.a. into downtown on a saturday morning, or try the Blue line rail from downtown to long beach. Warning: these lines aren't for the faint of heart. I once saw a young guy on the blue line foaming at the mouth, a knife clenched through his teeth. I've never seen a train clear out so fast.
That's it for now. Good luck! Hope to visit there christmastime!

eilism said...

Oh my God, Yolanda, that is a great list of tips! You beat me to it - I was going to email and ask for your L.A. native recommendations.

I particularly like 3 - if Goran works out there, I'm in! I'm going to Roscoes tonight btw - which I believe is a bit of an L.A. institution?

Yolanda baker said...

Roscoes chicken and waffles?!?! OMG I miss them! I miss pouring syrup on my chicken and waffles. And you MUST go to zankou chicken. There's several locations, but beware - if you try the garlic spread, you'll scare away the vampires for a week!