An effort to document my 2,700 mile journey from Boca Raton, Florida to Los Angeles, California.
An epic drive.
An epic gamble.
An epic adventure.
My lovely ex-girlfriend and current-closefriend Kira set it up so that I could attend the first Los Angeles screening of the independent film “Trophy Kids”, a movie about Generation Y’s wholehearted belief that “I’m special and meant for more”.
Kira had a hand in the film’s creation and production (varied involvements), so I’ve been interested in the film’s future since its inception. I’d read one of the screenplay’s many early rough drafts, and Kira had given me periodic updates on the casting of the project as it moved its way through pre-production.
So tonight — getting to see it — was a unique experience for me. I’d been given the opportunity to view this piece of art long before its final presentation — I’d seen the written word when it was but a mere suggestion of what it hoped to be.
Then, since the director is a close friend of Kira’s, I was invited to a post-screening dinner and drink(s). Attendees: Josh Sugarman (the talented director of the film and a guy with a future in “the movies”), Ryan Eggold (star of the film, of the new “90210”, and an exceptionally talented guy), Haley Bennett (an actress), Brandon Yankowitz (the film’s producer), and a handful of others.
What really impressed me about the scenario was that everyone at that table was young and going places — they were, as far as I know, all 20-somethings, all doing what they wanted to, and, in varying degrees, succeeding. They were self motivated people who, from what I gathered, had to take some chances to get where they were.
From the beginning of my life until now, what I needed to do to succeed, to move to that next level, had been clearly defined for me. Go to school, get good grades, get a scholarship to high school, go to that school, get good grades, get a scholarship to college, go to that school, get good grades, get a scholarship to law school, go to that school — but then I put on the breaks. I broke that alluring rhythm of systematic success and blazed a riskier path.
But these people tonight — the people who had a dream and chased it and are succeeding — they inspired me. Some people know what they’ve wanted to do forever. Ryan seemed that type tonight when he said quietly: “I need to get back to the theater, I need it.” But Josh seemed the type who had only recently committed to this industry; he was in law school when he decided he wanted to try the film industry.
But they were both succeeding in their own rights.
I’ve chosen to chase a dream, too. I’ve chosen to go after a dream I ignored for too long. And seeing others do that and succeed…that felt good, it felt reassuring, and it felt possible. I’m inspired.
I’m in perpetual tourist mode. I’m told this will subside, and I agree — it just might take a handful of years. This industry makes me six-year-old-with-a-pony giddy.
But while running in Runyon Canyon — photos later — I finally spotted my first celebrity: Rumer Willis, the offspring of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. She’s not a favorite of mine, but she is a someone. And I’ve been dying to see a someone — outside of the mirror, of course.
(Is feigned narcissism still funny? If not, ignore that last comment.)
With a little urging from a few friends, I think I’m going to try to maintain this blog. It’s fun.
So I worked a little HTML magic — don’t call me a nerd — and have made it possible to post comments to my entries. That is, if you all decide to get mouthy on me.
I have arrived in Los Angeles (technically Pasadena), California alive and well and exhausted.
I’m staying with my friend Rebecca (so generous!) for the next two weeks here in Pasadena before I find my own place — I’ve got a picture of a chocolate welcome cake she baked that I’ll upload soon. Pretty awesome (and most probably scrumptious) stuff.
At the risk of getting all Socrates here, let’s take our shoes off and go digging in the philosophical sandbox for just a second. Driving cross country showed me two things:
1.) The world is so very big.
2.) The world is also so very, extraordinarily small.
I know, I sound like John Kerry in a political debate. But bear with me.
I didn’t do too much stop-and-sight-seeing, but you can’t help but look around when you travel 2,700 miles. And what I saw was so many places that I’ll never truly see, so many places that I won’t (and probably won’t want to) visit. There’s so much out there — so many perspectives, so many small towns and huge cities, so much adventure. Too much adventure. You’d never be able to get through it all. But it’s out there waiting for you. The world is big.
But the world’s also tiny. I drove across this beautiful United States of America in six days. I traveled from one end of our country to the other in a week. One week out of the 52 in my year. And if I can travel from one side of our country to the other with nothing but a car, a debit card, some music, and a few friends on speed dial — then traveling really ain’t so hard. Sure, you have to carve out the time; mileage; money; patience. But the road is there and it’s open and it’s waiting. Adventure is only a decision away. Remember that.
I want to thank all of the people, places, and things that have made this trip the rewarding experience that it was (in no particular order): Tibs, Courtney, Orlando, Stephanie, Emily, Gaby, Root, my mom, Colby, Max Dauerman, John, Tallahassee, Michelle, Kostris, Cameron, Potbelly’s, Painted, the Macaroni Grill, Rebecca, Bourbon Street, the random ‘Canes I met there, Houston, Yeomans, Kuleba, Jeremy, Kaley, Stephen, my Florida search party, Carey, Jessica, Kim, Will, Lizza, Parker, Jillian, Olivia, Josh, Willert, Texas’s open road, Deputy Dipstick, In-N-Out Burger, Christian, Dan, Susie, Travis, Amy, Gabby, Max Burns, Krystal, Marcelo, Geniza, Deming, NM, Motel 6, the Red Roof Inn, my iPhone, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Jay-Z, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet, AT&T, Chili’s, and surely many others.
I’m sure I forgot someone (or many someones), but these are the ones that I can remember in this moment. It could have been something as simple as a tweet about my trip or a text message; I remembered and kept up with it all. I mean, I had a lot of free time on this drive. A sincere thank you to everyone above.
I’m tempted to keep this blog going, although at a much slower rate, as I continue my more long-lasting adventure in L.A. I’m not sure yet. Keeping up with my castings, callbacks (fingers crossed), failures, successes, rejections, acceptances might be fun for both me and you. I’m going to sleep on it.