Tomorrow is my 3-year anniversary as a resident of Los Angeles.
Sometimes it feels like I’ve been here for mere months, but then there’s those other times, when it feels like it’s been longer than anyone should be forced to exist. I’m losing steam, I’m feeling raw, sad, and disgustingly vulnerable, which is my least favorite position. Like, I hate it more than face-to-face-on-the-side (I like the face-to-face part, but the on-the-side fucks everything up geometrically).
My life in LA started off strong. I hear that happens a lot. I was full of energy and believed in every possibility. I got auditions for non-porn stuff on Craigslist, was on a couple tv shows (Brides of Beverly Hills, America’s Court), and thought it meant I was something special, someone who could fast-track my success in this loving, flattering, friendly, insincere town. I hadn’t even fully unpacked from my move, and a goddamn fine-art photographer approached me while I was smoking outside of a restaurant, asking me if she could please do a shoot with me, for fuck’s sake. Talk about suckering me into the illusion. My need to believe that I could still be someone and do big somethings, and LA’s need to deceive made a zygote of delusion, that is now walking without holding onto furniture, and starting to potty-train. I might as well have been a fresh-off-the-bus girl sitting at a soda counter, sucking down a strawful of stupid.
This year, I did a bunch of shit I don’t remember. Lost friends, made friends, lost money, made money, lost love, made love, et cetera. I filmed a series of interviews in the peepshow where I was working, exposing myself completely to a bunch of comics (a few of whom didn’t recognize me with my clothes on, the next time we met) in exchange for their stories and experiences and opinions. It has been a much longer and more involved process than I expected, but it’s a quality product. Also, it gave me something to pretentiously refer to in conversation as “my project”.
It’s true that you start over when you get here. See, here in Oz, they don’t give a shit how much hay you baled in Kansas. I was an idiot for waiting so long to come here. I should’ve packed my bags the minute I had an inkling that I’d have to have some serious accomplishments to thrive on roadwork. Or when a big time manager (who has long-forgotten me, to my chagrin) told me I should’ve (I was 24). I’ve thought that it was good that I waited to come here until I’d found my “voice”, now I’m not so sure. I see the merit in coming out here before you’re fully ripened, toughening the skin during my formative comedy years would’ve been really helpful (at least in getting used to open-mics when I wasn’t so scared of the scathing judgment of the other comics). And maybe, when I was younger, I didn’t really know who I was, but at least back then, I was so full of hubris-fueled bravado, that I could convincingly pretend that I did. enough so to even believe my own bullshit, which might just be where self-confidence comes from, but that also might just be my theory. Today, I still don’t know who I am, but at least now I’m horribly aware of that fact.
If hope was a beautiful birthday cake, you’d be able to see plenty of the bottom of the plate where mine sits. The plate wouldn’t be totally empty, but the icing rosettes would be gone, and there’d be handfuls of cake missing (as though cutting slices was too civilized a manner in which to take it), with crumbs everywhere, and 3 burned out trick candles sitting in a cup of water a few inches away.
If overuse of metaphors and depression were currency, I’d own this fucking town.