Two weeks ago I headed to Los Angeles for the first time. My husband visited with his brother around 2002 and kept telling how messy it was. I wanted to visit it so bad, for so many years, that I didn’t hear a word, I wanted to experience myself.
The city where dreams are made of is Los Angeles, not New York. The creative land of actors, directors, musicians and all the type of famous wannabe be people are headed that way. It is indeed a magical place, and it sure does make you feel like you are in a movie. I made sure to behave like I was in one. I sang Pretty Woman- Walking down the street, while cruising around Rodeo Drive, secretly wishing someone would kick me out of a store because I look trashed from walking 12 hours the previous day. I also made sure to sing (in my head) Miley Cyrus – It’s the climb- while hiking the Hollywood sign trail. A long-time dream, and I mean the oldest dream I’ve ever had. In 1998, the 13-year old me, cut a piece of the magazine with the Hollywood sign on it. I taped on my wardrobe and promise myself someday I would get there and I sure did. It was the happiest day of my life (this year so far)
When we arrived on Sunday, we decided to visit Santa Monica, since our AirBnB was only scheduled for later in that afternoon. I wanted to put my feet on the Pacific ocean, since I had it done with in the other oceans, like the Indian and the Atlantic. It was a very bright, beautiful day. Santa Monica Pier was packed with families and visitors, as they have restaurants and an amusement park, also entertainers singing their songs and dancing. We only had 40 minutes on the parking meter, so we had to rush and go back, as the Airbnb accommodation was located in Burbank, about one hour away.
One of the main reasons to go to LA was to meet in person my great, beloved friend from Writing School, Shelly. We have never met in person, but thank goodness for technology we navigated through school, relying on each other, talking constantly, sharing the disappointments with teachers, peers, and assignments. We had dinner at an Indian place in Burbank and it was like I was talking to a friend I knew for ages. She gave me a book to fill out with my business plan, and we decided to move along with the story she is working called “The Moon Children”. It’s an adorable tale that I’m happy to collaborate anyway I can.
The second day we headed to Hollywood. For some reason, I always thought Hollywood was an entire side of the city, it actually is, but it considers a neighborhood, they also have West Hollywood, a trendy area with restaurants and cool stuff, like the open mall and a Farmers Market.
We walked around the Walk of Fame and visited some stars, some shops. The street was closed in front of the Dolby Theater for the Bad Boys Premiere the next day. It’s magical to see all the work that its put for only a few hours. We parked the car in Hollywood and took a Lyft to the meeting point. At 2:00pm we met with the Tour guide for the Hollywood sign hike we book through AirBnb Experiences.
It was a pleasant experience, the guide was awesome, telling us stories about the sign, the houses around it and movies. On our way back, he talked about restaurants, cool bars, and other experiences we could enjoy around town. We pay 20 dollars each with Airbnb Experiences, on the website. Worth it every dime.
The third and last day was the most important for me. I visited The New York Film Academy campus, located in Burbank, and had a chance to talk with the Admissions Manager. What he talked about changing the entire way I could see the industry I’m pushing to work in. I told him that I graduated in Creative Writing last September, but the school sold me an almost impossible dream to achieve. The school faculty told us, during the TV writing and Scripts for short film classes, that if we wanted to pursue a career in the industry, we should move to LA and make it happened. His reply was brutally honest: “We have too many people here that think they are going to live their dream careers, and they won’t. Most likely because schools like yours sell this without telling the truth. It not about how creative you are, Hollywood is about business. Who is going to invest, how am I going to get the money I invest back, how are you going to do it”
It was like watching a masterclass. I recommend everyone that thinks about getting into any art school, to talk with people that went to school or do a close research before applying. He continued; “It’s also not about networking either. I know someone at Sony Entertainment if I get you a meeting with her right now, would you be able to sell your project? Or At least answer the questions she will make?”. We talked about the programs at school and how demanding, as the students have to be available for projects at least 45 hours a week. In the end, he gave me his card, for whenever I was ready to get in contact with him. After thinking about what he said, I decided to take ScreenWriting workshops and focus my writing on the Entertainment Business itself. I love movies and I love TV. For sure, I would love to write professionally for it.
I came back home with my heart full of hope and push to work on my projects. I also decided I would not move to LA, instead, I would take my classes and be back to Austin, and even though is harder, I can start something here. I also got back home with a broken back from hiking with Converse and wear boots with heels. And a cold.