At the end of 2015, I wrote a post (inspired by my good mate Daniel Pavatich) to thank the people who’d had an impact on me that year. I had just moved to Los Angeles and I sat alone in a cafe in Culver City writing about all the people I'd just moved away from. As hard as it was to say goodbye, the joy that they'd brought to my life overshadowed the sadness of leaving them by far. I could have sworn I’d met the quota of amazing-people-one-single-person-is-allowed-to-encounter-in-their-lifetime but boy was I wrong. 2016 would have been incredibly difficult for me if not for the people I’d met along the way.
It’s so wild to think that my year in Los Angeles is approaching its end. I feel like I just moved here but there’s also a part of me that feels like I’ve lived here forever.
I’ve officially been living in Los Angeles for 6 months; I’m halfway through the 12-month period I intended to be here for. This is now the longest I’ve been away from home. Home as in; the place I grew up.
Today is the 16th of March, 2016 which means I have officially been living in Los Angeles for exactly 3 months; also known as one quarter of a year. It’s turning out to be one of my favorite years of my life so far and as such I’ve decided I’m going to post a recap every quarter because I’m interested to find out if this euphoria ever subsides. The decision to move here was somewhat spontaneous and Melbourne to Los Angeles is quite a distance so I’ll rewind to recap how I made the leap.
Daniel Pavatich wrote a blog post to thank everyone who was apart of his life in 2015 and I was moved by it so I thought I’d do the same. I had a really great year and created and solidified some really important relationships. I got to do so many things that made me happy and I feel grateful for it every day. I just tried to count the amount of shows I performed in but lost count after 100. I performed in over 100 improvised shows in 2015. I am the luckiest.
Before this year, I never had any intention or desire to visit Los Angeles. From all the things I had heard about it, it didn't sound like my kind of place. I'm a city slicker and LA is an huge urban sprawl where commuting is a nightmare. I much prefer places where the city is in the centre and that's where the action is. Places like Melbourne, New York and Amsterdam. I had heard bad things about LA and it just didn't sound like I'd enjoy it. When I was planning my trip, I knew I wanted to train at iO so the choice was to spend 5 weeks in Chicago or Los Angeles. Ultimately, I went with LA for a number of reasons.
After ten hectic days in New York City, I flew to Chicago. If I was going to be in America on an Improv expedition, of course I had to visit the birthplace of longform Improv. I spent a week in Chicago and took a level one sketch writing class at Second City – a world famous theater and training center that has been around for fifty years. I’ve never really fancied myself a sketch writer but I definitely wanted to get a taste of how Second City operates so that’s the one I enrolled in.
About two months ago I returned home to Australia from a massive trip around the United States. The major thing that drew me to America in the first place was my love for Improv so my trip revolved around visiting arty cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to take classes, see shows and perform. As my post-vacation sadness begins to subside, now seems as good a time as ever to document my adventures. I will begin by recounting my time in New York City and the Del Close Marathon.
After weeks of anticipation and planning, week 10 finally came around and our seminar went really well! We had great guests, a good audience and interesting conversations were had. There were a few hiccups along the way but I think we pulled it off really well.
This seminar was one of my favourites and probably the one I was most looking forward to because working internationally is definitely something I want to do one day. The guests included: Elloise Mae Foster who had worked in San Francisco at Google, James Fettes who was an ABC employee who'd travelled and worked for some time in a newsroom in Jakarta and Jane Liscombe who's from England, had worked in Los Angeles and is now the Producer of Exit Films here.
This was the third seminar of the Wanted series and I'd say the most topical and therefore engaging one thus far. The guests were three Women from various areas of the Media Industry: Jenni Tosi (CEO of Film Victoria), Brodie Lancaster (Writer & Editor) and Elizabeth McCarthy (Talks Producer @ 3RRR). As such they were able to draw on experiences and tell anecdotes that illustrated what kind of culture can be expected in different industries.
Today I attended the second seminar of the Wanted series. The topic was "breaking in to the television industry" and although this isn't something that interests me particularly, I found the content pretty interesting and engaging. The format of the seminar was executed really creatively and as a result, it was very entertaining.
Today at uni, the first seminar in the wanted seminar series was held. The subject was "Non-Fiction" and the guests included Terry Cantwell, Genevieve Bailey, John Hughes and Maya Gnyp, all relevant figures in the documentary film industry in Australia. The first portion of the seminar was dedicated to introducing the guests. I was glad to discover that the guests ranges from different roles and came from different sized production companies.