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. During my first six months in LA, I was a visitor: interning and blindly exploring with no real stability or certainty of what I was looking for.
At the end of my last post, I had just started a new job and my indie improv team, Big Sheila was getting into the swing of performing regularly in venues around Hollywood. I had just been hired at Jukin as a video editor on a 10-week contract and I was super stoked to have the opportunity. As the ten weeks progressed, I became more certain that I wanted to stay. It’s a company full of fun people doing fun work and what more could you ask for in a 9.30-6.30?
I’ve been doing improv on an average of about 3 times a week; which includes training and seeing shows. A ‘quiet night in’ for me has become seeing an improv show that I’m not performing in. There’s some weeks I’ll do something improv-related every second night and then I look back at my week and wonder why I spend so much of my spare time doing this silly thing that disappears once it's over and then its gone forever and nothing matters. Then, I’ll take a few days to myself and realize that I can’t not do improv because it’s become ingrained in my life and who I am. Then, I accept that I’m a huge improv dork and will probably continue to go through this emotional cycle for the rest of my life.
Summer was so much fun. I spent a lot of time with the girls of Big Sheila. We went to beaches, hung by pools, went dancing, explored pockets of LA and made each other laugh on different stages. I love them so much. Right now, our goal as a team is to get a residency somewhere so we have a consistent show on top of the indie shows we’re constantly booking. Last Saturday night, we made a step towards that goal by hosting a showcase on the Mainstage at iO West. We shared the hour with two other awesome teams: Spanglish and Arcade Currency. The show was called ‘White Dudes’ because no one in the show was a white dude. It’s a joke.
A few weeks ago, iO West held auditions for their house ensemble. I was eligible since I graduated their improv program earlier in the year (I took the summer intensive in 2015 and finished the program when I moved here). I signed up to audition because I thought it would be an interesting experience. I honestly didn’t think I’d have much of a chance at being considered since I hadn’t been a super active member of the iO community. I wanted to but I was busy with my indie teams and other classes I was taking. Anyway, I went to the audition and I was in a group with 7 men. Everyone had a professional headshot in a manilla folder and I had a 50c print out of my FaceBook profile picture from target photo. We did a 20 minute show on the Mainstage in front of a panel of performers, coaches and teachers who would later weigh in on our performance. I found out a week later that I got on a team! Starting in October, I get to perform weekly shows at the theater that drew me to LA in the first place. How awesome. I’ve been training with my team for a few weeks now. My buddy John is on my team and I didn’t know anyone else but from the past few weeks, I've learnt that they’re all really great and funny people and I’m super excited to get to know them.
As my contract at work was coming to a close, I made it clear that I wanted to stay. I was finishing up the project I was brought on to do but I was also working with other teams on things they needed extra hands for. When my 10 weeks were up, I was offered a full-time position as the producer for Jukin Video. It’s fun and challenging and I’m super motivated and excited for the future. When I first started at the office, I was overwhelmed by all the cool people I wanted to be friends with and now; they’re my friends AND the people I get to work with.
Everything here is so perfect that ‘My Year in Los Angeles’ has actually become my life. I get to do creative things with amazing people who continue to inspire me. I have incredible friends, teammates coworkers and oh yeah, a girlfriend who I'm totally swooning over yet I've still barely scratched the surface of LA. The novelty of walking home as the sun sets over the palm trees on Sunset Boulevard is still not lost on me and I don't think it ever will be.
My current visa expires in December but there’s a bunch of things I’m still working towards like: getting a driver's license, a car, finishing the UCB improv program, writing more, seeing more of California and I could go on. With the help of my employer, I’m able to get another visa and continue working towards these things. I’m so insanely grateful to have found a job that I actually want to stay for, because everything outside of work is so great too that it would be so painful to leave. I recently finished all the grunt work of jumping through a bunch of hoops, researching visa requirements and filling out paperwork. Now, my next step is to attend an interview at the U.S Consulate in Melbourne to get my visa approved. I’m flying to Melbourne on November 14 and I’m so excited to go home for a holiday and see all the people and places that I miss. I’m excited to go to Melbourne as a visitor; because that’s what I’ll be there now.