The last two weeks have been a hiatus of pure Los Angeles bliss. Definitely the perfect way to start my first month in the city of angels. I had the rare opportunity to land a position with the Academy as a press guide at this years Oscars, thanks to a dear friend.
The last two years have encompassed a lot of just writing and spewing out the first thing that is in my mind. A reoccurring theme has made something very prevalent come to my attention.
I have let my past get in my way, I have defined my struggles by my past, by the hardships of my life, by the constant work that has ensued my entire existence.
A Maya Angelou Poem reads “..too poor to break.”
And I have not broken, I have not paused, I have constantly put one foot in front of the other and walked on, worked on. But that’s it, isn’t it? I have defined myself by my past, by the weight that remains currently on my shoulders, by the work I am required to do because I cannot break.
How depressing is that? This past does not define me, it made me, and I am proud and love every brutal, loving, endearing, passionate, and crazy moment of it. The compassion that moves my past beyond just defining me and continues to make me.
I define myself by my present.
That present self, the me now, for the first time I can actually touch it.
Okay. Well, not in a like sexy erotic – fifty shades of grey – kinda way. Like touch it in a sense that it’s tangible, it’s no longer this figment of the past. It is a physical incarnation of myself now.
A simple, yet epic, award show bought something very vividly to my attention. The form I am going to explain it is in how many cities I have lived.
I’m horrible at segues.
So, I’ve lived in a lot of cities – Honolulu, Hi., San Francisco, CA., London, England. New York, NY., and now Los Angeles, CA. When I say lived, I mean I breathed, sweat, cried, bled, and loved in these cities.
I give to you now the following advice from truly a nomadic, thoughtful, sporadic woman.
- Don’t prepare, just go. You’ll figure out the money when you get there, TRUST ME. Worst case scenario you work a retail/food and beverage industry job while you interview for your desired position. But make sure you have a constant flow of income otherwise you will be crushed by the cost of the city. Even if the flow of income is a shitty job, do it and know that it’ll take a matter of moments for you to find the job that’ll lead to what you want. Then put your two weeks in at your shitty job. Don’t stay at your shitty job. Even if the people are nice, move on, the ones you love will move on with you.
- Just go. You are already good enough, no need to train, go to school more, take more classes, or workout and prepare your body, your voice, your mind. You are already good enough. When you get there you will do all these things and more because you’ll be in the city you want to succeed AND be networking, working out, creating a community that you will need when you finally do get that big promotion/interview/audition/premiere. So just go there now and do all those things there. Trust me, you are already good enough and will only become more in tune with yourself once you are there.
- Stop it, and go. Couch surf for the first week, if you’re lucky a friend is already in that city you may have a room ready for you. But if not, NO BIGGIE, just go. Couch surf. Hostel it up. Do everything other then not go. GO. Hit up ALL the networks and do all your internet research in local coffee shops, you’ll find heaps of cool people doing the same thing and you are bound to find a room/apartment within a couple weeks. But you can’t do that unless you are already THERE. So go.
- Your family/friends won’t be there. But it’s okay, so go already. You will make new friends. You will also still have all your old friends, some will become even closer friends and others you will discover were only acquaintances. But just go because this community of people who are waiting to support you in this new found city. Well, they will become your family – they will make you stronger – they will to become close and good friends. Give the city a chance because it’s already opening its arms to you.
- Just go and you know what, if you don’t like it after a year go somewhere else. Because at this point, nothing is stopping you. If you never go you will always wonder “what if?” and by going it diminishes that “what if?” into the reality of “what is”. Maybe what is isn’t, at the end of the day, what you want. That’s okay because now you can keep going until you find out what you want, by testing and trying new things. You have enabled the freedom in yourself to just go and not be tied down to societies norms of stability, because you now know how to create your own.
Your own stability is where your roots lie, so where are you going to dig deep?
What do these 5 pieces of advice have anything to do with my experience working for the Academy? Just go. You are ready, you have the experience, trust yourself. Just go. You can do it.