Living and working in Los Angeles has been a roller coaster of disaster interspliced with small but significant moments of success. Since moving here two years ago, I have learned to accept and appreciate this city for the fun-loving, narcissistic beast that it is and will continue to be until we run out of water. Here are some things that I’ve learned along the way:
1. If you want to see celebrities, you’re better off lurking the salad section at Whole Foods than paying for a bus tour.
2. For most people here, driving is a side activity to be done in between sending emails, making phone calls and eating In-N-Out. The general rule is this: watch out for these people or be killed.
3. How to parallel park your shitty car between a BMW and Lamborghini with minimal damage to your ego and the cars themselves.
4. How to walk 3 miles in heels because you’re too broke for valet and the only free parking spot happened to be in the neighboring town.
5. What it’s like to be unemployed at a party full of actors, models, writers, directors and every combination thereof and still hold your own in conversation.
6. How to bullshit bullshitters.
7. There will always be someone hotter, smarter and seemingly more successful than you. This doesn’t mean they’re happy.
8. If you’re looking for a job in the film industry, you’re better off going to a bar than searching for hours online. Chances are anyone you meet either works in the industry or knows someone who does and are generally happy to help out a new friend.
9. Sometimes it’s better to be a big fish in a small bowl than a small fish in a sea of sharks.
10. Eating a bag of potato chips while rolling calls is an art to be mastered with discipline.
11. Hollywood can be oddly claustrophobic in the sense that everyone knows each other. Use this to your advantage. If you think you know someone who might be able to help you, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. You never know where it could lead.
12. You will encounter assholes, whether they be your boss, coworker, roommate or person driving next to you who refuses to let you into the goddamn lane. Try not to let these people affect you any more than you have affected them. It’s easy to spend hours obsessing over some comment you made to someone who probably spends more time contemplating about their lunch order than they do thinking about you and your stupid comment. Your energy would be better spent doing the same.
13. Partying is fun and sometimes necessary to your social and career life. That said, it can also wreak havoc on your body and your bank account. Moderation is key.
14. It’s easy to forget about nature here but worth your time to seek it out. Taking a hike in Malibu or laying on the beach can rejuvenate your mind and body in times of stress.
15. If you need to cry, cry. But remaining positive is ultimately what will get you to where you want to be.