If you’ve got twenty-five bucks in your pocket and you live in Los Angeles, you can spend a night with Jeff Goldblum and it will change your life. He is everything you’ve dreamed about and everything you (might) have been told; at 62 he looks not a day over 40, with skinny pants and cool socks and shoes that would make James Dean swoon. He has the swagger and charisma of his own oiled self circa this picture:
And yet there’s something so regal about him at the same time. He’s JEFF FUCKING GOLDBLUM. He’s battled aliens and dinosaurs and body snatchers and he takes all that experience and makes you laugh until your sides ache, and makes you tear up as he invites a fiddle player to the stage and you can see how much he absolutely loves life. Loves what he does. I assume. I don’t know him and he’s an actor after all. He could be absolutely miserable, but for one night he makes you feel like you are a floating in a Goldlbumian heaven.
People like to say Los Angeles doesn’t have culture, and I used to be one of those. I lived in New York City for four years, and prior to that I was raised in Philadelphia. Old, Nor’Easter cities with loud mouths, cheap, melty pizza, and strong history. We North Eastern folk like to spout about how much we love our cities, and we like to shit on anyone else’s. I have pride in my home, but I can no longer make the argument that Los Angeles is cultureless. It’s not, and Jeff Goldblum’s night of jazz proves that L.A. is a magical, dirty, strange, unicorn of a city.
My boyfriend and I sat at the table closest to the stage, and we arrived about an hour early to order drinks and appetizers. We walked in to a mostly empty bar, and there, sitting on the stage, mic-checking and warming up, was Mr. Goldblum himself. He greeted us like old friends, made jokes about old movies. My boyfriend exchanged jokes and old movie trivia with him. He only further illuminated as the night went on – during the entire show, he’s constantly weaving in and out of the audience, so really there’s not a bad seat in the house. He makes the furthest seat still feel like you’re in his living room, swiggin’ back his old family whiskey and laughing about movies he did when he was in his early twenties.
A night like that, with Jeff Goldlbum and jazz musicians and strangers in a small room – it makes you feel alive. It reminds you of why you moved out to a city like L.A. in the first place. Because at some point when you were growing up you watched a film like Singin’ In The Rain, or E.T., or Jurassic Park, and you thought, “There is nothing quite like the feeling of a movie.” This old picture magic. It sticks with you, on your skin, in your mind, and influences every decision you make. To pursue a career in the film industry. To study it at a prestigious college even though you could’ve saved a shit ton of money going to a state school. To pack up what little you own, and trek 3,000 miles across the country to see what California has in store for you.
Don’t miss out on watching Jeff Goldblum play jazz. It’s worth the 25 bucks to feel like you’ve gained a new friend. And who doesn’t want to be friends with Jeff Fucking Goldblum.