From the Midwest to the West Coast

The idea that I could make films was planted in my brain when I was roughly thirteen years old, on the brink of high school metamorphosis, kicking around the suburban malls of Toledo, Ohio. It was the cusp of a new generation—the death of dial-up, and access to all the television and movies you could dream of by rites of Netflix and DVR. Inspired by the likes of Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino, Cameron Crowe, and John Hughes—I set myself on a path, handi-cam ready, to make true art of cinematic form.

Ten years later I drove to Los Angeles with my essential belongings packed tight into the back of a Saturn Vue, destined to be an actor and writer. My post collegiate experience in Ohio boosted my ego—having worked on the set of major motion pictures, produced a reality show for a network cable station, I thought I would land on the west coast with career opportunities groveling at my feet.

The reality is that I now sit here at my foldable kitchen table, high on bourbon at two in the afternoon, preparing to record a video audition for a short film I will barely make a profit from. I assure you, good reader, that my writing for this blog is in good faith—and the intentions I hold for my career are admirable—not entirely for the money. Though after working myself to the bone between Barnes and Noble, The Olive Garden, Forever 21, and said film/television production companies for seven twelve-hour days a week for a year and a half straight—a guy still needs to feed himself and pay his student loans.

I get by working in a restaurant, making just enough to pay my bills and afford myself the time to write a screenplay, story, or poem here and there—attend auditions when I am invited to do so—and even, recently, produce my first film in this glowing city. The observation that I am alluding to is that, yes—I am happy. I am working hard. And I worked hard to be where I am. Nobody gave a push in the right direction. I fought against the stream to arrive in Hollywood, and I’m still fighting every day to make true art of the cinematic form, even if I have to jump through hoops and turn some odd corners here and there. It took me eight sun-shiny months to learn that everyone has their own path and must pave their own way. Each and every moment I’m seeking the gateway to my path.

This blog entry is more or less an introduction to hopefully more humorous, insightful blog entries. It is difficult to get the ball rolling, but I figured I’d get it started with how I got where I am right now—typing away in Culver City, enjoying the view of cacti and palm trees out my kitchen window, getting drunk, preparing an audition, and waiting until I have to take the bus to Santa Monica so I can do lights and sound for a show at the Mission IMPROVable Westside Comedy Theatre.

It would be a lie to state that I didn’t I moved out to California thinking I would be the next Ethan Hawke or James Franco. I planned on being the star of a soap opera, or the next Gossip Girl. However, after every casting director and producer told me that I should be doing comedy, it altered my overall sense of self-perception. I realized I might have a knack for comedic acting and writing, despite my original dramatic inquisitions.

Before the next blog post, I will drunkenly ride my red, rusty BMX bike around the block, contemplating something comedic to write. I will rotate the pedals around with my sockless, loafer covered feet until I reach a speed that will carry me on my pegs—and I will stand, content with the September breeze in my hair, optimistic and romantic notions aloft in my mind, looking ahead to another intersection.


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