Despite getting no sleep the night before, I had a pretty good interview yesterday, and I may be employed soon. If not, I’ve reframed this time as my “year off” (my original intention) and my interviews as “career exploration.” If nothing comes through by, say, April, I will have to either take something unappealing or seriously consider returning to Los Angeles.
I wouldn’t hate being back in L.A. but the the act of moving back is incredibly daunting, and I know that working there again would be quite stressful.
One thing I continue to miss, and the thing that pulled me there in the first place, was being around people at the top of their game. Overall the population is more educated here, but when it comes to top writers and comics and filmmakers and so on, they are in L.A. and New York. There’s a handful here but I never come across them.
I found another podcast I love and eventually figured out that, yep, the podcasters are out of L.A. and sometimes hold live tapings in my old neck of the woods. One of them is young and cute, but the thing that appeals to me about him is his razor-sharp smarts and analytical ability. He’s engaged to a cute actress, and it’s one of those rare instances that give me a pang of envy because she gets to be in love with and spend her life with such a smartie.
I’m still listening to my other podcasts– all out of L.A.– and reading my favorite authors from there. Not having quite that level of wit and intellect here is something I miss.
In my twenties and thirties I had some really sharp friends in this city, but most of them have dispersed to the coasts, and the ones who are left are busy with families or their personal lives and their edges have dulled a little. They just aren’t as fully immersed in the world of ideas, which is the only world I’ve got left. I definitely appreciate the niceness of people here, but that niceness comes with a decorum that can prevent people from going really deep or speaking against the grain.
The difference now is that I’ve lived in L.A. and realize that you can be in the same room with or even interact and work with all those creatives, but there’s an invisible barrier. They’re overwhelmed with building their careers, and if you can’t help them (or aren’t incredibly hot, I suppose), they don’t have the time. In that respect, there isn’t much difference between encountering them live and reading their work or listening to or watching them from another city altogether. That’s the hard truth, as much as I still hate admitting it.
One of my brightest friends here was in the process of moving to L.A. just as I moved back to town. I went to his goodbye party and remembered how nice it is to be around very funny people and to be included in the conversation, as opposed to an audience member, like in L.A.
He’s gone now, and I don’t have much choice but to content myself in the role of long-distance fanhood and the knowledge that even if I’m not personally involved with people who fire my brain, it’s nice to know that they exist.