Guys, the day has come: I finally understand the LA thirst. When I first moved to Hollywood, I would roll my eyes at every desperate screenwriter throwing their business cards around and pitching to anyone with ears, or to beautiful waiters who would practice their headshot pose while taking my order. But now? Now I get it. They’re my peeps.
Pursuing a career in Hollywood makes you desperate. And a little insane.
Now, I find myself controlling the urges to pass my business card out and try to get people on board with half-assed, awkward pitches (if that’s what you even call them). Selling myself is SO not my thing. But Hollywood drives you to that point. Why? Because anything to get you momentum is appealing.
I used to think I was pretty stable, consistently happy and content. I worked 9-to-5s, drank with friends on the weekends, bitched about rent, the usual. But in Hollywood, your emotions ride on every single yes, no, validation, rejection. An email, an absent DM, an uninterested person. These emotions come and go within the hour. (I’d say like the wind, but we are in the desert after all.) When you sacrifice everything to make something happen, the tiniest yeses and nos will do that to a person.
I recently had a chat with a twenty-something, up-and-coming actress out here in Hollywood and we bonded over this for about five straight minutes. It’s real. Here’s what she said, something I can completely relate to (my family and friends will testify to how nuts I’ve become, trust):
There’s some days where something really not-so-great happens and you’re just crying about it for a few hours and the next hour you find out the most amazing news. I view the business like buses, one comes and goes and you don’t know which you’ll get on or how long the ride will be.
Then I told her a metaphor my friend (also in the business ) once told me, and she agreed:
Think of Hollywood as a bipolar parent.
One minute it loves you, the lows disappear, it feels satisfying, worth it and right. The next, it abandons you without a care and makes you completely question yourself altogether. The sick part is, you always go back to it and love it at the end of the day, seeking its affection and approval. Meanwhile, you internalize this throughout the years, the ups and the downs, and somehow think it’s you who’s the problem.
But ask anyone who’s pursued or is pursuing a dream in this town, and I guarantee they’ll get it. Meanwhile, we’ll all be out here, enduring it over and over, until hopefully, a little breakthrough steps in. And then we’ll be a little more sane. One can hope.