This is post #2 of 2 about my trip to Los Angeles.
Three weeks ago I flew to LA. My objective: hang out with my friends and have a fun vacation away from work!
I never expected the trip would change my life forever.
Though I didn't advertise publicly, part of my purpose in visiting LA was to determine whether I could see myself living there as a working filmmaker. I went in more or less assuming "no way! Too big, too scary", yet tried to maintain an open mind just in case.
And so, from the moment Brooke picked me up at the airport, to the final car ride with Anne back to LAX, I asked questions. Lots of them. Trying to get at people's experiences, from practicalities like cost of living, to their emotions about leaving home and re-establishing a friend-base in a new city.
Every answer I heard reinforced one central theme: making "the move" is possible.
I began contemplating, how exactly would this work? What would happen to my house, where would I work, what about health insurance? And I prayed a lot.
Finally, on the car ride to the airport, I had my moment of clarity: "I have to do this. I don't know how it's going to work, I just know it's what I need to do."
Coupled with my friends' encouragement (or "insistence" might be a better word), I resolved that I will make the move to Los Angeles in January 2012.
In my mind that's a long way off. Everyone I've told so far, though, insists it will fly by, and the most common reaction has been "you're moving so soon?"
However one looks at it, I've got 13.5 months to get my life in order. Or something like that. So over the next year, I will:
- pay off my current debt
- pay ahead in my house payment, as well as find a future renter(s)
- save enough to survive for several months after the move without a steady income
- record my first CD project
- write / direct / and/or produce one more short film
I remain hopeful that I'll maintain part-time employment at Minnehaha, since most of the web and database stuff I do can be done from anywhere in the world. And I want to keep my foot in the door for possible summer-time employment, when business around LA is quieter.
I could get a job at an Apple Store when I move, but I'm saving that as a last resort, because in my mind it kind of defeats the purpose: I'm moving to LA to work on movies, not sell in retail. I have to allow myself time to give filmmaking an honest shot.
This feels like the right time to make this change. One of my greatest fears is, years from now, reflecting on my life and asking "what if...?". One of my coworkers actually told me a few months ago, "if you're still here in 5 years, I'll be disappointed in you". So it's time to take a risk, and see what happens.
My parents are supportive. I gave them the two-minute version when they picked me up from the airport, and then a few days ago we were able to sit down for a longer conversation. The next year may be nerve-wracking as I try to accomplish everything on my list, but I am indescribably happy to have a solid goal toward which I'm working.
409 days, and counting.