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Lonely in La La Land

Killian's workshop

I recently got back from visiting my college friends in Houston whom I hadn't seen in over 2 years.

I didn't realize how much I missed having friends to talk to in person on a regular basis until I went back out there. It reminded what it was like to be around people who really know me...to be a part of a community, no matter how small.

Now that I'm back, it's business as usual: Submitting online on a daily basis, going on auditions, filling up my schedule with networking events I plan to attend and working on the webseries I've written.

And though I'm glad to be back in the hustle and bustle that is LA, my trip has made me realize how much having a social life matters to me. Note: I'm not talking about the kind of social life that requires you to stand in line outside a trendy club hoping to be let in, though if that's your thing, more power to you. I'm talking about meeting people who you develop relationships with, not because they can do something for you or because they'll owe you one day, but because you genuinely like each other. I guess I'm saying I'm kinda lonely. Not romance-lonely {the hubs & I are great} but friend-lonely. Those of you in New York may not get this because the way NY is made you HAVE to interact with others. Most of the buildings are compact, high-rises. Many people prefer to walk or take the subway to get to where they need to go. It's just a different landscape. In LA, on the other hand, everything is spread out. Auditions can take you from one side of town to the next and you get there by driving in your car, alone. For someone new to town, who's used to being somewhat of a socialite, it can be kinda hard to adjust.

Case in point, yesterday while in the waiting room of an audition I happened to strike up a conversation with a girl who was reading for the same role as I. On the surface we couldn't have been more different but yet we had a lot in common. I can't tell you how much I wanted to say "Hey we should hang out sometime. Let's exchange info." But...I just couldn't do it. I don't know why. Maybe I thought she'd think I was weird if I asked for her contact info. Maybe I thought others would think I was weird as they heard me ask. Maybe I thought she'd say no and that she was just making small talk afterall. Who knows? The point is, I'm beginning to realize how important it is for me to connect with others out here, it's just a part of my DNA. For a moment I felt like I was doing just that while I was in my commercial class {pictured with my classmates above} but since that's ended I definitely want to get into a scene study class soon. Yes I need the practice but I also really want the camaraderie that I hope will come with it.

-- Brandi Ford

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Comments

blaqbird

you totally should've asked for her contact info! i completely understand your dilemma. i moved out here a couple of months ago, and it is hard to meet people. i started volunteering at film festivals and that has definitely helped. it is hard to start all over, but i hope you keep at it. I heard the Acting Studio at Edgemar in Santa Monica has pretty good scene study courses so check there! and good luck!

Brandi Ford

Thanks Blaqbird- I will check them out. And yeah, I was kicking myself afterwards for not speaking up. Sigh, next time.

Justine

One thing I prefer about NYC (where I live now) to LA is that not everyone you meet here in NYC is in "the industry." Here in NYC I meet all sorts of people and sometimes it just seems more "real." When I've been in LA, or in the Valley, seems everytime you go into a coffeeshop, someone is talking about their screenplay, or their latest audition, etc.

Of course - I know the pro for LA is that in many ways there *can* be more work,certainly much more television casting. But I'm just so much happier in NYC so for right now it's a trade-off.

Anyway...for those of you in southern CA who are looking to meet more people? You should try meetup.com - it's a good site for making new friends, really. I signed up on it when I first moved to NYC. Met one of my (now) good friends through a brunch meetup group - and I haven't been to that particular meetup group in quite a while! There are meetups for all different sorts of things, brunches and book clubs and groups for single women and groups for people who want to hear live music, etc. I definitely recommend you check it out. There's no charge for registering, you just pay for yourself if you go to an event ( a movie, or a brunch ) where there are costs.

Brandi Ford

Justine, thank you for your comment and the meetup link. Ive been registered on there for awhile but never went to any of their events. About a week ago- around the time I wrote this post- I went back to the site and really figured out which groups I wanted to be a part of and which ones I could let go. Now I have a handful of meetups I can attend, some of which have nothing to do with the industry at all, and Im looking forward to meeting new people that way. Glad to see its been beneficial to someone else.

Justine

You're very welcome! Yeah, give it a try -- I go through times where I'm not actively attending their events, sometimes it's a money thing - even though most of the events are pretty low-cost I just have a limited budget these days. Also, in the past, some groups I really liked ending up disbanding just b/c the organizer left and no one else stepped up to lead.

But, when you have the time and inclination, it can definitely be a worthwhile thing to do. And you never know who you might meet! :)

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