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I’m coming at you a month late with this one, but I have been in LA 5 years.
FIVE YEARS, PEOPLE.
And now when I tell new people I meet that I’ve been here for FIVE YEARS, the first comment is always “WOW, that’s such a long time,” and then I fall to the ground and curl up in the fetal position.
Because no starving artist miles away from their intended destination likes to be reminded of JUST how much time they’ve been at it.
I’m still working on embracing the “big 5” and I think writing out this blog and seeing my progress will help…right? RIGHT?!
Let me take a little second to drop the link to the summary of YEAR 4 for a little comparison. See where the Short and Feisty one was a year ago before sinking your teeth into this one.
Without anymore preamble, let’s jump right in to this year, shall we?
Things I HAVE accomplished:
- Worked my first personal assistant job on a big budget studio feature.
- Survived said job with very little (physical) scarring–I came home in one piece, and I’m counting that.
- Made a ton of new friends with the other assistants/crew members on the project.
- I PAID OFF MY CAR LOAN.
- I am officially debt free and it feels MAGNIFICENT.
- I’m still in the same apartment, though I didn’t live in it for 6 months of this year. I’m beating my previous record, anyway!
- I only had one truly severe panic attack within this past year–
- It happened on a plane, in the lavatory of all places, and I thought I was going to die, but PROGRESS.
- I wrote the first three episodes of a web series, made a pitch video, and it’s currently being considered for a competition. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
- I’ve started the perilous task of getting rid of half of my belongings by the end of the year. I’ve collected so much stuff over the last 5 years and I’m sure I don’t use at least half of it, so it gotsta go.
- I visited: England, Scotland, Greece, and New Zealand this year. I also spent time in Hawaii, almost all of those destinations through work.
- I SIGNED WITH A TALENT AGENT.
- This is BY FAR the best news of the entire year because it is the BIGGEST THING that makes me feel like I’ve actively made progress in my acting career. I’ve convinced someone that I have what it takes, now I just need to get out on some auditions to prove them right.
Things I’ve learned:
- Gain as much experience as you can in whatever industry your interested in, but never forget what your ultimate goal is.
- Make decisions that best serve that goal. You may be tempted to veer off into another path for a number of reasons (usually more money for survival) but don’t do it. Eyes on the prize.
- Never depend on others to get you where you need to be. Honestly, the only person you can count on is YOURSELF. That probably sounds more harsh than I mean it to, but it’ll keep you from being disappointed when others don’t pull for you.
- I learned this next nugget of knowledge from a producer and it’s honestly what keeps me going out here in LaLaLand: BE. PATIENT. Shit doesn’t happen overnight, y’all.
- Still working on finding that work/life balance. I’ll get it right someday.
- Never stop hustling. Ever.
- Work as many jobs as you can. Only buy things that’ll genuinely be useful and make you happy. Write those web series. Submit yourself to auditions. Hustle.
On Hollywood and The Grind:
- The net may or may not catch you, but if you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, LEAP. It somehow paid off well for me this time around. And the next time I take a leap, I’ll have a wider view on which to base my decision.
- Trust sparingly.
- Probably my biggest industry takeaway of the last year. There’s no harm in being skeptical of others, especially when you don’t know their motives.
- Trust your instincts.
- Unless your instincts are buttholes and lead you astray. But then again, if your instincts told you one thing and new information is making you change your mind, that’s ok, too. Don’t be mad, just change your perception and make better decisions next time.
- Assistants are hard ass workers and being a part of that small group really taught me the most on my adventures.
- You can tell how a person truly is by the way they treat their assistants.
- When working as an assistant, your principal’s life becomes your life.
- You have to make a concerted effort to pull yourself away from the inbox often or you’ll go bananas.
- Costume, Hair, and Makeup have the most fun on a set because they’re the most fun/nicest people.
- It’s ok to have days that’ll make you feel like running away to a remote island where you and the sheep are the only residents.
- Breathe through those days, minute by minute, and the next day will most likely be better. Or maybe the next day will suck even more. But the day after that holds hope and hope is what you’ll live on in LA/NY.
- You set the tone for how you want others to treat you.
- Go in to any new relationship sending the signals for how they should behave with you and speak to you. If they’re not getting the signals, that’s not your fault. Keep sending them.
- The industry is trying to right their wrongs with their lack of intersectionality. Trying in a very slow way, but I’ll be here when they decide to speed that shit up.
- Crickets in this department this year.
- Refer to last year’s post if you need some wisdom on that front, because all I learned this year is that I’m getting more comfortable with the idea of being a spinster.
- You know you have good friends when they’ll listen to you groan, complain, and outright panic over the phone and over texts and they don’t tell you to STFU.
- I am seriously lucky in this department.
- You very genuinely do NOT have to take other people’s shit.
- You might feel like you absolutely need to, in order to further your goals. Chances are, though, if it involves getting beat down that much…probably not the right path for you.
- You can always work a little bit harder, put in a little bit more effort, and reach a little further. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel that way everyday.
- I NEED TO BLOG MORE.
- I’ve gone to some absolutely astounding places over the last year and I didn’t document it as well as I should have. I need to work on that.
Biggest Takeaway of 2017:
I may not be living what I consider to be my BEST life, but I certainly am living an INTERESTING life and I need to remember that.