I have now been living in Los Angeles for a little over 16 years. Actually, when January 9th, 2017 rolls around, I will have been here 17 years! 17 years that have truly flown by quicker than I can truly fathom.
I was two weeks into my 36th birthday when I landed here in La La Land. I personally knew only one person, and casually knew of two others. Luckily for me, the person I personally knew allowed me to live in his apartment for a month until I got my own place. Truth be told, I don't think I would have moved out after that month if he hadn't made it abundantly clear I HAD to! Haaa! See, some folks you have to KICK out before they MOVE out! Lol!
Anyway, I moved the next street over from him, in the same block, so I was still in the same 'hood. Koreatown.
I lived in Koreatown for a year, then hightailed my butt over to The Valley. North Hollywood to be precise. Man, the difference was night and day. In Koreatown, I oftentimes had to park three or more blocks away from my apartment building because there was no parking. In NoHo, I could park right in front of my place. Same went for when I went shopping. Parking everywhere! I don't think I'd ever move back into Los Angeles proper. I'll be a Valley boy for the remainder of my Cali days!
Anyway, this post is really about how I've noticed that tons and tons of people move here from Small Town, USA, with hope of making a name for themselves in Hollywood! Me, included. Sorta. I mean, I actually moved here from Brooklyn, NY, but originally from Indiana. Well, over the years, tons of people move out here, and those same people wake up one day and five years have passed. A decade. Two decades. And they're no closer to "making a name" for themselves than they were when they arrived; yet, they keep pushing forward.
My friend, Gregor, is a talented actor. He truly is. I met him when he was 24 years old or so back in NYC. I was selling clothing at Macy*s Herald Square and he was store security. I went to see him in a couple of plays back then. He was absolutely incredible in the first one I saw: The Boys Next Door. Fast-forward 28 years and he's now 50. And living here in Cali with his devoted wife, Natalie. He has appeared in numerous independent films and a few, established TV shows, but none of the above have provided enough income to live solely as an actor. Yet, he keeps pushing forward.
My friend, Donn, used to be the star of a popular soap opera. Lost that job. Became penniless. Yet, he keeps pushing forward.
And then there's moi! I, too, have seen the ups and downs of pursuing work that interests me, but doesn't pay me what I need. What I'm worth! The talent management firm I incorporated brought me joy in the beginning. But when the checks would roll in and I'd see what my clients were getting, versus what I was getting, Papa CAM wasn't too happy. They could afford to live in nicer residences than I, and I didn't like that one bit!!!!! Especially since I had to work my butt off to get them into the casting rooms. I say all this to say that, yes, I know what it's like to rub TWO nickels together in my pocket, and what it's like to rub NONE! However, I keep pushing forward.
I clearly see that giving up is a sure-fire way to NEVER get what you desire. Although it appears to be hella easy for most to do it, when it comes down to professional fulfillment, I simply can't muster the courage to quit pushing toward it! I HAVE to keep pushing forward. I have to keep doing whatever I can think to do to move me closer to my idea of a happy work existence.
Here I am. 52 years blessed. God willing, 53 years blessed on this upcoming Thursday. What I know for sure is that I'll keep pushing for great health, great relationships with family and friends and great times, working a job and/or jobs that interest me.
I think 2017 is lookin' realllllly good!!!!!!!!!!!
KEEP PUSHING FORWARD, gang!