During our class’s stay at the Oakwood, the lot of us have met some very interesting characters, ranging from rambunctious actors and high videographers to bratty child actors and their neurotic parents. There seems to be an accepted truth that THIS was the place to be– LA This is where you make it or break it– and if you were to make it, it would be here.
Coming from New York, another big city, made this experience even more intriguing. New York, although it has great prestige as a city, is not the first place that comes to your mind when you think “Film Industry.” An aspiring director I came across at the Oakwood named Dave asked me what the difference was between the two cities. However, it was clear he was more interested in each of the cities’ “discovery rates” rather than my personal experience in LA compared to NYC. I was about to make an argument for New York, but then I realized how much of an influence the word “Hollywood” has over the general population. People flock to Los Angeles because of things like the Hollywood sign and Hollywood Boulevard, all elements made to make the industry look as flourishing as possible.
Each of these people– the aspiring actors, videographers, directors, and parents– all come to the Oakwood because LA is where it’s at. Some have given up eight years of their lives because of the illusion Hollywood has cloaked over the entire 500-square miles that is LA. The sad truth is that only 2% of its entire population is involved in the film business, producing an exploding culture of wannabes. This may have been the only thing I detested about Los Angeles– or, more accurately, the Oakwood. There was persistent vibe of people not only being prepared to be discovered– as so many successful people we have met in Hollywood have told us– but also of advertising oneself to an overwhelming extent. People left and right at the Oakwood, whether it was in the hot tub or the activities room, were advertising to us despite the fact that we were college kids in the midst of a hectic block. They still felt the need to share themselves to people who were not big in the business. Honestly, they were probably using it as practice for the real deal.