Many people’s impression of Los Angeles includes vanity, traffic, and entitlement. None of the above impressions are wrong, and I can certainly see how this city could leave a bad taste in one’s mouth. I have been lucky to travel here a couple of times, but staying in a hotel with my mommy and daddy is a lot different than trying to find a job here. As excited as I was to come spend a month in the sun, I knew that Los Angeles as a life decision is something to approach with trepidation. That being said, I still got a dumb haircut to fit in.
As the trip has developed, so have my feelings for LA. I think I like her. Like, like like her. Sure. We’ve sat next to a Lamborghini in traffic, which begs the question of owning and driving a Lamborghini in Los Angeles. But who cares? I don’t. I didn’t even take a picture. That guy made a bad decision. And sure, traffic is bad, but our professor knows how to drive in Los Angeles and takes us off of the 405 and onto Cahuenga and then on to the 10 so we can skip the traffic on the 101 that stems from construction on Melrose. No matter how much traffic there is, Clay can get around it. But more importantly, everyone we’ve met seems immune to the traffic. They’re excited about what they’re doing and couldn’t be happier to share their stories with us.
And I’m not just talking about the established Colorado College alums we have met. Their happiness is understandable, and certainly something to strive for. What made a more tangible impact on me was a dinner with people who did not have CEO or Head in their title. The CC alumni office and our professors Dylan Nelson and Clay Haskell put together a party for the 9th anniversary of our amazing class, On Location: Hollywood. We had the pleasure of meeting young CC alums, most of whom had taken the class, who were just starting their journey in the entertainment industry. Some were writers, some were in casting, some were acting, and some were working at an agency. There was even a guy who had created a virtual reality system that would work with an iPhone.
Each alum was open about their experience living in Los Angeles, which inevitably meant that they had a rough six, seven, or eight months fighting to pay for rent and food. But all of them had come out of it, or were at least were on their way. One message rang true for all of them. If I’m not persistent and if I’m not willing to put in the hours, someone else is going to take my spot. All of them had put in the work, and it paid off. To me, there’s nothing more just or satisfying than that.
So yeah, wading through traffic on Sunset Boulevard sucks, but LA is a city where most people are working hard and want to achieve something. That’s kind of a beautiful thing, and a beautiful thing that I hope to be a part of someday.