25 April 2006

nice guys finish last...or do they?

24 Apr 06 Monday

Hi Again,

Me here.....another monday posting...I want to clarify something I said last week regarding why I live in LA. I had said that I didn't move here for the 'industry'. That's partly true and partly untrue. You see, it was only about 25 percent my decision to come here. The other reasons, well, I'll save for another topic. I work in this industry because it is my birthright. I am 3rd generation theatre, film, radio broadcasting, and television. My grandparents met on the stage in Russia, and my parents met on the NY Stage. It's an odd combination of familial history and a source of great pride for me. I was raised to chip in, respect and be nice to everyone involved in a show. My mother's family based themselves in NYC where my parents met, but I am the only one to move to LA. I have found since moving here (having worked in NY and Boston) that this part of the industry can be crazy!!!! I recently left my job at a studio where 1 of my bosses was very cool, and the other was a complete abusive control freak who fought on a daily basis for power. This latter part of my work existence is all too common here in this town. Too many people wanting too much power, thinking they have it when they don't and being jerks in the process. While this wasnt the 1st time I had encountered this behaviour, it was by far the worst I had been in touch with on a long term basis! Tho I am certain someone out there has had it worse. The funny thing is, I really liked my job, I learned alot, I worked hard, had fun and I met some great people! Which leads to me to today's topic...

My first job in LA was as a Production Assistant on a TV show called 'Cracker' - it is where I worked with the late Scott Brazil (he died last week). Here is a man who worked on "Hill Street Blues" and lately "The Shield" and he was a very nice man! He knew his job, knew what he wanted, and he made it happen without scaring the bajeebus (sp?) out of people. The industry lost a great guy last week and I am honoured to have worked with him. After many other jobs over the years I had the great pleasure of working with Robin Le Chanu who was the Production Manager on a Steven Soderbergh film that was shooting on our lot this past year. I used to love being called up to her office. I enjoyed watching how she handled some often times tricky situations - she was tough, firm, and always nice. I also watched how she respected those she worked with, treated them well and never lost her head whilst dealing with them. She was very sweet to me as well, treating me the same as her co-workers. Sometimes it was a nice break being beckoned to her office, even tho it wasnt always a fun time being there. Then one day I met George Clooney. He was very nice!!! He had a good handshake, introduced himself as "George" and was an overall sweet guy who looked you in the eye when he spoke. (No I didn't confess my childhood crush on him when he was Joe's boyfriend on "Facts Of Life"). He is probably at the very top of this industry and I have never heard a bad word said about him from ANYONE who knows him.

When I think back on that job at the studio and what some of my more negative experiances say about how nutty and messed up this industry can be, I think about the above people (and the countless others just like them). I am grateful to have known, worked with, or simply met them because in the midst of all this they prove you can be nice, respectful....................and finish first!

Until next monday....thanks for tuning in!

the last cool day

17 Apr 06 Monday

Oh yeah, its time!!! Bring on the HEAT!!! Hi Folks!!!! Today is the last cool day for this week....its sunny, chilly (in the mid 60's) and I had an awesome run because of it. While most people move here for the weather (or the 'industry') I, however, did not. Nearly 9 years later I'm still trying to figure out why I'm here. I know I needed a change of pace from Boston, and NY where I grew up, needing to see other newscasters besides Sue Simmons and Chuck Scarborough. What did I get in exchange? People with fake tans and fake hair and names like Dallas Raines (is that his real name?!?! I spend way too much time wondering), and Johnny Mountain (I won't even go there!). Yep, I'm talking about the weather forcasters. Somewhat of an oxymoron here in Southern California. What exactly are they forcasting? Chilly (they call that winter here) and freakin' Hot!!! AKA the remaining 8 months of the year. These guys get paid alot of money to 'warn' us about 'winter' storms - meaning they are predicting an ounce of rain, and extreme, smog inducing heat. Amazing....because if you have ever been here during the 'winter', or currently live here you know what I mean. THIS, the chilly, 60's during the day, 40's at night, is the COOLEST, most beautiful time of the year. Its so clear you can see the windows on the houses on the Hollywood Hills. The air is crisp, the shadows cooler and the sun is like a blanket on your shoulders at a ski lodge in New Hampshire. I feel human during these months even tho I long for a real winter. Yep, I miss shoveling snow just enough to get my saab out of its space, I miss needing a reason to stay in because of the nor'easter about to hit, and I miss sitting in a sun-filled window reading once the snow has landed....In the meantime, I love this chilly weather we have in LA - I relish it in fact and am sad to see it blowing away like the tail winds on a long sail just before a storm....I feel clean, I feel energetic, and I FEEL COOL!!!!!!! Thanks for reading & so long until next monday.....

to flake or not to flake...that is the question! or is it?

10 Apr 06 Monday

So here it is...another cloudy day in LA...i should probably be writing a song about it instead of writing this blog....but this is fun! I'm in my window again, tired from a weekend of throwing a yard sale, moving heavy items around and being in the unforgiving sun. Despite the numerous applications of 60 SPF I still got a wee sunburn and dealt with some weird people who showed up to buy my junk. This one guy said we were late - the ad said it started at 10a - it was 9.59 at that moment. Go figure. Than there were the people who said 'nice stuff' but didnt buy anything or would ask 'how much?', shrug when answered like it was too much, and not even TRY to haggle - even tho the prices were more than fair. Oh yeah - then about an hour after having a conversation with my neighbour about how, she claimed, people in LA don't flake, her roomie came out - asked us to put aside 2 shelves for later, than never came back to get, nevermind pay for them. We lost out on 3 sales because we were nice, trusting and truthful by holding them for her. She never even left a note of explanation on my door that she walks by several times a day...and people in LA don't flake? Go figure. Time for me to go back to my hole....until next time!

Its Raining In LA!!!!!!! 3 April '06

Hi Folks.....

Well its my first posting....not even sure what to say....im sitting here in a window in my apartment watching the rain fall on LA. Rain...I love it! Tho here it is something that is feared and loathed despite the fact that many people are transplants who come from seasons and 'weather' - something I may have forgotten about in my time in this city. So I relish these days - they are what makes an otherwise potentially ugly city beautiful. The fog (yes fog) on the hills is a site to be seen...the chill in the air a blessing...my lungs feeling clean a gift. No - not getting religious here, god forbid, but when you live thru endless months of sun and warmth to the point of not being able to recall when something happened you'll understand what I mean when I choose those words....you learn to appreciate things here in a way thats unique. Good, non flakey people are cherished, (they are hard to come by) good pizza are what dreams are made of - and I never thought I'd be so happy for rain! Until next time......