Episode 5: Ms. Solo Dolo.

   Just when you thought you had it all figured out, life takes you on a Magical Mystery ride you can’t ignore.

          It was only six days ago the man who I believed I was destined to live with for a year in this eccentric city called Los Angeles, looked me in the eye and said,

“I want to live by myself.”

The words struck me like the out of tune chords he plays on his acoustic guitar. What do you mean you want to live by yourself?

We just found a place… it has a pool.. I just posted a blog about you!

“It’s not you its me” he said.

A line I use multiple times to get out of relationships but I didn’t know Karma would come back in this form.

My male roommate wanted to find his own way and go down his own path. Could I really be upset at that? I wanted to, but I didn’t have time.

My new main objective was finding a place to live in less than a week! 

It had only been seven weeks since my move to No Rain, LA and I experienced more curve balls than the three years I lived in Brooklyn.

With a lot of Craigslist filtering, searching, walking, sweating and praying, I finally landed a cozy residential spot with a nook and great natural light for writing. Its a blessing I found this apartment and it’s exactly where I need to be at the moment.

I admit, there was a brief, more like 12-15 hours where I didn’t think…Well, like I said in the previous blog, I’m the person who has to control everything. I want to know what’s going on, what’s next and how I’m getting there.  That’s never going to happen. I have to just trust that every setback, failure and low balance, is all temporary, all to make me a stronger, better, wiser human being.

I had an Epiphany, as I looked out my new rear window,  I didn’t just move to LA to be a comedy writer, or the tacos, weather and weed  I always joke about.  I moved here to start a life that I was afraid to live before. I moved here to prove to myself I can do things that seemed impossible to me before. California is where I want to evolve into who I’m meant to be. When I look up at the palm trees, or when I watch the sunset behind the mountains I feel that.

Some days are frustrating, most days I’m working so long and hard I forget the day of the week. I never however, forget why I live here.  I’ll never stop striving for the better me and I’ll never stop writing.

Now that I’m settled in my peaceful sublet, I wonder what new adventures are in store for me.  Conquering LA on my own won’t be easy, but I have no plans on giving up so I better enjoy the ride and all the twists and turns I will surely experience. Meanwhile,  I still haven’t seen Childish Gambino. I live in LA, he lives in LA I just don’t understand what’s happening at this point.

Stay tuned…

 

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Episode 4: THE LENNY’s

Do you believe in Destiny?

I do. Only because I make many attempts to have complete control over my life and I always fail miserably. A higher source of power is undoubtedly calling the shots around here. Once you believe in it and walk through the path you were meant to be on, everything falls into place.

But first, let’s recap:

        *Los Angeles has been crazy. Seriously, I’ve been landing gigs that have taken me to parts of LA I don’t even think locals have experienced.

*Still no Childish Gambino sighting.

* Too much taco consumption will add to your weight.

*They charge extra for shopping/grocery bags.

*It really doesn’t rain in Southern California, the grass here looks gross.

*I will never ride the Metro Red Line past 10pm….Again.

I ended a relationship that wasn’t healthy, or fun anymore. Let’s keep it real.  If someone does not want you, seriously take that as they don’t want you and move the hell on. Moving to this city (and yea I know it’s only been 6 weeks) but I’ve had a few lessons and one of those lessons taught me to let go of people who had no interest in what I’m trying to do out here. It’s rough, it sucks  but if you not here to support me, if you don’t believe in me or my vision…I believe the lyrics from the 2000 smash hit Bye Bye Bye by the classic boy band Nsync said it best:

I loved you endlessly,
When you weren’t there for me.
So now it’s time to leave
And make it alone.

Don’t wanna be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me, but it ain’t no lie,
Baby, bye, bye, bye…

Now, let’s get to the story…

One of my prayers before moving to Los Angeles was to surround myself with individuals that have a passion and likeness for the arts. Because, sitting behind a desk for 40 hours a week and hanging out with a clique of teachers wasn’t really giving me the writing vibe I needed. Basically, I didn’t really have someone  who I could bounce ideas off of, or who wanted to write ten minutes of jokes , or shoot a scene for a web series.

In LA,  you’re either an Uber/Lyft driver, homeless or  you get paid for your art. (It is possible to be all three.)  I believe I mentioned in my previous blog,  LA is an  expensive  city especially on a freelance writer salary.  Cost of housing is ridiculous, having a roommate out here is the norm.

With hopes and the mere belief I would find someone I could share ideas with or create with, I was more  focused on moving  across the country into an apartment with a complete stranger.

Then, Destiny and all its power showed itself in the shape of a 6’3, slim man with semi blond locke’s and a peace chain around his neck.

Once I peeped the chain, heard him strum  my favorite Lauryn Hill song on his acoustic guitar, spotted his “Hakuna Matata” tattoo and watched him pearl the perfect blunt, I knew right there and then Destiny brought us together. A young black man with vision and ambition. These days, especially after recent events, its comforting to have that energy around me and it actually gives me hope for this Country.

I don’t have my girlfriends I can just hit up for drinks yet. I can’t just hop on the China Bus and head to DC or NC to see my friends or my mom.   I do however, live with this  man from the Carolina’s (Destiny)  who is kind, thoughtful and ready and willing to show the world his art. He’s young and vibrant and there’s good vibes flowing all up and through our Koreatown sublet.   Now, I’m not completely naive to the fact that yes, we are  attractive young black people who share the same interests. We drink wine together, we complain about our jobs to each other, we go to California Donuts in the middle of night and it’s awesome. We binge watch Seinfeld together and have writing sessions. We share ideas, he makes the best mashed potatoes and he loves my cheese filled burgers.

Despite the stigma I do believe a man and woman can live under the same roof and be strictly platonic.

     *Insert side eye emoji*

In a few weeks my roommate and I will be moving into our very own place. An entire year together to make some of our dreams come true, create content and get acquainted with the new taco trucks in our new neighborhood  I won’t let him quit and he keeps me positive, mix that in with a little Destiny and we might have something.

Stay Tuned.

Blog Post 4.2 roomie

Lenny and I on our ritual taco run.

 

 

Episode 3: Living in LA-4 Weeks Down!

Sacrificing a Friendship for the Love of Writing.

I have a really awesome Best Friend. Like, we get along perfectly. She lifts me up when I’m down, she allows me to see things in a different way, she helps me write, listening to music with her is always an experience.

She’s special.

I admit, sometimes she can put me down, put me straight to sleep. Then again, there are those days when she has me crackin’ the heck up. I’m generally in a good mood when I’m around her. My pettiness is at an all time low because of her, when  I wanna get away from people, my best friend and I plan the perfect smoke bomb, find a cozy spot to ourselves and just BE. It’s the ideal friendship.

So I’m officially ending our friendship today. NOT because I don’t love her or appreciate everything she’s done for me over the past seven years… Honestly, it’s because she’s too damn expensive. Add my BFF with Food, Lyft/Uber, Housing, Metro (because Lyft/Uber adds up), clothes for interviews, daily tacos, Bills, Bills, Bills,   Did I mention my Sorority sisters came out here a couple weeks ago? We turned  LaLa Land  up!

Seriously, Los Angeles is expensive,  I have no stable income yet. What am I doing?

“Living life and let my mama tellin’ I ain’t living right” -Rae Sremmurd.

You know how parents always go so much harder in school or in the workplace, especially over people with no kids? I finally realized (I’m a selfish human being that’s how.) it’s not to annoy the hell out of me, parents have a little person that is way more important than them.

Parents have to feed, bathe, clothe this little person (sometimes adult) Every. Single. Day. Parents go so hard (no pun) to make sure their child  receives the  best in life  and help them evolve so the child  doesn’t become a serial killer. The selflessness, the bravery it takes being a parent. I salute you!

I have to treat my writing exactly as if it were my child. Every day I must mold it, shape it, gain knowledge on how to survive and evolve in this city of Angels. I will not tell a lie. Not having my 9-5 has been difficult. However, I’m also not writing every day. I stopped emailing filmmakers I want to work with, I only apply for jobs online. I did not take advantage of LA’s resources. I’m not taking good care of my child.

” If I sacrifice my best friend for my craft, for LA, for my pockets. Well then, she’ll come back to me. Hopefully by the lb”.-Me.

This month I’ll be taking a closer look at opportunities in my field. “Networking” going to industry mixer’s, reconnecting with the filmmaker I worked with last month. Finding employment will release at least 100% of my tension… Saving it will to. Oh and of course. Writing. Writing. Writing.

No one can block me… From me… But me. I can’t be upset I have no income when I’m not putting forth the effort to make it happen. It all comes down to how bad do I really want this and how hard am I willing to work for it. The universe is automatically going to give you as much as you put out (no pun). Well LA I hope you’re ready because I’m straight out the Force-field this month. I ain’t Julying!

“I think I’m gonna like it here.” – Annie

ChrissyBwriting.

P.S. I’ll come back to you Mary Jane.

Episode 2: Don’t Stop Believin’

 Hold on to that feelin’

It’s my two week anniversary in sunny Los Angeles. Still no Childish Gambino sighting however,  I have engulfed a hell of a lot of tacos.

So, I promised myself  I would be real and true while writing this blog… Let me tell you, my first week in LA… I was completely and utterly miserable.  I felt  uncomfortable, homesick,  and a lot of anxiety. Then it clicked.  For the past decade I’ve been completely surrounded by people who looked… well, like me.  I attended a Historically Black College, upon graduating I moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn. If you’ve never been to Crown Heights, just imagine a 1 mile wide, 2 mile long neighborhood compacted with  Jamaicans, Trinidadians and Haitians. It wasn’t until I walked around my new Koreatown neighborhood that I realized. Damn, I’m Black!

Then,  I had my first Saturday night alone in my gentrified KTown pad. I blame it all on  Snapchat.  One of my favorite social media outlets to partake in. I get an inside look into my friends lives for few seconds or sometimes minutes for the vain ones. While my comrades on the east coast were enjoying day parties, baby showers and weddings.  I was sipping cheap wine, watching Seinfeld and writing “can I PLEASE work with you” emails to my favorite filmmakers. The whole while, wishing I was 3000 miles closer to my friends.

Not to mention,  my 9-5 is gone. Steady hours, steady income. You know I actually looked in my bank account last pay period in hopes my boss maybe forgot to take me off payroll…Guess what?

He did not..

I know what you’re thinking.. stop whining right? I came out here to chase a career I’ve been lusting over for years. After waiting an hour for my good friend to pick me up from the Pacific Ocean Coast (Because of the traffic of course) I  walked along the beach. A four mile walk to be exact.. Did I mention the traffic in LA is horrendous? I  looked out into the Pacific and I just gasped.  I did it. I made it all the way here. Why am I complaining, why am I hiding from this city, why am I not trying to be great?

PCH2

Pacific Ocean Coast.

 

I finally had the courage to move and I was spending  my time in my room or on the balcony smoking splifs. This is NOT what I came out here to do. Well the smoking splifs on the balcony, yes.  But you get what I’m tryin’ to say.

After I got home from my walk on the beach I went to bed, woke up and didn’t leave the house for another two days. Mainly because my legs felt like noodles,(it was a really long walk.) The other part was that fear kicking my ass again.

On day 11 I received a response from one of the filmmakers I emailed. The one that has  actually inspired me the most. Her content is authentic and genuine. That woman knows how to engage an audience and tell a story.

She responded with  modesty and appreciation and for the last few days I’ve been a Script Supervisor for her upcoming series.

Two weeks ago, I was watching the very same director’s show on my work computer when I should have been typing and filing. Now,  I’m on her set, doing what I love, what I sought out to do. You know all I had to do was just believe in myself. Have a little confidence in what I want to accomplish. How dare I come out here being a scary cat. This is what I was meant to do.

Is difficult adjusting to another city? Hell yes, I miss the convenience of New York, I miss knowing where I’m going and getting there in the New York minute. I miss the Bodega,  I miss the girls from my old job, my mommy!

Oh, and  I miss the hell out of my friends. My friends however, have been the most supportive, confidence boosters ever. Not only my friends, women I went to college with, my family, ex-boo’s.  They believe wholeheartedly I can do this. They’ve been uplifting me in ways they never have before. If they know I can do it. I can do it.

This journey to becoming a comedy writer WILL NOT be easy. I have a lot of work to put in. I have to keep writing, stay ready, prayed up and focused. Only I can make this dream become a reality. Stay tuned…Keep Believing.

 

 

Episode 1: Finally! I’m Moving to LA… seriously.

The Power of Speaking your dreams into Existence.

For the past three years, I’ve been envisioning a life of taco trucks, weed dispensaries, Laguna Beach and just one Childish Gambino sighting. More than that, I’ve been obsessing over a career in becoming a television sitcom writer.  It’s inevitable. I’m an only child, the only shows I watched growing up was FRIENDS and Freaks & Geeks and I’ve already dated two Stand-Up comedians. Clearly, sitcom writer is my calling. So one random three o’clock in the morning, after my nighttime splif  and binge watching Jerrod Carmichael interviews. I literally cracked open my bong where I had $150.00 in cash  and I booked a one-way plane ticket to Hollywood.

So you’re probably like  “Christina, everyone moves to LA, what makes your story so special?”

Nothing really, but have you cried wolf about something you’re going to do for the past three years to EVERYONE?  Every 365 days its constant deja vu. Goes a little something like…

“Christina I thought you were moving to LA” -Douchebag #1

“Yeah, you shouldn’t go. You’re not mature enough yet, you’re not ready.” -Douchebag #2

“Oh, Christina you’re so dramatic, you always tryna do something and go somewhere. Just sit down.” Douchebag #3

Have you combined, collected and organized different neighborhoods you want to live in, applied for jobs, followed and added every Los Angeles Mexican restaurant on social media?  Its been exhausting explaining why I’m still cramped in my Brooklyn apartment, working a  dead end 9-5, where the janitor calls me stupid and my boss makes more money in a week than my yearly salary.

 When I made the announcement I was moving to LA in 2013, I was simply rebelling against my mediocre film school education. Imagine  paying $30,000 a year to sit in a class  watching Disney movies and writing a summary on what we felt. Nonetheless, I was gonna receive a degree for watching Disney movies and writing a summary about it. C’mon, I had to give Brooklyn one more year!

When I made the announcement I was moving to LA in 2014, I was in the worst situation of them all. I was in love. Love will have you feeling invincible. Like the world belongs to just you two and no one can come in. The only problem with that is I was losing sight of why I believe I’m on this Earth. Don’t mean to go off on a Kanye rant, but I truly believe we as a human race are here for a specific reason. Whether it be a Foot Doctor, President of the United States or a Comedy Writer, we were all born with a specific gift and or skill. It is our job to figure out what that is and use it to somehow help people or something. Long story short, this love was keeping me from my path and I once again missed my window to LA LA land.

When I made the announcement I was moving to LA in 2015. I WAS READY! Oh you could not tell me I wasn’t  going. This time I was single, Grad school was over,  I visited LA on my own which solidified my decision and I was in production for my first web series. The series I would bring and show Judd Apatow on his smart phone while we’re coincidentally stuck in an elevator somewhere in Culver City. That series. So when my window opened. Why did  I immediately close it? My web series was a disaster, happy hours every week really adds up, did I mention my job was five blocks away walking distance (Super convenient!) my mom is all the way in North Carolina by herself…by herself.. I don’t think I’m a great writer, Skid Row is a real place and real people like me end up there. No one is going to like me, I’m nowhere near cool enough to be  part of “LA culture”. Oh  and did I mention, I’m broke.

“Excuses are tools of the incompetent, set on monuments of nothingness. Those who use them are of no use.” -My Sorority Sisters. 

When I made the DECISION to move to LA in 2016. I was different. I was silent. I asked God for strength and guidance. I cleared my mind and made the conscious decision to step out of the box I’ve been comfortably nestled in for twenty-seven years. First thing I did was write in my journal. I said “Journal, I’m moving to Los Angeles, CA on June 1st 2016. Nothing and no one will stop me.  I stopped going to happy hours, I studied my craft, I entered writing contest, I asked for help, I was patient and then when it was time, I jumped. Even when it made sense to take a couple steps back, I pushed myself to keep going… Now I’m here… Let me tell you… it feels so damn good to chase my dreams.

Can’t say I did not speak this move into existence. I just had to realize the importance of my existence and execute what I already have inside me. If you have a vision, it will come true. Keep that vision in your head and close to your soul always. Don’t ever let it die, because you never know, three years later your vision could fruition and you must be ready.

Remember, we’re here for something and while paperwork and filing may pay the bills, are you fulfilled? If not, what the hell are you gonna do about it?

“Fear is real but  its  stupid. Fear will have you stuck, complacent and eventually bitter.

Don’t .Fear. Shit!” – Me

P.S. I’ll always love you Brooklyn. Peace.

ChrissyBwriting.