Episode 13: 5 Jobs That Can Help You Survive In L.A.

Don’t tell the IRS but I’ve had six jobs since living in sunny Los Angeles. Yes, that’s right. Six jobs! These six jobs  barely help me live a sustainable lifestyle, but then again I have  an extraordinary  weed habit so I may have  mismanaged my money somewhere a long the way.

This is not about me. This is about the jobs in L.A. that are readily available if you decide to move out here with a one way ticket,  two suitcases,  $143,  prayer and the hope that you’ll meet Childish Gambino. I mean, with the hopes you don’t fail and embarrass your friends and family.. You’ll be annoyed you might have to eat tacos every day but you’ll be able to have a little pocket change at least enough for you to head to the beach, bring a taco.

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Photographer Assistant– (Or something like that)  This random Photo-booth business owned by two tiny Mexican dudes had me  travel by bus, train and on foot to parts of Cali as far as Chatsworth, Downey,  and Palo Verdes. I  set up camera equipment and snapped pictures at weddings and Quinceanera’s. It was my first job in L.A. it didn’t pay but $60 a gig, I got fired after the second week for not having a car to travel to all those different parts of town. Couldn’t carry all that equipment on the Metro apparently.  I was able to make due for a couple weeks and I’ve seen more parts of Los Angeles then some people who have lived here their entire lives.

Hostess– At an “upscale” Steakhouse. Found this job off Craigslist; the lazy guide for the jobless. As soon as I was hired the manager told me we eat free. I was willing and more able than ever to make this job work. I showed up on time, I passed my probation period. I thought everything was gravy like the delicious gravy they made that went with those soft ass mashed potatoes. I was fired from the steakhouse after I told the manager to “calm down.” I sat a couple at a table he specifically told me not to.  He was being a tad bit dramatic about it.  The couple was having their  anniversary I wanted them to sit at nice table, plus they tipped me.  Anyway, he didn’t like that. So the very next day, through good old fashioned text message I Christina, hasn’t had gravy since.

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“I was two for two. My confidence was super low and I needed money quick.”

Scammer– You know those  calls you get in the middle of the day from somewhere in middle America telling you they can “relieve” your student loans.  I  was the paper pusher. The job was everything I’m against: cubical’s, lame holiday parties, quota’s. My boss ordered El Pollo Loco for us a lot. Like that was going to make up for the fact that we were underpaid, worked holidays and had to change the company name a few times to be ahead of the Feds.  This is the only job I would actually say you should totally avoid. It’s not worth it.

Image result for working retail gifRetail at The Grove: The Grove in Los Angeles is an outdoor mall for tourists and C-list celebrities. When you’re at home watching season finale’s of those annoying  singing contest shows nine times out of ten its filmed at The Grove. It’s ironic and humbling working at the same retail job I did when I was in college. I’m closer in age to the managers then the actual employees. I don’t like following people around with there clothes and I’m tired of arguing over a return policy at a store I don’t even shop at!

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TV & Entertainment: I worked my first Production Assistant position a week after I moved to L.A.  I don’t know if it was fate or me just begging for work through email but that one gig lead me to multiple PA positions, a script supervisor position for a couple BET Specials and a Office PA position for a feature film. It has been the most gratifying, feel good, learning experiences ever.  I seriously can not wait until I make a career out of this. When you have passion and drive for something, it’s inevitable, you’re gonna receive it…Right?

So there you have it, I’ve made  the appropriate sacrifices, I’ve been uncomfortable but I’ve stayed committed. I’m working my way to be as lit as possible. I will not stop. I don’t want to.  If you’re ready to move out here or even if you’re not. Why wouldn’t you just take the chance, just to see what can happen?

what new lifeline can you create for yourself? My motto in L.A. has been “smoke weed but make sure you get your shit done.”  I don’t know if that really correlates with anything I just wrote but you get me.

I’m currently working at my 6th job, which will soon be bringing a little surprise.

Stay tuned.

 

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Episode 12: That Hippie is Almost 30!

Wow… I can’t believe that on this date 29 years ago I was forcefully coming out of my mother’s vagina. As I sit back and reflect on my life I have no choice but to be thankful. First obvious thing to be thankful for is I’m alive and that’s super cool…but It’s the knowledge I’ve attained, the degrees I’ve earned, the solid group of friends I’m among, the crazy but loyal family I have, the no diseases, no babies, I even have abs now...That in itself deserves appreciation. I’m living in the city of my dreams pursuing my dreams.

Yo, life is Lit!

 

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Now, I admit…I’ve been a little hard on myself this year. Moving to a new city, starting over from scratch is no easy lay.

Working two jobs and still not making ends meet is one thing but having two jobs in L.A. riding public transportation has got to be what a glimpse of hell feels like.

Image result for i'm broke  gifDon’t forget the extra pressure I put on myself so I can prove to everyone I can do this. Trust me, it’s a headache trying to please everyone for the likes.

This year I put my experiences working for TV studios, connecting with different people, auditioning for shows, performing stand-up all on the back burner why, because in my pot filled head I don’t have a series on television?  Mannnnn, F*** that.  I literally collected a group of thirteen strangers and finessed them into making my pilot episode for weed and food.

I’m Magic Af!

Image result for sailor moon gif   I just have to use my magic powers with no fear and no regrets. Like Sailor Moon in the third season.

I think it’s okay I’m hard on myself because it keeps my eye steady on the prize This comedy writer game ain’t for the weak. The politics, the ex-vine stars, the cliques. I have a lot more work to do. At almost 30 I’m ready to push hard for what I want. Only took three decades..

I must  stay fateful and trusting in myself and the big guy/girl up stairs that this journey though it may be filled with twists and turns; is my journey. Nobody else’s.

I’m glad God is giving me another chance at life so I continue pursuing this crazy dream.. Because other than  peace on Earth, Trump out of office, legalized marijuana I just want to write comedy and be really good at it. 

Today, I celebrate my life, my experiences and all that is to come. Today, a Hippie was born.

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Episode 10: A Little Hippie…A Lot of Lit!

Ooouuu, bring out the confetti, blunts and Henny..It’s been one year living in Los Angeles and I’m ready for more!

A lot has happened in the past year. Looking back on my experiences living in LaLa Land, I know now those three years it took to move here from New York, was me manifesting my future. Duh…I’m exactly where I need to be. I can feel it in my gut. Sometimes it scares the dog shit out of me. Other times I’m willing and readily excited for what’s happening and what’s to come. Yo, if you’ve been reading the last nine blog post and don’t believe one bit you can live your dreams, then everything I’ve written from my soul holds no value. Since I moved to L.A. I feel lighter, healthier, more confident and proud.

I created and completed a pilot script that’s going into production in the next few weeks, I’ve performed stand-up comedy in front of strangers who actually laughed at my jokes, I chopped it up with Jerrod Carmichael one night, the very same dude who unknowingly coerced me into moving out here, I’ve worked for well known directors, I’ve booked gigs   as a  Script Supervisor for BET. I’ve found the most eccentric group of creatives: comedians. musicians, chefs, muralist.. All of which I couldn’t have made it through the year without and all of whom I call my friends. It’s been magical out here. It feels like this was divine.

However, let us  have a moment of silence for the two jobs I was fired from, living with a dirty Instagram model, working three jobs at the Same. Damn. Time, failing my DMV written test so many times me and the DMV lost count, I’ve been discriminated against, felt lonely, homesick and still haven’t met Childish Gambino. Ya’ll listen to me when I tell you this though…

there’s power in having faith, there’s power in believing in yourself and you can do the impossible if you’re up to it.

I don’t know what my life would be like if I were still living in Brooklyn. Who knows, I mean I could’ve done stand up out there, I could have shot an entirely new pilot with my cast and crew who I already knew and trusted. I didn’t…Mainly because I was high af when I was watching that Jerrod Carmichael interview where he told his tale of packin’ his bags and flying west coast. Ultimately,  it was time for me to grow the fuck up and actually go hard for something I truly love and desire.

California is home now. My two year lease says it, my overpriced Gas bill says it and I finally feel it.

Don’t get it twisted, I haven’t even graced the surface of what I want to accomplish out here. I feel like I haven’t even started. One year down in Los Angeles, I made it with a couple scratches. Nothin’ to cry to mom about…(except those couple times I called my mom crying) I’m ready for the big challenges now. I want to go through it all and most importantly I want to put out content that’s going to make you smile, maybe even chuckle once or twice. So, stick with me. Keep sending me your positive vibes and I promise to create something  real, unforgettable and for the culture. Oh and I also promise to remain a little hippie but a lot of LIT!

*Thathippieislit will return in the Fall of 2017*

Stay Tuned.

 

Episode 8: Magical Mystery Ride.

  Exactly one year ago,  I took an uncomfortable Frontier flight to Los Angeles, California for a beyond overdue vacation. 

During that time, I was living in Brooklyn, NY dressed head to toe in the finest winter wear, walking to work in four ft of snow,  living in an apartment where my bedroom felt more like a walk-in closet. Let’s just say it was time for a break.  Not only was it my first vacation solo dolo,  I needed confirmation that Los Angeles- the city I’ve been wanting to live in for years was for me.

Fast forward through  a shitty break-up, mucho insecurities, fears and anxiety, my first web series going to shit, unintentionally living with an untidy IG model, getting fired..(Twice) and no money I can finally say 365 days later. I live in Los Angeles  and…

It. Is. Magic.

All the shit that happened in the past year was worth it. I’m currently sitting at my desk typing this blog post, with a view of LA from the 17th floor that will  make New York City’s skyline look like pooh. Don’t worry NY Tribe, I still find ways to mention Brooklyn every day, I make sure everyone knows where I’m from and I totally use phrases like, “Deadass” and “Yo, B”. I Milly Rock when a YG song plays at a party and I miss the culture of New York, but I must say it again…LA is magic.

In six months I completely started a new life.  New life swag includes schmoozing at Art Shows in DTLA, completely being myself at “Industry” events, jogging through USC’s campus,  rockin’ out at Lady Gaga  concerts with my roommate, Warehouse parties, midnight trips to Runyon Canon, strolling through Leimert Park to hear underground hip hop or the illest drum circle get down, thrifting on Melrose. The marijuana out here is beyond extraordinary. I’ve met some incredible, creative, like minded people thus far, from different backgrounds, different races and managed not to say anything to offend them. Hashtag growth!

I performed my stand-up routine  for the first time. Fellow comics all signing up for their five minutes of open mic fame. I was nervous up until I touched the mic. I had laughs… real…genuine laughs. Laughs that came from the diaphragm.  I dated stand-up comedians before. They never told me I was going to have that feeling. It was comfortable, therapeutic and happened in what seemed like all of 2.5 seconds.

Now, I’ll admit I didn’t allow myself to give LA a chance. I’m a stubborn one, prideful as well, as free as I proclaim to live I get very antsy, I feel unsure sometimes. I couldn’t see the light beyond all the bullshit that kept happening to me. Don’t get it twisted, my life is not all palm trees and Childish Gambino’s. I’m workin’ my ass off out here. Hustlin’ and grndin’ to make sure these dreams come true.

I found my center.

My focus is clear.

My energy has been given to God.

My heart is completely open to new people who want to connect on a creative level.  I’m finally doing whatever the hell I want to do. I wore pigtails in my hair the other day, I ate Oreo’s for dinner  for a week straight and I was super ecstatic about it.  My mind is free, my body is free and I’m a fuckin’ Goddess out here. Feels good to say that. Feels even better to feel that. All I had to do was jump. Now I’m here.   Despite all the craziness and unfairness in the world such as Childish Gambino having a baby by another woman. I’m in a mysterious place where magic is happening and I’m along for the ride.

 

Just jump.

 

Stay Tuned.

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…

 

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.