I wasn't expecting palm trees!
Hello blog friends.
As you may have guessed, I have arrived safely and soundly in the welcoming arms of the City of Angels. I am feeling proud and strong and definitely as if I have bonded with ME, MY CAR, AND THE USA. It's a grand sense of accomplishment and adventure. I highly recommend it to any soul looking for a heightened life experience - or even a meditative journey.
As I crossed into Los Angeles city limits (see video),
after the euphoria passed, I realized that I have no idea where I am. I have no idea what this city is like, what makes it tick, what makes it tock, where the hell anything is, the history of the city, etc. Basically, I have moved blindly across these great United States to an unknown, huge city to begin my singing career - and I was surprised to see palm trees! HELLO. You're in California. Duh. I guess I did not think much about my physical destination. I have been focused on my life project - on the singing - the community - the work - the journey. And in the end, that is what is important. Zip code is actually pretty irrelevant.
What I have noticed even in these few couple days of being here is that the energy is different. There is this sense of enjoying life - enjoying the sunshine - and also not wasting daylight. People are out and about, making things happen, talking, laughing, creating - other than the tripping high school dropouts playing hacky-sac on the grass at Venice Beach - this is a city where people come to DO THINGS to live out the best versions of themselves - to find their bliss - and to bathe in sunlight! I like that. I feel like this is the best place in the world to be unemployed, because if you are sitting on your ass doing nothing, you feel like a reject, you feel as if you are working against the natural current of the city. You better get up and make things happen! I LOVE THAT. I am ready to get my hustle on. And although the vast physical layout of LA is very intimidating, the fact that I already have freinds, a community, and a semi-plan is making it a little easier to swallow.
This morning I am at my brother's sunny desk in his beautiful house in Ventura, CA - about an hour north of LA proper. It is a great place to write and contemplate - especially while drinking a cup of uber healthy coffee, infused with energy-enhancing mushrooms procured by Jesse's health concious girlfriend, Alana. Soooo Caliornia - and quite delicious, actually! They have been wonderful in welcoming me to town and I will be staying with them in Ventura for a week while I get my sea legs and figure out what the hell I'm doing with my life.
As I drove into town, Alana asked if she could film my arrival for a school project - she is a documentarian and photographer - the short project has turned into a larger, more exciting one and she has decided to make my journey into a professional career in LA into a documentary. She will be following me around with a camera to all my little meet-ups, voice lessons, etc. It's so very LA and hilarious! She is adorable and creative and I'm actually relieved to have someone keeping me accountable so I will get off my ass and go make things happen instead of wallowing - it's going to be on film for goshsakes! Stay tuned for some clips from that!
I am also pumped to report that another one of Jesse's creative film roomies, Jordan, excitedly asked if he could do a music video with me the second he found out I was a singer. He frantically listened to every track on the Casio Tapes and decided that his vision would go perfectly with "My Angel"- the song I wrote about my beloved grandmother who passed back in 2004. He is enthusiastic and very talented - and we will be shooting this Friday! Alana is going to be my stylist. Ha!
This is what I mean about the energy - everyone is working - on their creative projects - it's like, "You're and artist? I'm an artist! Let's make some art!" I LOVE THAT.
Other highlights - going to the Crystal Cathedral with my parents, who had coincidentally planned their trip out here months ago, and Jesse to hear some amazing music and Robert Schuller do his thing. This is by far the most beautiful church I have ever seen. As service began and we sang "Joyful, Joyful we adore thee" with a full choir, orchestra, and organ - the back crystal wall split open to reveal a blue sky and dancing water fountain. It was crazy! The way that Schuller reads the gospel...the most moving reading I've ever heard - with passion, conviction, and as if God himself was listening to every word or even whispering it in his ear as he recounts the story to us. I will truly cherish my visitor gift from CC - a "Let go and Let God" stained glass window thingy. It seemed perfect for the day - as does Schuller's moto "If you can dream it, you can do it!" I will be applying this moto as well as Elvis' TCB to my daily life, thank you very much. I will definitely be returning to this church in the future, but it made me even more excited to keep exploring the spiritual landscape of LA and find my niche where I can get my soul food on a weekly basis. I know it's here. I can feel it!
We drove to Venice Beach from Anaheim - not fun - considering everyone else in the LA area had the same freaking idea. To all those naysayers who are nodding and saying "I told you so" - you're right LA TRAFFIC BLOWS. But I was sitting there thinking, if the destination blows too, then we have a problem. But Venice was divine and lunch was even better. It took me years to find my favorite spots in Boston, and even then I was never completely sold on any one establishment. I have already decided that the C & O Trattoria in Venice is one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever been to - fun atmosphere, amazing terrace seating, cheap, delicious sangria, mouth watering garlic knotty bread balls with sauce, hilarious, happy waitstaff, and even more delicious entrees. They also sing "That's Amore" every night - we did not get to see that part. If you visit me in LA, we will be going here, I'm just saying, and this is the first place I have eaten in the city! That's a pretty good first impression.
The rest of VB is hilarious. Its like Old Orchard Beach on crack with muscle men, marijuana stands, hippies, pro skateboarders, drum circles, you name it. I turned to jesse and said, "I will never be cool here." He was like, "Yea, you won't. Neither will I." I think I've decided that that is a good thing, but Venice will always be an area for good times and possibly the best people watching in the world.
Alright folks, if you made it this far, you are a trooper. More to come as my life unfolds. I can't wait to keep exploring!
Love to the east coast peeps.