Living in LA – What it’s really like

What is LA really like? Charlotte and I have been in Los Angeles for a little over a month now. As far as I can tell, LA is nothing like what you see in the movies. Could it be that growing up in the Tampa Bay area has just spoiled me? Perhaps it’s just my neighborhood? Why do I feel cheated?

Before I go any further, I just want to say that I am not writing this post to put down the city of LA. This post is merely a comparison of my previous life in the Tampa Bay area and my new life here in LA. Consider it therapy for me.

Los Angeles is crowded.

I live in East Hollywood where the streets are small and crowded. In Florida, you almost never have to parallel park or every worry about not being able to find parking. I highly advise you to get an apartment with a parking spot. Street parking is like a lottery, you will be lucky if you find a spot on your block. If we come home late at night, there will be no parking anywhere. You will be forced to park illegally or at a metered spot. Just be sure to pick up your car before 8 am when they start ticketing.  That’s the other thing about parking, parking tickets!!  I have been in LA for one month and I already got $200 in parking tickets. Yeah lessons learned here and there. Make sure you read every single posted sign on your block to make sure that it is absolutely ok to park.

Los Angeles is dirty.

The street sweepers come twice a week to my neighborhood but for some reason, there is still garbage everywhere. East Hollywood reminds me of a 3rd world country. (yes, i’ve been to one.) Why is that lady selling food from a shopping cart? Why is this other lady knocking on my door trying to sell me blankets? Why does the sidewalk smell like piss around the corner?

Los Angeles is expensive.

Everytime you leave the house, you can expect to drop at least $20 for your trip. You have to pay for parking everywhere. You have to wash your car constantly.  Your bumpers will get scratched. Gas is around $4.50 to $5.00 a gallon. The gym is super expensive. In Florida, $3o a month for a gym is expensive, in LA it’s a bargain. Our Florida apartment would be considered a luxury apartment in LA for what we are paying for.

So why am I here? The same reason everyone else is here, to somehow make it in the film industry. Competition is so high in this city. One hiring manager told me that i was one out of 80 applicants to a graphic design job.  This is where the money is.

I do not see living in LA for any other reason than that. Wish me luck in my job hunt!

The Skyship Chronicles. A steampunk action film.

A steampunk action film

I met Jeff Zampino, a fellow screenwriter at a writer’s workshop taught by modern day poet Craig’s Weeden . I’ve taken the workshop several times now and found Craig’s class a place of creative insight and inspiration. I have my journey with California Knights, a heart warming comedy to an action/comedy This is not a game!

Through Jeff, I met John Jones, a St Pete based director. He invited me to help out on set for his entry into the 2013 72 hour film challenge. I met John at the Lightwave Studios, in St Pete where we loaded up our gear and headed out to a location in Tampa to film a few scenes. As an aspiring screenwriter, I love the idea of learning about the other side of film, the production side. This was a great learning experience. That’s all I can say for now but an update will come soon

Jeff has been working on a film titled Skyship Chronicles and is giving me a chance to get on set and help out on the project. It’s nice to see a burgeoning film community here in Tampa Bay. Some film festivals to check out here in the Tampa – St Pete area  the sunscreen festival and the gasparilla film festival. Could Tampa be heading into a film making boom?


I’m moving to California!

It’s time to pack up. It’s time to go. Charlotte and I have been dreaming for a long time, and it’s time to make those dreams a reality. We are moving to California for a new life, new opportunities and a new adventure!

The hardest part of this move is being away from my family. I’m a family-centric kind of guy and it has not hit me yet, but I know it will. Everyone leaves the nest at some point, don’t get me wrong. I have not lived with my parents for years, but its nice having them close by.  I have never lived over 1,000 miles away from them.

We are driving from Tampa to San Diego in my Nissan. We are shipping Charlotte’s Volvo. It’s going to cost around $1,200 USD, but Los Angeles is a driving city.

I’ll keep you posted.