There's No Place Like Home
It only took 10 days of cold wind, concrete and 5am subway screeching for me to arrive back in LA with fresh gratitude for home base. I had an unbelievable trip, reconnecting with so many heart centered friends, seeing a ton of good art, and finding my career hustle again--mission more than accomplished. But when I saw my freshly washed and waxed car pull up to LAX Terminal 5 under the breezy palms and blue sky, all the free pizza and subway rides in the world couldn’t convince me to permanently move back to New York.
I have a more structured game plan for my career, that definitely involves spending more time in the New York theatre and dance scene. But LA just feels good. Driving straight to the beach from the airport and plunging my tired feet into the sand feels good. Fish tacos in Marina Del Ray on a sunny patio full of happy locals and their dogs looks and feels f**king fantastic. Taking the winding Beverly Glen road through the Hollywood Hills as the days last sunshine spills over the valley--even with jet lag and New York FOMO it's just so satisfying.
Sure, my LA home is marked by a 3 year process of creating my cozy, productive, sunlit space with the love of my life, and I never gave myself that process in New York. But the truth is: while the Big Apple provides access to an inspired hustle that can quickly fold into financial/commercial success, LA provides a kind of healing and happiness that suits me. I like the long drives (even in traffic) along the coast. I like that everyone is always grooving to some juicy beat, in droopy thrift store finds and killer kicks. I like the vast range of 1-20 mile hikes all over town. I like the taco trucks and SoCal produce aisles. I like the summer night markets where I buy all my art. I like the plant nurseries and kombucha on-tap, and infinite yoga starter packs (unlimited first week at 20 studios in my neighborhood alone). I like that my apartment has covered parking, central air, space to freestyle, and trees full of chirping birds. I like that I can run downstairs to the laundry room in socks and shorts on a February evening, and that I can see the stars from my balcony hammock while puffing pre-rolled legal cannabis. :)
And auditions? Well there are pros and cons in both coastal cities, but at least in LA no one is expecting you to line up at 530am for a 10am call. No one is expecting you until around 945 actually...just remember to factor in the search for parking. :)
I don't want to convince anyone that one place is better than the other. I don't feel like I'll be abandoning either NY or LA any time soon. It's funny how time away from a place makes you appreciate it so much more when you return. So I'm in this nice phase of remembering to appreciate NYC--it keeps me brave and active and optimistic. AND today I also renewed my enthusiasm for exactly where I am: a beautiful SoCal space with a lot to be grateful for and a lot of work to do. :)
Thank you, friends on both coasts and in between who have been following the journey and leaving kind encouragement. In my wildest teenage dreams I never would have thought I could end up in New York OR Los Angeles, STILL dancing, singing like never before and sinking my teeth into new art forms and industries.
I am so, incredibly lucky to be here, among such fine people, comparing the beach to the concrete jungle, and signing off to sleep back into Pacific Standard Time.