Looking back on life in Hollywood in the 90's
image from: RedCarpetTips.com

Fifteen years ago I moved to Los Angeles. After paying first and last months’s rent on a studio in Los Feliz I had exactly $250 left in my checking account.

I moved to California on a bit of a whim. I had become exhausted looking for creative work in New York, had graduated from the acting conservatory, and my roommate in Park Slope was starting med school and moving into the city.

I had zero fears about taking a leap. I was young, I was excited.

I was certain that somehow I would land on my feet.

Here is how you know that I was fearless:

1. that studio apartment in Los Feliz? I rented it without ever seeing it.
2. I moved to LA without a car
3. I moved to LA without a job
4. I moved to LA knowing exactly three people who lived there

One of the reasons why I rented the apartment in Los Feliz was because it was one block away from the famous Dresden Room. I thought it would be so CLEVER of me to become at a regular at this place. Marty and Elayne would great me like Norm every time I strutted to the bar, I would become buddies with all of the staff and they would begin mixing my cosmo as soon as they saw me…

Big dreams, right?

The first weeks I lived in LA was right out of a comedy. I had no car so I had to rely on those three friends to pick me up to take me places. Those three friends consisted of a girl I went to college with, a boy I was “kinda/ sorta/ depended on the day” dating and his roommate. We had all, at one point, lived in the same dorm in New York.

The girl was the daughter of a famous cinematographer. Her family was bold, loud, large, and welcoming. I had dinner at their home almost every night in my early LA days. We would sit outside gathered around a large table and the food would be amazing and the wine would be wonderful. Every night there were guests – it wasn’t just me. The other guests were mostly film people: directors, producers, actors.

I soaked it all in. Silly banter and passing the salt to academy award winners was my new life.

The boy I was dating was working as a production assistant. Mostly commercials. He worked on shoots that lasted 18 hours in a row. When he wasn’t working he would pick me up and we would go back to his apartment and play Tetris for 5 hours and work on perfecting the recipe for the best bbq chicken pizza. Very romantic, right?

His roommate was one of the funniest people I knew. We both worked the late shift at the front desk of the dorm in NYC and I still laugh about some of the absurd 2am moments. He had landed a job as an intern at a production company on a studio lot and was working on finishing a film he started his senior year.

The 2nd month that I lived in LA my Grandfather loaned me $500 to buy a car. I bought a 1983 VW Rabbit from a man who was being deported. It was a convertible and very temperamental but I loved it. Once I had a car I was able to seriously look for work and a day after registering at a temp agency I was sent out to work.

The 4th month that I lived in LA I got a cat and a job at a production office. (yes. The same one that my friend interned for.) I clicked into ambition and was recharged by working long hours. By the 5th month that I lived in LA you would not have recognized me.

Felicity logo from screen grabOver the holidays, on a whim, I decided to rewatch Felicity.
(I only made it to the end of season 2.)

While rewatching the show all of these memories flooded back. College life in New York, the close group of friends that had funny overlaps, the angst, the romance, the drama, the hope, and most of all – the bravery.

For the last several days I have been sweetly nostalgic for my early 20’s. I can not imagine what my 20 year old self would think about me now. I think she would be sad for me, curious about the single mother stuff, shocked that I lived with my Mother, possibly horrified over the size of my ass.

I also, probably, would have been relieved to know that I am ok.
{disclosure: I got very little sleep last night and most of this was written in the wee hours of the morning. I only share that tidbit in case, in the light of day, this post is seriously meandering.}

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