So how was my trip to LA and Actorfest?In a word: fantastic. If there was a single word or a phrase that could describe what my visit encapsulated, it was this: move. here.
Or, do you live here?
I told a lot of people that I met that I was 'local' in the sense that living in San Francisco can be as close as you can get to being local. And while all the feedback I got was extremely positive and reinforced my belief that I could have a career in acting, nothing's really going to happen unless I move to that market.
But it's not 'all or nothing' - moving to LA is not the answer to life. I must profess that my only true love regarding LA has been Disneyland, and that's not even in LA. For me, there has to be more to a city than just moving there to find 'work' - there has to be a balance; I think LA could provide a lot of opportunities, for sure. I've began to form a small network, outside of family I have down there. And going to Actorfest was supposed to be a peek into what I could possibly expect.
The day was partly panel discussions and partly one on one with casting directors. Mixed in with some networking. From the moment I entered the building, I picked up my VIP badge, with all the perks of the day: unlimited access to sold-out panel discussions; 3 meet & greets with casting directors; a year's subscription to Backstage, and the all-awesome VIP party and drinks with casting directors at the end of the day. Made some connections; got great feedback on my materials. Met many interesting people; even ran into several Bay Area actors who had made the trip down.
I'd like to think that I made a favorable impression; I'd like to feel that perhaps there was interest from the casting directors I met; but you never know, and even if one of them were to get in touch with me and really get me in for something - anything - I would be more than happy to make the trip down to LA to do that. I do feel that if I was living there, that I wouldn't need to worry about whether it - a career - would or wouldn't happen - just a question of when.
So, besides Actorfest, how did the rest of the weekend turn out? Besides a quick flight back and forth each way, I managed to squeeze in a visit to family. And I spent some time at LACMA, checking out the wonderful Stanley Kubrick retrospective, admiring the stories of his career in stunning detail. Upon leaving the museum, I learned that there was to be a screening of The Shining in the adjacent theater. SO - I got to see a screening of this film, on a huge screen, with the volume up loud - and it was absolutely more horrifying than I had ever experienced it before. Just the soundtrack alone is enough to creep me out. But I developed a new appreciation for that film, as well as the other films that he made - which now I want to go back and see - all of them.
So there is a short interval of a week before I'm on the east coast, burrowing in at Shakespeare & Company. I've already done much of the prep and legwork, and thank-goodness I shipped out my books and essentials/mementos ahead of time. All I need to do is pick up a few more winter clothes and Xmas gifts, spend time with the family over Xmas, and then get going.
This Xmas will be the most important ever because I need to spend time with my family and reflect on the year - and what is to come.