Legal Alien: Editor’s Viewpoint
It’s raining in Los Angeles – it still is. It has been bone-dry here for many months – something we in Australia know a lot about. So far LA has had more rain in 2 days than it’s had in 13 months.
The nature strips are bouncing back to life and turning green again. The Jasmine is blooming; the small white ‘Iceberg’ roses so very popular in lots of gardens in LA are already in full bloom and the rain has made them go all droopy and water-logged. But the ground is so rock-hard & dry all this rain is creating flash flooding & mud slides up in the Hills & the more elevated urban areas all around the city.
March marks the onset of Spring & while the middle of the day is quite beautiful, the evenings get down to 10F & its a Desert cold that bites like ice, especially if you get caught outside after 4pm. Walking home along Sunset Blvd. from Master class at Howard Fine Studio last night around 6.15pm I was glad of my hand-knitted vest, long sleeved T-shirt, denim jacket, slacks & boots.
Just up the road is Hollywood Blvd. which in a few days will become the location for the biggest show on earth – the Academy Awards. It is a massive event in the business world of US filmmaking because so many deals are made/formed/re-formed/germinated/pushed/knocked over/re-imagined. Deals are made although no one wants to admit that!, but who are they kidding?.
I do love to watch the show though, the fabulousness of all the actors playing ‘dress-ups’ to the max. with awesome gowns & lavish jewelry; & the men in dinner suits worth thousands’ of dollars. Some of them pull it off, some don’t…who really cares except the trashy magazines & gossip mongers all falling over themselves to get the best most sharpest pics’n'critique into their column & onto News stands ASAP.
Every bit of the awards is a showcase, a Cirque du LaLaLand done with a serious side – honoring excellence in our craft at the highest levels of practice – & a shameless tilt to the glitz’n'glamour that is the very definition of shallow. It is a potent seductive juxtaposition best served if you just give in to it &, like a Disney spinning Tea Cup, sit back & enjoy the ride…preferably in my Dior ball frock from the back of my Limo, with Christal or Dom in hand on the way to the Ceremony & Red Carpet entrance with Tom Selleck on my arm.
However, Life’s hard-core reality checks are never far away here in LA. The plethora of homeless people – young & otherwise – is ever-present if you open your eyes to it. Making ends’ meet is wholly evident in Ralph’s as families squeeze every penny out of their tight budgets & the amount of TV advertising devoted to Life Insurance/Income Protection/Employment security is very telling about the state of jobs & financial security still hanging like a noose around the neck of working class America. Politically, the battle for raising the minimum wage is raging but it’s a worthy battle that I hope is won because people here just don’t earn a living wage. The economic environment that once supported $6/$7/$8 bucks an hour has gone. Even with 3 jobs, many working people (more so if you have a family) can not afford to live, pay bills & have a decent life. That is the reality.
Don’t get me started on National Health! But I digress.
I went down to Santa Monica for a meeting the other day & it was great to get a dose of sea air. & if it is possible to avoid 3rd Street & go straight to the ocean’s edge do so first. Better still, get your business done first then go for a long walk along the Promenade that extends right up to Venice & beyond if you want it to. But
unless you want to experience the madness & crazy crowds & vendors of that pedestrian strip, don’t go there on the weekends…just sayin’.
As I’m getting more settled now I’ll be out & about seeing Indy theatre productions & some commercial gigs as well. & yes, there is a theatre scene here in LA although you do have to look for it & have a car to travel at night to areas like North Hollywood, Pasadena, Downtown to the Mark Taper, Santa Monica arts precinct & various other spots on the map that trying to get to at night on a bus or train is a valiant goal but ultimately a fantasy of potentially nightmare proportions.
I’ll also be writing about the professional development & the business of the Business I’m doing here.
So until next Viva Voce Blog, cheers & chookas for any gigs/classes/auditions/jobs you’re doing.
Jane E. xx