OK, so this is going to sound crazy and I know it. I just wanted to say that before I started typing this out so that you know, that I know, that it sounds ridiculous. But truth is like that sometimes and hey, LA is the land of ridiculous.
A few folks have asked about Leo, my psychic mate, and I should explain him properly, since he’s the reason I even made it to LA in the first place.
So, before I moved to LA I was a copywriter who wrote screenplays on the side. I was back in Sydney, trying to get a writing career going there and thinking that I was going to do the next Priscilla or something and arrive in LA on a red carpet.
Instead, I couldn’t get a meeting to get a job to hold the piss bucket in the writing room on Home and Away. It’s a tiny little industry and there’s even a line of people waiting for the bucket job. Everywhere I went I was met with no, no, no and probably not.
I’m frustrated, I’m angry and I’m walking to the gym one day in Darlinghurst, desperate for someone to talk to who wasn’t from Australia, someone I could bounce this off. Then the oddest thing happened.
I saw very clearly in my mind a picture of a guy. Bearded, late thirties, an old wise soul, I sensed that he was American and from the south.
Then the picture of him and the request that went with it, left my body. Like it shot out of the top of my head. It was weird. And I stood there on the street thinking to myself, “Wow, that was weird,” and went off to throw some weights around a room.
A week later I was at the same gym and then amazingly and miraculously, there was the guy that I had pictured in my head, in a white t-shirt, white shorts and white shoes. Like the work out version of an angel.
I watched him for a few moments before timidly going over to say hello.
Me: Hi there, is your name Len?
Leo: No, that’s my nickname. That’s what my Mom calls me. My name is Leo. Did you send for me?
Me: I don’t know, maybe. About a week ago I had a picture of you in my head and sent it off and here you are.
Leo: Ah, now it makes sense. A week ago I was standing at the airport and going to Columbus and then for some reason I changed my ticket to Sydney. I don’t know anyone here, I’ve never been here before. But I must have come to meet you.
Crazy? Yes. But that’s how I met Leo. Having one of those conversations that you can’t believe you’re having, when you’re actually having it.
Leo and I hung out everyday for the next two months, a romance sparked and he ended up moving into my place in Sydney. Then the poor bastard had to listen to me open up my chasm of doubt and talk his ears off about all my LA fears. Could I do it from New York instead? I love that city. Leo’s attitude? Just go to LA, do it, live it and see. But I have often had the fear of chasing my boldest plans. And I was thinking that maybe I hadn’t given Australia enough of a try.
One day, over lattes on Victoria St, Leo tells me that he wants to go for a reading. Did I know a good psychic? As a matter of fact I did. A friend of mine had been raving about a psychic he was seeing called Clare. All I could think was, is her surname Voyant? But I got Clare’s number and we made an appointment to go in.
Clare had no time for crystal balls and headscarves. There was no cat, no eye of newt, no psychic mumbo-jumbo at all. She worked out of a terrace house in Sydney and she showed up 5 mins late with a focaccia in one hand and a coffee in the other. I don’t know what I thought she would look like, but I wasn’t expecting to see Kelly Osbourne’s older sister. Now I’m really intrigued.
So we sit down at a table, I choose a deck of cards and Clare tells me that she’s channeling really hard right now so she may not lay the cards out, just flick through them instead. I’ve told her nothing about myself; I’m fishing and I want to be impressed by her ability to do something that I kind of, sort of believe in.
Clare: Oh, so that guy out there that you came with? Yeah, not the one honey. Sorry. He’ll be a great friend for your whole life but no walking down the aisle.
I hate her. She flicks through the cards…
Clare: Oh, so you’re leaving the country, that’s a done deal so you can put that one to rest right now.
Clare: Oh, two months, not even.
Me: Ok, and where am I going?
Flick, flick, flick… she smiles.
Clare: Listen honey, I know you love New York, but if you really want to be a screenwriter, you have to move to LA, Ok? So you just need to suck that up and get with the program.
My jaw hits the table, I hang on her every word for the next half hour. She tells me a lot of stuff. And it’s the experience that many of you have probably had; intimate details of things that no one else in the world knows. But there was one thing in her reading that really surprised me.
Clare: You’re going to meet a clown when you get to LA and he will be your best friend.
Me: Um, don’t you mean like a famous actor or producer or something?
Clare: No, he’s a clown.
Leo goes in next and when he sits down in the chair, they offer him a job to read cards. He didn’t even open his mouth and they knew he was a psychic too.
So we leave that day from Clare’s, me with my boldest plan confirmed and Leo with a job to do while we packed up everything that I own. I had to get rid of all of it, and in keeping with the theme of the moment, Leo sorted it out. He put an ad in the paper, I went to work, he called to tell me someone wanted to buy everything for his sister who had just moved to town, I came home to an empty house with nothing but Leo, two cushions and a pile of cash.
Wow, it looks like I’m not going to get that obstacle I was hoping for.
Six weeks to the day that I sat in front of Clare, Leo and I were on a plane out of Sydney. And like Clare had said, things turned into a friendship between us. Leo went back to the States and remains a great mate to this day.
Meanwhile, I went to LA. From the moment I met Leo and opened myself up to the idea that I had psychically called someone I didn’t know to the other side of the earth, I felt like I had been living. Not existing, but really acting on gut instinct and going with the flow. And as scary as that first week was in LA, I decided to stay and make it work.
And I wondered if this clown friend of mine was going to get me gigs doing kids’ birthdays.