There are times when you’re sitting in your car sweltering, working on a script all alone in a café, sending out letters/emails/shout outs to people in companies who will never return them or acknowledge their receipt of them and you wonder, why the hell am I here?
My friend David LeBaron put it very well. “I write and shoot all my own films, I send them to companies and festivals, I do my podcasts, I work here in my studio 12 hours a day. And no one cares. No one even knows I’m alive.”
This is the pain of LA, the fear of a life lived anonymously and unappreciated.
Then there’s the odd night when you go out and are just blown away.
Last week, some friends and I went to a supper club and saw a show that happens every month-ish. Organized by a stand up called Greg Proops, it’s a kind of live anti-talk show talk show. The place is capacity at 100 people.
It opened with Drew Carey singing a couple of songs with an accordion band. Drew Carey from the Drew Carey Show, Drew Carey. I know. Then Greg Proops did his usual brilliant turn. Then Greg interviewed a political reporter who I didn’t know. American, quite famous here. Not to the LA crowd though, because if it didn’t happen in movies, it’s not news.
But, he was fresh off an Iraq war scandal and had a lot of interesting state of the nation stuff to say. Then Aimee Mann came on to perform a few songs. Then Greg interviewed John C Reilly, one of my favorite actors, who did a few tell alls of different people he’s worked with. Hilarious and brought the house down. Then on came Drew to do another number to take us out.
And in the audience were the guys from The Flight of the Conchords, and all the performers on the night who had friends at tables. And they would chat with all the people who came to watch, after the show.
As we walked back out into the night air, my friends and I all looked at each other and said, Wow, this is why we live here. A wonderful night watching such a ferociously talented bunch of people and the chance to feel like an insider, even just for a few laugh-filled hours.
When LA comes good, it really can turn it on.