The MALESTROM touched base with our man in LA to get the lowdown on all things Golden and Globey, and to find out what it’s like to leave Britain behind and follow your dreams in LA LA LAND.
As the warm glow of the Golden Globes sets over LA, the buzz of the film and television industry throws an all embracing blanket over the City this time of year. And although over 70% of the people here in Los Angeles don’t work in the entertainment industry, the frisson that’s created by awards season seeps into every pore of Los Angeles and in any single coffee shop, bar or restaurant, the reverberation of excitement is infectious.
If you ever hear anyone saying they don’t like Los Angeles then you know they don’t really know the place well, and 9 times out of 10 that quote will come from some over emotional actor, actress or luvvie whose whole raison d’etre is based on their fragile aspirations and ego.
Los Angeles is the same as any other American city in that it doesn’t have a social security service or structure, there is no dole, no hand outs, so you have to work, and work hard they do, and all Californians do work incredibly hard, whether they be Californian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Australian or Irish, in fact any of the hundreds of immigrants who come here from all over the world. There’s no freebies or NHS here and so the city is alive with industrious individuals who have come to live in the sun, and that is a real blessing that most people who don’t live here forget.
While UK residents battle through the dense January rain and soon to come snow, the locals go about their everyday business in their shorts and t-shirts, enjoying the laid back fare that LA offers. And that’s the other thing that a lot of people forget, Los Angeles is an extremely friendly place. Everyone smiles and everyone will speak to you if you speak to them. You can stand in a packed tube trains or rant and rave as you try and drive to work through the rush hour on rainy miserable roads, but as a whole, your average person in California will give you the time of day and smile, and that’s not to be knocked. The place does ooze optimism.
The other thing that people often forget about living in such a warm climate is that you don’t necessarily need that much money to exist, because you spend so much time outside, and that’s not such a bad life. The beach is huge, the breeze off of the Pacific cool and refreshing, and the everyday jogger, roller-blader or yoga fanatic carrying a rubber matt remind you that people over here like to keep fit, which isn’t so different to the UK is it? Except the gloom and cloud of negativity with that comes with life in England doesn’t exist over here, and that’s a fact.
As the optimism from the musical La La Land permeates across world in the wake of its seven Golden Globe wins, the real industry movers and shakers dust off their Parkers and ski gear, ready to make their way to the Sundance Film Festival in the snowy mountains of Utah, to make sure their fingers are on the pulse of the film industry. And while all of this is going on, every person in town is aware of the cogs churning, getting ready for the Oscars: hotel rooms are booked, extra waiting staff are hired, drivers, taxis and chauffeurs gear up for their busiest and most lucrative time of the year, struggling actors and actresses don’t bat an eyelid at being asked to wait tables at any number of parties and soirees across town, and more coffee is sold, more alcohol is drunk, more suits and dresses hired, more petrol is sold, more tips are handed out and everyone rides the wave of living in a city that hosts that biggest of awards ceremony in the world. What’s not to like?
The irony about LA is that you won’t find anyone here who moans about it. That’s left to the people you read about in the papers or hear on the radio, the bitter and cynical, which Los Angeles certainly isn’t.