"'And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!’ She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illumined her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.
‘I pass the test,’ she said. ‘I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.’"
I left Colorado with a heavy heart. Like many people, I felt that the world I knew was kind of flipping itself on its head. “Familiar” didn’t make sense anymore. So many people I loved had died, moved, distanced themselves… My state job wasn't enough to distract me from these small town blues. I needed to either flip my own life or be subjected to the whims of this gravity. The latter was not an option. So I put my head on the ground and my feet in the air…
I have reached a very key point in my filmmaking career and I believe that makes my trip to Lala Land a little less scary. I have dispensed with any notions that I am going to "make it big" or that such a thing is even possible. The conclusion I have come to is this: I have tried many things in my life, from astrophysics to teaching. It ALWAYS comes back to film. It has been my passion since I was a child. As long as I am doing what I love, I'm happy. On top of that, I’ve always liked California. I was a bad Coloradoan/New Yorker that way. Is the traffic bad? Sure. Are the people fake? Well, yes, but no more than they are anywhere else. Is Hollywood a hellhole of trash, noise, and tourism? Yes, actually. For the most part, it really is. But no one says I HAVE to spend all of my time there.
I like Los Angeles, actually, and I LOVE Santa Monica (my new home, which is actually its own city). It’s a bit tough to find the cultural gems through all of the strip malls, but they are here! There’s no better place for a film lover- even for one who loves alternative, independent, foreign and avant-garde films. There’s even a silent movie theater! It’s a great place for independent music, as well. The big industry giants make the most noise, so I can see how people might think that there is nothing else out here, but there are thriving pockets of independence in this town. I love it. I always knew I would end up here. Everything I love to do, everything I’m good at- it’s all out here. With beaches! What’s not to love?
Still, Colorado is home. I am a fourth generation native of the state. The goodbyes were extremely hard, but the date to leave was set: my birthday. I drove out to Las Vegas with a good friend and met up with a couple of new friends from L.A. It was a great drive and a great birthday weekend, Vegas-style. That is an experience I’d never really had. I’d never stayed there more than just “overnight” on my way to California, finding it unappealing on many many many levels. But hey, I freakin' hi-fived a Pegasus! Well… low fived. And for me it was five, but he only had one… but it was still AWESOME!
I didn’t have much of a plan once I got out here. I had some cash and a great friend in Burbank, but there was a lot that was still “unknown” and quite a bit of mental upheaval, as well as an insane amount of emotional pressure. I needed it, though. I loved the chaos. In fact, to quote the musician whose video I embedded two posts ago:
“I found the secret to life: I’m okay when everything is not okay.”
And I am.