Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Day 36: Pro Tips from an Amateur Californian

Before moving here, every person I spoke with had a fervent opinion about Los Angeles, regardless of whether or not they had ever been here. My friends and family cleanly divide into two polar extremes. We can call my optimistic peers the "pro-Jesse-in-California" group. And the other group, the one that hates this state and this city, well we can just call them "Jesse's Family." My mother, for example, calls it the "Left Coast" (a term that I am 100% sure was coined by Rush Limbaugh despite having never checked on that fact), and yet, she has not stepped foot in this state for over 30 years. My Aunt Alicia, who is the sweetest, most aunt-ly aunt in Georgia, said she had some advice for me before my move. She grabbed me by my shoulders - well... my elbows, because I'm a giant - and she said, "If you become a liberal, I'll kill you." Is that advice?

So, as I prepare to return home for Christmas next week to face my naysayers, I thought I would share some insider tips about California, all learned from my experiences these first five weeks:
  • People here are not as liberal as you think they are. I've had the chance to be on some LA television sets, and I can tell you that people, especially film people, aren't so green and left-y. There could a beautiful, millenia-old redwood that houses a squirrel mother and dozens of her premature babies, but if that tree was somehow in the way of a shot, that crap would be cut down in a heartbeat. 
  • Driving in California is just as bad as you think it is, and it has nothing to do with traffic. It has to do with the fact that MY REGISTRATION WAS LIKE 300 DOLLARS AND EVERYONE'S ANGRY ABOUT IT. 
  • If you've never felt an earthquake, you will think everything is an earthquake. I was in a trailer and felt a little shudder, and I immediately yelled, "Oh God, it's an earthquake!" My boss replied, "that was a Mexican's subwoofer, jackass." 
  • If you tell people you went to Penn State, their immediate response will not be about the Sandusky scandal. Finally... People far enough away to not immediately make that association! I had an interview where I experienced this first hand. He looked at my resume, and his first question was: "Penn State... Is that the smart 'Penn' or the dumb one?" Bam! The dumb one. Next question. 
  • When you meet a Fox Television executive, don't greet her with a high five. In my defense, "Tracy" is not a proper name for an exec. 
Merry Christmas, or if you're not a Christmas person... Happy holidays!

See. I'm a left-coaster already.

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