LA Q & A

What made you do it?

Well definitely my dream of becoming an actress for starters. But what really made me decide it was time, was the realization that everything I wanted for my life was in California…so why was I going to spend another three years on the east coast attending a college I wasn’t head over heels for? That’s when I said to myself, “If you really want to do it, then do it.” So I saved up for about a year and I did it.

What do you have so far?

A car, an apartment, and somewhat of a job. I just got registered as a background actor. But I probably will be getting a second job as well.

What about what were you most excited for?

I was so excited to meet new people and explore a new place full of opportunity. I guess what I was really stoked for was everything being so fresh and well, new.

What were you most scared of?

Definitely scared of hating it. I was terrified I would get here and immediately regret my decision, then be stuck here. It was a very horrifying thought. I was also scared of the distance. This was a 3,000 mile move. If I hated it and wanted to move back, it wasn’t going to be a cute little 2 hour drive back where I could just come home and say, “yea I didn’t like it. I think I’ll just stay here.” I was also scared of living in such a big city. I don’t know how to live in a city. My street skills are equivalent to Dora The Explorer’s street skills. Try throwing her and her pet monkey in the middle of New York City and see how they cope.

If any, what preconception or belief about LA did you have that you’ve discovered isn’t so true now that you live there?

There were definitely a few, but I can only think of two on the top of my head. I heard that everyone here was fake. This is not true. Don’t get me wrong, you will meet some people who are, but there is also a decent amount of genuinely good hearted people. I also came here thinking LA was a city. However, no. It’s actually a huge County that is made up of many smaller cities. You learn something new every day.

What have you learned most living in a whole new state?

I learned that if your parents had health insurance that also covered you, it will no longer cover you when you move out of state. So that’s fun. Also, you need to get a California license within a year of living there. I don’t exactly know what happens if you don’t, but I also don’t want to find out.

Where’s the best place to eat?

SO many good places that I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve really been loving The Veggie Grill. It’s a vegetarian food joint and it’s so amazing. I am in love with their Santa Fe chick’in sandwich. Also, Aroma Cafe is a phenomenal place with a fantastic salmon salad. Oh, oh, and my favorite frozen yogurt place here is Yogen Fruz. And not just because of the name. They have the best frozen greek yogurt. Also the only frozen greek yogurt I could find, but it’s the bomb. I don’t think people even say ‘the bomb’ anymore, but oh well. I did. There are so many more good places to eat, but I suppose I’ll save those for another post, otherwise this could take a while.

What’s the best part?

Being so close to all of the studios is really neat. There’s also great stand up comedy shows, concerts, pool parties, and live tapings of late night TV shows you can attend. Basically, there’s always something cool to do here.

Is it a culture shock moving from the East Coast to the West Coast?

A little bit. Everyone here is always doing a million things at once, yet remain unbelievably laid back. Also everyone has at least one side job and if you ask somebody what they do for a living, they will have multiple answers. It’s definitely a different way of life.

What’s the weather like?

Sometimes it’s a little windy. Sometimes it’s a little hotter than usual. Mostly it just remains in the 70’s. Rain doesn’t really exist here. And when it does, no one knows how to drive in it.

What was the hardest part about leaving?

Saying goodbye to everyone I care about. That was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The week before I left, I visited all of my dearest friends and family members to say goodbye. On the night before I left, I actually stayed at the restaurant I worked at till 1 AM, because I didn’t want to say my final goodbye. The real goodbye. I was finished with work by 9pm . But I stayed and talked to my coworkers and my favorite manager who happened to be working on my last night. And lucky for me, my best friend, Shanley closed that night too. But as the night went on, one by one, my coworkers left. Eventually it just got down to Shanley, my manager, and myself. So I continued to talk to them and stayed as long as I could. But it got late and I eventually had to let them ‘go home‘. And there were tears. And hugs. And sappy goodbyes. And then that was it. I moved the next morning.

What was the hardest thing to prepare for?

It was so extremely difficult to prepare for anything, because LA is so far away from Massachusetts. I didn’t know how to find an apartment or a car. I really only had the internet to use as a resource. Which yes, can be very helpful. However, I’m not going to trust an apartment I find on craigslist without seeing it in person. There was only so much I could really prepare for beforehand. Also, it’s hard to mentally prepare yourself for moving to a completely new city where you don’t know anyone. You have to create an entirely new routine for yourself, meet a new group of friends, find a new job with new coworkers, live in an unfamiliar area in a new apartment that is supposed to feel like home but really just feels new and scary like everything else in your life right now, and really just settle into this only recently introduced world you still know nothing about. It’s terrifying.

Have you fallen into any trends or fads?

I guess I’ve started eating a little healthier. That’s a huge thing here. Everyone eats crazy healthy and goes on juice cleanses. Then there’s me who just started eating salad more and found a new love for brussels sprouts. But it still counts!

Thank you for all the questions!

DIARYRenee Ariel