Friday, December 30, 2011

Shit Hollywood Girls Say

Published 12/30/2011

So unless you’re some internet deprived weirdo, you’ve probably seen Shit Girls Say by now. These little morsels of comic genius have already spawned parodies such as Shit Black Girls Say and Shit Gay Guys Say.  In keeping with the time-honored Hollywood tradition of being completely derivative and creatively flaccid, I give you Shit Hollywood Girls Say .  I challenge you to find the majority of these phrases outside of the Thirty Mile Zone.
                                                           Shit Hollywood Girls Say

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twas the Night Before Hanukkah…Because Openly Celebrating Christmas in Hollywood is Damn Near Offensive

Published 12/19/2011

If you haven’t been living under a rock and/or you’ve watched at least one episode of Entourage or Curb Your Enthusiasm, then you know that Hollywood is run by the children of Israel. Don’t get angry or offended, it’s just a fact and the sooner you realize that being one of the chosen is the way to go, the better. Besides, in this liberal climate where practicing every religion except Christianity is accepted and encouraged, Christmas has become passé at best.  Jesus is not politically correct guys! So pull up a chair Jews and goys alike because I’ve got a Christmas Chanukah story for you:

Twas the night before  Hanukkah and all through Hollywood,
studio execs wondered if their box office numbers were good.
The Oscar buzz had started  but they only wanted to see,
if real acting would ever come from the cast of Glee.
The ICM Holiday party had gone off with a smash,
and agents hoped that the near implosion was a thing of the past.
The “professionals” at UTA admired their sparkling new logo,
while failing to answer the phone in client info.
Poor assistants and interns consoled themselves with cheap beer,
while Ari Emanuel counted his ridonkulous money with cheer.
As I weaved through the 101 I had such a fright,
before realizing it was the newly skinny Jonah Hill, what a sight!
I perused the Blacklist but what did I see,
every script already attached and repped- this looks fishy to me.
I texted a daughter of Abraham to find out where to purchase chocolate gelt
and delivered them for my boss’ kids before they should melt.
Nikki Finke had hung her snarky stockings with care,
and Kim K’s waxed her newly-divorced body hair.
Not a sleigh did I see but a TMZ tour bus instead,
and I tried to erase Lilo’s Playboy shoot from my head.
I raced to the Whitney set to do my background work for the night,
Wishing Happy Hanukkah to all, and to all a good (eight) nights!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My, How Eager You Look…

Published 12/18/2011
In most career fields eagerness is a good sign. It means you’re ready to hit the ground running, you have fresh ideas to contribute and you’re dedicated to your profession. In Hollywood however, eagerness is the kiss of death, one because fresh ideas are frowned upon, but mostly  because the only people in LA bubbling with optimism are the blissfully ignorant transplants who’ve been here less than a week and have yet to have their souls crushed. They probably spent weeks on end watching Fame until finally deciding to escape whatever dismal flyover state they were living in. Unfortunately,  they had no way of knowing that their hopeful expressions are the very thing that people who are successful, or unsuccessful and therefore exceedingly bitter, will spot as a sign of their west coast naiveté, and  avoid them like the plague. The best way to fit in around here is to look, or actually be very jaded and even more blahze. Remember kids, no matter what time of day  it is, it’s always way, way too early for all  your enthusiasm.
I recently attended the @tempdiaries holiday substitute party at Bar Lubitsch and I planned to network like the dickens. Surely in a gathering of those who are similarly plagued with low level jobs I would find someone who understands my struggle as a broke-ass writer and be moved to all but force their boss to read, option and greenlight  one of my masterfully written screenplays. Good plan right? Nope. Everybody there was way too nice, they were smiling, and they were  eager. The problem is that a party for assistants is well, a party full of assistants. Assistants have no power and their bosses (decision makers and people with money) will definitely not be at a gathering of this nature. So guess who’s  still eating cereal multiple times a day and not flying off to Milan just for the hell of it?
As for Bar Lubitsch on the other hand, I was quite pleased. The space was ample, I found a meter and the comedy was comedic.  After the jokesters left the stage there was a dance party of sorts- I say of sorts because I’m assuming that what was going on in the area designated as a dance floor was in fact dancing. There was a charming young lady who very much resembled Mel from Flight of the Conchords and watching her was like seeing every drunk bridesmaid, awkward cousin and grandmother from every wedding reception I’ve ever been to, rolled into one. It was priceless.
Venue: 4
Alcohol Situation: 4
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:0(I did not discover the identity of Temp X, so fail)
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 5
Atmosphere: 3

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Get. Some. Friends. Seriously

Published 12/10/2011

Well 2012 draws closer and I still have yet to sell a script, I haven’t gotten a new development job, I haven’t managed to derail the relationship of Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes and subsequently marry Ryan Gosling, and I am as yet not a go-go dancer. (Incidentally, a few people close to me have strongly advised against that, saying that “a go-go dancer is just a stripper with no balls” and they’ve  thoughtfully suggested that I try porn instead. Anywho, As I have yet to realize the Hollywood dream of becoming rich, adopting a foreign baby and checking into rehab, I must continue my ill-fated attempts to network. Sigh.
It’s Saturday and as per usual I have tried to convince several people to venture out into the world with me, but as per usual I was unsuccessful. I would muster up some of my usually endless don’t-give-a-fuckitness, but today it’s just too damn cold. Lonely I can do, but cold and lonely together- uh uh.  I even considered going out in “downtown” Burbank because it’s close, but one and a half streets of scattered bars does not a nightlife scene make. A friend and I explored this so-called downtown area  once and we both felt like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. I mean people were wearing cutoff denim and flipflops! At night! It was disturbing in a way that only a place that appears to cling to Midwestern values can be. Needless to say I ruled that out, and then another option occurred to me: I could go to a party in the hills! That would be a great idea, had I any influential friends or associates who had houses in the hills in which to have parties.
One of the last house parties I went to was costume themed, and I remember leaving my house in my high school cheerleading outfit with a bottle of wine in my hand. That sounds like the beginning of a bad Lifetime movie doesn’t it, but unfortunately for me, no lecherous older man (producer) made any untoward advances towards me. Just as in life, there are many important milestones in a girl’s life in Hollywood: the first time you curse out a tourist, the first time a stranger offers you illicit drugs in a bathroom, the first time you catch yourself driving like an asshole and realize you belong in LA, and the first time someone in the industry suggests you trade sex for career advancement. I have yet to receive that offer, not that I would take it, but I’d at least like the chance to say that “so-and-so told me that if I slept with him he would shoot my pilot,” so that I could then say “ of course I said no!” Because everyone knows that integrity is more important than getting rich by sleazy means in Hollywood… okay, it’s really, really not.
So in the absence of friends willing to leave the house, and friends with house parties that may see the likes of Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, Ari Emanuel, or anyone who looks like they could have inspired one of the characters in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang I decided to stay home and be productive. Re-watching Nine and rewinding every scene to learn the choreography is productive, right? (Who does that? Am I in ninth grade?) Okay so maybe this evening is not going to get any of my scripts sold, but by the morning I will know all the steps to Cinema Italiano, though Fellini will be turning in his grave. #failing
Venue: 5 (Well I live here so, I guess..)
Alcohol Situation: 3 ( I think there’s some leftover Strawberry Smirnoff in my freezer and there’s bound to be a bottle of Two Buck Chuck around here somewhere.)
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:0 ( Does talking to my neighbor count?)
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 1.5 (I’m mimicking Kate Hudson’s dance steps as we speak. Do you  really have to ask?)
Atmosphere: #meh (I should really buy a space heater.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Go-go Dancing Always Leads to Doing Coke…

Published 12/2/2011
Apparently this is something that my coworkers at my loathsome real job are aware of. In an effort to get out of the valley before the end of the year, I’ve been considering career options that range from morally reprehensible to outright illegal. Since my plan to be famous in 365 days or less has failed miserably and jobs involving my degree are scarce, I’m determined to get involved in some sort of money making venture so I can stop pretending that I like doing things like getting gas twenty dollars at a time and going to matinees at 10:35 in the morning.
After considering human trafficking (I’m not okay with selling children, adults maybe…), stripping (I am not built like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, or even her friend who could skate, but not that well), dealing some sort of illegal drugs (anyone who knows me can tell you that I would get caught immediately), and smuggling immigrants across the border (my Spanish eh, not so good), I’ve decided that becoming a  go-go dancer is the logical choice. Why is that, you ask? Not only have I cornered the heroin-chic-look-without-doing-heroin market, I’m a pretty decent dancer. Not a great enough dancer to put dancing on my acting resume, or great enough to audition for one of those corny tales of urban youth achieving their way out of the ‘hood, but good enough that were I four inches taller and equipped with a good lacefront wig and a miracle bra, I might actually book a music video.
The first time I went to a Hollywood club and saw go-go dancers I laughed out loud, rolled my eyes and thought  this dumb bitch…  I mean who dances in lingerie, or spandex depending on where you are, around a pole but not on the pole and doesn’t actually strip? In my mind go-go dancing was the biggest tease and waste of time because it’s like the junior college of stripping before you can get your hoe Ph.D and become a full-fledged hooker or something. Anywho, after a year of not getting booked for anything with my clothes on, I started to justify… they don’t take all of their clothes off, I thought.
 And somewhere in the back of my mind I was secretly hoping that if I embarked upon this questionable career path, one day I would be climbing off a stage, counting sweaty ones that some douchey USC grad had shoved into some part of the unfortunate and scant costume that I would no doubt be wearing, and would run into a kindhearted development exec who would look me in the eye and just know, that behind the unsanitary handprints on my boobs and my smeared mascara lies a great writer who should be taken seriously. Then this exec would not try to sleep with me, but instead set up a general and option 1 or 3 of my scripts. Okay so I’ve watched Pretty Woman too much, but I swear there is a Richard Gere type of guy out there and I am going to find him!
In case you’re wondering, I have yet to audition for one of these gigs because I just fear that it wouldn’t end well, but also because I shared this plan with my previously mentioned coworkers and they seemed to think it was a bad idea. One said that go-go dancing would lead to me becoming a cokehead once the hours started to get to me. Or I could just drink a Red Bull maybe, but what do I know? Another looked at me and said “You don’t have it in you. I can look at a girl and tell how slutty she is and I just don’t think you can do it.” Uh, thanks?  In defense of go-go dancers everywhere, the ones at Drai’s were actually pretty clothed and they weren’t gyrating with sleazy “producers.” FYI, reading a book and wanting to maybe hire someone to adapt it does not automatically make you a producer, Mr.-Dude- in-your-40s-Leasing-an-S-Class- Living-Off-the-Glory-Days- When-You-Were- a-2nd AD-for-a-Disney-Channel-Movie. Still, I’d like to have a career that couldn’t so accurately and euphemistically be described as smarmy.  Sigh.
While there is no go-go dancing in my immediate future, I can’t promise that it won’t happen someday and for that I apologize in advance. I only ask that if you should run into me and I am writhing on a stage with 75 percent of my body exposed that you not laugh, and no I will not give you change.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pizza Rustica Should Happen Before the Alcohol

Published 11/26/2011

There are certain things one should be prepared for when going out in West Hollywood on a Friday night. Apparently, drag queens  named Dibujonay and men actively involved in girl fights are some of those things. I should have known that my first  experience on Santa Monica Boulevard would be ridiculous when my friend who regularly frequents that neck of the woods said “There’s no such thing as unacceptable behavior out here.”  Uh oh.
So the first place we went was Fiesta and within four seconds of walking in I’d been told how cute I was, that I look like one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, and was propositioned by two girls. Interested though I was not,  I think this is a positive step as I have now reaffirmed that in addition to hipsters, gays also take a liking to me. This is good info to have. Fiesta  might have seen more of us had it not been uber crowded, and in an attempt to avoid getting sloppy and floppy in under an hour, we decided to  polish off our rather strong  margarita’s and stop at Pizza Rustica. Actually Pizza Rustica sort of just happened on its’ own, which leads me to lesson 2: If you have a friend whose nickname involves “crazy,” be prepared to do any and everything, not barring activities which may get you arrested.  Luckily we avoided jail time and ate awesome  six-dollar-a-slice pizza, which did me absolutely no good , as I am a hopeless lightweight.  All I could do was tell my cohorts to keep an eye on me at that point in the evening.
And what  pray tell do four straight girls and their token gay friend do after getting sufficiently sloshed? Dance of course, so to Mickey’s we went. This is the part of the night I started counting things. 15: Times awesome early 2000s songs such as Where My Girls At were played.  3: Time Mickey’s closed, making it the “happening after hours” spot Christian from Clueless would have loved.  7: Times I turned to someone and asked if they were really playing vintage Soul Train on all of the screens.   16: Times I declined to dance with the few straight guys who skeevily (yes, I just turned skeevy into a nonexistent adverb) tried to dance behind me- there is a reason I’m at Mickey’s, asshole!  4.5: Times a rather boisterous fellow told my friends and I that his name was Big Bird and followed that by literally saying “tweet tweet!”  76: Times I glanced at an ab-tastic young man with perfect hair and thought Damn,  I wish he was straight, to no avail. 1: number of fights we saw upon leaving involving three guys and a girl who appeared to be in some sort of awkward love square. As our evening came to a close my profound friend offered this advice: “It’s  like everyone just leaves all their fucks at home, hence they really couldn’t give a fuck.” And that is weekend Weho in a nutshell my friends.
Venue(s): 4
Alcohol Situation: 4
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:0
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 4 ( I did not fall in my heels- score!)
Atmosphere: #winning

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Could You Get Out of the Shot….

Published 11/23/2011

That’s just one of the things you may hear on set if you’re not a principal, a featured extra or a day player with lines. Welcome to my life. I can’t tell you what it looks like inside one of those Star Wagon trailers but I can tell you the best time of day to register at Central Casting. Please don’t ask me what I’ve booked lately, it will only depress us all. Anywho, LA is a place full of people who have opinions of themselves that are rather grandiose, albeit usually unwarranted. I really think that some people are actually unaware of the fact that they’re not yet famous, rich or important, so I’ve compiled this little list to help you assess whether or not you are in fact a starving artist. Be honest with yourself and act accordingly, and by act accordingly I mean take off those mothereffing sunglasses at night- you know who you are…
1)You are registered at Central Casting. I have nothing against Central Casting because I’m registered there, and despite the three to five hours it takes to get your picture taken, I have no qualms with the place. The problem I have is with the people who are there, acting as if they are not registering to do EXTRA WORK! Hello! You’ve seen them- Guy With Serious Actor Hair leaning against the wall pursing his lips and pretending to be James Dean. Kill yourself. Then there’s Blonde Reminiscent of Sco-Jo, Paris or Lindsey flipping her hair and talking loudly about her callback for a Budweiser commercial. Who do you think you’re fooling? You live in Encino, bitch! And then there is Urban Youth with Exciting Hair and a Controversial Tattoo singing really loudly and off key, constantly glancing around for approval. Guess what? No one is going to approve because you can’t sing. I promise you, you can’t. What these people don’t know is that they need not put on airs because they will be possibly not seen and definitely not heard. Extra work does not make you an actor.  Extra work does not mean you’re famous. You are a starving artist.
2)You get emails that end in thx/thks. For those of you who may not have worked in the trenches of an agency, studio or production company, you probably haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this signoff at the end of emails. Over the course of my development internship I quickly learned that I am not worthy of the “an” in the middle of thanks, and therefore not important. Important people get the “an.” Important emails end with things like  “Thank You,” or “Best Regards,” maybe even “Best.” Abbreviations are for peons and if you get an email that ends in “thx,” you should know that it doesn’t mean “thank you,” it  means “Fuck you, you will never have my job. Now go get my coffee.” You are a starving artist.
3) The “O Face” you get is not a good one.  Sometimes, when I’m running around town attempting to network, I find myself conversing with someone who has the career I aspire to have. How do I know this? They wear shoes that cost more than my rent, they look bored rather than desperate, and they parked in valet, not six blocks away. After the pleasantries, this Important Person With a Real Job will finish telling me about their disdain at having to sit next to Taylor Swift at the AMAs and will ask a fateful question: “What do you do?” Sigh. Of course I say I’m a writer, which will be followed by “What have you had produced?” As I try to explain myself, this person who doesn’t get excited about finding extra quarters for laundry the way I do, will somehow get me to tell them my real job which will be followed by a disappointed and disdainful “Oh…”  This is where I would try to distract them with my cleavage, if only I had some. Once you hear “Oh…” you are done my friend, because what “Oh” really means is “Damn it! I just wasted 20 minutes talking to this flat-chested girl with one IMDB credit. One! She is not worthy of  the leather interior of my Maserati! Time to pretend to look for the bar…” I’ve seen the “Oh” face of dismissal many times, and if you should run across it, just pack it in and try again when you’ve booked something impressive or maybe had something optioned. You are a starving artist, just accept it and make your way towards that sale rack with your head held high.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

They (One Person) Like Me, They Really Like Me…

Published 11/17/2011

Guess what, I’m still not famous, which means I’m still traipsing about the Thirty Mile Zone attempting to meet people who will take an interest in my (nonexistent) career and set me on a path that will hopefully include a SAG card, and if I play my cards right, Oscars, stints in rehab and embarrassing DUIs. Anywho, in a strange twist of fate, I managed to convince someone to accompany me on my latest Hollywood adventure… and they didn’t back out at the last minute! Something strange must be in the water.
I decided that I should visit the Library Bar at the Roosevelt because Yelp told me it was a good idea and because the location is actually not horrible. I mean anytime you can walk outside and see a bum, a celebrity, a drunk adult dressed as Spiderman, and a hooker within five feet of each other, you’re in a #winning atmosphere my friend.
Unlike most of my previous outings I didn’t have time  for insult tweeting because I was actually engaged in conversation, but even if I hadn’t been, I’m almost disappointed to say that there was nothing to insult. Library Bar may literally be the size of my studio, but what it lacks in floor space, it makes up for in ambiance and also by having the BEST DRINKS EVER!!! So, I’m probably sort of late on this but OMG- I think the bartenders have magical ingredients, and magical tumblers and magical ice cubes and magical hands, seriously. All I said was that I wanted something sweet, with no dark liquor and then he waved a magic wand and handed me the most awesome drink of my WHOLE LIFE! Like, is there some sort of Nobel Peace Prize for Mixology  that can be awarded here? I feel like I should make a Library Bar PSA because everyone should go there. Everyone.
Anyways, even though I didn’t mingle with anyone other than the person I came with, I don’t think I missed out on too much last night. There were no more than 20 people inside at any given moment, mostly because the place is so small, but I noted that there was a pretty consistent influx of certain prototypes: Drunken Socialite in Her Thirties with Too Much Botox, TV Producer Who Hasn’t worked Since 05 Talking Very Loudly, Hapless Midwestern Girls About to Find Out That Sleeping Their Way to the Top Probably Won’t Work, Hipster Hotel Guests Who Live in LA but Stay at the Roosevelt for Kicks, Hollywood Douchebags Complimenting Each Other’s Ryan Seacrest-Like Hair, and a few Starving Artists Trying to Look Important.
Aside from losing my car in the parking garage and forgetting to validate my ticket for said garage, this little excursion actually went rather well. Now if only I could find that soda shop where producers still walk up to bright-eyed ingénues and say things like “Hey little lady, anybody ever toldja, ya got a face fer the pictures? I’m gonna make you a star…(Insert finger guns, cheek pinching and a wink)” to which I would reply “Gee Mister, a star?” Hey, If it could happen in the 40s, it could happen today…
Venue: 5
Alcohol Situation: 5 (AWESOME!)
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved: 1
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 5
Atmosphere: #winning

Friday, November 4, 2011

No One Wants to F*ck You...and Other Reasons You're Not Booking Work

Published 11/4/2011
In addition to being an (un)successful writer I’m also a world-renowned (obscure) actress. Did you miss my starring role black in Black Swan? What about my four episode arc in The New Girl. Oh that’s right, it wasn’t me. My acting career is currently limited to my improv  class and various background gigs. Yesterday I had the extreme (dis)pleasure of expressing my art (being herded around) on the set of a talk show and I was forced to do some self evaluation. Why is it that a thin, attractive person who is capable of memorizing lines and emoting, is not booking work? After failing to be called in for many auditions, I’ve  finally realized and been told (accidentally overheard) some of the reasons why this may be the case. I’ve compiled this very short list so that my fellow aspiring thespians may glean from my knowledge and avoid these problems in their own careers.
1)   No one wants to f*ck you.  Remember when the movie industry was about talented, unattractive actors giving really heartwarming performances? Neither do I. In England it might be okay to be less than a seven and throw your accent around with Shakespeare and emotional memory, but Hollywood is not a town built on inner beauty and talent. I’m pretty sure those things are frowned upon actually. As I’ve mentioned before, I look like a child 90 percent of a time, but like one who has a curfew and maybe has recently gotten her headgear removed, not a primetime CW vixen. Unfortunately this means that the only people who think I’m doable are usually sex offenders, and casting directors don’t like that, which means audiences won’t like that, which makes me less bookable. If the casting director doesn’t tell you to take your shirt off when you’re auditioning for a toothpaste commercial, you’re probably not good for ratings.

2)   You don’t know how to read castings. In my misguided attempts to gain vouchers, I’ve submitted more than once for roles with descriptions like “Sexy bikini babe” and “beach hottie.” See 1. Also, what I didn’t realize is that though you may look good in a bikini by virtue of your flat stomach (and flat chest) it does NOT mean that you will book “Rush Call! Hot poolside girls for Entourage.” Let me be clear- you definitely won’t book that.  When you see anything that says hot, avoid it unless you look like a Playboy bunny. I learned the hard way. When I regrouped I thought that maybe I should just submit for fitness shoots, you know workout videos and industrial health equipment ads. Wrong again. Those CDs are actually looking for women who look like WWE wrestlers, and that is not me. So let’s review, I look like I’m in high school, but not in a 90210 way, I don’t have man-muscles and no SAG vouchers. #failing. I’ve also mistakenly submitted for “African American featured club extra” and been turned down a multitude of times. Apparently I’m not African American enough because I don’t have a neck tattoo, a curly fro, and of course no T&A. “If you’re going to try to get booked off of your ethnicity, you really have to be more convincing than that. How about you try a ‘ghetto’ accent. have you ever been to Crenshaw?” These are the things casting directors say to me. Sigh.

3)   You’re actually a great actor. There is a possibility that unlike me, you have been classically trained, you can convincingly do 7 different British accents, which are remarkably distinguishable from your Scottish and Welsh ones, you have a good headshot and you know how to give and take with the other actors in the scene. You know all this, but you find yourself sitting next to me in the ‘background holding” area which is either freezing, sweltering or both depending on the production company. Why have you found yourself in such a predicament? Because this is Hollywood and life isn’t fair. If you don’t have an agent and you’re not the right person’s nephew you will be a starving artist with me for quite some time. Who told you they were giving out Oscars  at LA’s city limits? That person was lying. That person may have been from Barbizon…
So back to my “acting” experience for the day: as I listened to the girl next to me talk about the nine commercials she’s allegedly booked, (Why the hell are you working for 64/8 if you’ve booked anything with residuals?) and thought about how I would have to rush off set to go to my uninspiring real job, I laughed to myself. Voucherless though I may be, nothing stopped me from telling at least four of my non-industry friends who don’t know any better that I was on set with celebrity-who-cannot-be-named-because-of-strict-NDA, and embellishing to the point that it sounded as if we had done a scene together. Hollywood is full of shit.
Location: 5
Craft Services: 0
SAG/AFTRA vouchers procured:0
On set experience: #meh

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I've Been in Silverlake Way Too Much This Week

Published 10/30/2011

Okay so I know you might be upset because this tale of social experimentation involves people other than myself but don’t worry, I fully intend to return to my solitary ways next week. Maybe Hemmingways, maybe the  dardantS, get it, because the sign at the Standard is upside down and backwards … anyways…
So my lovely friend Pua (who actually books work) invited me out to Harvard and Stone because one of her friends is dating a band member, or is in the band, or owns something- I was never really sure of the connection, but the point is that even though I arrived by myself after spending far too long trying to park and resigning myself to the seven dollar lot across the street, I did not have to spend the night pretending to text people! #winning
So as for the venue, it was very cozy and dimly lit in a special Silverlakey, hipstery sort of way, and if you like that sort of thing which I do, then it’s great. This kind of place is also good for me because as it happens, hipsters are sort of into the whole prepubescent waif look, and consequently find me attractive. Score!
 I am a sucker for a good local band (Monte Mar, I heart you!) and when I got there I caught the end of Blac Jesus and the Experimentalists’ set.  I must say that I liked what I heard. After I‘d had a chance to ponder the boundless variations of hipster facial hair that I was being forced to cope with, The Downtown Train came to the stage. They  sounded like a slightly calmer version of The Black Keys and  incidentally can be found at Harvard and Stone every Tuesday if I’m not mistaken. Also, any band that can successfully make use of a harmonica is okay in my book.  
So the best and last band, the Herbert Bail Orchestra was AWESOME! I’ve decided that being one of their groupies is going to greatly improve my quality of life. Their drummer (I love!) - so his name is Jacob,  but Pua and I have decided to call him “Prince Sparrow” because he was a little Purple Rain and  a little Captain Jack, which would probably make more sense if you just saw it for yourself, which you can. They’ll be back at Harvard and Stone on November 22nd. I will be there with bells on. Alright I’m going to stop now. So although there was no networking, I did enjoy the atmosphere so I guess I’ll have to wait until my next outing to pretend that “I’m just waiting for someone to meet me.” Oh, my life.
Venue: 5
Alcohol Situation: 5 (The libations are lethal.)
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:0 (But enjoyable mingling took its’ place.)
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 4
Atmosphere: #winning

My Name Is on the Guest List

Published 10/30/2011

This little excursion to Drai’s was a bit of a diversion from my usual fare, because I wasn’t there by myself! No please, hold your applause (and disbelief) until later. Luckily for me, my friend @tikobeauty had both a recent birthday and a friend who knows people, so I found myself in one of the more notorious spots on Hollywood Blvd without having stood in line for hours. This sounds like it’s going to go well, right.
So as I’ve mentioned before, I lack the three Bs necessary for survival in Hollywood- Boobs, Botox and Blonde hair. On this particular outing it was painfully apparent that of the four girls I was with, I am the thinnest, the shortest and it also doesn’t help that I persist in clinging to my short hair and my unaltered nose. The thinness may seem like it shouldn’t be a problem in LA, but apparently in a place where even a meth baby could stand to lose a few pounds, there are still men who like women with curves. What I’m saying is that I looked and felt like Skipper, tagging along with Barbie and her sexy friends. #losing
So after the extensive scrutiny of my license which I’ve grown accustomed to, it took about three minutes for the birthday girl to charm her way into drinks for all of us from some random Armenian dude (Thank you random Armenian!) which was great for us, but I quickly realized two things. Number one: Networking (which was the original purpose of these quests) does not take place on the weekends after 11 PM, and two: either I’m too picky, or there is just a serious lack of Hollywood douchebags who are attractive enough to justify the banal “club conversation” that I kept finding myself caught in.  This is why I rarely go out, I found myself thinking. I’ve decided to just tell people I’m a geologist next time, as there’s a 99 percent chance that there will be no actual geologist in sight, and I can have a field day making things up and avoiding subjects like agents, lunch meetings, pilots shot, and other similar career exaggerations.
Another thing about Drai’s: only the tourists and the go-go dancers actually dance, so for this particular outing my activity du jour was “insult tweeting.” There are some things that adults who are not shooting music videos or trick-or-treating really shouldn’t wear, such as leather unitards, and lederhosen with suspenders. I’m just saying. Also,  in general, that whole V-neck t-shirt with copious chest hair thing- yeah, you’re in the wrong  sir.
So anywho, my friends had fun, and I actually  spoke to people which incidentally is easy to do in a group, but did I A) sell a spec script, B) meet a casting director who wants to put my face on billboards,  C) secure a low-level creative exec job, or D) none of the above, but have the extreme pleasure of observing my friend’s shock at the people we saw openly doing coke as we tried to find her car. If you guessed D, you’re a winner my friend. (You’re a winner in a rec  league, we’re all winners sort of way. I’m not actually going to give you anything.)
Venue: 5
Alcohol Situation: 5
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:0
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 3 (I was not alone and I avoided illegal drugs-automatic points, Son!)
Atmosphere: #winning

Friday, October 28, 2011

This is What Happens When Parking in Weho...

Published 10/28/2011

It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood aspiring screenwriter/actress (Please hire me! Just kidding, but really, hire me!) Sorry about that guys. So anywho, my next failed networking attempt takes place at Skybar, right in the heart of the hell that is the West Hollywood parking situation. As per usual I have to brief you on how I ended up flying solo on this one.
As a subscriber to one of the best websites ever,Infolist, I was stoked to see that there was going to be a post-Toronto networking shindig, similar to the post-Cannes soiree that I attended in June. My last experience at Skybar was actually not a failure, one because I had just returned from Cannes and had relevant things to add to conversations and two, I was  there with people. This go ‘round however was  a little different. The sad thing is that I actually had two confirmed “Yes Lydia we are going with you to Skybar” texts and about a half dozen probablys, which everyone knows is almost as good as gold in Hollywood. So anyway, cut to me sitting in the garage on La Cienega BBMing Judas, I mean my friends, to find out how much longer it was going to take them to park. To make a long story short, they said that they didn’t want to pay twelve dollars to park and that they would catch me next time. Sigh. I was in a bit of a pickle, having already paid  and finding myself left alone on the verge of what would turn out to be (unsurprisingly) a very awkward two hours.
And  about these friends- I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who is not a tourist, who has lived in LA for more than a month who would actually believe that they could find street parking near the Mondrian after 4 PM. A good parking spot in Weho is an anomaly at best and I really have a hard time believing that “We couldn’t find parking” wasn’t just a clever way of saying, “We are nowhere near Sunset and had no intentions of coming.” We’ll never know. So back to me, sitting in my car trying to convince everyone I know to join me on another fateful outing. It didn’t work and when I got to the woman at the door, even she took the time to poke fun at my solitude. “Lydia, it says plus two here.” “Yeah, but my friends decided not to come so…” “So minus two then,” she said with glee. Things like this only happen to me.
Luckily for me, I was familiar with the layout of Skybar so I proceeded directly to the bar- at least I could walk there with purpose, like maybe I was meeting someone or something. After ordering my Stella Artois I proceeded to mingle, and by mingle I mean hover around groups of people whose friends had not bailed on them and pray that I would see someone I know. (That was a rather illogical prayer, as all of the people I know had expressly told me that they would definitely NOT be at Skybar that night.) I quickly upped the ante to “Important-looking texting” and was encouraged by my friends to go flirt with people. Let’s stop right there. Flirting and approaching men is something that I don’t do, the same way that starting conversations at networking events is something I don’t do, mostly because I suck at it. Also, I look like I’m twelve, so I usually get the “shouldn’t you be in bed sideways glance.” I have seen people literally restraining themselves from patting me on the head more than once. At one point during the night I did sit sort of close to someone I was thinking about maybe speaking to, but I quickly abandoned that idea when an indiscriminately unattractive girl sat on his lap. Minus three for me.
This encouraged me to make another circle around the pool, but my circle sort of turned into an arc when I decided to monopolize one of the heat lamps. It was actually a strategic move though, as I had a perfect view of the girl who decided to get into the pool in her dress. Why do people still think that’s cool? At this point I had pretty much decided to leave, but I was approached by a gentleman with a hightop fade (no sir) which resulted in a fun little interview  . How many people did I actually speak to that night, not counting the bartender? Two. Maybe I’m the problem.
Venue: 5
Alcohol Situation: 3 (You will wait for ages.)
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:1 (Are you sure I can’t count the bartender?)
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 2
Atmosphere: #winning                

Lonely Times at Piano Bar

Published 10/28/2011

So the first place I decided to revisit was Piano Bar. Since I’ve been there before I decided that this was a good place to start because it’s free.99 (we do love a good bargain), their drinks are uber strong, like maybe dangerously so, and it’s super dark in there, dark enough maybe, that no one would notice that I was there all by myself.
Now let us back track as to why I decided that it would be a good idea to go out by myself on a Saturday night in the first place. Well I didn’t, deliberately decide to go by myself that is. This particular Saturday started like most others: I went to work (blah), I went grocery shopping( I m so boring) , and then I proceeded to play Blackberry roulette,  a game that involves me texting my friends who are habitually sleepy or with their boyfriends to try to convince them that there is indeed a world outside of the Valley. Well I’ll spare you the suspense: they were all sleepy and/or preoccupied with said boyfriends. After googling “good bars to go to by yourself in Hollywood on Saturday” and deciding that I really, really need to reevaluate my life, I pregamed alone, got dressed by myself, and danced in my car solo, as I drove to Hollywood.
So back to Piano Bar: I love the whole local band thing that they have going on here, even though the one that was there on this particular night did not quite strike my fancy. After about 17 minutes of pretending to be really into the music and being overwhelmed by my delightfully overpowering Washington Apple I resorted to one of my old solo-outing standby activities: overly important texting. I’m sure absolutely no one was fooled by my attempt to look important and/or popular, as well they shouldn’t have been. I spent the better part of an hour tweeting insults about the fashion mishaps of the people  around me and begging my friends to reconsider their wise decisions to avoid traffic and come rescue me from my lonely fate. No such luck. Finally I retreated to the sacred haven of nightlife- the bathroom. As I pondered my next move I was accosted by a drunken strumpet who tried to dance with me and insisted on referring to me as Veronica, unresponsive though I was. That was my cue to go back home, which was probably a good idea considering that there was nowhere else in the near vicinity that I could justify standing in a line by myself. Wonderland- nope. Empire-won’t catch me in there. Ecco- that almost happened. Colony- not without a wingman, so home I went.
Venue: 4
Alcohol Situation: 5
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved:0
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained:0
Atmosphere: #winning                

Just What the Interwebs Needs...

Published 10/28/2011

Okay , so my original plan was to start blogging when I moved back to LA about a year ago, but, er umm, that kind of didn’t happen.  I thought that perhaps the interwebs might be a little clogged with the maudlin musings of  moderate-to-very-attractive 20 somethings who are aspiring to make it in some facet of the industry.  Also, I was trying not to kill or be killed at an internship that reminded me a little too much of Swimming With Sharks (Blocking! I’m blocking it out!)
Anywho, needless to say after a year of sifting through offers from development execs who fawn over my Oscar-worthy scripts, (absolutely no one reads my scripts) and trying to decide which roles to take to push my acting career to the next level (Acting?! People who do extra work are calling themselves actors these days? The nerve!), it became clear to me that I needed to adopt a new strategy in an effort to escape the less than glamorous life of a starving artist that had become all too familiar to me.
But what can one do to in a town where connections are everything and talent is often an afterthought? Networking, obviously. Now might be a good time to mention that I’ve been described as snarky when I’m  in a good mood and acerbic on a daily basis, and bullshitting about my mostly fictional writing career is not one of my strengths. In any event, I decided to forge ahead into the world of mixers and such.  Unfortunately, due to my current  station in life as one far, far below the line, my ahem, real job prevents me from taking opportunistic jaunts around the city at my every whim. I very often (ALL the time) end up having to go on these excursions alone, but more on that later.  First, allow me to regale you with a  few survival tips that may come in handy when navigating the mean streets below Barham without  a wingman.
First of all, if you are a girl it helps to have cleavage.  Unfortunately for me, I have the body of a 10 year old boy so I’m already losing points in an area I like to call the 3Bs- BOOBS, BLONDE hair, and BOTOX in your ass and lips. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I may possibly be a 10 in the normal world but a 7 in LA because I’m cute, not sexy. Once inside the thirty mile zone, cute only works for small dogs and child actors under 12. And speaking of minors, I look a lot younger than I actually am, ( I still get carded at the movies!) so I find that people have a hard time taking me seriously.  Arggg! Damn my youthful, supple skin!  I really should have talked myself out of my social tomfoolery, but such is my struggle as an undiscovered writer that I was determined to complete these undertakings. If only writers were still  kept men like Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If only…
The  first important step is to dress appropriately, which in Hollywood I’ve noticed means  wear clothes or don’t- It’s your choice. Once you’ve picked out something  that will probably include a blazer if you’re wise or a spandex/lycra combo if you’ve been watching anything on VH1, you’ll  leave for your destination and  pray that you won’t be immediately towed when you park in a purposefully ambiguous ticket zone.  I’ve learned that it’ important to have something to do when you plan to mingle, or in my case hug the walls all by my lonesome.  
You must look important!  I quickly tire of checking and rechecking the Weather Channel on my crackberry, and rereading tweets, so I’ve found that it helps to purposefully save a few emails on a day you plan to go out so you can intently read what could be a memo about whether or not Jeremy Renner will be available for such-and-such a project, but in reality is a forwarded message about a Living Social deal. I am also the master of the fake conversation. Sometimes I get so involved in my imaginary discourse that I’m actually annoyed when someone interrupts me. I always remember however, to put my phone on vibrate so that I  don’t get embarrassed in the unlikely event that someone calls me for real.  Of course,  assuming that you really are unknown, most of the people at these “networking” events are probably doing the same thing. Stay tuned for my wonderful tales of Piano Bar, Skybar and Drai’s. If you have any suggestions about where I should go next, drop me a line at @lydsinlalaland or