"Los Angeles is a living being. She will be test you, pressure you, tempt you in a attempt to break you. She wants only those living here who must live here." I stared back at him, he was a good friend whom was minute by minute convincing me to move here. "I don't understand." I beckoned. "And you won't, you have to move here first then you'll understand." I was pretty silent, as the air had a mood like was being inducted into the masons. "How do you know I'm a good fit for LA?" "I don't. But I think it's where you need to be. You need to trust me on this one." I thought about it for a few days, and made a decision. I moved a few months later.
3 years later I found a keepsake from that week-long visit that got me to come out here. Played back 3 years of life to see just what he was talking about. The trials and tribulations of Los Angeles. So I sat down to write this article... Not a piece about me coming here, this is a piece about her.... Los Angeles.
It was day one, sleeping in my car parked in front of the bungalow I got in Silverlake waiting for the landlord to come by and let me in. My phone buzzed with a text. "Hey! Heard it's your first day!", my friend who got me out here. He's been rather cryptic with his explanation of the magic of this city so I asked a (what I now know) VERY important question. "Any advice?" I see his iMessage notification... he's typing.... erasing.... He's Typing.... erasing..... long pause.... He is typing. 'Boop' my phone chrips. "Yes. Los Angeles is a magical place, and the city will have a place for you. Do not fight this. Allow the city to move your path and you will be rewarded greatly, fight this and the city will destroy you."
I had no idea how right he was.
There were a lot of friends that I had out here as well... And one by one, they all fought the city, and one-by-one I watched them turn viciously cynical all ending with a text message to the effect of "This place sucks! I'm gone!" I would read that and sigh, yet another soul lost to the trials. Remaining friends hear this and push their agendas harder (worst thing to do) and I watch them fall even faster. Me? Every time some trial crossed my path I went right back to his advice: Accept the change Los Angeles is gifting you.
One of the opportunities the city gave me was driving for Uber. Very sobering experience. Night after night driving people new to the city and seeing yet again people fighting the city... losing. One girl got in my car, around 18-ish, gave me an address and continued a call with her father. "Dad I HATE it here! Nobody respects me!" She was balling. I asked her what was going on and she gave me her story. "Pop singer, came from Nebraska to 'become the star she's destined to be'" "How's that working for you?" I ask. Silence from her, then a "I keep going into these studios and they keep calling me ameatur, needs direction. THEN my agent keeps getting offers for musicals... I DON'T DO MUSICALS! I'M A POP STAR!"
"Well... Ok. Would you like some advice?" I looked at her in the rear-view mirror. She wiped away tears from her eyes and nodded yes. I told her everything my friend told me. We arrived at her destination, I open the door for her. "So you think I should do these musicals?" "Hon, for whatever reason Los Angeles has decided that you need to do musicals right now. I don't know why. All I know is that you are either going to do them, or you're outta town that's it." "Yeah, I think you're right." "In a year, you'll look back and see that this is by far the best thing that could have happened. Trust me."
"Thanks." Smiled and walked into the building.
It's a lot like a rollercoaster. If you go with the flow they are fun, but if you fight the turns and drops it's a horrifying experience. But the most important point to understand is you can't change the track. You will go where Los Angeles wants you to go and that's it. The more you fight, the harder the trials. Los Angeles will win, but she only wants the best for you.
So trust her. :)
--Paul Jacob Evans