One of the perks of being in the entertainment industry is the rare and (usually) great opportunities it brings about. For example, As an intern at FOX last year, I got to work the Simpsons “Treehouse of Horrors” Premiere Party at Universal Studios. After checking in guests, some of them big names like Weird Al Yankovic and Joe Mantegna, we rode the Simpsons ride for free. Pretty cool and exciting for a 21-year-old finishing his last semester of school in Hollywood. Also at FOX, I got to sit in on a table read for the new show “The Cleveland Show.” After the read was over, I stayed in the room with the Network Executives and two Executive Producers of the show as they went through network notes. It was literally the four of them, and me in the back, observing. I shouldn’t even have to mention how amazing it was to be an intern at “The Office,” one of my favorite shows on television. My first day I had lunch with Stanley (Leslie David Baker), and ate free In-N-Out Burger from a truck that came in (it was also my first In-N-Out experience).
These examples kept me in the confines of Los Angeles County. Sometimes, you’ll get to travel outside the immediate area; from exciting places like the beach in Malibu, to not so exciting places like a community college in Azusa. One thing I’ve noticed about traveling to these places (especially going into the surrounding counties), the vistas change very drastically, even once you’re 20 minutes outside of the city. For how wide and spread out LA is, it’s almost jarring how quickly the scenery changes.
Maybe it’s different for me coming from New England, where everything is really close together and everything pretty much looks the same, except for the big cities. There’s just something a bit odd about how you can turn a corner within LA and the neighborhood suddenly changes. Or you can drive away from the city 20 minutes and the hills no longer have houses sprinkled on them, and instead of buildings and cars everywhere, you look to both sides of the freeway and see empty rolling hills or big empty industrial parks. It’s almost like there’s an invisible line drawn around Los Angeles County that keeps all signs of civilization within those borders, and when you venture outside of them you immediately wonder where all the people went. Unless of course if you’re stuck in traffic, then it seems like everyone in LA is in their cars, sitting on the freeway right next to you.
I guess on a more personal note, it’s interesting for me to observe these things about a different area of the country, because up until a year ago, I lived my whole life in New England, and although I did vacation outside of the area on many occasions, never really appreciated the subtle (and not so subtle) differences of each place I went to. I noticed this while driving cross-country, and it was actually pretty amazing to see how much things changed from place to place. It’s a big, diverse, beautiful country out there…hopefully you all get a chance to see as much of it as you can.