When I ditched my life in San Diego to follow and pursue my dreams of being an actor, writer and comedian I had no idea what was ahead of me. When I look back now it is hard to believe I have done all that I have done. I am definitely grateful for the life I have lived and the opportunities I have had. It has been quite a ride and I look forward to what’s next. It’s also not lost on me how incredibly fortunate I am to have been able to fulfill on living this dream. Even if the dream isn’t complete…yet.
Not long after I moved here I was driving down Santa Monica Blvd. I was kind of freaking out. I was all alone here. I didn’t know many people in Los Angeles. In fact, when I moved here I had two friends who lived here and some family, who I never saw. So, here I am driving along and there are tons of people out. I think it was a Saturday. I almost felt like I could hear people talking. Not to belittle or diminish schizophrenics but I definitely felt like I was hearing voices. It certainly was an anxiety filled moment. I turned the radio on really loud and sang along to ease the ensuing panic. My heart was racing so I pulled into the first place I could find. It turned out to be the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It’s a funny place for a cemetery. It’s right in the heart of things behind Paramount Studios. People like Jayne Mansfield and Rudolf Valentino are buried there. And, so are my great-grandparents. I am named for my great-grandfather Louis…who I never met. But somehow it seemed appropriate that in the middle of my lonely, anxiety, fraught freak-out I would end up at their grave site. They are interred in one of the Jewish mausoleums there. Is it odd to say that talking to a wall filled with dead people I have never met helped my loneliness and anxiety? Well, it did. I drove away from there feeling much, much better. Not to be overly dramatic and significant but it felt like the loneliness and the uncertainty lifted.
When I got home I had a message on my answering machine. It was someone singing really loud to the song Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel. I listened to it over and over again. How odd!! While I was at a cemetery someone left a message singing Who Will Save Your Soul. It must have been a sign. It must have been something supernatural! No. It was me. Yes, I had somehow called myself in the heat of the anxiety I was having and left myself a message of my very loud and out of tune rendition of Who Will Save Your Soul. Looking back, those voices I was hearing while driving was probably me on my outgoing message. It was a very funny moment in this journey. I guess the answer to the question of “Who Will Save Your Soul” (not really yours…) is and was ME. That is if you believe in that whole soul saving thing.
Today, the day after a great audition, rather than sulk all day and sit by the phone, I had to run errands. You know, life errands. Someone has to grocery shop and someone had to pay the storage rent. Ooh, me, let me do it! I had a hard time getting out of the house after having a hard time getting out of bed. Once showered and coffeed and having had a couple of long phone conversations and having checked my emails I set out for Hollywood. It has been a while since I stopped in to see my great-grandparents and I thought today would be a good day since it is on the way to my storage unit. Traffic was nuts so as I zipped by the cemetery I saw they were shooting Dexter there. How do I know? The tell-tale bright yellow signs with “Dexter” printed on them indicating that Dexter was shooting there. After paying my storage bill I was able to pull into the cemetery on my way back. A guard stopped me. I explained I was going to see my great-grandparents and pointed to the mausoleum where they are interred. It was on the opposite end of the cemetery from where they were shooting. Truly, the last thing I wanted is to be in the way of one of the greatest shows on television. The writing and the acting on that show is like going to school for me! The guard told me where I could park. As I was driving over another guard stopped me. There was no where to park after all. And, again, the last thing I wanted was to be in the way. So, I told the guy, “No problem. They’re dead…I can come back another time.” He was very sweet saying something like “it’s the thought that counts” or something gushy.
So, now what? Well, I continue to look for work. I continue to write…I have some new ideas. I heard from the producer we are doing another staged reading of the play I am in. There is a lot to do to fill a day and I never seem to get it all done. In the immediate future, I will cook dinner. Really, my life is very exciting.