WARNING - This post is lengthier than my usual entries.
I've been on a kick writing updates about awesome things that happen each month that I'm here, but yesterday marked a year since I realized the next step I needed to take was making the leap to Los Angeles. It just didn't feel right to let that big moment go without an entry.
Since graduating from NYU, I had been resistant to moving to Los Angeles, partially because I was so in love with New York and had the New Yorker mindset that there was nothing for me that far out west...and partially because I believed LA was only for very tall, very thin, very white, very blonde women. But on December 12, 2015, I gave my very talented photographer friend, Candy Caldwell, the benefit of the doubt and hopped on a Southwest flight to do a photoshoot with her. In the days leading up to the trip, more than being nervous about being right about what I thought LA was - I was scared that I had been entirely wrong about the city of angels and would ultimately love it.
My trip was incredible - Candy and her husband Robbie were not only gracious, generous hosts, but our shoot was something out of a dream. We shot at the Santa Monica pier, the Will Rogers beach [which is now a place of solace and comfort for me], the mountains of Malibu, and Venice Beach. The number of good [not just meh - but damn good] shots we got in a day and a half made no kind of sense...and it felt so right...and like what I've always wanted. When I got home the second night, I went into my room for a bit, overwhelmed by the joy I felt...with tears rolling down my face...I called my mother to tell her I thought that I was pretty sure I was going to move out here [see? still resisting a little...] and she said, "Mija, I've been telling you to go out there since before you went to college! It's about time!"
Leaving LA was challenging, not just because I'd had a magical weekend playing in front of the camera and I wanted to get started on my career right then and there, but because I was sad to leave Candy. [Note: good friends who believe in you so hard that they'll go so far as to challenge you and push you to do the things that scare you are hard to come by...and rather addictive.] When I got back to Austin, Los Angeles was all I could think about and I busted my ass to make it happen. And there have been literal monetary prices...and very high emotional prices I've had to pay to get here. I miss my friends/family and community in Austin every day - but I'm thankful that my gente back home - back in New York - back in Dallas - back in Seattle - back in St. Louis - back in El Paso - and here in LA have been cheering me on and some have generously helped piece me back together during late night phone calls after I've fallen apart for one reason another. [Life, broken hearts, disappointments, and the like still happen even when you're trying to make your dreams come true.]
There have been some people who told me I needed to prepare myself because I probably wasn't going to get an agent or see much success until I'd been here for a while and established myself, but If you've been keeping up with my blog - I've hit some pretty big milestones in a very short time. Yesterday, I woke up feeling like the first chapter in my LA journey was coming to a close and when I realized what day it was, it made sense. But then... yesterday afternoon, my badass manager - Madilynn Beck Weant of Concept Lottery called to tell me that the LoveStone Agency, which represents me commercially offered to represent me theatrically as well. I laugh-scream-cried. [Can you tell I cry easily?]
I've arrived. I've landed. I have taken my seat at the table and I'm ready for the next course. I know I shall devour it joyfully.