Any city can be cast as a villain, or vice versa.
Just out of school, when looking for a place to move to start my career as a professional Actor, I chose New York (because I got an agent there - that was the deal I made with myself). I got interest in LA, and the big shiny studios were enticing, but in the end, when I loaded up my car with everything I owned in Seattle, I was headed East, not South. And I'm not gonna lie, NYC scared the shit out of me at first. But I got work, plenty of it, I went Union, built credits and thus a career, and patted myself on the back for a Choice Well Made. So NYC had become my 'good guy'. And, well, in every story there needs to be a bad guy, no?
LA, with its traffic, sleaze and sprawl fit that bill perfectly. I catalogued the horror stories and would save them, like treats to pull out of drawer and feast upon, when I felt uneasy about my hero, about New York. I would pontificate for hours about how I'd never make the move West 'because I just can't stand it there' - I even would tell a story about describing LA to someone: "It basically has no center, and is growing out of control in all directions," I had said. My friend thought for a moment, then replied, "You realize that you just described...cancer?" I would nod solemnly, blithely ignoring that the 5 Boroughs (and most of the East Coast) are rife with those same problems as well. And my resolve to stay away from the Left Coast remained fueled.
But you know what?
There's a lot to love here. Yes, LA has the challenges of any Megapolis, (just like NYC), but that doesn't make it any less engaging, complex, layered and (yes, I'll say it) friendly. I've spent a bit of time here recently, and I've realized the silliness of bias; and now, publicly and for all to enjoy, I will chomp on my words: I like LA. I like it a lot.
The lesson? It's silly to play favorites. This work takes us to all kinds of places, and though I choose to live Out East, there's no reason to dump on this crazy, mixed up, wonderful West.
I'm still gonna live in New York tho...for the moment. But right now, I'm off for a run on the beach.
Till next time...