How to make the world feel smaller: Amy in la la land
"If you ever get the chance to go to Los Angeles, JUMP ON IT. It will make the world seem smaller." These wise words from my father came when I first mentioned the hypothetical idea of me taking a trip over to Los Angeles. I thought very clearly at that moment that he was prophesising, and that it would happen this year. I didn't mention it at the time, but the universe, in the form of my father, had spoken.
Lo and behold, a few weeks later I get the text, "how soon can you get out to LA?" 3 days later, I was on a flight to LAX. I am extremely grateful to be working for a company, alongside Amy Meadows, that values my work enough for this trip to happen, and I was thrilled that I would be meeting the LA team and getting the opportunity to work on some interesting, important projects while I was out there. However, the work done at the studio during the day was not nearly as perspective-altering as what I got up to in the evenings and weekends.
This trip was a lot of firsts. First time taking a long haul flight on my own, first time staying in an apartment by myself, not to mention the lack of planning - working in London and living at a school means my life is very clearly timetabled. Even free time is time-blocked in the Google Calendar. That's the way I like it. LA flipped that upside down, and allowed me to embrace 'going with the flow' - a concept that is usually completely alien to me!
One evening after work, I got home, burned my paolo santo, cooked some veggies, poured myself a glass of wine, and wrote a juicy proposal for an Amy Meadows client. There was no other heartbeat in the house, no background noise, just me and my work. That evening is bottled up in my mind to refer to as a time, and the first time nearly 4 years, when I have been completely comfortable in my own company.
One of the quirks of LA is that it is full of creative nomads. No one seems to be from there originally, and no one seems to want to stay there long term. This creates a city that is made of a tapestry of each person's stories, and they are more than willing to share them with you. The moment you tell your friends that you are going, everyone has a friend, or a relative, or an ex-colleague who is living out there and would love to 'hang'. I am so lucky to have a warm, sparkly network almost anywhere in the world, but the community of contacts in LA took me by surprise. During my time in there, I met new people, went to comedy nights, went swing dancing, drank old fashioneds, ate the best thai curry of my life and listened to jazz outside LACMA. My routine was out the window, and it felt liberating to be able to take every opportunity that presented itself. I was also able to spend time with my friend Meghan, who moved to LA 5 months ago so hadn't done any of the cheesy touristy stuff yet - cue a morning searching for THE spot to get our photo in front of the Hollywood sign (!)
Working at the studio full time, and running Amy Meadows in the evening, stretched me to the limits of my sanity for a couple of weeks, but being able to strike the balance, and still make the most of going out and seeing LA, showed me what I am capable of. It's similar to the moment when you know you are ready to take your driving test, because you aren't afraid of anything any more. My trip to LA has meant that I am excited about the future of my work at the studio, but also has made me realise that I can do anything I can put my mind to. There is no brief too complex or outrageous - I want to be challenged and keep taking on projects that force me to think on my feet. While we're putting 'wants' out there... I've fallen in love with Los Angeles, so if anyone has any delicious events that they want to throw out there, hit me up! Specifically, I would like to throw an outrageous party at Cliftons. Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to listen to the La La Land soundtrack for the billionth time...