I’m currently in Los Angeles, because I have bunch of meetings and I’m trying to figure out my life in the process. Hopefully, one of these meetings will prove to give me some direction. I just want to say that I am grateful for the opportunities in front of me, but going to meetings when you are in the entertainment industry is truly a hysterical experience. Especially, for someone like me.
I’m like the complete opposite kind of person from someone that has an office job, and meetings take place in an office. I don’t even know when I’m going to wake up, I have over 20 different alarm settings on my phone. Right now I’m a wandering nomad, I can’t even have anything mailed to me. This week I felt like I was the kid in the costume from the story Where the Wild Things Are except, I was where the Normal People Are and I was the one wearing the costume. I like costumes. I am just aware most people don’t wear them.
The meetings are almost all identical.
If my meetings appeared in a script they would look like this.
Laura drives like a lunatic, chain smoking, blasting music hoping she doesn’t get a speeding ticket while trying to figure out the GPS on her Iphone. Laura attempts to park, oh wait she doesn’t have to because there is a valet. Laura makes a face as she thinks to herself damn, he is going to see the inside of my car and all the mess and think that I am crazy, why can’t I park myself? Now, I’m going to have to tip the guy then she makes another face as she tells herself not to worry about it, just get there.
The Valet approaches the car.
Laura: Can I please have a min? (to the Valet)
She then checks the mirror in the car to see if she has anything in her teeth, puts lipstick on wipes the sweat off her back and forehead, eats a mint and sprays herself with some kind of body spray whatever it is she has in the car to get rid of the stench of smoke. Laura gets out of the car and gives the Valet her keys. Laura turns around to see if the Valet is giving her a look.
Laura stands still for a minute and looks lost and puzzled as she tries to figure out where she is going. Someone usually stops and asks her if she needs help, Laura wonders if said person has a lot of money.
Laura: Why aren’t there any goddam signs?
Laura starts walking and finds an elevator, Laura tries to figure out how to use it while walking. Laura gets in an elevator and realizes she hates florescent lights, makes a face and thinks no one looks good under florescent lights. Now Laura is worried about how she looks so she tries to see herself in the reflection of the elevator buttons, but it never works. Laura puts her lips together and smiles, she thinks this will make her look like a confident well adjusted girl.
Laura: “Hi I’m Laura Levites , I’m here to meet so and so.”
Receptionist: Please have a seat, so and so’s assistant will be right with you.
The Receptionist is someone usually in their late teens or early twenties that is sitting in front of a computer on Facebook. They pick up the phone and call someone in the back of the office.
Laura actually wonders what goes on back there. Laura sits, but has a problem sitting still because she has horrible Add and just sped here so her heart is still racing so Laura gets up and starts walking around looking curious. They won’t mind she thinks, as long as I look like I know what I am doing. Laura usually walks over to the window, offices are usually on high floors with really good views of Los Angeles. Laura pushes her face up to the window and stares outside like a crazy person.
Then so and so’s assistant comes to fetch and greet Laura. Laura meets and shakes hand with the assistant, and starts following him or her.
So and so’s Assistant: Can I get you anything? Water? Coffee?
Laura: Yes, I will have water please. Thank you.
What Laura’s really thinking is, can you get me a job? Thats really why I’m here. Then Laura’s mind starts racing and thinking about if she could have anything what would she want? Hmm a male prostitute comes to mind, a bag of money?
They always ask you if they can get you something and I always take something at least I’m not leaving empty handed. It’s my way of saying, HA! Well, at least I got this bottle of water off you. One of my meetings I even got ballsy, I asked for a coke and a water.
Then Laura meets so and so, and shake hands.
Before I even have time to judge the person in front of me on their appearance, I shake hands with them. That is always where the first judgement comes. I always notice the handshake. I never trust anyone with a limp handshake.
Then Laura sits with so and so and the meeting happens.
End ACT 1
The meeting itself is always the easiest part. It’s getting there thats hard. I’m most comfortable talking to someone one on one, groups scare me when I’m not onstage. Even though I know that I am being sized up like some puppy in a pound that’s anxiously awaiting adoption, I’m good. I know how to talk about myself, its what I do and I’m really proud of my work. I believe I’m at a point where I could really use some help, I know they’ll either give it or they won’t. All I can do is I just be me. I’m cool with me.
The most amusing so far has been this.
One of my meetings was at one of those big agency things that’s so pretentious it only uses initials as its name. On a side note , you can always tell what position people have in this industry by how they dress. The agents are always wearing suits, they are all business. I’m freaked out by men that wear suits. If you’re wearing a suit you might as well be saying, I give up, I’ve totally submitted to something I just don’t know what that something is. Even when you see these guys out at night they are still in a suit, I think they sleep in them. Managers actually wear jeans which is refreshing because it shows that they are actually human. For some reason most of the young male producers wear some kind of plaid button down shirt, jeans and converse sneakers. I don’t know what directors wear, I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’m eager to learn though.
So everything up till now is the same, except reception is on the ground floor. A security guard gets me and takes me to an elevator where I am told so and so’s assistant will meet me, he tells me to get in uses a card to push a button, and sends me up. I don’t even know what floor I am going to.
I get out of the elevator, but no ones there to greet me. Shit I think what do I do, which way do I walk ? In front of me there is a large room filled with cubicles and people on computers in complete silence, I take a peek in but I’m scared they will hear my footsteps and sound an alarm. Uh oh, do I scream? What do I do? I totally look lost and puzzled. Finally a plaid shirt comes walking towards me ah, theres the assistant. He walks me through the cubicles of silence, we are the only ones talking, why aren’t they talking? They are like zombies, but without the makeup I keep looking back at them as I am walking because this is so creepy. I want to take off my clothes and streak through them just to see if I can get them to react.
The assistant places me in a large conference room, like the kind you see on tv law shows. He looks at me and tells me I can sit anywhere so I do and I sit down at the head of the table. He looked at me, and turned white and tried to say, not there. Too late, you said I can sit anywhere clearly I’m a child. Duh, I’m in a conference room, I’m never in a conference room and I’m going to sit at the head of the table in the big chair and pretend to run a big company and make conference calls and run an imaginary meeting.
I’m in this conference room, and said agent walks in while I am spinning myself in a chair taking pictures of the room. He walks in and asks, “Are you taking pictures of yourself?” ”No,” I say I’m taking pictures of my meet-the room, I’m taking pictures of the room because this is ridiculous.” I immediately notice he isn’t wearing a suit. I’m very surprised at this but glad to see it. It makes me more comfortable. I might be in a conference room surrounded by zombies but at least he isn’t in a suit.
He shakes my hand, very firm handshake we sit down and he starts talking. Immediately I can tell he is all business, and I slumped in my chair because I felt like I was a kid in high school that was going to get in trouble. I just wanted to swing around in my chair, but oh boy. Then he says, he was only taking this meeting because so and so recommended me and if he didn’t recommend me I would be in sitting in a sticky pile somewhere. At this point I didn’t know whether to respect his honesty, or punch him for being a dick.
But he had great eyes, he had such great eyes and I wanted to tell him that but after that comment I didn’t feel he deserved it.
He really was doing most of the talking, and I sat there listening to him but at the same time I was trying to figure out if I liked him. What I did like? Was it that he was all testosterone? He was an incredibly ambitious man, which I like. I think ambition is a great quality, it’s very seductive just like talent.
When he was done straight talking me, he said, “Well how do I know you’re funny?”
And I looked at him and said, “Well how do I know your smart?”
I left the meeting incredibly puzzled because I couldn’t figure out how I felt, I didn’t know if I was amused, angry, turned on or just completely out of my fuckin mind.
So now what? Now I wait. Have more meetings, and collect more bottles of water, yay!