But I STILL love it. I have so many incredible memories from living there for roughly 8 years or so.
I met the love of my life in Los Feliz, and lived with my brother for a year. I gave birth there!
Billy and I worked on National Treasure 2 together, as extras ( and I LOVED doing extra work!!!).
We also worked across from John C. Reilly in Walk Hard; we were in the 70s party scene that got cut, and I had a fun experience
because John C Reilly had to speak with the girls ( all extras) who were listening to him when he played the piano, and he did his lines to me every time we took the shot. I couldn’t speak back ( because they would have had to pay me more lol!) and I nodded and pretended to agree with him. Billy and I were what they call a ‘kissing couple’, we were supposed to make out during a shot. Well anyhow one of the original Charlie’s Angels was in the scene and didn’t know Billy and I were a couple, so I kept getting evil looks from her and the extra that was I guess supposed to be her boy toy told me later she was making comments about me. I thought that was funny.
Hollywood distorts one’s sense of success: according to Hollywood standards, you are ONLY successful if you are
a.) FAMOUS b.) Rich and C.) skinny
And in that order.
Billy is a classically trained actor and despite loving theatre more than film, he bought into this as well.
He was cast as the lead actor in Donnie’s Curse and did a few more movies. Then we did a pilot for FOX. A little while after I asked Billy his definition of what being successful as an actor was.
‘Would you do a crappy movie with Paris Hilton that paid well, and say you were successful?’ I asked. No, he said.
He and I both knew at that point that Hollywood had nothing to do with talent and had more to do with selling out.
You can’t really have morals and work alot there. And being a classically trained actor makes little difference with regards to being cast in something.
One day Billy bumped into a casting director ( who was somewhat famous) that he had worked with, and the man told him that one had to think outside of the box to really be a working actor. Our friend made this deduction as well, and went on to make his own youtube channel as a creative outlet. This was such an intelligent decision because this was prior to social media and youtube really booming, and from what you can see today, social media and indie youtube channels are getting more viewers than some TV shows!
When we left the States, family questioned if Billy would ever act again. In his mind, he says he never stopped being an actor, as a large part of it consists in studying people. And boy, has he done that from living in South Korea, Italy, and now Thailand!
Success. What a strange word that we base our lives around.
Are we ‘successful’ as parents? As writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs?
The real definition of what success means is ARE WE HAPPY? If not, no one has not attained success.
I am glad we left Hollywood, as my definition does not meet that of TV and the media. And I’m happy it doesn’t!