How old are you?
Followed by disbelief then, "Yes, you must move to Rome."
As some of you know, I spend my Friday nights reading some scripts, watching Clint and Stacey on TLC's WHAT NOT TO WEAR and then I'm in bed by 10:00.
Yesterday G tells me at 5:00 the friend he is staying with decided to throw a dinner party at the last minute. If I want to come it starts at 8:30. In passing he had mentioned this guy (let's call him G#2) was an artist, they grew up together in Milan and he lived in Beachwood Canyon. You can find some deals/rent stablished places in the flats of the Canyon but the Hills are very expensive. Most artists barely eek out a living. G neglected to tell his friend lived in the Hills of the Canyon. I drove around for almost an hour trying to find the side street off Beachwood Drive. Of course I forgot my cell phone at home. There is nobody on the street, because it's L.A. and nobody walks here. I finally drive down the to bottom of the Canyon and the gas station attendant couldn't be more rude when I asked if he knew where the street was. At this point I was very frustrated. There was a pay phone in the back. It looked like it harbored several infectious diseases. Thank God I had some change. I dialed G's cellphone and what did I hear? His outgoing message. ugh!
Back at the station, I asked a woman if she knew the street. She asked her boyfriend. They live in the area and it was still difficult for them to tell me how to actually get there. It turns out the house is at the top of the ridge. For any folks who live in L.A. you know what it is like trying to drive in the canyon hillls at night. Pitch black, sharp turns on narrow roads, coyotes walking in front of you and staring you down and getting lost.
I finally make it to the house and the host G#2 is gorgeous (and married with two beautiful children). He is a perfect host greeting everyone who comes in and getting them drinks. I see G by the stove and he yells out "you made it. We were so worried about you." Then he starts laughing at my message (I used a lot of the"F" word). He had his phone with him but the reception up there is spotty.
This house was bananas. Views of the Hollywood sign and the reservoir on one side and expansive views of L.A. on the other. I almost cried when I saw the walk-in shower in the master bedroom. It was the size of my living room.
The pasta was delicious. I was talking to another American, who had just moved to L.A. from San Fran to pursue her acting career. She had lived in France for 3 years. She said she was shocked there was food at this party (she arrived around 11:00 and it had turned into more of a party, instead of a sit down dinner thing) and more importantly that people were eating. ha
G told all the Italians I was moving. Two of them I have met before and they work in the Industry. Since I'm over 35, the Italians, esp. those in the biz, got where I was coming from right away. One woman C, said "it's good for you to be so positive but I want you to call me after you've tried to set up your Internet, especially since you will be trying to do it in English. I'm curious to see how you will feel about Italy then." G said, "Come on, why are trying to scare her?" Then they started arguing in Italian. She did say I could find a place for less then 1000 Euros. Her friend has a nice one bedroom in Trastevere for 800.
It's funny, what C mentioned are the things that keep me up at night. Not walking away from a great (but low paying) job but trying to do basic things. When I rented an apartment in Trastevere last year I ruined two shirts because I didn't understand the washing machine directions. I couldn't switch my cell phone to English instructions by myself.
The friend, S, who introduced me to G couldn't be more helpful and said I should call him regarding any production jobs in Italy. He has lived in America for 17 years and is torn. He wants to move back to Milan but he just signed a production deal with an indie company based in NYC. He told G he better look out and take care of me. G said he is on the apartment search and then will try to find me a boyfriend. haha. S knows a black American woman who worked in banking with him in New York. She took a 3 month sabbatical to Italy. She is still living there seven years later with a husband and two children. He mentioned another American expat who is a book agent in Milan that I should meet. C told me to call her the minute I get to Rome.
The party was very fun. I learned some new words and met some very nice people. I was laughing with the other women because there were maybe 6 men at the party and over 30 women. What the hell? We gave G a hard time about it. One woman, a Roman who was born in L.A., just moved back to America and works at this production company that is a super tough place to work (because the people there are crazy, in the truest sense), we will go to lunch/drinks soon and I will try to stop by her Halloween party tonight but I have plans.
Okay, now I have to stop by my office and deal with my desk. I was so backed up at work this week I didn't have time to get organized.