Thursday, May 20, 2010

LA vs. NY: You've Been Served

Classically trained.
I was strolling with a friend after brunch (yes, people walk in LA...around The Grove) breaking down the different status items that define the social climbing ventures of the women in The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of New York City. How big is your McMansion? (Vicki's "Land of the Lost" inspired backyard grotto) vs. How big is your McCharity? (LuAnn's "Give Your day-old Gucci to Poor People" Party). In so many ways New York and Los Angeles are interchangeable and constantly compared. Both cities share a population of power-hungry, status-climbing, star-fucking, dreamers that shuttle to each coast to hang with whatever city gives them their next ego fix. Also known as Show Business. LA is an outer, outer, outer borough of NY, just northwest of its outer, outer borough, Florida; and NY is the Emerald City just beyond Bakersfield. There are definable priorities among the moneyed, consumerist elites of both towns. Sure, you need a fabulous designer bag in LA, especially if you’re a Second Wife of a Studio Exec that Lunches in Beverly Hills. In LA, no one cares about the name on your purse quite like the name of your yoga instructor, or Pilates instructor, or your Yogalates instructor. In New York, it's whose party you're invited to and who you're wearing. In LA, it's whose vacation home you stayed in and who rejuvenates your vagina. In New York, it's how expensive you look. In LA, it's how much money you spent to look like you don't care. What defines your social status in LA the most is who and how many serve you: personal trainers, stylists, shoppers, assistants, concierges, organizers, dog walkers, groomers & whisperers, spiritual readers, life coaches, relationship coaches, gardeners, estheticians, and event planners. How many people do you pay to ensure your personal well-being? In LA, there's an onslaught of professionals offering personal services. This all exists in New York, but I didn't feel its presence as strongly as I feel it in LA. Why? Because in LA, what else are out of work actors going to do after they quit? Sure, there's plenty of out of work or former actors in NY, but there's plenty of office buildings that need temps. In LA, once you spent a year in Coffee Bean with your laptop being your own "boss" and "writing" your script, there’s no going back to a 9 to 5 cubicle world. If you can't make a small business as an actor, you can make a small business of teaching actors how to make a small business as an actor. Or you can do this.

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