It was around this time (middle April) back in 1991 where I was able to make a change within my life to do what I desired to do: Relocate to where I was located to seek so-called “fame and fortune” within the media industry.
I have told my story within these pages a number of times, so I won’t go into the process of telling (or retelling) a chapter of the story of my life. (That will be included within a screenplay that I may or not write about!)
However, I will focus this topic on another story that I recently came across within the annals of cyberspace that ranks similar to what I went through back in the day.
There is a website out there called Quora at http://www.Quora.com where folks can post a question about nearly any topic, and have someone answer that question to the best they could. Generally speaking, it’s more akin to a classic online “bulletin board” that first came about during the 1990‘s era dawn of the internet.
Out of the many inquiries found on this site was a post where one asked How did you move out to California? This inquiry was posted some time ago and could have been moved up due to the recent results from the US Census Bureau reporting that California, among other states, lost a portion of its population between June of 2021 and June of 2022. (The reasons for this shift range from others fining opportunity somewhere else to escaping the state due to higher costs of living here.)
Out of the seventeen replies from this inquiry was an older post from c.2013 based upon the details posted by “Ken” that told his tale of relocating from his midwestern community. His story reads as similar to my tale. There are differences, but the reasons come pretty close to what I did back in the day.
But enough of my saga! Here is what Ken wrote as it appeared, including the bold letting Ken posted. You may take this episode for what it is. Read on…
I’m currently 37 years old.
My wife (then fiancé) and I moved to California in August of 1999 from our home state of Wisconsin.
I was 23 years old then, if I’m doing my math correctly. My dream had always been to move to Los Angeles and work in the film industry. Life got in the way right away after high school though.
I moved from my hometown of La Crosse, WI to Madison, WI right after high school, thinking that I would be in Los Angeles by the time I was 19. That was my goal.
I floundered in Madison for five years. Growing up. Making mistakes. I was studying screenwriting and reading every book on the subject that I could. But I just couldn’t save the money and couldn’t grow the courage to up and leave for California. I kept putting it off year after year. In retrospect, it’s the smartest thing I did because A) I would have likely been broker than a broke kid could be, and B) I wouldn’t have met my wife.
In 1998, my wife and I met and quickly fell in love. We were engaged within six months. She was/is my rock and she made it possible for us to be able to move out to California. What I mean by that is I finally had someone saying that I should go, leaving little to no doubt that I could do it. And better yet, she was coming with me.
We actually took a road trip with her brother and my two best friends to Los Angeles earlier on. We drove 2000 miles. We stayed in Hollywood in some dive hotel. We did the tourist thing. This was my very first trip to Los Angeles, so I was in heaven. This is where they made my favorite movies.
We checked apartments and such in Los Angeles and had a ball. Then we drove back to Wisconsin, ready to begin the process.
We wanted to move directly to Los Angeles. However, we decided that she should get her Master’s Degree in Microbiology. She ended up being accepted to The University of California – Riverside, which was about 45 miles or so away from Los Angeles.
Now in the land of Wisconsin, 45 miles is nothing. That’s a half hour drive. So we thought we’d be fine. Most people who know the area are probably laughing their asses off right now, but I’ll get to why in a bit.
We decided that she’d take the couple years she needed to get her Master’s Degree while I commuted from Riverside to Los Angeles for any job in the industry that I could get.
We went through an apartment search website and found a cool one bedroom apartment in Riverside, close to the university. And we obviously signed the lease blind, having no real clue what to expect beyond the handful of pictures we found online.
So it was a little scary in that respect. We didn’t know anything about Riverside. We didn’t know anything about the area we were moving into. We knew next to nothing about the apartment complex.
We spent a day with our family, packed our Saturn SL1 and the smallest U-Haul trailer available with next to no furniture (futon, bed, chairs and table), and headed west.
Riverside was great. It had its rough areas like many places in California.
The apartment was pretty big. Nice complex.
But then there was the commute. So, 45 miles in California from Riverside to Los Angeles isn’t like 45 miles in Wisconsin. LOL.
The commute was usually about two hours. Maybe an hour and a half IF I got lucky.
My wife went to school during the day and I was off trying to find film industry work.
Long story short on that front, I nabbed some jobs. Did a lot of movie extra work to get on sets. When push came to shove, I decided to return to retail sales management while my wife was at school. When she graduated, I quit without hesitation.
We moved to Los Angeles. I got into a movie studio, worked my way up a bit (See my bio), and rest is history.
We moved back to Wisconsin in 2006 after my wife and I had our first son, despite the fact that my career was based in L.A. The film industry. It was my decision.
We had no family in California. Our parents would had to fly in to see their grandchild. Or we had to fly out there. That wasn’t good enough for me. For my wife. For our family. For our son… seeing his grandparents a few times a year at best.
So one day I told my wife that I wanted to move home.
It was a tough move. We had made a life in Los Angeles. I was just starting to break through in my screenwriting career with many studio meetings.
It’s 2013 as I write this. We own a house. Something we could have never done in L.A. We have two boys now. They see their grandparents AT LEAST once a month… usually more.
And ironically, I had all of my screenwriting success happen AFTER I moved back to Wisconsin. I fly to L.A. when needed.
I don’t miss L.A. I miss studio life. That’s about it.
So if you’re wondering whether or not you should make the move, I’ll say this…
If we hadn’t moved to California, I’d always be questioning whether or not I should have.
Many great things came of it. I realized many dreams.
You can too. If life is compelling you to make the move, do it. Don’t question it. Don’t let the time slip away.
You can find an apartment online to start with. It doesn’t have to be THE ONE. Let the first year be your settling point.
And remember that you can always move back home, or anywhere else you’d like. Just as easy as it is to make out there.
Best of luck…
Theater West presents the return engagement of Dina Morrone’s MOOSE ON THE LOOSE, a comedy about an Italian-Canadian family that’s slightly blended and a moose that’s loose in their frozen neighborhood.
The family is the Tappinos, a clan where Giuseppe (Steward W. Howard) and his wife Maria (Constance Mellors) arrived from Calabria, Italy many years ago and wound up settling in Way Up Bay, Ontario, a community where the summers are cold, and the winters are colder! It’s November, and the family consisting of their four adult kids, their grandkids, as well as a few friends of family gather together after their long leave of absence. One of their kids now as adults Gina (Erica Piccininni) comes from some distance with some news about her state of being. While the family of multi generations do what families of this ilk tends to do when in one place (bicker and fight mostly), there’s a crisis going on! A moose has been spotted roaming around their part of town. And Giuseppe decides to do something about it. He grabs his rifle to meet up with this moose, in spite of the fact that mooses can’t be shot at! As one thing leads to another, this family rolls out as one that may be a big one, but not necessarily a happy one! But are they indeed happy?
This comedy is loosely based upon true facts as first encountered by playwright Dina Morrone. She was from a small town “north of the border” where her parents, Italian immigrants, settled in their new adapted nation, where they did what all immigrants did back in the day. Worked hard, paid respect to those around them, and created a legacy that will last for generations more. (Or that was their intention!)
The play itself has plenty of laughs for sure. But it does focus upon the notion of immigrants and how they did blend into their new home while keeping the “old county” still in mind. Of course, their newer generations are far more progressive, perhaps too progressive than their parents had in mind. Those elements bring many of the humor injected into this play, while making this family of Italian roots showing their share of honor and respect, even if they bend the rules a little.
As with family comedies, their is a large number of cast members that appear in this production that includeNick McDow Musleh as Joseph Tappino, Rick Simone-Friedland as Bruno Tappino, Laura James as Pina Pupi, Richard D. Reich as Rodolfo Pupi, Darby Winn as Timothy Williamson, Deanna Gandy as Carmela Tappino-Williamson, Cicel Jennings as Darryl Williamson, Meg Lin as Honabigi Nickabone, with John Cygan and James Lemire as the Chief of Police and The Moose!
The set as seen on the Theater West stage consists of the Tappino family home, a well settled place where its kitchen has a large table enough to serve a great Italian meal. Jeff G. Rack dressed this set to make it all real and comfortable.
Directed by Peter Flood, this comedy can be called a “dramity” of sorts since it shows the success of how immigrants can arrive from their place of organ to live the Canadian dream, very similar to the American dream although the latter tends to get more recognition than the former. No matter though! It’s a play that holds enough laughs to make it all worth its while. And that’s no “MS!” (That’s moose poop in case one didn’t know!)
MOOSE ON THE LOOSE, presented by Theater West in association with Me and My Big Mouth Productions, performs at Theater West, 3333 Caguenga Blvd., Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent), until May 21st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. Special performances take place with a post program talkback session with cast and crew on April 16th and 30th, American Sign Language interpretation on April 21st, and a sensory friendly relaxed performance that is geared for those with sensory needs takes place with the April 23rd presentation.
For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323), 851-7977, or via online at http://www.TheatreWest.org
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