New York or Los Angeles?
I love New York. I was born in the Bronx and grew up in Los Angeles. I graduated in 11th grade at 17 and went into the Navy for a couple of years and got out before I turned 20. I couldn’t wait to begin pursuing my life’s passion of becoming an Actor. A dream that I had since I was 5 years old. I went to H.B. Studios in the Village, because I had read somewhere that Al Pacino had gone there, and he was a role model for me. We were both from the Bronx, had bad relationships with our fathers and great relationships with our Grandparents, were Italian, acted out what we saw on television, and were the same height. I loved my time taking classes at H.B Studios. It was magical. I found it to be a very difficult struggle to survive in N.Y.. I was juggling 3 jobs just to pay my rent. I worked harder at my craft than anyone else that I knew and I didn’t seem to be getting any closer to my dream of becoming a working actor. After an incident in N.Y., (that I won’t go into in this blog) I needed a change. I needed to shake things up, so that meant a move to Los Angeles. I hated it. I thought the people were phony, the traffic and all that sunshine. It took me about 13 years to be able to call it home. The only thing that made it bearable for me, was starting my group, The Artist Theatre Group. Now I was able to act. Had it not been for the group, I would have gone back long ago. I realize now, it was my attitude that made it such difficult transition. My favorite filmmaker is Woody Allen, and I think I didn’t want to like Los Angeles, because he didn’t like it. What I found out though, was that it was much easier to be a struggling actor in Los Angeles than New York. That may not be everyone’s story, but it was definitely mine. Sure you have the expense of having a car, car repairs, insurance, but it feels like it’s a lot easier to generate work for yourself. To find your team that you can put up plays and shoot films with. In New York the rents are so high. And Los Angeles has so much beauty around it. The ocean, the mountains, there is plenty of good theatre here too… Whatever you like, you will find it here. Maybe there is still a little too much sunshine for me, but all in all… I Love LA. Woody Allen, please forgive me.