People go to Los Angeles for many different reasons. The weather is warm all year round and you can go surfing or sunbathing on the beach, work as a waiter while trying to make it big in Hollywood, or just go there to be inspired and live in a city with as many inhabitants as Norway.
When I went to Los Angeles, I met several young people who were bartenders or waiters, but they were always also actors, trying to break through. If they weren't actors, they would stand on the streets and hand out a promo CD, or they would be artists trying to break through in film or painting. There are also poets and writers in LA, so it can be a good place to go to if you want to be in that kind of environment.
Just for fun, I wanted to go to an audition, but it was hard because I was told I needed an agent and I was only staying for four weeks. Also, with my British accent, I was told that I needed to take lessons to speak American English. Apparently, this is what actors like Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman had to do too, so I guess I was in good company.
LA is so big that it's sometimes said that it's not just one city, but many small ones. Hollywood alone is pretty big, and so is West Hollywood. Another part of the city is Beverly Hills, where the really rich people live. And downtown LA itself is something completely different with high-rise buildings and signs in Spanish everywhere. Don't be surprised if you hear people speaking Spanish on the street. Like every other city of comparable size, LA also has a Chinatown, so the cultural variety is definitely present.
Since the area is so huge, you need a car to get around. And since the car industry was big in the 50s, the city decided against building a decent metro. To drive from West Hollywood to the airport takes about twenty minutes, but to get back on the train takes more than an hour and a half. You have to change two times and also take a bus. And the buses aren't very reliable, because you never know when they show up. All you know is that they show up every 20 minutes or so. I once took the bus from West Hollywood to Venice beach, and it took me an hour. If you look on the map, you'll see it doesn't seem to be that far.
Tasks and Activities
- Use the Internet to find out why L.A. has the nickname "City of Angels"?
- Use Google Maps and see if you can track your way from the airport to downtown LA. Then continue to Hollywood. Search for Los Angeles, California.
- Try to find a website online where you can register for acting classes or get an agent.
- Use the Internet to find out about the background of your favorite actor/actress. What is their story like?
- Use a trustworthy source to find out about the cultural diversity of Los Angeles.
Act It Out: Audition
Arrange an audition for a character in a TV-series you enjoy. Have one or two of your classmates stand up in front of you and try the role. You will have to provide them with a few lines to perform. Tell them to act out the role wholeheartedly.
This is a task only suitable for those who enjoy acting. It's voluntary.