First let me start off by saying FH man walked up to me on set and gave me a kiss (cheek) and hug this morning. I was a little taken aback. There were other crew members around. LOL.
I have been reading more of the Expats in Italy website. This site and the various blogs are invaluable, it's important to see the good, the bad and the ugly. That said, I wonder if I'm being ridiculously naive.
Lately the negativity on Italy has been pretty high (not on all the blogs), as in it's a third world country with first world prices, the dollar is at an all time low, the red tape is insane, it's impossible to get a job etc.
Why do I still want to move when many American expats say Italy is awful/going to hell in a handbasket? I feel that way about the U.S. so I might as well be in a country where I like the food? No seriously, maybe I should have my head examined. I know what my heart feels but that doesn't put food on the table or would pay my rent.
I don't have kids and I'm not moving to be with an Italian boyfriend or a husband who was transfered. My entire family (with the exception of my siblings) is foreign so I am used to dealing with a culture that is very different from the U.S.
Being in Toronto has been great as far as giving me some time to really think about what I'm going to do. Last week I was saying to a friend book or no book I have to leave Los Angeles, the sooner the better. Then over the weekend I'm reading Expats in Italy and got scared. What if I move and run out of money? I can't move back and get another job in Hollywood. Here it's out of sight out of mind. What if I never become fluent? What if I can't afford to write full time and can't find a job?
I have a couple of Italian friends in Rome who say I'm over thinking things, just move and they will help me find a job (they are working actors and one is friends with an Italian actor who is married to an American who used to work for Miramax. Now she works for one of the top production companies in Italy). My life in L.A. is expensive, I don't make a lot of money (esp. for my title and experience), the business is all about nepotism and is racist, sexist and ageist, however here I speak the language and don't have to worry about a horrible exchange rate.
On the other hand my day-to-day life in Los Angeles is killing my spirit. I was speaking to a friend who said at my age what am I waiting for? I cannot afford mentally to wait until I'm 50 to start living my life. I have done the hard core working myself to death thing since the day I graduated from college and for what? My last job I worked myself to the point where a doctor told me the stress was the cause of my massive migranes and I should think about another profession. Then the company shuts down and after three years of having no life I received two weeks severance. Thanks boss! There is no job sercurity in what I do so believe me I am not moving to Italy for career reasons.
It was drilled into my head that as a black American you have to be twice as good to move up in a meritocracy. Then I moved out here. Whatever. Maybe that is the case at IBM or Pac Bell but that is not my experience. There are people in my business who can't read (not making this up...people have to read scripts to them) and they make millions a year. So much for having a good work ethic. I should have slept with a President of Production of a studio or something. I kid!
I decided to finally sit down and start writing again. It's not practical. All the hours I spent working on my novel I will never get back. What if it sucks, what if it doesn't sell? Do I discount the experience? I decided no. I'm tired of living this life where the only thing that matters is how much money you make and moving up some stupid ladder. When I'm on my death bed I'm not going to be sitting there saying damn, I should have read more bad scripts. I feel the person I've become is completely at odds with what was important to me.
I was on set today talking with one the actors and he told me he was a musician and used to be in band. I realized three of our leads are not only very talented actors but also musicians and writers. They are artists not celebs. I started to think about what I love to do and why I moved out here. While I like nice things (shoes, bags etc), it's the arts and being around creative people that I love. Books, music, art, film, magazines, dance, these are the things I have loved all my life. The idea that I could live in a country where the arts are valued is more important to me than not having a dryer (haha, I say that now).
Last week I was thinking if Rome (which still has cheaper housing than L.A. and I wouldn't need a car) was out my reach financially, maybe I would look at a smaller city and try to find some kind of job to supplement the movie production bonus while I write. I have no savings to speak of so if I have to be broke, I'd rather be in a place where I don't feel like shit everyday because I not clearing a million plus a year. I know people who live in a houses worth over three million dollars and claim they are broke and their salary as an agent is too low. I cannot relate.
Sorry for the rambling post but there is a battle royale going on between my pratical side and the creative side.