“You Know, Your Cousin Works on CSI”, Or How I Finally Made it to California

My mother has this story that she likes to tell where I’m three years-old and I’m sitting on the front porch of our house in sub-urban Baltimore with suitcase waiting for a cab to come down the street and whisk me away to the airport. When the neighbor asked where I was going, my response was a simple, one word place. “Califorja”, which roughly translated from three years-old me to mean “California”. I’m unsure why I was heading there, but I can only surmise that I wanted to be in Hollywood and that I had seen so many movies where you catch cabs when they come down the street and that was what I was doing. Needless to say, I didn’t make it the airport that day. Apparently I became angry with the neighbor when he asked if I needed a ride. I don’t try to pretend I understand the workings of a three years-old me.

Moving on to my trip to California. I finally made…about twenty two years later. I went out to visit a cousin of mine, who I had never met before that point in time, and to do some networking/career searching. I ended up spending three days on the set of CSI, since my cousin works on the set in craft service and then seeing a bit of California.

I don’t necessarilyCrew on CSI at night know how much I can write about what I experienced while I was on the set of CSI. Mainly because it was the last episode of the season and I don’t want to spoil anything. So, to be on the safe side I won’t say much. I met quite a lot of lovely people who gave me some great advice on things to consider as I find my path into the film industry. I can’t thank them enough for taking the time to let me observe them and ask questions when they weren’t too busy. I did meet Ted Danson, and Eric Szmanda (who I may have scared a bit…sorry about that). They both were extremely lovely and kind.Dolby Theater

After the second day of filming, my cousin took me on a driving tour of Hollywood, which was awesome to see. I’ll have to actually go back and walk through and do the tourist thing. And I also got to see the backlot of Universal Studios, which was just amazing and I was definitely in awe and the theme park itself, which was a lot of fun.

I also met William Peterson who was just visiting set that day. (No I didn’t take any photos with him, nor did I ask for autograph…I forgot because was so down to Earth.) I had the opportunity to see the show he was performing in on Saturday. “Slowgirl”, which was extremely well written and acted. I could probably write an entire post about that show, but I’ll keep it to a paragraph. The set was simple, yet movable, which allowed for many scenes to take place with very little changes to the set itself. (And as a stage manager, I appreciate that a lot.) The show, which only had two characters, was able to pull me in with the mystery set out in the beginning. I needed to know how it would end and the writer and actors successfully intrigued me to care about the characters and the stories of their lives. Which is all I can ask for in a piece of theatre.

Santa MonicaSunday I had lunch down in Ventura Harbor with my cousin’s girlfriend and then we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) through Malibu, Santa Monica, and then to Venice Beach, where I did some shopping. And then Monday found me at the In and Out Burger before heading back to the airport to head back home…with some delays. Oh well.

Venica Beach

Overall, it was a fabulous trip and I do have to go back to do somethings that I really didn’t get the chance to do while I was there. I came back with a lot of advice from people and a plan. A trip worthwhile.

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