Chapter 4: LA part 4 – 8 Minute Dating

Sunday the 27th of April 2003

I drove up in the Hollywood Hills to look at rental places. I stopped in a neighboorhood and took a picture of the Hollywood sign, and drove on. Right by was the Hollywood resovouir and end up parking and walking around it. It was  nice and relaxing to be close to nature, and it calmed me down. After that I drove on and I quickly came across Griffith Park which is close to the Hollywood sign. I went for a nice long walk by the Observatory which is now under construction. There was one sign I noticed by the start of the path up in the hills, and the yellow sign said “Caution rattlesnakes.” I have never seen a sign like that before. I might have come across a rattlesnake if I had gone far off the path, but it is best to stay on the path as the terrain is steep.

I got back around 4pm and watched Star Wars, Lost in Space, Beetlejuice and another movie before turning on my computer and checking e-mails. I came across craigslist and found lots of interesting ads for places to rent, as well as personals some I answered. It was a late night before I went to sleep.

Monday the 28th of April 2003

8minutedating.com

I came across craigslist LA section where there are postings for various things. I e-mailed a few people on it for instance a few girls that were looking for new friends, a photographer that needed subjects, some film roles for independent movies, and one girl looking for males to fill empty spaces for a singles event called www.8minutedating.com. I sent her an e-mail telling her that I could help out, so she replied and told me to register at the web site. I put it aside thinking that I don’t know if I want to go on a singles event. But Ruth the girl who had e-mailed me about the event called the next day asking if I had received the e-mail. We talked for a few minutes, and I told myself why not, and signed up for the singles event that was going to be held at Marina Del Rey on the 1st of May for the age range of 27-40. It seems like a good way to meet people.

I am also going to call a couple of people tomorrow to look at a place to rent. So I´ll find out how that goes.

This is the first time I have multiple appointments to check out places to rent….

Perhaps signing with ISM was not such a good idea anyway….

I spoke with Jules in the evening asking about some minor things to correct on my resume. We talked for a while about ISM, and the more she talked about it the more it feels like they are ripping me off for my money. Costly photographer, costly printouts, costly ZED cards and acting head shots. I do not know how when they will be getting me work, and I will find out over time. I will drop by the office tomorrow and speak with them about the resume, and of changing the contract for a test period to see if they can do anything for me.

Tuesday the 29th of April 2003

Busy day today…

I called the one place up in Hollywood Hills at 10am and made an appointment to see the place at 11am. A few minutes before I left Melvin showed up and told me he had decided to give me a two day break while he visited his family. I told him that he could come with me, but was secretly wondering if I wanted him with me or not. He came along and we drove up into Hollywood Hills. The place has a good airy view of the rooftops and trees. A close neighboor is Sandra Bullock, and there are other actors that live in the area as well.

We quickly drove up to the Hollywood reservoir afterward, and Melvin who has lived in Los Angeles for 30 years had never been up there before, but I who have been here for two months, this was my second time in the last few days.

We drove to the valley afterward and had a jumba juice and Chinese lunch. We then went to At@t and looked at cell phones. I was shocked over the prices and said that NO I can not pay any new cell phone even if I knew I needed a new one with a locale telephone number. Well we went out of the store, but I did get one thing done and that was to activate the cell phone so that I am able to make calls out of the US, so that I can for instance call my brother in Norway.

We next went to the place where Melvin has his post box, so that he could pay his bill. He had suggested earlier that I should get a post box, and suggested it again. And this time I said yeah I think I will get a box, so I paid around $50 for 3 months.

The cell phones

After that we went to Verizon to look at cell phones again. We had had discussions in the car for the need of new cell phones, so we dropped by Verizon to take a look. The deals at At&t because I am an existing customer, or rather my dad is an existing customer since we used his social security number when we got my cell phone. So we went back to At&T and got two new cell phones. It was expensive and difficult but I said ok to it, as I knew it was needed. I said that I wanted to pay this off before my dad found out, and hope to do so before the end of next month when he will get this on his credit card statement and bill.

It took over an hour to get everything in order at At&T and it was getting close to the time for me to head to acting class, so I drove Melvin back to the area of our hotels and dropped him off.

Acting class

Cold reading today was from a movie “O Brother where Art Thou” with George Clooney where he and two others escape from prison in the 1960’s southern states. Tonight a few of the others were gone, and there were roles for 5 of the six in class. We all got to try the different parts, and are now to memorize the 4 pages for next Tuesday.

Again I felt the sadness during my performance. I have felt that sadness being in class and am even more aware of it during the performance. I began to feel the sadness the Tuesday evening I left class early to drive to the airport to reach a flight home to Minneapolis for Easter. The sadness was also in me the next Tuesday when I got back from Minneapolis and also in tonights class. This time I had to talk about it so I did with my acting instructor Jules afterward. With tears in my eyes I talked about the feeling I had that I needed to quit class, that my spark had been extinguished. She asked me what I thought it could be, and the more I talked about it the more she understood it had to do with me letting go of home, to settle into a new surrounding here in Los Angeles. It felt right, and fit in with how my life is going lately.

My body was aching from needing to let go of what I have in Minneapolis.
Melvin felt like he was starting over again through me while he helps me get started.

Wednesday the 30th of April

I got to bed around 5.45am, and I knew that Melvin had said that he would drop by at 10am, so this would be a short night for me. Melvin first called around 10.30 and I said that I would get some breakfest at the Internet cafe, so he could call me a bit later. Later became closer to 12.30 before we were off to do something.

We dropped by the Social Security office today so that I could get a new card since the one I have today is laminated, and Central Casting the biggest casting agency here in Los Angeles will only accept non laminated cards. The sister of a friend of mine called and we had a long and very nice talk.

The Casting (Extra) agency

We dropped by a Casting (Extra) Agency, but since we came to late in the day I could not register with them, but Melvin was able to give them some updated information. As we got back to the car parked just outside (this time I am renting a Silver Dodge Stratus) a Britsh guy approaced us and asked if we were actors. I said yes, and he told us that he works for a studio called Sunset-Gower Studios and his job was to find new talent. He wondered if we had headshots to give to him. I gave him two different headshots and a resume. A few days later David the Development Director from the same studio called me and left a message, saying that he had received my headshots and resume from an agent at the company. He also asked if I was interested in voiceovers. After I had listened to the message and told Melvin about it he said that is usually how companies that approach new people operate. First they send someone out to walk outside Casting agencies and get info on actors, so they later can ask “are you interested in…” I will call David tomorrow or Tuesday and get some info on the job. Knowing that it could be a scam to get my money.

But as Melvin also said, voiceovers pay well, and that I know from the North Atlantic Cod voiceover I did for a Culver’s commerical back in Minneapolis last December. The Culver’s commerical aired in January in Minneapolis, but I was told that Culver’s thought that a talking fish was too weird, so they cut my part out. I saw the commercial about the new guy Kevin who had just started at Culver’s, and there was no hint of any fish in that. I was told I would get a video cassette with the full commerical with the fish part included, but it has still to happen. I have dropped by the agency that hired me for the job a few times and reminded them of it, and will probably drop by again the next time I am back in Minneapolis.

Scratched surface

Melvin and I dropped by Kinkoes and got some color print outs from our pictures, but the one color copier ran out of ink, and the other had a scratch on it that came on all of Melvin´s pictures. He first discovered this after having copied the 3 pictures he was going to use.

Thursday the 1st of May

The 8 minute dating event.

I went to the 8minutedating.com event in Marina Del Ray (which I briefly mentioned at the beginning of this post).

That evening Melvin asked if he could borrow my car while I was getting ready for the event, but as time came close to leaving I knew that he would get back late, so I called him and told him that he could keep the car until I got back from the event. I took a taxi instead (I am glad I did).

I got to the event at Fantasea club and the atmosphere there was filled with a hesitation and nervousness. It was kinda like going to a nightclub, but this club you actually have to go over and meet someone.

We had 8 8-minute conversations with someone of the other sex. Playing a game looking at our cards for table numbers and moving to various numbered tables to meet the new 8 minute date. It was more exhaustive then I would have guessed, but it was very interesting meeting girls in this way. After 4 “dates” there was a break. The atmosphere in the room had changed considerably in an hour. I spoke with a couple of girls about creativity and art, and one girl hoped that we would come to the same table together after break. I told her that we would talk some more afterward, so that she did not need to worry that we would never talk again.

After the next 4 “dates” the event was about done. People stood around and talked for a while. I waited for the right moment to walk over to a girl speaking with a few people by where I was standing. I knew I needed to talk with her, as I had noticed her lots of times all evening. There is something about her that intrigued me. The two other girls I had spoken with during the first break came over and the four of us spoke together for a while.

Intensive Gilda

When the time came to leave I left with the girl that intrigued me, and asked her where she was going. Her reply was Santa Monica so I asked if I could go with her there (just a little closer to Hollywood) and then call my friend Melvin to pick me up. As we drove to Santa Monica we talked about God, being true to oneself and the responsibility it contains. How foreign earth seems, when one feels like home is out among the stars in the sky. The pain of being separated from something deep in oneself, as well as other matters I enjoy talking about.

As we arrived in Santa Monica we parked by a hotel and went inside to the reception area and sat in comfortable brown leather and dark wood chairs. We also ordered some late night salad and some tea. I am guessing we sat and talked for an hour before it was time to leave. So I followed her partly to the car before she suggested that the hotel could order me a taxi, as I had decided that it was too late to call Melvin to come and pick me up. There was a sweet good bye, and she left. I stood watching the waves crash onto the dark Santa Monica beach before the taxi arrived and I went back to Hollywood and the Travel Lodge at Sunset and La Brea which by now has almost become my new home.