Last night, I saw Upright Citizens Brigade’s ImproVStandup.
In a pleasantly claustrophobic, dim-light room, I laughed.
Opening up the night with some standup, Rajan Dharni covered topics in rapid spontaneity. From masturbating with the help of cantaloupe, to sharing an apartment with the Armenian Mafia, Rajan left me with an analogy to think about.
“Imagine if Disney had a ghetto – that’s Hollywood.” People nodded in agreement.
“You get it, you guys are from LA”, he’d say.
And so I sat there, surrounded by an eclectic group of people. An absurdly drunk, blonde cuddling a brown-bagged wine bottle in between her legs (or at least I hope it was wine) despite the obvious signs that read. ‘Absolutely NO alcohol’. Directly in front of me, an old, withered man with an oxygen tube nestled under his nostrils still laughed louder than anyone in the room. And to my left, a couple in love, two girls, who couldn’t stop playing with each other’s hands. I wish I got the chance to meet everybody in the room.
And then I realized, I too, am a resident of this city. It was just a grand-prize-give-away shy of being the perfect LA experience. With or without the free prize, it was a realization of sorts.
I knew it was going to last forever when we first met. It just felt right. Majestic and bustling. Alive and cultured. Nature’s effortlessness contradicting the sleepless work ethic of many. A city that yearns to create something beautiful, with the mountains to protect it. Hello, Los Angeles.
I’m used to hearing people back home say, “College is the best four years of your life.” There was always a part of me that never fully believed in that statement. Even in the height of my freshman year, I knew there was something more. Somewhere out there I would find those better years.
And then I came here. It feels like home. I can walk up to any stranger and he’ll get it.
I’ve never worked this hard, met more influential people, or made better art. This is the first time in my life that I’ve put relationships secondary to my work. It’s a different kind of happiness. I think a balance is what will ultimately suit me.
With the corners of my mouth sore from laughing, I walked out of a crammed theater and into the city. I’ll be back.
I know that after my four years are up,
I have Los Angeles.