Wednesday, June 6, 2012

True wealth

Art Silva, Santa Barbara, CA
On this last trip, I'd left LA with a grand total of $60...and a $68 parking ticket.

In the time since I'd started my trip--going through Bishop, Las Vegas, Joshua Tree, San Diego, and all around the Los Angeles area--I hadn't done a single shoot. Not one.

I couldn't have been happier. As a result of none of my shoots or visits panning out as intended, I learned to tango at my first milonga; spent an inexpensive weekend on Catalina Island getting my open water scuba diving certification during Cinco de Mayo, which came with its own cacophany of mini-experiences; hung out with crazy hippie traveling kids in a hotel room in the desert bought for us by a random philanthropic stranger; bouldered in Joshua Tree with cool Canadians I'd met that morning [including this badass girl who had a broken ankle and was STILL a lot better than me]; ran around the closed Encore theater in Vegas and made a ten-fold profit off of $10 in chips that had been left for me anonymously; burned sage and sat in hot springs in the desert with my favorite boy in the world; played piano in an enchanted house in the woods that she had all to herself; was let into the Huntington for free by one guard [after I'd been kicked out by another guard] and biked all over Pasadena; watched the USC marching band play their last show as they all splashed around in a large fountain; and visited a lot of really good, really old friends all from different facets and phases of my life. Among other things--concerts, hikes, etc.

Most or all of these things would've been impossible if I'd been running around modeling [or, worse, hanging out in a coffee shop on the Internet all day, LOOKING for modeling work]...and what's traveling for, really, if not to enjoy the opportunities afforded you by being in a new place?

And despite being broke, I'd only had to sleep in my car once, and had eaten extremely well, thanks to generous friends [and, in a few cases, generous strangers, or really good luck].

I've found that life will generally spoil the hell out of me, if I only let it. And that, the fewer plans I make, the more awesome my life is. The more things I can say "yes" to.

On another note, I think I've permanently sworn off LA as a modeling destination. I may go back to LA for other reasons [friends, climbing, scuba], and if I do, of course I may end up modeling--there are some great people in LA. But never again will I head that way with modeling as a primary focus. There is something about the general atmosphere there that is just stuffed full with goat a whole, it feels so antagonizing and elitist, where sycophants and pompous windbags are rewarded above earnest, talented people with integrity, and the amount of universal flake-age is absurd, almost like a bad joke [I once had three weeks worth of bookings cancel on me at the last second]. If I let it, it all makes me feel bad about myself, or suspicious of other well-meaning people.

So I won't let it! Fuuuck youuu! 8D

And really...what's going to last longer? The memories, lessons, and skills I've gained from serendipitous experiences, or a few hundred bucks? Been there, done that. I choose life, and I want to shoot with people who feel similarly.

Speaking of which, after leaving LA, I wound up shooting with Art Silva in Santa Barbara--the first shoot of my trip, weeks in, and totally worth it.

Other than shooting, he was going to teach me how to surf [something that's been on my bucket list for a while], but the weather was crap, so the two of us wound up wandering around the beach collecting cool rocks, talking to cute girls at the local coffee shop, swapping stories, drinking wine, and making some very classy videos, the best of which is:

And, after all that, we STILL managed to take pictures. 8]

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