1. Hell

I've been kicked out of my apartment. It's fine. Both the carpet and the 1950's, small town mentality were beginning to grate on me. To say that my roommates and I don't have anything in common is an understatement. I don't understand . . . and indeed loathe . . . their sports mania, junk food habits, refusal to recycle, complacent attitude toward this election, overly-regimented lives, and co-dependence. I, in turn, disgust them with my raw food regimen, yoga practice, noisy juicer, Obama bumper sticker, erratic work schedule, and refusal to do everything Aaron says simply because he's "the man of the household" and especially if he's wrong.

Over the seven months that I've been here, Aaron and I have had two relatively minor confrontations regarding promises he made to me about my lease and then tried to go back on. The discussions we had were minor in my mind but, apparently, Aaron has been stewing about them for a looooong time because at the end of August he told me that I should think about moving out. I agreed that it would be best but I didn't leave it on a bad note. I told them that I had enjoyed my time with them . . . even if it was a lie . . . and then the fun began . . .

2. Karma

Aaron and Elsa suddenly regressed to junior high and stopped speaking to me or acknowledging me in any way. At first I was shocked by it. I thought we were all adults! Before I knew it, I found myself plotting ways to force them to deal with me. Maybe I could throw a raging party and "forget" to mention it to them. Or, I thought, I could start slamming doors and doing laundry late at night when they're in bed. Yeah! But decency won because . . . guess what . . . I'm not a jerk. So I let it go and walked in happy, said hello as usual, and even continued to wash everyone's dishes. Two days after they decided to stop speaking to me, Karma struck. They locked themselves out of the house and had to call me. But unfortunately for them, I was in class and didn't hear their thirteen calls. They were very surprised when I called them back but continued to ignore me and then . . . karma struck again.

Last Thursday I went to my on-camera class. The scene we did was fun. It was a drug cartel-type scene where someone gets beaten up, the girl screams, a gun is drawn . . . you get the picture. I volunteered my phone to be used as a prop. Somehow someone accidentally unlocked the keypad and dialed a friend of mine. He got a horrible message, full of screams and phrases like "I'm going to kill you!" Understandably, he freaked out and called the police . . . who showed up at my house . . . dragged my roommates away from "the game" . . . and insisted on searching the whole apartment. They were asleep by the time I got home and I didn't hear anything about it until late afternoon the next day when I got an angry text message from Elsa.

3. The Biz

"But, Berda," you ask, "just how does this relate to the biz? I don't see any parallels at all! Lost Angeles has finally turned you into a lunatic." Maybe, friends, maybe but . . . a guy in my acting class was offered a role on a television show. Initially, he agreed to do it but backed out when he found out the show is basically soft porn. His agency admitted it's mistake but dropped him anyway because it's their "policy" to drop actors who back out of commitments. Did he flip out and send them an angry letter berating them for not protecting him from smut? No. Is he going to trash them to other people in the industry? No. He's going to take the high road and be infinitely more respected when his career takes off. Word gets around in this tiny business. He has already received a sympathetic e-mail from a low-level someone who works for the agency that dropped him. And low-level people eventually become high-level people.

So the lessons are a) don't take anything personally and b) don't let people suck you into the bad situations that they've created. Be professional even if you want to scream your head off because everyone will take notice and you'll be even more respected in the industry if you refuse to play someone else's losing game. And you can refuse to play because there will always be work for professionals. There won't always be work for jerks.

That's all for now folks! Please write! By the way, I'm very happy to announce that my new living situation is much more conducive to house guests so COME VISIT!!!

 Iraq War memorial in Santa Monica

 Veronika (recent New York transplant) and Kat in Santa Monica

more Santa Monica

 Wai in Chinatown for the Autumn Festival