Linzy's column got me thinking a bit about my own life as an artist in my own city - Los Angeles. I have lived in LA for five years now, but my career has yet to put down roots in LA. I teach down in Irvine and I do a fair amount of work in Orange County (South Coast Repertory has been a great artistic home to me), but LA and I have yet to hit it off. I've got friends who work all around town, but in my five years, I have done just one production in Los Angeles proper (thank you, Geffen Playhouse!). I've got two more coming up, but those are both notable exceptions - one (Pasadena Playhouse) is receiving a co-production from SCR, and the other (another show at The Geffen), is with a director of mine for over ten years - who lives in New York. It was he who recommended me, not The Geffen. LA continues to not notice me.
Maybe I should wear taller heels.
It's pretty clear that regardless of where I pay rent and taxes, Los Angeles is not my artistic home. So, if not LA, then where? Or, more fundamentally, do I need to have a cosmopolitan area that I can call home? My career is truly bicoastal - In the last 12 months, I opened shows in Boston, Florida, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Costa Mesa, Cincinnati, Long Beach... so do I even want to be bound by one city? Or even one country? Last summer, I had an event in Prague. On Thursday, I take a flight to Romania for a show.
For me, the answer is clear: YES. YES, I long to be part of a larger community of local artists. YES, I want that support structure, that social structure. YES, I want to develop relationships that can be maintained without hopping on a plane to a different time zone. YES, I want to do good work with valued colleagues, to make a living doing so, and to sleep in my own bed at night. And for the past five years, living in LA, I have not done that. In fact, thinking back, the last time I felt like I was part of the artistic community in my own city was when I lived in... New York.