I can’t believe I’ve been in California for over a month now! I tell you, it’s been crazy! I’ve cried, sweat, gotten lost, and walked more than I ever have in the past couple of years. If you had told me just a couple weeks ago  that I would be here in California, starting to live my life and follow my dreams, I wouldn’t have believed you.

I was working in a call center about 2 months ago, unsure of where to go, and how I was going to get through. I was feeling a bit hopeless. In April, my Mom called my uncle who lives in San Diego and he invited me to come over. Almost overnight, my whole world turned upside down.

In the past month I:

  • Got lost in San Diego (multiple times)
  • Learned how to correctly take the bus (because of the above)
  • Had a taste of West Coast beaches
  • Got addicted to Uber
  • Had sunburn for the first time
  • Saw the madness that is Comic-Con
  • Went to my first fancy event
  • Met some awesome fellow film lovers
  • Had close encounters with a celebrity (!!!)
  • Finally started to get a first hand look at the film industry
  • Been told I’ve overqualified for a job
  • Probably lost a bunch of pounds
  • Worked in the bathrooms at a fair
  • Witnessed some fancy people from the Del Mar horse races
  • Found a job
  • And a whole lot MORE

Well, here are some highlights of all the mess:

Working at the San Diego County Fair

A shot from the fair while off duty

This was a crash course in humility. I don’t know- maybe staring into a clogged toilet of a stranger’s shit gives you perspective. I worked the fair bathrooms, and even though  I was there only a couple of days, I was reminded I don’t want to do something like that the rest of my life. It was strange, lurking in the cesspools of society, picking up paper, unclogging toilets, and mopping floors. On top of that, I can’t speak Spanish, so there was a huge barrier between me and the people I was working with as well as most of the fair-goers, who would try to ask me for help in Spanish. I was placed in the Kid Zone which was even worse. You have to deal with screaming, crying children who can barely control their bladders. Also, a major mystery is how the women’s bathroom always has a line. I don’t understand. You can see a tumbleweed roll past the men’s room, but there were Black Friday lines for the ladies.

I would have loved to go to the fair for fun. There was so much food there, heart attack on a stick, diabetes on a bun, death on plate- my kind of food. I liked the musicians that came, and I wanted to try some of the rides. I did sneak on the skyride or whatever it is called. It was pretty fun soaring above the whole fair, letting my feet dangle hundreds of feet above the ground. I made an awesome POV video, but WordPress will not allow me to upload such videos (without upgrading my account).

Interning for the San Diego International Film Festival

Things have been going great with the festival! I’ve got some pretty awesome opportunities coming up including some special events, and other things! Yay! It’s really cool getting a first hand look at the industry and learning more about marketing. Festivals bring a lot of people together, if you really think about it. There is the talent (filmmakers, writers, actors), studios, producers, agents, and everyone else. I get this sort of adrenaline rush when I finally hear about industry events first hand. I love the movie posters on the walls, the Variety magazines scattered across the tables, and the stories. The entertainment industry is it’s own little bubble. I feel as if I’ve crossed into another plane of existence. The people I see on my TV, computer, and phone are real. They are no longer trapped behind a screen, and it’s bizarre to hear about them (besides a pop culture standpoint) and SEE them. Fun news: SDiFF is honoring Annette Bening this year with the Gregory Peck Award for Excellence in Cinema!

I went to my first screening this week! I didn’t see the movie (which was Hell or High Water by the way) but I assisted with passing out badges to the film-goers, and also to tried to sell VIP Passes. I was able to interact with some of our patrons and VIPs, which was cool. After the crowd went inside, I was able to partake in the snazzy h’orderves and beverages. The event was at the Arclight Cinema (which I want to do a film and review on), another high-end cinema chain that offers food, fancy alcohol, and plushy seats, and hosts many of SDiFF’s events.

Photo Still of Annette Bening in American Beauty, one of my favorite movies!

Another remark about interning is meeting like-minded individuals. It’s been awesome to meet so many people interested in film like I am, and who actually know what I’m talking about. It’s cool to see the future leaders of the entertainment industry. And it’s insane- the hustle. Everyone’s so focused and knows what they want to do with themselves. The festival even has to worry about volunteers with ulterior motives. People are ruthless out here! And we’re not even in LA.

West Coast or East Coast Beaches?

I’ve been asked if I preferred East Coast beaches, or West Coast beaches. A couple weeks ago, I didn’t have the answer. I decided to make an adventure to Torrey Pines State Reserve. I had spotted it while getting lost on the bus, so I decided to intentionally go there. Almost 3 hours of commuting, and I was there. Let me say, the beaches in California (at least in the San Diego area) are breathtaking. The water is so clear and blue, and I loved the smell of the ocean water as I took the bus over the bridge. The sand and rocks had this weird, glittery sheen that made me think of jewelry. It was weird, all the rocks on the sand- some ranging from little pebbles, all the way to dinosaur eggs. I was stupid and walked barefoot over a large mound of dinosaur rocks.

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Shot of Torrey Pines by Me

Torrey Pines is more of a hiking area, so I wore my workout gear to the beach. Shortly after arriving, I took off my tennis shoes, and allowed myself to get my legs wet in the cool water. It felt so nice. I can’t swim, so I made sure to stay towards the surface, and not entangle myself in some seaweed.

I don’t know what it is, but I also feel so much closer to God when I’m at the beach. Perhaps it’s because of the sheer beauty, and the chance to be alone with my thoughts. I did a lot of thinking at the beach as I gazed for the first time, outward onto the Pacific Ocean. Don’t hate me, but I’ve been converted to West Coast beaches.

AND LAST, BUT NOT LEAST: 

Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind: A (Very) Brief Interaction With Dave Franco (!!!)

San Diego is smack dab in the middle of Comic-Con and there’s so much hustle and bustle going on Downtown. The Nerdist held a free event called Camp CONival, where they interviewed a few celebrities, which included- (gasp) Dave Franco, Emma Roberts, Henry Joost, and Ariel Schulman- who were promoting Nerve. I had heard the news prior, and had made the pilgrimage through the heat and Comic-Con crowds for a glimpse of Dave.

I sincerely felt like I was in middle school again. I like guys, but I don’t go gaga over them or let them get to me. I’m that kind of chick that’s about her business, and keeps men at bay. I hate to show any emotion over them. The last time I wrote something to a guy or showed any emotion to one was when I was in high school. Despite this, I decided to make a poster with a note for Dave (Corny I know):

(FRONT) Hey Dave!!! Sometimes when I was feeling down, your movies helped to turn my day around! Thanks for DARING to be AWESOME!

(BACK) I  love the Franco bros and friends. B/c of y’all I found the NERVE to Cali and follow my dreams!

Shortly before Dave’s appearance, I felt as if my stomach was going to fall out my butt. To secure a good seat, I sat towards the front, and patiently waited in the heat, allowing my makeup to melt and my hair to increase in diameter, causing me to look like something out of Salvidor Dali painting. Not too long later, the stagehands set up the chairs and placed a box of equipment. Everyone raised their phones, and Emma, a petite pixie decked in red and black couture waltzed out first. She’s so pretty. Ariel and Henry came out next, and lagging behind everyone was a 5 foot something living Ken doll- Dave, decked out in his usual jeans, t-shirt, baseball jacket, and laced boots. It was so surreal. I couldn’t believe it was him in the flesh, and seeing photos from the event, I still don’t believe I was there. He’s even more handsome in person. More so than any of his movies or photos.

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Photo Courtesy of Nerve on Instagram: I’m somewhere on the right! WordPress won’t let me upload my video. Boo.

There wasn’t much of an interview. The trailer was shown, a couple generic questions were asked, and Emma and Dave shaved some poor kid’s head. Afterwards, Dave headed to the side, and fans came up for autographs and pictures. I was on the opposite end, so I had to walk all the way around. By the time I got there, Dave was trying to leave since he had lingered longer than the other three. Like I’d heard so many times, Dave tried to take a photo with everyone, but of course in a hurry, he leaned back and yelled “I gotta go- take a selfie!” I couldn’t even do that because I was way in the back, out of sight, and I was repeatedly shoved out of the way by overzealous teenagers with their phones. I had placed my phone and camera in my purse. Dave was heading up the railing. I don’t like yelling, but I hollered his name. He finally stopped. I was separated from him by a metal bar and a concrete platform, him towering about a foot over me. I uttered in a weak voice, “I wrote something…” and showed him my sign. I wanted to say what I had written in my post, but I am too shy and I didn’t have the time.

Dave read my sign, and said, “You’re awesome! Turn it around!” He motioned his hand. He was pumped. I like how genuinely excited he was. I heard a bit of that famous cough and saw him crack a smile. I wasn’t sure of what he thought about the back- or if he really had time to process it or notice it. He asked for my name and signed my poster for me and like that, he was gone. I didn’t even get to say thank you. I wasn’t intending for him to sign my poster. I just wanted him to see it. It all happened so fast, it almost didn’t happen.

The signature! With his trademark cat!

I left in a weird haze. It didn’t feel real. My experience gave me the same feeling as when I was a fashion design major and I spent weeks designing a dress, and saw it only for 30 seconds on the runway. It was an exciting feeling, though extremely fleeting. I’m happy about my autograph though. I will treasure it.

I’m looking forward to what other things are in store for me while I am here. I hope I can share more amusing stories with you!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!

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