From Rows of Strawberries to Traffic

“Well, what do I do no Way?” 

That was pretty much the first question I had the first day I officially moved down to Los Angeles. There was no clear path for me to follow. I was here for college, but I knew I had to do more than just that while I was down here in order for me to start my career. I had an idea in mind. Become a film director. Easier said than done, of course. I didn’t exactly know how to do that. I found myself feeling stuck in quicksand quickly sinking. Thinking back, I realize that I did have an idea but there were so many different ways to go about it that I became overwhelmed. I’ve never had so much available to me before while living back in Watsonville. 

Watsonville, a small town within Santa Cruz county, better known for Driscoll’s strawberries, Martinelli’s and where the popular hangout place is a Target shopping center. In short, it isn’t the most exciting place in the world. That being said it is worth a quick visit should you ever be driving through for some strange reason. There are nice parks and good food. I recommend going to get a pie (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream) at Gizdich, as well as a whole gallon of apple juice. Notice I don’t mention any kind of presence of the media industry. That’s because there isn’t any evidence of it. There are small artsy shops but nothing on the side that I was aiming to do. So, struggling with finding any kind of access in such a small county I decided to move to Los Angeles as soon as I graduated High School. 

So we made it to LA. As it so happens my car ended up getting totaled within hours of being parked outside my apartment building. Hit and run (not the best way to be welcomed). What was somewhat amusing was the fact that the individual literally ran away from the scene leaving his vehicle behind. Just the image of him panicking and fleeing is humorous to me. Left without a car, I was lucky enough to have gotten rides from my brother in law. Struggling with mobility and adapting to a new environment, my first year here was spent focusing on school as I was double majoring in Television/Film  and electrical engineering. I dropped the latter after coming to my senses. Sadly it was a lonely year. The next one was better.

 Luckily, I ended up getting another car which helped a lot. Frankly, I am almost completely useless in figuring out public transportation.  With a car came the ability to explore my surroundings as well as being suffering the consequences.TRAFFIC. When you think about LA or any major city for that matter, traffics will always come to mind. It’s true. The traffic is terrible. Where I used to be carefree about driving back in Watsonville now changed to where I plan my day according to when there will be the least amount of traffic. Is it raining outside? Forget it. I’m staying home. But all that wouldn’t dampen my spirits. My sophomore year was a lot more successful than my first.  I ended up finding small little projects to work on for school which led to meeting some great friends and further improved my videography skills. I also got to be a production assistant for Formula Drift (that story is going to be a future post). Overall it was a good year. 

My third year was more fast paced. I ended up picking up regular gigs that kept me busy. Mostly they were live event gigs where I worked as a camera operator. I also ended up becoming a Technical Director for a small Christian ministry which I am happy to have gotten. Personally I am not Christian but the people I work with always make working there very enjoyable. Also a big thing is that I got the opportunity to travel across the country with Formula Drift while working as a graphics operator for their livestream broadcast. That was a crazy and exciting experience. Balancing traveling and school was a challenge. Fortunately I had a lot of support from my loved ones. 

Now my last year in college has come. Four years to get my degree. Very difficult years, each with new challenges to face. I worked on a few projects here and there. Thankfully continuing to travel. Sadly the realization of graduation seems to almost dull the excitement of all that I’ve been doing and gives way to a feeling of uncertainty. The unknown. It’s not an unfamiliar feeling. I feel more prepared. I’ll keep pushing forward like I have been. It’s not a terrifying anymore. I’ve come all this way. Now I ask something more optimistic.

“What’s next?”

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