As Abraham Lincoln once said, “cocaine’s a hell of a drug.” It’s with that in mind that I bring to you today’s educational tidbit in a segment I like to call “LA-isms.” After six months out here, I’ve noticed some things in life that are unique to Los Angeles and her residents (FYI all cities are female — except the overly-butch city of Pittsburgh, which is definitely male…my condolences to all the Penguins fans out there, by the way. As much as I dislike the Pens, I’d still rather see them win than Detroit. Oh well), and since a ton of you non-Californians are planning on visiting me over the summer (the official Californian word for non-resident is “sucker”), I want you to be educated on what people mean when they say certain things, so you’ll fit in right from the start. Let me preface this by saying that everyone who lives in Los Angeles is in the entertainment business or wants to be in the entertainment business. Even the people who swear that they’re not trying to get into the entertainment business (like doctors, firemen and the mentally challenged) are still connected in some way. I know a doctor who is also trying to be a screenwriter; a fireman who does stunt work on the side, and a mentally challenged individual who’s trying to make it as an actor (his name is Vin Diesel). With that in mind, I’ll start by translating some industry-related LA-isms and then work my way to the others…
Question: “Are you in the industry?”
Phrase 1: “I have some projects in the works”
Actual Meaning: “I don’t have any projects in the works, no agency representation, no completed screenplays, no connections in the business and no discernable talent of any sort.”
Phrase 2: “I’m Taking Meetings”
Actual Meaning: “My broke-ass, stoner roommate and I managed to crank out one 45-page, grammatically-embarrassing, inside-joke-laden script that’s basically just a Juno rip-off, and now we want someone to show up on our doorstep and offer us $20 million for it.”
Phrase 3: “I’m an actor”
Actual Meaning: “I’m a waiter who once got paid to be an extra in The Mighty Ducks 4.”
Phrase 4: “I support the strike”
Actual Meaning: “I was guilted into supporting the WGA strike in exchange for a false sense of self-righteousness, and because I was so pompous during that strike, now I’ll look like a hypocrite if I don’t support the SAG strike even though it is less necessary, will be less effective, and will needlessly put me out of work for another six months…forcing me to go back to my job as a waiter.”
Question: “Do you smoke?”
Phrase: “I’m trying to quit.”
Actual Meaning: “I started smoking in the mid-90’s because everyone said it was cool, then in the mid-2000’s, everyone suddenly changed their minds and decided that it was actually UNcool to smoke; but now I’ve been smoking for almost a decade, I’m legitimately addicted and have no intention of quitting. But I can’t tell people that because I’ll sound uncool, so instead I’m going to tell people that I’m trying to quit while simultaneously smoking just as much (or more) than I ever have until smoking becomes cool again sometime in the mid 2020’s.”
Question: “Are you guys dating?”
Phrase 1: “We’re not dating, but we are going on dates.”
Actual Meaning: “We are hooking up like mad, with an occasional trip to the movies mixed in just so we don’t feel like total whores.”
Phrase 2: “We’re dating, but we’re not exclusive.”
Actual Meaning: “I think he/she cheated on me last weekend, so I’m going to cheat on him/her this weekend out of spite, and either way the whole thing will be over a month from now with nothing to show for it except more frequent visits to my therapist.”
Phrase 3: “We’re talking.”
Actual Meaning: “We’re dating.”
Phrase 4: “He/she and I didn’t really vibe.”
Actual Meaning: “I either got shut down hardcore when I asked them out, or I’m a closet homosexual.”
…Entirely unrelated to closet homosexuals, Jimmy Fallon came by work for lunch the other day (don’t worry, your secret is safe with me, James), and I just felt the need to point out that he’s significantly taller than I expected. Usually when I meet people in real life that I’ve only seen on the screen, they’re shorter than I expect, but Fallon had a good few inches on me (in more ways than one… hey-o!), so maybe you can’t judge people entirely from how they are on TV after all…although he did giggle through our entire conversation like it was an SNL skit, so I could be wrong.
Last (and probably least), I moved into my NEW APARTMENT in Redondo Beach this week (that’s the southwest side of LA for you outsiders) and it is absolutely baller. It’s a little over a mile from the beach, it’s close to a really nice movie theater, a really nice mall, a lot of my friends, and I even get my own garage. Truly, it is paradise. Pictures to come as soon as we get moved in (and internetted), and you locals should keep your eyes peeled for some kind of social gathering there in the neat future.
That’s all the big news, be sure to check back in next week for how YOU can win the opportunity to cook dinner for me for the next several years. Also, does anyone who reads this (and lives nearby) know how to sew a button back onto a shirt? I have need of those services and would be willing to trade goods or services (wink wink) in exchange for your sewing expertise. Hollaback, grrrl.
…Nothing says “LA” like attending a $250 per plate charity dinner…for free. Tasty.