LA is Not What You Expect – Message from an East Coaster

LA is Not What You Expect – Message from an East Coaster

By Eric Zidar

Growing up just north of Washington D.C., I didn’t really know what to expect when I prepared to move to Los Angeles for the semester. I packed up my car and drove across country, thinking about the glamour and glitz I had seen in TV and movies growing up. When I finally arrived, LA wasn’t exactly what I had expected. I remember the first day I drove through Hollywood, I thought to myself, “is this it? Are we in the right place?”. It was a bit underwhelming. I went to Venice Beach, and thought, “this is just a regular boardwalk”. It wasn’t the circus I had grown up thinking it was.

As I started to get settled into my internships, I began to realize that LA’s heart and soul lies within the buildings, the people, and the mindset a lot of people share when you get here. The main thing I have noticed, is that everyone is here for a reason. The more people I talk to, and get to know, the more I have begun to understand what that really means. Whether it is an aspiring music manager, an executive assistant at a label, or simply one of my classmates, everyone I talk to wants to make their mark on the world. This is what has created the entertainment brewery that is the true structure LA is built on. In Hollywood, you can walk down a side street with a bunch of very plain looking buildings and houses, but if you look closely you’ll notice a few different publishing companies, a movie scene being filmed in an alley, a record label, and a small independent production company who is probably responsible for some of your favorite movies. In DC there are only a handful of studios in the entire city, in some parts of LA, you can see a dozen on a single block. This mindset and this infrastructure creates a giant web of people and industries that are all connected. It’s truly incredible.

When people tell you about the magic of Los Angeles it’s no myth. Don’t expect to see celebrities everywhere with lavish buildings all around. Instead, expect to meet some of the most passionate and forward thinking people in the world, and prepare to have some of the best months of your college career.