Life in LA is a daunting, albeit stirring, sort of experience. It’s a vast and culturally diverse city that stretches and pulls for miles in every direction, patch-worked together and confined by only expansive mountain ranges to the east and the rolling ocean to the west. Every neighborhood is a shape shifter of that which borders it – no two are exactly the same. If you travel the distance of Santa Monica Boulevard you’ll swing from the manicured lawns of Beverly Hills to the teeming concrete jungle of Hollywood and into the quiet hillside enclave of Los Feliz. Head west and soon enough, your feet will hit the sand in the eclectic, vibrant Venice Beach. Take a meandering drive up into the hills and you’ll find yourself transported into the sanctuary of Franklin Canyon, a hikers dream with a lake encircled by lush forestry.
Between these borders is a world of opportunity, of culture, and of community. In a sense, there’s a feeling in Los Angeles that nothing is unachievable – there’s a world at your fingertips waiting to be seized. In the same weekend you can snowboard the slopes of Big Bear and relax at a placid beach in Malibu before trekking into town for a night of patio drinks and dancing in WeHo – all whilst being surrounded by some of the most talented and driven creative professionals in the world. Only in Los Angeles can you settle down at a Starbucks and be sat next to the next big player in entertainment. Connections and opportunities to grow your career are just a stones throw away no matter where in the city you land.
While LA certainly takes some getting used to – it’s starkly different from the Canadian culture and landscapes I’ve grown up around – it is a powerful city where creativity is encouraged and drive is expected. While in LA, I have been able to connect with numerous professionals in power who have offered invaluable career advice. I’ve been able to network with SU alum hungry to help the next wave of graduates find their foothold in Los Angeles. I’ve worked on AFI graduate films and begun to develop a tribe of likeminded individuals. I’ve also learned more about my career trajectory – and what I truly want out of the industry – than I could have ever imagined in the short time I’ve been here. Undoubtedly, the SULA Semester is a gift, and if you seize the opportunity and take advantage, it will yield experiences instrumental to the future of your entertainment career.