I consider myself to be a pretty reasonable person. I have well thought-out opinions and sophisticated beliefs. I like to think that I handle stress well – although the truth may be that I handle stress in a way that does not betray to the public how stressed I actually am. Today however, something really got under my skin and it took a lot to get out from under the anger it caused. That something? Traffic.
I – like everyone in LA – deal with traffic every day. It comes with the territory when you live in such a big city. Everything is spread out, so most everyone has to drive to get where you’re going. I’ve been driving to work for almost two years (this car is really a godsend – or maybe a parentsend), so I’m used to my morning and afternoon commutes. That traffic is standard, it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I kinda like it. Sitting in traffic gives me time to catch up on NPR or podcasts (by the way, check out the new podcast Serial – seriously), and I need that personal time.
So then what’s the problem? Well stop asking questions and let me explain. All of that traffic I just talked about is necessary – and if not necessary it is at least standard. What I cannot stand is unnecessary traffic. I’m not talking about ten minutes added to your commute beause of an accident. Nothing you can do about that. No the main culprit here is on-location film production. Yuck.
I like film and television. A lot. I think this blog project has adequately proven that. But come on. If your shoot is such a hassle that it turns what should be an 8 minute car ride through Hollywood into a half hour of frustration and fury, you’re no longer an artist. You’re just an asshole. I was just trying to drive two and a half miles!
So normal traffic? I give that a thumbs up, or at least a thumbs sideways. Manufactured traffic though – as many thumbs down as possible (I guess that would be “two”). I’m over it now (though I won’t lie, writing about it has brought back some of the rage); I’m just mad at myself for getting so upset in the first place. That’s not a feeling I relish. I’m more about “measured disdain” than I am “seething hatred.”
I know this is an odd thing for someone seeking a career in the industry to complain about. And I want you to know that if/when I’m working in television or film I will immediately become a hypocrite, filming in the middle of the goddamn street if I so choose. But until then, it is enough to make a guy consider abandoning LA for community theatre in Annapolis. Not that I could ever actually do that, but it’s a fun threat to make. Try it out. You’ll enjoy it. The threat I mean. Not community theatre in Annapolis. Although maybe. They’re a nice group. What were we talking about?