It has felt like a career has flown by just getting here and the better part of the last year was spent compiling the 300 pages of evidence for the O1B Visa. It is no exaggeration that in the process of submission, processing and reprocessing by the Writer's Guild of America, The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and finally US Immigration itself has been the better part of a year of grind.
So yes, after ten years in the business, three completed feature film credits, six years of University Lecturing in London and Amsterdam and a whole separate consulting career in Paris, I've finally succeeded in the elimination of every last excuse I could have had for failure in this business. I have traded all my get outs, whys and wherefores for mild sunburn and some palm trees and it feels good.
I know I have really only succeeded in reaching the start line. I'm not generally one to be intimidated by cities. I've lived and worked in some of the very best in the world, but this is different. Here, I am among my people and it's no longer enough to write well, work hard and sound coherent in a creative conversation. This place has hundreds like me in that regard, and many of them have great teeth and abs and more optimistic American personalities.
There are new culture shocks, such as the fact that the vegan cookie section of the Whole Foods is bigger than the ordinary cookie section (which has basically underlined how Veganism is made possible). I know I will have to learn to eat sushi with some form of grace as contracts may depend on it. Most of all, I know there's a process ahead of integration with the scene that will involve bulking up my representation, taking every advantage of this environment to shove, cajole, bully and flirt my near running shows and features over the line.
But as Alexander Hamilton said, (Or possibly, sang) 'I am not throwing away my shot!' I owe it to the amazing friends family and colleagues who have played a part in getting me this far. And while I'm here I will try (as ever) to journal this experience so that younger more attractive writer immigrants don't have to repeat my mistakes. (Maybe only the fun ones). I may even upgrade the tech and post the occasional Vlog (As I believe the kids call them).
Either way, I'm ready for the challenge, ready for the prospect of a sun tan and ready to throw my best at the best and see what sticks.
This might just yet turn out to be my town :-)