We could not have attended two more disparate Fourth of July gatherings yesterday, Angie and I. First we ventured over to Hollwood to our friends, Gary and Jorge. They have a delightful little bungalow just a block from Melrose with an entirely enclosed back and front yard. The whole Interlopers cast (the play Gary has written and I'm currently acting in at The Bootleg Theatre downtown) was there and of course, I adore this cast. A funny, smart, irreverent bunch. Gary and Jorge also had a number of other friends over for BBQ and frivolity. Everyone there was in some way or another connected with the LA film and theatre scene it seemed, consequently it was a witty and gregarious bunch. My kind of folk. We left just as they were starting up a spirited game of 'Celebrity,' one of my favorite party games. Unfortunately we had to take out before we could play because we'd made a committment elsewhere as well.
So we headed up into the Hollywood Hills for a gathering at our friends, Phillipe and Tara. Tara and I did my play, Praying Small, together just about exactly a year ago today (she was brilliant in it) and Phillipe and I are currently neck deep in a film project together. They've just moved into a new house in the hills and we were anxious to see it. Actually (this is true) it is the old Ronald Reagan house when he was married to Jane Wyman (before 'Just Say No' Nancy). I happen to be a huge Ronald Reagan fan even though I agreed with virtually nothing he ever said or stood for. I can't help myself, I just liked the man. That was his great political gift, I think.
Anyway, we braved the narrow, winding roads up into the hills to find the new place. And believe me, they are very narrow and very winding. And once we found the new house we were awe-struck. It's stunning. Absolutely beautiful. It is, I daresay, the perfect house. Inspiring, unobstructed views in all directions, a wonderful tear-drop pool and jacuzzi off to the side, a large and sprawling house (Phillipe and Tara have two toddlers) with spacious and eccentrically spaced rooms, a large 'play area' out front for the kids. It's just an incredible house.
Of course, being the parents of two small ones, they have a whole slew of friends with small ones, too. So Angie and I weaved our way into the party dodging kids left and right, none of which came above our knees. Phillipe is Dutch by birth, British by accent and German by career, so the place was full with jolly, European expatriots. We sat by the pool chatting with Phillipe and Tara and marveling in the surroundings. I simply cannot imagine a more perfect house for a new family. And of course Phillipe and Tara are the most gracious of hosts.
We ate heartily at both destinations and came home early in the evening stuffed to the gills, a very satisfying Fourth of July. Angie watched fireworks on TV (which always seemed a bit removed to me) and I lay down exhausted in the bedroom watching, what else, the History Channel, featuring Revolutionary War documentaries.
From hipster to young parents, from Hollywood grunge to wading pools, from young, idealistic intelligencia to wary, watchful, smiling moms and dads. I had to smile at the incongruity of it all. And, oddly, we felt equally at home with both, although we conceded chasing kids around is well into our past.
Los Angeles is a funny place. It is not as socially connected as, say, Chicago or New York. People scatter and scrape for their own well-deserved piece of life's pie, emmersed in their own worlds, taking time now and then to bring peope into their carefully contructed lives and careers. No one just 'pops in' in this city. Angie and I are the same. Homes and houses here are bases, places to rejuvinate and restore energies before venturing out again the next day for another round of wheeling and dealing in paradise. That's just the way it is.
In other news, in addition to these two massive writing projects in which I find myself barely keeping my chin above water, the auditions (as an actor) are gushing in at an alarming rate and my calendar is getting filled with ink-stained 'write ins.' Angie is acting as my organizer these days because god knows I can't. If it were up to me, I'd be hopelessly confused as to where I'm supposed to be and when. In fact I have two today, one in Pasadena and one in Culver City. I think. I'll have to ask her. Mostly I just get the information and get in the car and go where I'm told.
This is the kind of schedule and life I've wanted since I got here nearly two years ago. And now that I have it, I'm frequently overwhelmed. Be careful what you ask for...
Life is good.
See you tomorrow.