Had to split Malibu yesterday. Unfortunate, as I’d begun to feel settled. A lot of people bad-rap Southern Cal because of the cosmetic surgery, the air of falseness, the overall frenzy of showbiz. And there’s a great deal of truth to all that. But there are also a lot of incredible people here who are just as generous and sincere as anywhere else. All you have to do is penetrate the protective veneer with which they surround themselves. Do that right, and they open right up–almost in relief. Sure there’s a lot of loneliness here, more than most American cities, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily anyone’s fault; it’s just a result of our overly ambitious drive.
Had a bite with Bill, the film editor I’d mentioned earlier, wished him luck, then headed off to have coffee with a young actor, Ted Porter. He’s the nephew of an old friend, and landed a role this year in the Geena Davis series, “Commander in Chief.” He plays a Secret Service agent who keeps an eye on possible assassins. Lord what a break. He was offered a screen test while doing what so many actors have to do here: wait tables.
Wonderful guy. Great attitude. Hasn’t been jaded yet by the harsher aspects of LA, or the biz. I hope he never is. Of course we talked about the biz, and the mystery of who makes it (not that there’s necessarily happiness or wisdom with that), and who does not. Conclusion? Nobody really knows. Like the Sphinx, it’s a mystery. We finished our cappuccinos, I wished him luck, and left the hubub and struggles of LA for the hippie heaven of Hermosa Beach.
Had lunch there with an old friend who goes back to junior high. Johnny. Great guy, guitarist and song-writer. Trying his luck out here. I really dug Hermosa: everyone on bikes or inline skates, old hippies hanging out, nouveau hippies hanging out, and the occasional string bikini. All these beach communities are fascinating. You can almost feel the essence of the late ’60s in the shadows. But the overcrowding. It does get old. If they could just eliminate every other house it would be more civilized, but it’s too late for that.
Finally, around 3:00, I split for San Diego. Had a signing there at 7:00, and I was trying to beat the traffic. In futility it turned out. There’s never any beating the traffic here. San Diego was great, as always, but I just did an in-and-out. No time for Coronado Island or any of that. Now? On to San Francisco. Palo Alto tonight.