Velella's Drift

An account of Velella's voyage from Seattle to New York via Panama, 2009-2011

It’s Hollywood, baby!

My commitment to this blog is often the subject of debate between Meghan and I. I have no good excuse for my lack of posts, just that I’m “feeling it” less frequently than Meghan is. Still, seeing that the previous five posts were Meghan’s, it is inarguably my turn to contribute something.

We are in Los Angeles. We have been here for going on two months. And in my PERSONAL estimation, it’s not been so bad.

We’ve managed to find the only quiet niche in this gigantic city. Our slip in Marina Del Rey is off the beaten path, meaning no nearby roads and little commercial development. We are right next to the public restrooms, a minute away from a grungy coffee shop where we work on our computers, and two minutes away from a grungy but private beach. The privacy is the most appealing attribute of our new home. Rarely is anyone else on our dock. Yes, there are a handful of weirdos who hang out in the vicinity, but they are quickly becoming OUR weirdos. We have now made an acquaintance with most of them, so if we can’t avoid them on the dock ramp, at least we can address them by their first name. They are minor annoyances, all of them, but I know we will miss them when we move on. In short, we have a community.

It helps too that we are finding work. Meghan is starting her job at West Marine next week (distraught at the thought of having to wear khakis to work). I have a short stint on a commercial. We’ve both been doing odd jobs in the meantime. We haven’t yet found the money that’s going to get us out of LA, but it’s to keep us from sinking deeper into our savings. The best thing is that enables us to explore the wonderful world of freelance. We’re both submitting articles (though only Meghan’s are being published), and I’m submitting my first D&D adventure for publication while also wrangling up video work.

It’s a scrappy way to live. Instead of the all-or-nothing lifestyle of a salary job, where you either get a flat paycheck or else you’re fired, as a freelancer you fight for every dollar. You’re constantly on the hunt for a way to make a couple hundred dollars. And when you find something, you pursue it with full force. Every moment is a fight for sustenance: When you’re not writing proposals or working on your projects, you’re thinking of new ways to make some scratch. You’re never off the clock, but then neither do you ever have to do something you don’t want to. Is this project worth my time? The decision is yours and yours alone. It’s a new, very appealing way to live.

Finally, I enjoy the wheeling and dealing that goes on in LA. It’s all about networking, and I like that nobody pretends it isn’t. I knew two people coming down here, and had phone numbers for two more. I called up the phone numbers and invited them to coffee. Each coffee date got me three more phone numbers, and one of those got me the commercial I’m on next week. In the meantime I have people asking around for more video and writing gigs. There’s a world of opportunity, especially when you’re starting at the bottom. My ultimate hope for Los Angeles is that Meg and I can live so cheaply, we can save up for our departure by doing what we really want: Writing articles and peddling our ideas.

So there’s my two cents on LA and the trip thus far. It’s good. Getting better all the time. I don’t know how anything else in life could top this, but when we do finally arrive in New York, we’re going to be equipped to handle anything.



  justinwi wrote @

Great to hear from you Prescott. Keep the posts coming!

I figured I’d give you all a hand making a little moohla, so here are some ideas to make a couple $ while your in LA:

1. “I’m on a Boat” Reality TV show. Start recording every aspect of your lives: life on a boat, looking for gigs, the arguments, the intimate moments… Compile them and pitch um to the next hollywood db you run into.

2. If the above doesn’t work, cut everything except the intimate moments and put it on the net. I hear those kind of videos do well there.

3. Boat rides for kids parties! Nothing says good time like a dozen 8 year-old Jack Spiros running around your boat vomiting and getting tangled in the ropes.

4. Porn. I alluded to this earlier, but I find it’s good to be explicit.

Best of luck you two and congrats on living the dream!


  janice reid wrote @

Prescott, This is my favorite of all your blogs yet. You sound so laid back. Love it.
How are you guys surmounting the storms? 3 boats broke loose from their moorings in Avila and crashed into shore. Sad, sad stories.
love you and maybe will see you soon now that I’m retired. I might be heading south this week-end if the weather clears.
Sorry about the book. What crap! Okay do some Saduko and see what conjures up.

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