When I first moved to LA, my East Coast friends asked me, “Is everyone you know an actor or a writer?” “No,” I told them, “everyone I know is a rabbinical student or a Jewish professional.” I do not live the typical LA experience.
But I finally had a date with a struggling actor. JDate, first date, last Thursday night. I knew he’d gone to Penn for undergrad, and had just gotten his MFA in acting from UCLA. (As my mother said, “So he’s an educated struggling actor, then.”) It was weird. First he apologized for being anxious and/or distracted. He said he’d received some personal news that had really “side-swiped” him (I’m pretty sure he meant “blind-sided”), and he was really worried about it even though everyone he’d talked to about it assured him it would probably be just fine, but he wouldn’t know for sure until the next day, and he didn’t want to tell me what it was because it would be “a big turn-off.” I’m thinking either he thinks he has an STD, or he thinks he got someone pregnant. (What else would be “a big turn-off”?) Second, well, he’d asked me out for a drink. We went to a restaurant near me that has a good bar. As we were walking there (he purposely asked me to pick a place in walking distance of my apartment…then asked me when he got here, “Are we walking or driving?”), he asked if I’d eaten dinner. I had, since I thought we were going out for a drink. He hadn’t, so he had dinner while I sipped a glass of sangria. Third, in addition to being a struggling actor, he’s also — wait for it — writing a screenplay. (It took me 5 years to hit the dating stereotypes, but at least I got two birds with one stone. I’m efficient like that.) Anyway, I politely asked what his screenplay was about, and he told me. Scene by scene, page by page, line by over-angsty line. And fourth, he asked if I were Orthodox, and I answered that no, I am Conservative. He said, “So, what, that means you have Shabbat on Friday nights?” “And on Shabbat mornings, too…all the way through until Havdalah.” Oy.
He walked me home (well, he had to, since he’d parked near my apartment) and said he’d had a great time, and I was a really great listener. Translation: I’m a sucker who listened to every. Freaking. Last. LINE. of his screenplay. He said he’d “love to do this again sometime” if I were interested. I said that perhaps he ought to wait until he knew what was happening with this “personal news” of his, and he agreed. Something tells me that this guy is a one-date-wonder.
Moving right along…
Shabbat morning, I went to services at the cool new(-ish – they’ve been around for a year and a half now) minyan and got there a few minutes before services began. There was a new guy there with whom I chatted briefly. He just moved to town on Friday, and is starting business school at USC next week. And his name is almost the same as my ex-fiance’s. Weird. After services, we chatted a bit more, and I invited him to the picnic I was hosting in the park. (Recipe post to follow, eventually.) He came and meshed well with my other friends in attendance, so it was a lot of fun. And over lunch, I found out that he, too, went to that “small school in Boston,” albeit 4 years after I did. And he sings, which is always cool. At the very least, I think we’ll be friends…don’t know if there’s potential for more there, but there might be.
My original plan was to go see “Live Free or Die Hard” by myself Saturday night, but I got absorbed in a book. So I e-mailed everyone who’d been at lunch and asked if any of them were interested in seeing the movie on Sunday. Nobody else could make it, but Harvard Boy said he’d be up for it. He’s staying with his brother in Silverlake until he finds an apartment, so he drove here and I met him downstairs, then I drove to the theatre since I knew where it was. We had fun chatting before the movie, and the movie itself was lots of fun. (“You just killed a helicopter with a car!” “I was out of bullets.” Heh.) As we were leaving the theatre, I asked what he’d thought of it, and he said he liked it more than he expected to. I gave him a questioning look and he said it wasn’t the kind of movie he would normally seek out. So I asked why he wanted to come, and he kinda shrugged. Honestly, though, I think he is just interested in making friends, since he doesn’t know anybody here except his brother. But anyway, having a new friend is always good, and I finally got to see my first summer movie, and I got to see Bruce Willis kill a helicoter with a car. All things considered, life is good.