I am graduating school this may and will be entering the world trying to break into the art and entertainment industry. I want my primary source of income to be writing, taking photos, and/or something of that nature. So the question that often arises when I talk to people about this is, “Are you going to stay in New York?”
Well I’m going to move wherever I get a job…and that may or may not be Los Angeles. And you might be saying, “HEY ANNIE! Don’t only sell outs or people without souls move to Los Angeles? Wouldn’t you be better off in New York, where the people and the art is real and hip like you?” I don’t see it that way. That is because starting about a year after I moved to New York I began to view New York as a city for sell outs and soulless artists.
When people talk about Los Angeles they often talk about how it takes people’s souls. They paint a picture of people who are willing to give up on integrity in their art in order to become famous or make money…But all my friends who have moved to Los Angeles are doing what they love and are being paid for it. And none of them are complaining. (I have lots of friends that moved out there to perform as comedians/actors, work as PAs, and get jobs as location scouts for films, and all are happy. Not a single one of them has told me he or she regrets the move.)
In New York a large amount of my friends are artists, all of them have their souls still intact, but I often meet artists who I try to become friends with, but discover their souls mangled things that I cannot even begin to look at without feeling physically ill. People in New York may have “integrity” when it comes to their art, but they lose their integrity when it comes to acting like good human beings. Some artists I’ve met will pretend to like you and your work, but talk behind your back constantly about how much better they could do anything that you do. Others will steal your clients. Many of them are just huge suck ups and fame whores. I literally feel like I’m dying a little inside every time I see one artist screw over another, or be passive aggressive when looking at another person’s work.
I grew up in Chicago, and in Chicago I may have been treated like crap by a lot of people, but when it came to dealing with other artists there was a mutual respect we had for each other. A writer will tell you to your face if he or she doesn’t like your work, but will do so with the good intention of giving you constructive criticism, there is no one lying to your face about your work. In Chicago people would be willing to collaborate for a love of the art, not for the prestige they’d get for working with a certain artist due to his/her notoriety.
I also lived for a while in Prague and although there is a lot of the pretentiousness and competitiveness of the New York art scene there, it is so intimate and runs with such small circles that everyone knows each other, so there is an immediate level playing field of mutual respect.
Basically a lot of what makes me an artist whose soul is still intact comes from the fact that I am a good person who tries to surround herself with other people who don’t draw on negativity for their triumphs. Because of that where ever I move/work after I graduate I will be able to keep my soul intact. I’ve lasted this long without losing it in New York, I won’t lose it in LA, and if I go to somewhere like Chicago or Prague or Baltimore (I have a huge city crush on Baltimore, I wanna live there hardcore) I will still be a good person even after having been surrounded by so much negativity. My soul is my soul and it shall stay eternally inside of me and of course in my writing and art.
Head resting against porcelain.
as the coolness fails to calm the pounding in my head.
I wish someone was stroking my hair.
With that out of my mouth flies the reason I wanted to give you a blow job last night,
falls every little secret I told to people who should not have been told.
Dribbling from my lips are bits and pieces of regret, loneliness, and shame.
Paranoia heaves within my chest,
as I try and fill the holes of my Swiss Cheese evening with condiments of assumption.
My bed is both a comforting companion
and a painfully cold casket.
I yank my own hair,
wondering if I really asked you to do the same last night, or was that just part of a dream?
For my memories feel like dreams, my thoughts knives,
and the ringing doorbell an AK47 to my brain.
Orange juice and a plain bagel,
Warm shower and an Advil,
Big smile and denial.
That’s how I’ll get through my day.