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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hollywood Dreams.

If you think Hollywood exists, you've never been there! This sign is on Hollywood Blvd.  There are parts of Los Angeles known as Hollywood.
Believe me when I tell you, it is an imaginary place, like Paradise. It is a total fantasy, though actual real estate moguls will denounce my words.

I went to school in Hollywood.
I did practice teaching at Hollywood High School.
One of my children was born in Hollywood.
But if you came to visit and wanted a tour, you'd be hard pressed to find that Hollywood is more of a concept than an actual place with definite parameters.

There is Hollywood  conglomerate of studios around the area, but most studios are now in other locations, other neighborhoods.

When we were first married,  I knew more people
connected to the movie/television industry than you find anywhere else.

Studios are small cities, walled and protected and with their own culture and lingo.  The fun happens when the "shootings", the locations are outdoors, in neighborhoods.  Then, entire city blocks become entrenched in the phenomenon of movie making, and neighbors whisper to each other during shooting times, park in unexpected places, drive around trying to get back to their homes.  Yes, Hollywood moves in your neighborhood and you are now forever immortalized in that episode of Matlock.  (Matlock habitually shot scenes in and around Warner Center, my neighborhood.)

Back then I was not a writer, not even a secret one.

Back then I made a living as a school principal.  All that noise and bother, all that artificiality irritated me. Our neighbor worked for Johnny Carson then, and provided all the gossip I could stand. My best friend from college has a costume shop where pretend is the name of the game, and she has plenty of stories of strange people believing any day their luck will change, their discovery will take place.

I wonder how anyone could write in  a place where everything and everyone is a figment of some one's imagination.

38 comments:

That Janie Girl said...

That is crazy! I bet you were glad to get out of there.
imagination personified...but yeah, imagination squelched.

Nancy said...

Fascinating place, Hollywood. The coast of Oregon is much better.

yaya said...

I remember a trip we took to Calif. years ago..my boys were young and excited to see "Hollywood". Then when we were there they thought it was so dirty. In fact, they were not impressed with Calif. They were a bit disappointed. I have family in LA and when I was little they wanted our family to move there too. My Dad said it was not a place he wanted to raise his kids. That was over 40yrs ago and I don't think it has improved. You live in a much nicer, albeit, quieter place...a good place to write!..a real place.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Terrific post. I'm with Nancy on this one. The coast of Oregon is better!

ds said...

Right away I think of Nathanael West, and the young man who gets trapped in "Hollywood"--wish I could remember the name of the book.
Yes, you are much better off on the coast of Oregon!

Miss Sadie said...

I always though Hollywood was more a state of mind than a physical location. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

The really significant thing is that you worked there and lived to tell the tale!

Makes Port Orford sound better all the time! Wish I were there.

Elisabeth said...

It must have been hard to live in Tinsel town, Rosaria, in the land of utopia. Writing about it though must be something else.

Arkansas Patti said...

Aww, what a disappointment. Not totally though for it is something I always suspected.
Well, that saves me a trip. Thanks.

Donna said...

A few year ago, I had the opportunity to go to LA for a conference and was excited to see the area. I was amazed to see how spread out it all was and disappointed to see the downtown area. I actually saw Hollywood High. It was so landlocked and unawesome. The actual Hollywood sign is on an ugly barren hill, looks like it need to be painted and is surrounded by electrical wires and poles. TV holds little interest for me anymore. So much of it is mind trash. I do watch a lot of HGTV and food channel! My own little piece of paradise includes a quiet stream running through our properrty and grandchildren running on it. Yours is on a beautiful coastline!

Brian Miller said...

hmmm...always neat to explore new places but i get what you are saying...

potsoc said...

So, not surprisingly, Hollywood is a fiction. Another illusion lost.

Eva Gallant said...

The Oregon coast is so beautiful; no wonder you settled there!

Hope said...

great post!
I had the opportunity to see Hollywood briefly and all your comments on it, I agree with.

It was exciting for me and my family to be there but yes, I remember it to be dirty and the smell of pollution was strong and the heat made it worse. Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

I can see how that lifestyle would be exhausting. Not exactly a perfect writing place.

thanks for your post
enjoyed it

Woman in a Window said...

Rosaria! I love this post! So many elements of it! Such a construct, isn't it? I worked a weekend there or nearby, many years ago when I was doing tool trade shows. I laugh. Another life. But the hills were so unalive and so small. It felt as though it was a miniput to itself, the whole area boiled down to a few artificial windmills and tin cup holes. It had no grandness like the illusion presents. This kind of makes me feel good though, in a way, that there is such power in creation. I don't think it is a bad thing necessarily to be able to create myths, it's just when you believe in them wholeheartedly, that's where the problems arise.

What an incredibly interesting thing to think on. Thanks for this.

(Loved Matlock in its day. I laugh again.)

xo
erin

Robyn said...

I really like what you are saying here... and I'm wondering what instigated this piece of writing?

I think everyone has there own little hollywood going on in some shape or form.

I like what Erin has written here in the comments too.

Happy New Year Rosaira and I look forward to another year of sharing with you here in blogland :) x

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh! so much said and unsaid - and I actually accidentally wrote "sad" instead of "said"-huhn!

Loved this post.

rosaria said...

You may wonder why I chose to write this little post on Hollywood. I'm not sure. Perhaps, at this time of the year, when the rains have begun to turn my driveway into spongeland I crave the sun, the accessibility of museums, warm sands.

I'm interested in how we become the people we are; how places have forged our DNA, absorbed the scintilla of magic making that is Hollywood. With Hollywood in my life for so many decades, I'm bound to feel its magnetism.

Thanks for the visit.

#1Nana said...

More that we have in common...I was raised in the valley and my dad worked in "the industry." Everyone knew someone in the movies or on tv. I don't know that it made my childhood in the suburbs less real than my friends who were raised in rural Oregon...we've all got stories to tell!

Shadow said...

can a place so 'fake' actually create anything 'real'??

A Cuban In London said...

I loved this post. Maybe it was the combination of make-believe to which you refer with your experience of being a principal. Many thanks for that little snippet of your past and present.

Greetings from London.

Gaston Studio said...

Have never had a desire to live anywhere near "Hollywood" because there's no way I'd trade off reality for fiction on a daily basis. Great walk down your own memory lane Rosaria.

Jane

marc aurel said...

I don't know about Hollywood, but I loved Los Angeles. Like Paris, it was enclosed as if in a saucer of car pollution, but I remember admiring the brilliant sun on straight streets. And, to an English young man, the people were so darned friendly. We drove from there to San Francisco. What a magnificent coast!

Amanda said...

"I wonder how anyone could write in a place where everything and everyone is a figment of some one's imagination" -- haha - good point rosaria!!

what a time that must have been in your already fascinating life story......thank you for sharing this peek into your tinseltown~

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a wonderful and fascinating life you have lived, dear Rosaria!!! Loved this!!! Just stopping by to say "hello!!" Thinking of you!! ~Janine xo

Phoenix said...

I live in "Hollywood", so to speak, trying to be a working actor. I've met tons of people who are just dreamers, but I've also met some very hard workers. You'll find plenty of everything in this city for dreamers. :)

The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street said...

I have no recollection of hollywood during my very brief stay (visit)there other than its iconic sign.

Loved this post!

rosaria said...

Phoenix, of course! Lots of hard working and talented people. Besides, actors need all the services everyone else needs, from grocery stores to beauty parlors. Some of our nations' best schools are in the L.A, area. I was just concentrating on "Hollywood" as a construct.

I tip my hat to you, in such a difficult business. Best of luck.

yaya said...

Rosaria, in answer to you question about the blog book...it's 14.95 for a soft cover and the first 20pgs..then it's 35Cents a page after that...you can get a hard cover for $10.00 more. It wasn't hard at all...if you go to blog2book from blogger it's the same. Not hard..getting the front and back cover pics was the only thing I did that took time. So worth it! Good luck!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I was born and raised and still live in the Los Angeles area. I remember the first time I visited the Burbank Studios and found out how my favorite TV shows and movies were made. What comes across on the screen is nothing like what you see at the studios.

~Ron

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I've been to LA a few times but don't guess I ever made it to Hollywood. Is Rodeo Drive in Hollywood? Glitz & glamor. I think I'd choose Oregon even with the rain. Don't slip in the mud & muck!

Cloudia said...

You are very right about "Hollywood" being a construct more than a place. I did get to walk along Hollywood Blvd and realized that the Kinks were right: "You can see all the "stars" - they are in the sidewalk - "Some that you recognize, some that you hardly ever heard of...
My Uncle is in Forrest Lawn next (Near?) Jolson. . . The family business: Show. Dreaming you see. . . Aloha from Waikiki

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NitWit1 said...

Hollywood, Tinsel Town, whatever, but never a place I wanted to take vacation.

Once "shooting on location" became vogue, Hollywood became less a place to see, not that I ever considered it a vacation site. I am more the natural scenery created by God.

And all the idols have clay feet for sure.

RNSANE said...

I always enjoy reading about your life...from your birth during the war, to making your way to Ameica, to surviving life in Hollywood, to your retirement on the Oregon coast. You write so beautifully and always hold my interest.

San Francisco General Hospital has been the setting for many films and, during the time that I worked there, it was always such an inconvience when they were filming. Parking, always at a premium anyway, was nearly impossible, our spots taken over by film crew, etc, leaving us to park blocks away in very dangerous neighborhoods. There were numerous other hassles so I always dreaded when Hollywood came on the scene.

Polar Bear said...

Your post about the whales was great. I had the opportunity to observe this wonder while I was driving from Victoria to San Frisco in 1991. Ty for sharing. Polar Bear

E. K. Dunton said...

There's a lot of pretense here in North Carolina, too...I think there are more fictional people out there than real ones. My "re-do" at fifty is about finding a new reality.

Samual said...

Its really great Blog. The retail signage is the most effective way to convey a message, like a store name, product information, pricing and promotions.

madd said...

LOL, thhat awesome and so funny

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