Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Getting to Los Angeles, Part 3

The more we thought about getting an apartment in Nevada, and taking our own mobile accommodations to Los Angeles for that prime part of the year for auditions, the more it seemed like a good idea. My husband will be polishing his three draft novels - and developing new ones - so he can work anywhere. We would be out of the desert during that part of the year when it's ridiculously hot. We could park ourselves in different locations, from beach to mountains. If neighbors nearby got noisy or unpleasant, we could move. Plus we could stay mobile for location filming and take our pets with us. We're Westerners by birth. No limits, Baby!

But what kind of mobile accommodations were going to feel most comfortable and at the same time be the most mobile? We found out that with more and more employment being do-able online a lot of working-age people are ditching the 9-5 routine and opting for a place-to-place life on the road, so researching RVs and what is involved was easy (search RV Living). Pippi Peterson, who has a HUGE following online, explains some of the pros and cons below. Her YouTube Channel has scores of videos on how she renovated her used Class A and now maintains it. Note that in 2014 when the video below was made she reported living in Southern California in her RV for just $800 a month, not the $4600 (rent plus utilities plus fees) that we saw with a two-bedroom apartment (and getting a one-bedroom would have taken only about $1500 off of that.)
We looked at Class C motorhomes because they seemed more drivable for us novices, but since we knew the rig would sit idle for weeks and months at a time, and we'd end up having to tow a car as well, we had our doubts. They didn't quite look like a "home" on the road, so we started looking at travel trailers. Well-loved (i.e. used) travel trailers and RVs can be had for less than $20,000 dollars, especially if you're handy, as Ms. Peterson is, but taking our cue from Matthew McConaughey, and knowing that we'd be living this mobile life for about five years, a trailer for us (used or new) meant an Airstream.

Airstream started building travel trailers back in the 1930s, and almost 70 percent of them are still on the road. The reason is that they're extremely well-built, they're aerodynamic (they tow really well!), and the silver-bullet design means they hold their value. When they start to look shabby owners simply polish them on the outside and renovate them on the inside.

I will say too that when we drove 75 miles to the nearest dealer and actually saw the models, we fell in love with the light-filled interior and the fact that, even on rainy days (sunny days you have the whole outdoors) the 25 ft. model had enough floor space for two adults, two cats, and a dog without us stumbling over each other. New they're pricey, but less than the cost of a small condo in major cities. Take a look at the International Serenity model below. It's beautiful.

So in a few months we'll be in the market for an Airstream and a Dodge Ram 2500 to tow it, and then we'll be off for Nevada to find a home base and settle in before heading over to LA. This is going to be quite an extreme lifestyle in many ways, including the fact that we'll spend part of the year among 10 million people and part of the year among 12 thousand people (or even fewer!)

But I'm so glad we found what seems to be a solution. There is only so much film work you can get outside of New York and Los Angeles. Even Atlanta, a hot spot for film, really tops out at day player roles, so if you want a chance at roles with a bit more meat on them, you have to go to where they are.

So, who knows? Maybe next year, this will be us.  If not at Malibu, somewhere in LA for sure.

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