Life 2.0: The Hidden Hollywood Hardships
The readers of this blog know some of them by now, but there are some struggles that are not as obvious – yet they turn out to be the hardest.
Every year, around a 100.000 hopefuls come to this town with the same idea as me. I came here with next to nothing in my pockets – so little that I was not let through the US border control until the officer found out that my parents are doctors.
My visa doesn’t allow me to work, so the only hope I have of paying my rent is either to be «discovered» by a major casting director and make millions of dollars over night, get «cash for kindness» from Ellen DeGeneres, and/or to write this blog.
Also, there are thousands of auditioners for the simplest little commercial role with three seconds of exposure on TV – so even if you make it through the daily struggles, the chance of realizing that dream you came for is slim to none.
For these obvious reasons, most people do not make the stupid choice of leaving everything behind for Hollywood’s sake. So my specie is not a rational, but an emotional one. Living on a 10ft square floor with no life whatsoever other than going back and forth to acting classes and film shoots, having an utmost blurry future, no job and being short on money, doesn’t really bother me. But what does, is to do it without my loved ones.
Part of searching for the Hollywood dream, is travelling alone. By following our dream, we have to leave our life behind; most of us cannot take family, friends, special someone’s or anyone at all with us. Though Hollywood is a highly populated place – it is still a place where everyone is alone. I am lucky to have quite a few good friends out here, but it is very much a city ruled by Darwin’s laws of survival.
Under these circumstances, life can seem to be standing quite still, and the meaning of it all becomes an intrusive question. As the answer used to be family and friends, I am now becoming more and more like a walking swiss cheese; thicker skinned, but with increasing empty spaces inside.
As a world-travelling gymnast and international student I never used to miss anyone – but now, every day is becoming a struggle with these internal holes where my loved ones used to be.
There is one hole at the bottom of my heart that is particularly hard to deal with. As ironic as it is, I find that when you discover love in life, you get lonelier than ever. By learning what it is, every single second without it hurts. They say time heals – and that might be true – but so far, the wound of missing it has aggravated exponentially with time.
The plus side is that for every artist, life’s challenges can be used to benefit one’s craft. For those who read how mr. Egge was crying like a child in every other class last week – you can now put together what fueled my tear ducts every time the director called for it.
Acting can be a wonderful catharsis, but just as much a painful exercise. I guess that’s both the pro and the con of being an actor; the more struggles you go through in your life, the better an actor you can be.
Life 2.0 is one of Khrono’s blogs, and will be presented with new blogposts every week. Petter Egge is a former student from HiOA and journalist at Khrono.no. He has decided to do something quite different. This is his stories.
July 17th 2014:
Chronicle #23: For Crying Out Load
Before acting school, I couldn’t even remember the last time I cried.
July 9th 2014:
Chronicle #22: The Week of Independence
While I was already on that wave from last Sunday, I started this week with some hours in the gymnastics gym.
July 2th 2014:
Chronicle #21: The Upswing
This week started with a Q and A session with casting director Chris Devane, which might be described as a rather tough start.
June 17th 2014:
Chronicle #20: The Circle of Life
Ok, this is a hard one, folks. So please bear with me. This week, I circled halfway around the earth to catch the circle of life at its closure.
June 10th 2014:
Chronicle #19: Back to business
Life 2.0 - the chronicles of an emerging actor facing Hollywood: After a really nice visitor, the company has left and Petter Egge is feeling a different kind of alone.
June 3th 2014:
Chronicle #18: The Life of the Party
After one week off from school Khronos blogger Petter Egge is heading for semester two at the New York Film Academy in Hollywood.
May 20th 2014:
Chronicle #17: The Life of the Party
This week, I got a whole new understanding of the fact that I now live and breathe the LA-life.
May 15th 2014:
Chronicle #16: The Leap From Sanity
After San Francisco, the way back to reality was just a little too short. From a weekend in heaven, I hit the ground in a pile of papers to write, finals coming up, and most of all – our final showcase at the Victory Theatre.
May 8th 2014:
Chronicle #15: The Escape
This week I thought I was up for an easy ride. Not many film projects in sight, and a long–awaited trip to my favorite city San Francisco – where I left my soul when leaving UC Berkeley two years ago.
April 29th 2014:
Chronicle #14: The Aftermath
No journalists called me this week, and my phone has slowly managed to find peace; now it is only buzzing about twice as much as before Ellen (yes, there will forever be a «before» and «after Ellen» now). The number of followers on Instagram has eventually stabilized, and though my twitter profile is more busy with visitors and followers than ever before, the threat of an explosion seems to cease.
April 23th 2014:
Chronicle #13: The Tribute
Out of his good heart Petter helped a person on the street, and suddenly life turned around for a couple of days. When this week started, I was at the bottom of a deep valley, weighed down under a number of concerns. The ones about my economy had already bothered me for months, as frequent readers would already know, but now my worries included another area of much bigger importance.
April 16th 2014:
Chronicle #12: When words do not suffice
There are times, even for a writer
when written words become empty signs
Times when a writer don’t want to write
cause there’s too much between the lines
April 9th 2014:
Chronicle #11: «The School of Life»
Life is a funny little thing. It is for sure a trembling rollercoaster, but also a splash of water in your face and missing ground under your feet. It has its ways – mysterious, inscrutable – of surprising me, not just when I thought I had it all together, but even more often when I’m already out of balance.
April 2th 2014:
Chronicle #10: «The Decennium»
From waking up scared of an earthquake, to not take notice at all. So: I’m happy to announce that I might already be a real Californian.
Mars 25th 2014:
Chronicle #9: «The Wake Up Call»
They say you’re not a real Californian until you no longer notice the earthquakes. This week started with something of a wake up call. As mentioned in previous posts, sleep is quite limited for me over here due to lack of time. That one night when I finally managed to enter deeply into those psychedelic lands of dreams at the right time, with no alarm set for the next morning – THE EARTH decided to shake me out of bed at 6:25 AM with a 4.4 magnitude earthquake.
Mars 18th 2014:
Chronicle #8: «So You Think You Can Act»
Do you know how to walk? No, you don’t. Can you sit, crawl, or lie down? No, you can’t. You can’t even lift your arm up in front of you. I know you can’t believe it – neither could I. But every day here, I am proven wrong.
Mars 11th 2014:
Chronicle #7: «The walk of Shame»
Ever had the feeling that your duties seem to pass by like a super fast train and you just can’t catch up with it for the life of you?
Mars 4th 2014:
Chronicle #6: «Teaser»
I was a journalist, a gymnast and a musician. I had everything I needed – except what I wanted. Thats why I decided to quit my job, say goodbye to my friends and family, and leave for acting school in Hollywood. The Video presented in this blog is a small taste of what life has been like the first few weeks.
Feb. 25th 2014:
Chronicle #5: «In a cold sweat»
For a guy who has lived all his life by the rules and routines of a gymnastics regime, there is no doubt that life here is a tad more divergent. Having nothing to do at one moment is just as shockingly unfamiliar as it is to run from a film shoot to my roommates’ baptism in the next. At any point earlier in my life, the degree of variation stretched from sleeping, through eating and practice, to toilet visits, school and back to sleep. The circle of life has definitely taken a new shape.
Feb. 18th 2014:
Chronicle #4: «The Proposal and the Valentine’s»
Real life, as we will know it the next eight months (though dreamy it may still seem to me), is about to blossom. As the hassle of settling down slowly dies out, challenges of school is coming to life, growing over the heads of its students.
Feb. 11th 2014:
Chronicle #3: «Life’s a like a box of chocolate»
As we still can’t seem to get friendly with our apartment (at least our rent), it took my roommate and me no more than three days to decide to move out again. Already stretching our comfort zone with one bedroom, we are now downgrading to NO bedroom.
Feb. 8th 2014:
Chronicle #2: Move-in Day and monologues
When gas, water, power and insurance companies got back in to business on Monday morning, Murphy’s law did the same; what could go wrong – well, you know. For the landlord to let us move in, they needed confirmation letters faxed from all of the above – which should be no problem, since we asked them all to do so when opening our new accounts. After half a day of waiting by an empty fax machine, we dared to call them back with a friendly reminder – only to discover that they’d forgotten all about us. When they eventually faxed it, only one name was on the paper – and we’d really prefer that both of us could move in.
Feb. 5th 2014:
Chronicle #1: «I need a dollar, dollar is what I need»
Ok, just to make it clear right away: I am NOT a blogger. Since the dawn of the blogosphere, my prejudices have kept me far away from its kind. But as we all know, the first unwritten rule of a struggling actor in Hollywood is that «Everyone must accept some kind of prostitution in order to survive up until the big breakthrough.» So, I could have fulfilled the stereotype of waiting tables between my auditions, or I could do a «Sylvester Stallone» – but instead I am now spreading trivialities about my still-to-be famous self. Oh, the irony.