26/2/12 AUSTRALIA DAY
I finally arrive. OMG. LA touchdown!!!!!!!!! Tooooooooot tooooooot toooooooottt!!!!!!!! Super excited, I speed out of that God forsaken Air China 20-year-old plane. Drop a little thank you; ‘Xie Xie’ (said like Sheay sheay) and hot foot it to immigration.
I flip out my passport and present my fresh pressed US O1 visa. ‘What is your purpose of business Ma’am? A serious faced officer stares me down. ‘Acting’ I respond. ‘You have some films you’re working on?’ she asks. ‘Well yes, a few projects lined up and a theatre production, next year’. Thinking I’m about to get grilled, a little internal flutter takes place. ‘Good luck Ma’am!’ she flashes her pearly whites whilst I mumble ‘Oh, ok, that’s it? Thank you’. One finger print later and I’m out of there. Off to live the dream baby! The swiftest US immigration process ever.
Out the front doors. Gorgeous winter warmth. Goooooood morning LA I feel like shouting. It’s 1030am. A huge black limo pulls up to the curb. Unfortunately not my ride. It’s going to Vegas – apparently a courtesy car from MGM Grand. With no phone and no number for my friend who’s due to collect me, I start thinking oh no, what if I miss her, what if she misses me? I find a friendly bystander. ‘Excuse me, I was wondering if you had the internet on your phone? It’s just I need to get on facebook to find my friends number who is picking me up’ I explain. They’re incredibly obliging and as we are in the throes of intrawebbing, there she is, Francesca, in her sleek VW convertible. Lil Wayne and Drake on the stereo. It’s begun…the American rebirth. We chat, chat, chat, all the way home to her West Hollywood apartment. Diving straight into the LA scene. But first a little power nap.
Hours later I’m up and I’m dressed. The last rays of the day sink behind the neighbours papaya tree and fade behind the hills of Hollywood. The adrenalin is propelling me to a pre arranged dinner date with 2 acting mate’s of Frankie (Francesca). Straight to hipsterville Silver Lake (east side LA) We’re meant to go vegan, but the place is booked out, so next door we head to Mohawk Bend. A wickedly slick American diner, killer beer menu and to die for burger makes me feel very happy. My eyelids slowly start to sink post dinner. Here comes the food coma/jet lag combo. Sleep is a callin’ my name.