Encounters of another kind

10th of February, 2012

I’m up with the sun to take a walk into the Hollywood hills and get my LA fitness on. Passing mansions, manicured lawns, glossy cars, an incredibly awesome mix of architectural styles, decking jutting out on stilts, a huge oriental carp pond, Roman columns, homes with 4 different garage doors, Mexican gardeners, views over the entire city; it’s really a splendid melting pot. I come across a film shoot, a police woman booking cars (in the middle of nowhere at 7.30am) and a dead-end. I’m at the top of the hill. I see a cyclone fence with an obviously abandoned huge home. There’s a sign that reads; this house is under litigation. Curiosity kicks in. I lift the chain a little, pick up the fence and I’m in. I peer through the windows to see a dark wooden book shelf and desk covered in dusty plastic. I want to hop over a little railing and see if there’s a pool in front, as I’m sure there is, but as I have this thought, I hear a rustle in the bushes. I remember a recent story of a head found in a plastic bag in this very area and somewhat spooked, swiftly dash back to the gate and bounce down the hill.

I receive a phone call once home from a lovely Australian guy who’s just set up a management company in LA. I’d left him a message days before and he’s on the line telling me what he does. Not that he’d immediately want or be able to manage me, but he wants to help – to introduce me to people, connect me with other Aussies. He’s had such an amazing run since arriving in September, landing an assistant job at one of worlds biggest management companies – he wants to share his knowledge. It all sounds too good to be true, but I agree to meet for coffee this weekend.

I bus over to Silver Lake to see a guy I met a couple of years back who works in editing and coding for Dolby. He’s agreed to help me cut my demo reel. We sort through clips and make swift process. He’s a freaking computer wizard!

Then I bus all the way back to Culver city (opposite sides of town) because I’ve researched a student beauty school that do 6 buck haircuts and my fringe has been hanging in my eyes for weeks now and needs immediate attention.

I find the salon. It’s shabby and not a patch on Harringtons in London – the spot I’ve been frequenting for years for free haircuts. I pay my six dollars and spot a dishevelled rock chick with a mess of hair and hideous bright red highlights. I pray she’s not my stylist. A little Asian man announces over a microphone to the awaiting students, ‘Haircut at front desk, haircut at front desk’. I turn and who’s beside me? Punk rocker chick, to cut my hair. She’s shaking as she tries to find her required brushes. She looks unstable, nervous, on drugs? I’m concerned for my hair. ‘Someone has stolen my brushes’, she declares. ‘One of the girls here before has taken them, she’s stolen my brushes!’. Okay, we are off to a roaring start. She finally gets herself sorted. I initially try to be nice and understanding, but this girl is a straight out weirdo and I can’t wait to be done. She takes forever trimming my hair. She might have OCD or just be scattered. In between minute snips and an hour and a half later, she’s requested, upon her colleagues recommendation that because she’s so tall, and my hair so long, that I must STAND UP to get my hair cut! I do this for a couple of minutes and then coolly and calmly explain; this is not normal practise and perhaps she should get a stool to sit on. I am doing my best to breathe and read a magazine when she starts rambling. ‘You know I used to work for a legal newspaper. It was so cool, because we could read the obituaries and see who had died before everyone else’. What do you say to that? I didn’t even blink. Mute and staring down, I pretend I’m deaf whilst thinking this is getting more and more bizarre. She continues; ‘I used to be a lawyer’. ‘What kind of law did you practise?’ I ask. She mutters some mumbo jumbo about the adult entertainment industry and having to visit premises. ‘Mmmhmmm, that must have been entertaining’ I reply dryly. After almost 2 hours has passed and she’s finally finished my trim, she explains Morita, a really experienced stylist will cut my requested layers and fringe and she’ll look on and learn. Well, Morita starts hacking into one side and then the other. The woman is in some kind of Edward Scissorhands frenzy. My right side looks moderately fine, doable at least. The left has just been butchered. I have a chin length bob 4 inches deep. I am devastated. ‘STOP!’ I cry, ‘Enough, Enough! What are you doing?’. I am freaking out. ‘I have to leave, I just want to leave’, I plead. The rock chick is massaging my shoulder saying ‘It’ll be ok’. I’m about ready to punch her. ‘Please get me the senior stylist. Who’s in charge? I need a senior member of staff here’ I demand. A small crowd has gathered. The senior stylist has arrived and rectifies, as much as possible, the current botch job. I’m horrified. In all my years of student cuts, I’ve never seen such a disaster. I pull my damp hair back in a bun and storm out of there. I may have even ran to the bus stop. Never again!

On the bus home I have an assortment of loonies waving at me, giving me death stares and shaking an empty cup in my face. I feel sad for them. For the collected mass of seriously deranged individuals. I reflect on just how desperate the health system is in America and feel inspired to jot down some new song lyrics – a rap about needing a guardian angel in this crazy town. My patience is worn. I just want my trackies and a warm meal.

I return home frozen to recall the days events to the friends I’m staying with, drink some wine and chuckle over the madness.

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3 thoughts on “Encounters of another kind

  1. True madness! Only in LA. Cant wait to hear how your meeting goes with the Aussie who is workint as an assistant at the Management firm. “LLOYD!!”…love it.

  2. I love every bit of it…from the reference to the head found in the hills (did they ever solve that?) to the OCD hairdresser to the bus ride home. After 2 weeks of LA madness I get what your saying more than ever!

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