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The Six Stages of Los Angeles

Stage 1: Planning (Hope) "I'm moving to L.A. and I'm gonna MAKE it!"

Stage 2: Arrival (Elation) "Wow, the beautiful people--the landmarks, the star-spotting, the glamour, the sun, the beach--I LOVE it. This is where it's all happening!"

Stage 3: Work (Uh-Oh) "I can't find a job. I can't get an agent. I can't get a friggin extra-ing gig! My car has been broken into/wrecked/towed/stolen 3 times! Fucking velvet ropes. I'm hot and I have no AC. My landlord is a shady prick."

Stage 4: Panic (Hate) "I've been here six months and still don't have a job/agent. My credit cards are maxed and I'm selling blood/semen/ovum to pay rent! My car has dents and the shallow assholes here judge me for it. I'm gonna have to sell out and get a *real* job! This is not what I came here for!"

Stage 5: Survival (Resignation) "At least there's no snow. I guess I don't HAVE to have Starbucks. Actors are annoying. Agents are sadists with an inflated sense of self-worth."

Stage 6: Living (Appreciation) "The weather rocks. What celebrities? I'm just happy to be able to hike every day. Who cares about the velvet rope? In two months people will have forgotten the name of that club, and the names of the people you're supposed to be able to see there. It's all about the little luxuries. Isn't it weird that we all look 10 years younger than our friends who didn't move to L.A.? Wow--there really is a lot to do here!"