There and Back Again
To say, the last year or two have been a bit tumultuous, confusing and in retrospect misguided would be an understatement. To say it's been interesting, would be trite and disingenuous. I won't go into great detail on most of the journey or this entry would never end.
The Big "Sometimes Not So Easy"
I love New Orleans.
But sometimes New Orleans loves me back too hard. And such was the case on my last stint in one of my favorite city's in the world.
After jumping through plenty of hoops to transfer out of the Atlanta union and into the one that covers the film industry in Louisiana, I worked pretty steadily. However, after a 17 hour delay with my flight from NOLA to ATL, as well as a number of other situations, I realized that moving to New Orleans may have not been the best tactical direction for me to take.
Perhaps, I thought, a return to California and working in Los Angeles might be the best next step. I had a very strong possibility of employment on the show Westworld, which did indeed happen.
I floundered about quite a bit.
I visited the Salton Sea.
I hung out in Barstow and Bishop.
I made it up to Mammoth Lakes on several occasions.
I camped quite a bit.
But not as much as I would have liked.
I also realized that there were several reasons why I have tried to leave Los Angeles so many times and I keep ending back up there. I sincerely believe that my last stay out there will be indeed my last.
The City of Angels and I have never been a good match. That is one of the few things in my life that keep learning. Hopefully, I am right in saying that we have said our final goodbye.
I imagine that I will be back to visit. But I don't believe I'll ever take up residence there again.
In my dreams, I could see living up in the mountains of Mammoth Lakes. I have never lived in the Bay area and given the cost of living in that region, unless my fortune changes I don't foresee that becoming a reality.
If there was more work, I may have stayed longer. But at the time it was pretty scarce and I didn't have the contacts I once did. I had been gone too long.
I realized that not only did my family still reside in Atlanta, but so did a number of my dearest friends. Not only ones that I had met during my time there but also a number of Angelenos that had relocated there.
My oldest friend, who I've known since meeting in Driver's Ed in high school and the one who got me into the film business lives in Atlanta now.
I would have to learn how to live away from the sea for at least the next several years. I wish I would have realized this before I spent a great deal of time, energy and money. But sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees as it were.
That said, I'm back here in the Empire of the South.
It's going to be a very different experience to be sure. Divorced, in the midst of a career change, very close to retirement, at least as a set dresser, fairly certain that I won't make a return to Burning Man although a number of my dear friends here consider themselves "Burners". I'm staying in the same complex where Skye and I used to take circus classes, although they've relocated and my aerial arts days are behind me. I've joined the gym that I was a member of before. In fact, we all were part of the gym at one point, it was one of the perks of the condo we were living in. Skye and I even were part of their team that participated in a Spartan race. The owner's the same and there are a couple of other familiar faces, but all of the jujitsu instructors I trained under had moved on as well as the yoga instructors.
But here I am.
In Atlanta, starting over....again.
Hopefully I've learned somethings along the way.
Jon Danniells is an adventurer and traveler, a teacher and student, a husband and a father, a cook and a farmer, a "week-end warrior" (very amateur athlete) and has not earned any money on these labors of love.When I googled myself what showed up first was my IMDB listing, which is basically a resume for my 20 and then some year career in film, for which I fortunately do get paid.