Moving to New York City was always The Plan. I couldn’t get here fast enough. It was — and is — my belief that this stupid little island has everything I could want and more. And anything it doesn’t have, I clearly don’t need. I’ve believed this for the past decade, until now.
People say, if you want to be serious about making television, you have to go to California. I’ve disagreed. I’ve tuned out the naysayers and the professionals who have been in the industry longer than I have been alive. I’m not particularly fond of the West Coast. It’s too far away from my east coast roots, too warm, too weird, too this, too that. When asked what I would do if a television show I ran would set up shop in Vancouver or L.A., my answer is simply “move it to New York.”
I’ve been living here for about nine months now, I’ve experienced every season and just about every emotion you could have. I’ve been to the tallest point in the sky (One World Observatory), have walked dozens of miles, been to countless bars and restaurants, etc. Going into fall, the air crisp and holiday season about to get under way, my affection for New York City is consistently renewed.
I’ve been thinking about the West Coast lot lately. About the studios, production companies, and general qualities of California that do give it an edge over New York.
There’s abundant potential to work my way up the totem pole in a writers room. Writer’s assistant, staff writer, script coordinator, and so on. It is undeniably easier to get my feet wet there than it is over here. But what’s more, I’ve also become more interested in development and programming schedules. There is something about working in development, helping multiple shows launch and succeed, versus working on just one, that gets excited. It makes complete sense given my personality: I like to have my hands in all of the pots. I’m naturally nosey. I like having multiple plates spinning at once.
This past week, I joined the JHRTS (a story for another blog post) and saw the EVP of U.S. Scripted Programming for Sony, Kim Rozenfeld, give a talk. He was incredible and definitely furthered my interest in development and working for a studio. Naturally, when talking about east vs. west coast opportunities, he said something along the lines of “if you’re serious about working in this industry, you’ve got to go out to Hollywood. At least a little while.” He said that, although television production is now global, Hollywood still reigns supreme in terms of job quantity, and quality.
A switch flipped in me. I thought — and think, not even a week later — that, yeah, I could spend some time in L.A. Not next year (my apartment lease doesn’t end until May), but, maybe depending where I am in life, I could reevaluate where I want to go in the summer of 2017.
I still love New York. Living here hasn’t diminished my love for the city much, but it has made me realistically reevaluate what I’m doing here, and where I want to go. The thought of maybe, someday moving to California also made me realize just how serious I am about television production as well, which is something I hadn’t realized before. It’s one thing to say, someday, I want to work in TV. It’s another to put a plan into action and make it happen.