If you know me, or follow me on twitter or Facebook, you probably have discovered that I have a tenuous relationship with Los Angeles. Yes, it is the heart of the entertainment industry and offers the job opportunities I desire, but actually being there is a challenge for me.
First let me say that, of course, there are nice, grounded, generous people in LA. God Bless them. But so often you see those that aren’t so nice, grounded, or generous. I just got back from a week long trip and I saw both types of people.
I started my week with an orientation for a very well renowned acting studio. As events transpired, I was appalled by the behavior of the instructor and some in the class. I won’t go into specifics, but let’s just say that I will not be taking a class from said instructor. It was my second day into my trip and already I was feeling hopeless about the quality of people in LA. Luckily, a dear dear friend of mine from college invited me to volunteer with him.
Drew has been one of my dearest friends since we did a show together at the UW. He’s one of the nice, grounded, generous types. So before we got to visit, I met him at the food truck for the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. Here is a description of what they do from their website:
“Every night between 6:15 and 7:30 a community comes together at the barren street corner of Sycamore and Romaine, along the border of Hollywood and West Hollywood. On the one hand – on one side of the table – are the volunteers of The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, a broad-based grass-roots organization which for the past 25 years has served a hot, fresh, and nutritious meal every night to the homeless and hungry. On the other hand are between 150 and 200 men and women who have somehow or other fallen through the cracks, and for whom the meal they are about to eat, sumptuous as it is, might well be the only meal they have all day.”
I was one of the people serving food to those that came for a good meal. No questions were asked about need, or how they got into their situation. We just fed them as much as they wanted and sent them off with a smile. Not only was there plenty of food to offer, but there is a mobile clinic run by UCLA students for those that can’t afford medical attention. There was also a legal aide to help those that need it but can’t afford it. I was amazed by the whole operation. Everyone was treated with dignity and respect.
I am so glad I got to have this experience. It is so easy to get caught up in the superficial and selfish world that exists in the entertainment industry. Admittedly, I am not immune to it. The GWHFC reminded me what is really important: making the world a better place for each other, be it through a good meal or a good story.
And if you have a bit to spare, please consider donating to GWHFC or to your local food bank.