Essex Boy in LA

Rambling’s from late September – An Essex boy in LA

Well it’s been a weird couple of months for me. I’ve had a ton of comedy shows, some TV work and my football team (I can’t bring myself to say soccer) won the championship! http://www.hasfc.com/home.html

But the misses was away for most of the action (almost 3 months). But I certainly can’t complain as she was in Vietnam working for Save the Children helping orphans with HIV. That really brings everything into perspective. While she was out helping the less fortunate I was trying my best to make people chuckle and hope for a few breaks along the way. Along with re-newing my green card, my UK passport and trying not to lose my healthcare – which meant I couldn’t leave the USA.

I must say in pure Essex boy fashion I did let myself go a little (I put on half a stone). I went out and bought and XBOX 360 and filled the freezer with pizza and burrito’s (you don’t get pies out here). OK, OK, don’t judge me. I had to do something to pass the time didn’t I? I mean it wasn’t like I could go to the beach or out for a meal without the misses was it? So when I wasn’t auditioning for TV shows, performing comedy or working at the restaurant (yep, I do that as well – classic cliché that one) I was stuffing my face with junk food and playing FIFA while the misses helped the needy. Sort of makes you think about your priorities doesn’t it? And I knew what they were. Get myself a special cable to plug into the TV so that I could see football matches online that were broadcast in China. The odd game doesn’t make it out here, so you have to be covered, right?

I’m currently performing in shows at The Second City in Hollywood. The best way to explain that would be, I think, ‘Who’s line is it anyway’ meets ‘The Fast Show’. It’s a sketch show/Improv show. It’s a great place to be and this Friday I can officially call myself a graduate of their conservatory. Second City was the birthplace of Mike Myers, John Belushi and many more. I’ve also done some stand up as well. I was the special guest at a sold out show at a famous comedy club on Melrose. This all came about due to a show I’m in 2 episodes of called Reality Hell on the E! Channel. It’s basically like Candid Camera for the 21st Century, but we prank people who really think they are on Reality TV. A mate of mine tells me the show starts in England this Saturday….? I’ll include the details at the end. You might want to give it a watch. It was a lot of fun filming it. No script and pure madness all of the way.

OK, so where am I. I’ve covered the misses being away, the football and comedy. Let’s mention a little about american life for a bit. It’s a funny old place LA. Would I recommend it as a tourist destination to my Essex family/mates? I’m not too sure. The traffic is insane and it has no real underground or train system. Hollywood is not nearly as glamorous as you would believe. But, the weather is good and if you can get around the place it has some really good things going on. I’m not too far from Santa Monica which is my favourite place here. And it has some pretty decent pubs for the football. Blimey, am I back to booze and football again?

What next. OK, politics. Yawn. But I might as well. The whole healthcare debate is pretty insane out here. They are actually people protesting at Obama’s healthcare plans. They actually want healthcare for profit which blows my mind. Seriously, I know we moan about the NHS but the situation out here is crazy. As we are in a recession your hours can get cut at work. If your hours fall too low the company will then cut your healthcare benefits. And this is happening all over. So then you’re left with less money and NO healthcare. You also see so many people out here who are homeless. And so many just had a few bad breaks along the way and found themselves on the street. I watched a report last night to say that the numbers of homeless families in LA is constantly rising.

This place has so much going for it, but I must say there are a few things that I can’t get my head around. Healthcare and gun crime are the big two for me. But I guess I’m just considered a foreigner with liberal views when it comes to that. I wouldn’t say I’m super political by any stretch. I just can’t see how it’s fair how any man or woman can go to work and not have healthcare. I’m hoping Obama has the courage to see this one through.

Well fast forward a bit and the misses is actually back from Vietnam after 26 hours of traveling, ouch. She has plenty of stories, pictures, bootleg films and football shirts for everyone. So I’m looking forward to doing some fun things with her again. Vegas is a 4 hour drive (that’s a short drive here) so we plan to get away for a weekend next month. But I’ve managed to get the flu which is doing my head in. I’ve been lying around for days now hoping these antibiotics will kick in. Did I mention I had to pay $25 to see the doctor (the receptionist wanted to charge me $50 for a same day apt) and $20 for the antibiotics. And that’s with healthcare! OK, I’ll shut up about that now.

I’m looking forward to being back in Essex for XMAS. A chance to see family, friends, have a decent pint and get to the football. I’ll try my best to write a blog every few weeks.

Cheers everyone

Ben
PS – I think the comedy show I’m in 2 episodes of starts in England this Saturday 3rd October at 1030pm on the E! Channel. If so here are the digits for your TV. And if they run the same as the US I’m in episodes 1 and 8 (8 in total). Sky Digital Channel 151 Virgin Media Channel 156

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