Things tend to work out for people who have balls

That was the first thing someone said to me when I moved to LA.

I moved to Los Angeles to become an actor. I had no idea what I was doing though, but thankfully my cousin offered a place to stay until things clicked. They never really did and so I was invited to find some place else to wait to for things to come together. I had worked at Universal Studios Hollwood twice as a performer, but it wasn't enough to cover rent, so I was asked again to leave and wandered the streets for a couple days until a friend offered his spare room. The only stipulation was that I'd actively look for a job. It wasn't until the last minute that I found a job as a ride operator with Universal again. By that point I had destroyed our friendship though. I was used to being spoiled and took it for granted that someone offered a place to stay.

Days were spent smiling at guests and evenings looking at the stars as I slept on the street. It was cold, but bearable. A storage unit held whatever belongings couldn't be carried and I'd bike there every morning, change, wash up, then head to the theme park for my shift. It dawned on me that this was an actual lifestyle when I noticed a janitor in the park one day. I saw the same man sleeping on the street not more than a half mile from where I slept. The thought of being stuck homeless scared me, so I called my Stepmother, knowing my Father would rescue me. I gave the bike to the janitor, stayed a night at a friend's house and flew back to Philadelphia the next day.

Returning home was difficult because I had failed. I was angry with myself for not only failing, but also being entitled. I was angry at my Father for being right as well, because he had warned me against following my heart. Reluctantly I agreed to his plan of going back to school and eventually working for the NSA. Working in government didn't feel right though. I tried to bargain with him, but his last text read, "You're a grown man. Do what you want." He died that summer.

I didn't want anything to do with the east coast after that. It was a backdrop for pain, suffering, disappointment, loss and anger. It was also a reminder of the sense of entitlement that, in my eyes, was the reason for the failure. I loved my mother, but couldn't tolerate another moment being near Philadelphia. So it became a point to work my ass off and get back to Los Angeles.

Paul Giamatti plays a wrestling coach in the movie Win Win. There's a kid who has a lot of talent and the coach asks him one day what drives his performance. The wrestler responds with something like, "I imagine my opponent is trying to drown me, and I do whatever the fuck it takes to get out." That became the mantra: do whatever the fuck it takes to LA.

Seven months later I was back in Los Angeles for round two.

This time there was more focus on being established in LA while pursuing a dream of being an actor. I didn't want to feel entitled, but wanted to earn the possibility. A job was secured before moving out and things worked out where a studio apartment became available. I spent two and a half years working at Myspace while studying at Groundlings.

The job came to an expected end which coincided with a commercial talent agency signing me a few weeks later. "Here we go," I thought. "Things are starting to line up." However, there was still a nagging insecurity in the back. There was doubt as to whether or not acting was the right thing to do despite all signs pointing toward it. I was afraid to live my dream. My focus went from wanting to act to figuring out how to stay in Los Angeles without acting. At the same time I started pouring money into a career, getting professional headshots, signing up for services and taking more classes. My heart went one way and the mind the other. That lead to a true leap of faith which revealed a peculiar kind of trust.

It's been about two years now and I'm back on the east coast, gearing up for round three. I've seen how stuff works when you have a certain disregard for fear. It's not something I have a handle on, so it can't be said that I have balls. I don't. Instead, what's available is a constant opportunity to simply be and trust that things will work out.