H Alan Scott: Los Angeles

What’s your historical LA and New York connection?
I moved to New York on vacation. For a short while I worked in politics before transitioning into non-profit event planning while trying to make comedy happen. Eventually I got a job that allowed me to split my time between New York and LA, which helped establish my credibility within the comedy communities of both cities.

Describe your experience in LA.
LA is like kale juice. At first you’re like, “Get that away from me.” But then you’re like, “Everyone is drinking this stuff, what do they see in it?” Then you learn more about, its secrets, and that most people sweeten it. Finally you’re like, “More kale juice please!” It took years for me to get into LA, I felt out of place (cars! no seasons! last call at 2AM!). But people seemed to like it, so I jumped in, got to know the scene, figured out some secrets. Like NYC, it’s an industry town based on connections. Once I recognized that in order to actually like the place I needed to explore it (especially the comedy scene), and that figuring out the secret to LA life is just showing up and making myself available (and my knowledge of the New York comedy scene and vic versa for LA) to the people I’m meeting, then eventually I grew to love LA (and kale juice).

What was the biggest challenge of moving from NYC to LA?
This is a boring answer, but the car was a big adjustment for me. But also the amount of down time I have in LA. I’d easily go all day without stopping by home in NYC, but rarely does that ever happen in LA.

How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
By recognizing that they are two totally different types of cities that draw very talented people to them. It’s the talent we should be engaging, not endlessly comparing each other with “20 Reasons Why NYC Is Better Than LA” lists (looking at you Buzzfeed!). For example, I produce a comedy show in both New York and LA called SRSLY LOL. By doing this, I was able to establish that I get both comedy scenes and that I’m able to successfully interact with them. This helped me establish professional legitimacy that allowed me to interact and collaborate with top talent in both cities.

Favorite NYC secret spot
The Strand bathroom. It’s the most comfortable, clean public bathroom in the city. Plus there’s plenty of reading material.

Favorite LA secret spot
Cafe 101 at the Holiday Inn in Hollywood. Great diner, I hold all my work meetings there. Cheap, classically LA, and they have parking (big LA bonus).

If you were not doing comedy and writing, what would you be doing?
I’d be a tour guide at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri. Ask me why I didn’t put a period after the “S” in his name, it’s a great story!

From the 2462 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LOS ANGELES

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