(I wrote this to my close friend in 2002, while I was living in Venice, California. It was written just before we shot the Kenny Vs Spenny pilot for USA Network.)
Well, I think the honeymoon is finally wearing off as far as LA is concerned. I’m bored. It’s lonely. I think that’s why it’s easy to get laid here. People will fuck anything if they’re lonely enough. Well, maybe if we get a series the next level of show biz pretension will make me shallow enough to sleep better. I must say that it’s especially depressing researching Chomsky for that character in my screenplay while living in LA trying to make it show business. It’s like reading Bukowski if you’re in AA. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy here. It’s just that the longer I stay, the more people I meet whose hearts and dreams are teetering on implosion; reminding me that there for the grace of God go I, and God ain’t that graceful in Tinseltown. Even tonight, a Dutch girl named Katya came over. She’s attractive, with an accent, but in Darwinian LA terms, she’s past her prime. She wants to be an actress. She’s been here three years (illegally) and just finished a how-to-make-it-in-Hollywood course at USC. Next week she says she’s going to make 200 phone calls, trying to get meetings. I wanted to cry for her. Katya recited some of her poetry for me. It was good, but that somehow only makes it worse. She’s just too pure for this place. Or another guy, Bob, a brilliant comic — three years ago he appeared on the Future Comedy Stars episode of Oprah, and nowadays is doing stand-up for free at a pub in Santa Monica with novices like me. Or Fern, still hosting at a restaurant, all but given up on her acting dream…and she’s good. Underneath the beauty of the beach, the mountains, the sun, the women…this town is ugly. Suck em up and spew em out. LA’s like heroin. It’s the best thing in the world until you realize you need it to get out of bed in the morning. Living in Venice has been disturbing. Tension. Mistrust. The police are everywhere. The other night I was drunk on my bicycle with no lights and a quarter ounce of weed in my sweat pants. I got pulled over. I was so petrified that I nervously farted as I was being frisked. It stunk bad. The cop screamed, “Did you shit your pants, son?” I told him I did and apologized like a good Canadian. Luckily, he didn’t find the weed. Imagine if I got caught and deported. It might have been the defining moment of my adult life. The cops are everywhere in Venice Even if I’m standing outside my place, they’ll stop and check me out. I can only imagine what the blacks go through. I’m getting so paranoid. And I’m starting to dream about the kinds of things that Kenny will do to sabotage me in the pilot. Kenny thinks there are no rules, which is a definite disadvantage for me. There’s a gag order on us talking to each other about what we’re going to do in the pilot. I only hear the stuff they won’t let him do. Apparently, he wanted to somehow give me cholera. Nice. It’s the final countdown and I want to go on record that I will try with every ounce of my tension-soakedf body to win. The loser has to go to movie line-up and give away the ending of the movie. I really don’t want to have to do that. I could get shot. I suggested that the loser should stand on a chair with a boom box and rap without stopping for an hour. USA Network preferred the movie line stunt without any justification. Welcome to the wonderful world of dealing with US executives. My latest battle with Abby is over the length of my hair. She wants me to cut it short before we go to camera because she says I look younger. I’ve been growing it out, and prefer it longer. When I told her I refused to cut it short she said — like the mother I never had — “I’m going to put my foot down and call the Network over this.” (I say the mother I never had only because my mother never put her foot down… in recent years, literally!) Beyond my hair, I’m also concerned about my face ballooning from salt intake as I eat my way through the competition. I’m worried that in my television debut that my face will be retaining more water than the Hoover Dam. One day I’ll look back at all of this and laugh…or cry. Too late.