As you can tell by this letter some changes have taken place in my life since last year. l998 was a much better year than 1997. After spending over two and a half years in Los Angeles, I am starting to get well established as a first assistant cameraman. I have made many new contacts and friends and I am encouraged about the future I spent the first half of the year working on a series of low budget independent films and student films. Although they did not pay very well, they kept me busy, allowed me to practice my craft and most importantly, introduced me to many new contacts.
The second half of the year saw me working on a string of low budget independent films and music videos. I have kept fairly busy this year and although I'm not in the big leagues yet, I am very confident that I am well on my way. I am doing much better than I was a year ago at this time.
In April I finally decided it was time to put my house in Wilmington on the market and so I flew to DC and my parents and I drove down to Wilmington to select a realtor. It was a bittersweet visit to Wilmington as the weather was wonderful and I got to see many of my friends whom I missed. I could not help but doubt if my move to LA had been a good idea. However, by the end of the visit I had reassured myself that moving to LA was the best decision for me. Wilmington is a lovely place to live but it does not have the opportunities which LA has. After a whirlwind day of meeting with over four realtors, my parents and I decided on Caldwell Banker.
In August my parents came out for a ten-day visit. We had a wonderful time, as we always do. We visited the newly opened Getty Center and spent three days in San Diego where we stayed at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. My mother grew up on Coronado and we saw several of her high school friends as well as her old house!
Also at the end of August l sold my house in Wilmington! This was great news, as it had become a financial burden to me. I got a pretty good deal and am glad to have one less headache in my life. I still have some stuff in storage in Wilmington, which I hope to retrieve over the Christmas break. My good friend and long time roommate John bought a house of his own in Wilmington and started a new job as well.
In September my buddy Tom came out for a visit. We always have a great time together and this visit was no exception. One of my lifetime dreams was fulfilled when Tom and I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in concert. For those of you who don't know they were the guitarist and lead singer respectively, for the band Led Zeppelin which is my favorite rock group. Led Zeppelin disbanded in l980, so this is about as close to seeing them in concert as is possible. Page/Plant have put out two albums together in recent years and they were touring in promotion off their latest album. About half the songs they played were old Led Zep tunes so I was in heaven! To top it off l had let my hair grow the longest it has ever been, so I was right at home.
Clearly the highlight of the year occurred in October when I spent two weeks in Europe with parents! We began by spending three days in Amsterdam then took a five-day cruise down the Rhine River ending in Strasbourg where we spent three days. We ended the trip by spending four days in Paris. This was clearly one of the most magnificent vacations I have ever taken and I was very happy and grateful to be able to go with my parents. Europe was beautiful, clean (although there is a lot of graffiti) and so civilized. I enjoyed every place we went but I have to say Paris was my favorite. It is the most beautiful city I have every visited. I can't wait to go back.
The one down note is that I got sick on the cruise ship (either food poisoning or 24-hour stomach flu) and then caught a cold in Paris. The cold didn't stop me but I did spend about two days in bed on the cruise ship. Luckily, because we were just going down the Rhine River I did not miss much. I was recovered by the time we reached the section with all the castles lining the banks of the river. In Paris we visited Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower (very crowded) and many more famous sites. We had s drink at the famous Ritz hotel and went to see the show at the Moulin Rogue, where we were seated in the front row! I felt like I had been gone a month when I returned from Europe because we had done so much and had such fun! It was a vacation I will never forget!
November and December have been filled with music videos and work on a low budget feature entitled Spanish Judges. I went home to DC for Thanksgiving and will also be in DC for Christmas and New Year's which I will celebrate with my buddy Tom. This will be our seventh year in a row!
On a personal note I now have only one cat. Whitney and I did not get along so with the help of an adoption agency I was able to find a good home for her. I still have Pratt and am very fond of him. He purrs 24-7 and gets into very little trouble. I have to take Claritin because I am allergic to him but he is worth it. Although I have had a few dates and have made some female friends I still do not have anyone serious in my life. This is a hard town to meet people in. I hope you have a very merry holiday season and l send all my best wishes for a successful and joyous New Year.
All my best wishes,