Anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area and has any connection at all with Show Biz will know how the title of this blog entry would finish. ...direct. Now, I came out here to be an actor, a writer, a director and I have had some success in all three of those areas. But working as a Parking Control Officer has also given me the opportunity to direct. To direct traffic.
Recently we had two (count 'em two!) High School graduations (I have capitalized High School so you wouldn't think I was saying the schools were high in the hills or the students were high in the classrooms. Although this is the Los Angeles area and anything is possible, I suppose). And you know what High School graduations mean. Yep, that's right. Bad driving. Not only by students mind you, but also by parents, grandparents, siblings, friends. All those people who are told the graduation starts at 6PM and who show up at 7:30PM asking where to park in an extremely crowded area. Sigh. Well, it's hard to complain about the ingress. But the egress! Please, get me started.
As the cars arrive for the festivities, they arrive in a staggered way (and no, I'm not talking about high students again). So, parking them is relatively easy. But of course, when the graduation is over, all the cars want to leave at the same time. This is commonly referred to by the police as a "cluster fuck." For those of you with delicate sensibilities let me apologize for the use of that word. Just understand it's not MY word but the word used by the police. Trust me, MY word is much worse.
So, here I am in the semi-gloom of a darkening sky trying to direct traffic at what is essentially a four-way intersection with one of the intersecting roads being blocked in such a way as to make it a one-way only. And wouldn't you know it? That's the most convenient way out! So of course everyone wants to go that way! Did you ever see anyone make a u-turn on a road that was closed off in one direction? I have. And I'm still amazed at myself for not throwing my shoes at those drivers. But I was standing on a hill so if I had done that it would have been even more difficult on my balance and my arches.
Add to all this the fact that there were other things going on in the area and you can imagine the chaos (some call it fun). Actually, truth be told, directing traffic IS kind of fun. Unless you've done it yourself, you can't imagine the feeling of power it gives you. The power to decide who gets to go and who must stop. The power to make the driver stop even though he or she wants to go soooo badly (and most of them do go badly, trust me). This sounds like the ultimate in ego-tripping and yeah, I guess it is. It's intense but it's kind of a thrill.
I'm sick, aren't I? Well, I really would rather direct films. Pass the Epsom salts. I'm going to soak my feet.