Thursday, April 7, 2011

London Doesn't Want Me to Leave, Either

I think it's pretty clear that if I could stay here in London for the rest of my life, I would. But I believe I've also mentioned that I've begun to realise how hard that would be for an American right out of an American college. If I haven't mentioned it, basically this is the deal: It's really hard.

The UK seems to operate under this motto: "We LOVE foreigners! Come visit! Yeah, we said visit, not live. Go home, love." It's really hard to get permission to live here permanently or even semi-permanently. This time it wasn't too bad because I was on a student visa, and I suppose I could go to grad school here if I hadn't decided halfway through high school that seventeen years of academia was more than enough for me, thank you.

(Side note: seventeen years of school? Are we all insane? Life is short and experience is the best school there is. It is also, in some cases, less expensive. Seventeen years... minimum, in most cases.)

So while grad school may be an option for me down the road, it isn't my plan for right after graduation, and therefore will not be my way of getting into this country. It seems the only other way is the horrible catch twenty-two of employment. Hey, look! There's a job that's perfect for me in London! I think I'll apply... oh, I have to be a UK resident? Okay, well how about I move there and then apply. You want me to have a job before I move there? All right...

Oh, no, wait- there is another option! I could marry someone here! That's cool... except that I don't have an English significant other and call me old fashioned, but I'd prefer not to pull someone off the streets and marry them.

So my options are limited. But I did get a ray of hope today- two in fact- that might make my hypothetical move to England easier. First of all, my inbox on the casting service I signed up for has been exploding lately. Sadly, the jobs are a high enough caliber that I need to upgrade to get details, and I think it's a little late to do that, but at least I know that, if I move here, that's one reliable source (I did go on one of the auditions I was notified about and it was great.)

(Another side note: it seems to me that a lot of drama schools here- on the high school and university level- also act as their students' agent. I know Kate Winslet got her first movie role through her theatre school. I think it's a good idea- who knows you and your abilities better than your acting teachers? This is most definitely not ALL theatre schools here, but it is common. It's also completely unheard of in America and I'd like to know why.)

The other sign from the universe was shoved under my door- it was a guide to house hunting, put together by QM. While a lot of it means nothing to me, never having gone house (or apartment) hunting before, one of the back pages has a chart of apartment rent rates in areas all over the city.

This is helpful because for kicks, I've been checking out apartment rental prices around London, and most of the time, the number is so high that I have to revive myself afterward. The usual-ish rate it around 200-400 pounds. Not to bad, right? Not until you realise that they pay per WEEK here, not per month. And I know that it's more expensive because I'm looking into a city, but still. That's a lot of cash, even if you do have a roommate.

But even though the prices are sky-high, I still would like to see these two things as signs that London would like me to stay. I can't do that, as I must go back to Arcadia, but returning? I'd like to think it's an option.

If anyone is reading this and they have any tips on these kinds of things, feel free to comment away below. I may not necessarily be moving to an apartment here in almost a year's time, but I'll be moving to an apartment somewhere. Yeah... I just registered for my senior year classes. Who's scared? This girl.

Script Frenzy update: 25/100 pages. Going to a write-in tonight, so hopefully I'll have a bunch more by tomorrow.


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