Thursday, April 15, 2010


I graduated from a high school in Utah in 1996. Most of my friends went straight to a local college after graduation except for me. I knew that I didn't want to live in Utah for the rest of my life so I only applied for colleges in California. I was accepted into The American Academy of Dramatic Arts for the 1997-1998 school year.

I worked and saved up one thousand dollars to move to Hollywood with. Several months before, I visited Melrose Ave in Hollywood where, with the help of a friend from California, I found my first apartment. It was located on the East end of Melrose Ave a block away and across the street from Paramount Pictures. The apartment complex had been a hotel in the early 1900's and had a furniture store underneath it. There were no kitchens but the rent was affordable at three hundred dollars a month and I didn't mind washing my dishes in the bathroom sink. It was a great apartment complex. The tenants all helped each other and were very friendly, I would imagine it could be compared with a dormitory style life. To read about the history of this apartment complex visit

I moved into my new apartment July 4, 1997. After everyone left that helped me move in, I was truly and utterly by myself in California at nineteen years old. My apartment had two floor-to-ceiling windows that when opened provided a view of the Hollywood sign, on a not-so-smoggy day. I knew I wasn't on the most desirable end of Melrose or Hollywood for that matter but I could afford it thanks to two jobs, one at the Production Group on Vine Street and one at Bank of America as a teller.

Since there was a heat wave that year, I had to keep my windows open every night. It was nice though, because there was this homeless man who would play the flute on a bus station bench across the street. He only came at night, and was gone before I woke up in the morning but he single handedly provided me with so much inspiration that I'll never forget him.

Before I had a job and then again before I had two jobs, I wondered how long I was going to be able to survive in California before I truly ran out of money. The price of failure was having to call my mom on the phone and let her know I couldn't afford to live on my own. If I did that, she would've forced me to move back to Utah, where I didn't feel I belonged. So, there were times that I ate very little, or skipped a meal. One time I had just worked a seventeen hour day at the Production Group and as I was leaving I saw the McDonald's across the street and I wished that I had enough money to eat there, but I didn't have any money. That's when I started wondering if I was going to end up like the man on the corner who played the flute for me every night. I wrote about the Flute Man in my journal:

October 1997
The man on the corner playing the flute, is playing for you isn't he? He tells your story without your permission and forces you to listen and hear.
The eerie pleasantness of the music is like a movie being projected onto your face. And so I watch with great interest and hear with all soul, because you are a man with a story for all.
The man on the corner has no face to be remembered by, no voice to acknowledge your presence and no name to be recognized by you.
The man on the corner is singing your song! A song with no words, just like your story - a story with no required words for anybody.
Who hears your story besides you? The man on the corner doesn't hear your story, but he tells it well.
And one day you would like to meet that man on the corner, who sings your story with no words and plays your story with no notes.
And so one day you go to that corner to meet that man, but when you get there he leaves and you're the only man standing on the corner with a story that has no words and a song that has no notes. And suddenly, you understand.

Early in 1998 a man in a car experiencing a heart attack crashed through the bus stop destroying that park bench and I never heard from the Flute Man again.


  1. This was a very moving section of your blog. How brave you were/are to follow your dreams. Your writings of the flute guy are touching and, I can't think of the right words to say. Suffice it to say, I am touched by your words and your courage.

  2. I am glad that my story of the flute guy can touch and inspire others. Thank you for your comment.