Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've probably noticed the large number of "For Rent" signs that have gone up in Los Angeles during the past few weeks. I'm reminded of the mass exodus that occurred after September 11, 2001, when the economy tanked and people started re-evaluating their career paths and lives in general.
It's not surprising that renters are moving to cheaper apartments or leaving Los Angeles altogether -- a suffering economy always hits areas with higher costs of living harder. After all, it's one thing to live the life of a "starving artist" when the economy is good, but when none of your friends can find work and you can't even afford the occasional dinner out, the Hollywood dream begins to look a little dingy.
And let's face it, Los Angeles can represent American excess at its worst. From this week's hot, new starlet dining at The Ivy to Playboy bunnies shopping at The Beverly Center, we're often surrounded by what seems like undeserved financial success coupled with a complete lack of restraint. Which only makes being unemployed or underemployed all the more disheartening.
But don't move back in with the parents just yet. Remember, Hollywood created the rags to riches story -- and it wasn't just a screenplay. In Los Angeles, today's filmmaker struggling to make rent is tomorrow's Hollywood Hills blockbuster producer. And the great thing about living here? Those transformations happen every day.