I sometimes meet some of those that attend these seminars in my psychiatric clinic. I take it seriously because a lot of people think it's a bit of fun and it's not - what it is - is exploitation of people with low self worth and often extreme naivety coupled with the hope that it's the answer to their dreams.
Los Angeles is two cities: one of the rarefied film world whose players live secluded in the Hollywood hills; the other the working city, populated by panhandlers, grifters and grafters, the wide boulevards down which course the cabs, limos and fender-bent Fords in a twilight that could be early morning or the dim mauve of after sunset.
The immediate after-thought from seeing Dan Gilroy's superb debut Nightcrawler is that the media is generally capable of some pretty terrible things. Read Steve Rose's excellent history of how the media is portrayed in cinema and television and you'll find that there are plenty of films that endeavour to do the same thing.
If you are spending more than a week in California, there's every chance you may be looking for a little stimulation that reaches beyond the bounds of Sunset Boulevard. So for anyone in Los Angeles who fancies drawing breath on the search for super stardom, here are a couple of spots to tickle a creative mind; Here's how to spend a day the Madame Allsorts way!
The first thing that hits you when you step off the plane in LA is just how eager people are to help you out here - or at least that's what I've found. I've been perpetually impressed with waitresses, bar tenders, shop workers - pretty much everyone I've come across in the service sector, have all been exceptionally polite and almost too eager to help.
I was a high-school tennis player and planned to become the next Arthur Ashe. But once it was discovered that I could not read or write, my dream of becoming a sports star was over. I knew my tennis career was no longer a reality. I found myself pretty much lost, not knowing what my next move would be...
With the glitz and the glamour of the entertainment business, the awards ceremonies and A- Lister hangouts, it is no wonder Los Angeles has adopted the nickname 'La-La-Land'. By definition, being 'la-la' means you are out of touch with reality but in this case is it just an obvious pun due to Los Angeles' initials?
I'm older and wiser and I know what I want now, so I'm sticking it out. I'm giving it a go. London, know that I love you and if Ukip become a genuine threat to us I would jump on a plane in a second to protest, but I just wanted to update you on what I'm up to right now, starting from scratch and living in Los Angeles.
Inside our cars, we stop valuing human life and simultaneously overvalue our own time and importance. And because many people who work in the city drive back to the suburbs where they spend all of their money (becoming agents of urban sprawl), cars have become the standard accessory of urban economic divestment.