You know, living in L.A. is really funny.

If you’re in New York City and ask someone what they do for a living, the answer will likely be either finance, banking or advertising. If you then ask someone what they do in banking (or finance or advertising), they will tell you exactly what they do and why they are passionate about doing it.

Conversely, if you run into someone in L.A. and ask what they do (or what brought them to L.A.), you will often have someone tell you that they are “in the business.” Really? They’re “in the business?” What business is that?

Are they in the gardening business? I mean, there are a lot of gardeners in L.A. since the weather is nice year-round. Are they in the parks & recreation business (because the parks are open all the time)? Really, about what business are they talking?

In L.A., when people are talking about being in “the business,” they mean the Hollywood business. It’s the ones who aren’t working, though, who will always say “I’m in the business.” What they’re really in the business of is waiting tables.

That’s the definition of a waiter in L.A. When you’re a waiter in LA, you’re actually not waiting tables. You’re waiting to get into “the business.”

So for all those who say they are in “the business,” what do you think they say when asked about exactly what it is they do in the business? They say, “Oh, you know, I’m doing the actor thing.” It’s never just acting – it’s always “the actor thing.”

They call it “the acting thing” because it’s not really something real to them yet. It’s just a thing in which they wish they were actually involved.

L.A. is a really fun town. So the next time you’re in L.A. on vacation and you ask someone what they do for a living, you’ll know how to interpret the answer. If they say they’re “in the business,” you’ll know they are really not in the business.

A lot of my friends are writers. If you ask them what they do for a living, they’ll tell you that they’re a writer. I have friends who are actors. If someone asks them what they do for a living, they will say that they are an actor. My friends who are directors will say they are a director when asked what they do for a living.

Not one of my friends say they do “the writing thing,” “the acting thing” or “the directing thing.” Not one of my friends who are actually “in the business” will ever use that term when referring to what they do for a living.