Down and Out in California

Loosely based on George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, Down and Out in California is a story of how labor shapes identity in the modern American West.

Follow Lucy through the gritty and glitzy tropes of Los Angeles and San Francisco as she loses her privilege, her faith, and her Hollywood dreams, creating her own profession as she works over a dozen jobs in over a dozen fields in 21st century California.

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Read an excerpt from Down and Out in California here: Magic Bob

“El Segundo is dominated by oil interests and I’m sure directly or indirectly the petition was paid for by them. El Segundo is named thusly because of Chevron’s second refinery built there.  It’s a small, blue collar company town within spitting distance from the Westside of Los Angeles

Now that massive industrial cleanup is finally happening, the town attracts corporate headquarters of all kinds. With these come a corporate elite that are pushing out the old breed of locals. 

These are middle Americans that have resettled here from everywhere, to live out their days breathing in solvents from a brand new building of steel, glass, concrete, and carpet. They’re ready to rest at the top of the corporate ladder they’ve dutifully climbed, clocking in to be ignored and let time pass. They and the refinery workers, who value back-breaking work for a lifetime, do not see eye-to-eye. I contend daily with the tension around this.”