Moving On

Charlie and Marty Nadler pose with Elvis on a drive across the country — Courtesy Charlie Nadler

Charlie Nadler grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from MVRHS with the class of 2002. Until mid-March, he lived in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles where he worked in the film and television industry and performed stand up comedy. He’s relocating to New York City, where he will continue to muse about his life on and off Martha’s Vineyard in his weekly “From Afar” column.

Labor Day 2006. The last big wave of tourists on Martha’s Vineyard departed and it was time for my Hollywood life to begin. I needed reliable transportation and sage advice, so I tossed my successful comedy writer father into the passenger seat of my Toyota and drove onto the ferry. I asked him to pack light, which he did, although he revealed in Woods Hole that he had brought nine hats.

While our ultimate goal was Los Angeles, my dad and I made sure we had a blast every step of the journey. We hit , Nashville to eat, Asheville to socialize, and the Grand Canyon to soak up adventure… and by that I mean we visited the IMAX theater at the Grand Canyon that provides a wonderful overview of all the thrills that await those who visit the region. We then promptly departed said region for Vegas.

To this day that road trip of ours serves as a great metaphor for how I try to live my life. I still have various epic finish lines in sight, but the only thing I can really control is the next exit on the highway.

Once in Los Angeles I found a city that is never dull and sometimes lucrative, but always a tough adjustment. Over the next 90 months I slowly created a life for myself. College held my hand through the motions of grown up existence, but California forced me to commit to every facet of adulthood. It was an amazing process, discovering the difference between a job and the job, any apartment and the apartment, some girl and the girl.

Learning how to live taught me how to write. I found a notebook the other day that came over in that maiden Nadler voyage of ’06, filled to the brim with miscellaneous jokes, ideas, and thoughts. Thank goodness twenty-two year-old me thought I was too legit to quit, because looking through that notebook today, I hate most of the material. But my bland 100-month old notebook makes sense. I still needed to try and fail, experiment and succeed, love and hurt. LA gave me all of that and the experiences are priceless as both an artist and a human being.

I thought I had a good ten to fifteen Pacific Standard Time years in me but the expressway of life is now bringing me to New York City. The Toyota is long gone, but my girlfriend has an equally dependable Hyundai. It’s bittersweet to uproot but we’re excited to plant anew. We’re stopping in several inspiring locales including Vail and Cedar Rapids. I am only bringing one hat, but my father will be happy to hear I shipped eight others.