Meet a Member
Meet Paul Spacey from Coventry who moved to LA 3 years ago to pursue football (soccer) coaching.
Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
The climate was definitely a factor! My girlfriend Claire (also a BLA member) wanted to continue her acting studies then further her career and this was the perfect place for it. We had a choice between LA and London and to be honest it was an easy decision in the end. LA was ideal for me (I’m a qualified referee, ex semi-pro player and coach) and I knew there were lots of soccer opportunities here - given that I’m now one of LA’s best known soccer coaches, it has turned out to be a very good decision to relocate.
What do you miss most from home?
Friends and family, without a doubt. If we could move them all over here it would be THE perfect place to live, long-term. I never thought I would miss the cold weather but after the crazy summer we have just had, I would love some of the UK’s cold weather to hit us!
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? If so why?
We spent a few months here before actually moving and we realised very quickly that it’s not quite what you expect when you see all the glitz and glam of the red carpet on TV, Hollywood in particular. We loved it though, especially Santa Monica and the beaches, and I don’t think our opinion has changed. We love living here!
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Coventry (insert home town here)?
The traffic! If you spend 30 minutes travelling 10 miles in traffic back in Coventry you feel very hard done to. If you spend 30 minutes here doing 10 miles it’s a miracle! The volume of traffic, at almost any time of the day, is pretty crazy. I’ve decided that people don’t work and just drive around all day to block the roads!
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
Yes – although it’s not really ‘hidden’, it is a gem. Clover Park in Santa Monica. It’s a huge open space (I also coach there) which is great for all sports, family picnics and BBQ’s and being in Santa Monica, it is of course very clean and also dog friendly (on a leash). There is a fantastic section of beach in Malibu which is the only area within 15-20 minutes of LA you can allow a dog to run off-leash on the beach (unofficially). I can’t say exactly where it is because I believe it’s a private beach and I don’t want to anger residents! Google might be able to help you find it.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here ?
Come and join us! Do your research first and spend a bit of time here before committing to move. It is almost certainly nothing like anywhere else you may have lived and LA is so vast that there are so many areas to live in that are completely different. Where you base yourself obviously depends on what you are coming here to do.
If your life was a TV show which would it be and why?
The only appropriate show really is an old British series called Dream Team which some members may remember from 1997-2007 about a fictional soccer club. (STARRING OUR OWN CRAIG YOUNG as Alex Wilkinson! ) I run my own soccer club here in LA (www.smsoccerclub.com) so I know all about the troubles of trying to keep players, coaches and supporters happy! The game of soccer continues to grow here in LA and the rest of the US and that’s a great thing for me because I’ve literally lived the game since I was a toddler.
Lastly, how can we find out more about you ? ( insert website/Twitter /blog etc here)
My website is the best place – www.paulspacey.com. Claire also has her own acting/modelling website – www.clairerandle.com. I’m pretty active on Twitter so tweet me anytime!@pauljspacey