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L.A. Affairs: I wasn’t looking for love. What I was after was a green card


I came to Los Angeles as a foreign student from Germany to study acting, and I wanted to stay a little longer to dodge bad weather at home and add acting credits to my résumé. I didn’t have much in the way of funds, no work permit, and my command of English was spotty at the time. I worked in a Venice Beach hostel as a cleaning woman for room and no board, and I studied the English vocabulary on my bus rides to the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre in Hollywood. I mostly lived off peanuts, literally.

I needed a green card.

I had a dream that I would get married in August. I told my mother back home on the phone. “Where’s the man going to come from?” I said. Same-sex marriage wasn’t in the cards yet, and the man I was madly in love with was on hiatus from our relationship.

“You’ll see,” she snickered.

I began interviewing eligible men in the clubs on Sunset Boulevard or in Venice Beach, and the offers ranged from “Pay me $5,000 and I’ll do it” to “I never had a girlfriend, but I want one” to “You don’t mind the drugs, do you?”

“This isn’t going to work out,” I told my mother. I wanted a green card and a bit of romance, not to commit a…

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