playing catch-up

It’s been a while, so here’s what’s been up. Let’s just say there’s been not too much logical and a whole lot of YOLO since touchdown in Cali, and I’m totally ok with that…

Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica: Happy hour shenanigans with the Santa Monica working crew, followed by a casual street performance featuring a friend of a friend that even more casually breakdances for a living out here. God, do I love performing. And performances. And moving to music and seeing the pure satisfaction from both the dancer and the audience. Barney’s Beanery and meeting the coolest Atlantan ever, DeMorris. Also this day: a spontaneous trip to the campus of UCLA, and Jameson’s Pub on Hollywood Boulevard to top off an incredible first week in the city of angels.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour: Seeing Pretty Little Liars and Gilmore Girls outdoor set locations on “the backlot” and “Anywhere, USA,” figuring out that every house or standing structure we see on TV is probably the same one just re-dressed and covered to look a little different, The Batman/Harry Potter Museum, Matt the tour guide from Temple – only two years older than us and trying to break into the movie business, seeing the oldest still-standing facade from Casablanca (holy crap). Then it was off to the oldest  Bob’s Big Boy in the city for burgers (note to self: still need to eat at In-N-Out), sitting in the Beatles booth (aka where the four sat every time they came to LA back in the day), and walking home to get right back in the car for another adventure.

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Thrifting in Echo Park: So many gems and vintage finds. It would be a thousand times easier if I was a boy and could throw on a thrift flannel and jeans and call it a day. Clothes for girls are complicated. I DID, however, pick up a wonderful pair of sweet orange tinted Elton John sunglasses. Score. I feel hip and oh-so “Cali.”

Amoeba Music Store: The largest music and film store I have ever seen. An entire day needs to be dedicated to slowly looking around or else it feels too hectic and overwhelming. Amazing selection of CD’s, Cassettes, LP’s, DVD’s, VHS’s, and literally any and every form of media you could ever want. Amazing.

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Zuma Beach, Malibu: Only an hour away and the most incredibly scenic drive. Are we really still in America? Everything seemed so European and Italian and out of this nation if that’s even possible. Zuma waters are too cold to swim in, but the beach is wonderful place to see surfer dudes ripping across the breakers. Also, no signs of seashells, only pebbles and endless amounts of seaweed. This day reminded me how it’s been over a week and I am still so shocked to even be here. What a beautiful blessing this trip is.

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The Last Bookstore: It’s a block from my work and not at all what it appears to be at first glance. Walk in, and it’s clearly a one roomed bookstore with high ceilings and a dark, moody, writer/reader type atmosphere, right? Wrong. There is way more than meets the eye in this place. I won’t ruin the beauty of it for those of you that plan on making a trip someday when perusing Downtown Los Angeles, but here’s a little preview of the magical fun that goes on. Look for the small stairwell in the back corner and you book nerds out there won’t be disappointed…

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Today’s Class Speaker:

Barbara Hall (writer and producer of Madam Secretary on CBS)

This woman is such an inspiration. She fearlessly writes and takes charge of her working life because it’s simply what she loves to do. Her greatest pieces of advice seem like common sense, but struck me majorly. The way she talks, and formulates scentences with a both pure passion  and a little bit of humor was incredible. I walked out of class motivated to chase after what I love… whatever that is and however I can.

5 ways to success in the crazy industry of entertainment:

1. Perfect your craft.

2. Find out what your craft is.

3. Know the rules before you break them.

4. Do what you love and the money will follow.

5. Make the transition from fan to professional, and always be willing to work just a little bit harder than everyone else.

There it is, folks. A weekend in the life of this passionate East Coast-er thrown into a West Coast whirlwind. I challenge you to think about what it is that you love like Barbara suggested to my program. How can you push the boundaries of it? Are you already doing that which excites you or do you need to make a change? Whatever the case may be, I hope that you are living fully in every second of it.

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