So here I sit, one bad haircut and a few sunburns later, with two weeks left in Los Angeles. Just five more days at my internship and one more weekend to check out the town. Let’s check the progress on my list, shall we?
LA To-Do List:
- Hike up to the Hollywood sign. – Pics below!
- Find where John Krasinski lives.
- Stalk John Krasinski (ongoing).
- See a UCB sketch show.
- Tour the Universal Lot. – And had a Tramtastic Day!
- Visit the Getty Museum.
- Join a hippie drum circle on Venice Beach.
- Find when/where The Mindy Project is shooting.
- Force my way on set. (Read: Take out some PA’s. Take their places.)
- Bring the Pulaski Rendition of “Love Shack” to West Coast Karaoke.
- Have lunch at the Grove.
- Go to the oldest bar in downtown LA, Cole’s.
- This one’s a toughie – go out in Hollywood and not pay for a single drink. – It is possible! Here Bar! Yeah baby!
- See a midnight premiere. – Dark Knight!
- Talk to a celebrity. But first I need to be able to recognize them…
- Support the local artists and/or homeless people and buy a reasonably priced funny painting of an animal for my bathroom in Athens.
- Check out the Mulholland Drive overlook at night.
- Tour Nickelodeon Studios on Sunset!!
- See a show at the Hollywood Bowl.
- Buy something from the Venice Flea Market.
- Look at the night sky from Griffith Observatory.
- Go to an ASSSSCAT show at UCB.
- Have an AWParty! – We’re grown-ups now. Isn’t that weird?
(If you don’t read anything else, make sure you hit up the starred section, as I can assure an embarrassing story.)
I’ve been to two outdoor screenings. Very LA. On Saturday the 7th, we watched Dazed and Confused on the lawn of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and this past weekend, we went to a viewing of the original Karate Kid outside of the Academy in Hollywood. The Oscar’s hosts an outdoor summer series which not only includes the screenings of popular movies, but a little chat with the stars and important players from the movie. Pretty sweet.
Dazed & Confused
The Oscars Outdoors
In other news, now that I’ve figured out how to use it, I’m addicted to Instagram. Follow me @paigeski7! *peace sign*
Two things I can assure you about outdoor screenings in LA are 1) you will be freezing and mysteriously wet no matter how many layers of clothing you wear or blankets you lay on and 2) someone will smoke weed and inevitably, every single person in the audience will whiff the air and sigh.
California smells like pot and car exhaust. And I swear, the LA smog is actually caused by marijuana. You can quote me on that theory because when some group of scientists discovers that to be the truth some time down the road, you can point them to this post and say, “Paige knew. She birthed the ‘Too Many People Went Green’ Theory. Also, this blog thing – so dumb, am I right?”
Okay, so I need a better name than that. That was a sad, sad pun on the “Going Green” initiative and the fact that California is so hell-bent on recycling that they have taken it upon themselves to separate everyone’s recyclables from their trash with government hands instead of trusting people to sort their own trash from the beginning.
Something that’s legal in California and probably shouldn’t be is the fact that motorcyclists are allowed to drive between car lanes on the highway. Yeah, you can speed through traffic a little quicker, but HOLY F*CK, DO YOU WANT TO DIE?? These people are nuts.
Another part of outdoor screenings? Food Trucks. Holy Food Trucks, Batman.
FOOD TRUCK LAND
In our apartment, we have deemed a groundbreaking new term.
“Fatgirling” is the word used to describe the partaking in indulgence of either sweet or delicious, fattening food. Foods may include ice cream, French fries with any or no toppings, Pop-Tarts, anything with bacon and/or barbeque sauce, and absolutely everything that spends part of its life in a Food Truck.
Use in a sentence: These are my favorite types of foods and I have partaken in consumption of all of them over the two weeks that have passed since I last updated. It all started with a spur-of-the-moment visit to Chick-Fil-A for scrumptious shakes and the fatgirling hasn’t stopped.
Alternate definition: the overconsumption of foods that would otherwise be good for you.
Use in a sentence: Melanie and I gorged ourselves with a metric shit load of delicious Indian food on Saturday. We fatgirled so hard, that we had to take a two-hour nap to properly digest.
More Guest Speakers
Other real things that have happened – we’ve also had a few more speakers.
Producer/UPM Billy Badalato, was by far the most upbeat, positive (perhaps too optimistic) speaker that we’ve had. Surprisingly, his advice was to start out in the Rebate States (Georgia, in our case) and then make the LA move only when we can start out with a legitimate job. He was super into his presentation, even though he read directly off the slides. It was pretty adorable – he even had all of his favorite inspirational quotes on slides like, “‘Good enough’ isn’t,” and “How do you cut down a forest? One tree at a time.” One of my favorite analogies that he gave was that the UPM is “the Border Collie of film people”, making sure that everyone is secure & happy while looking to the future to make sure everything is planned and ready to roll. I could tell this guy really loved teaching, so it was good to talk to someone who isn’t so jaded by the business.
Craig Phillips, a UGA Grad, is one of the co-creators of SunnyBoy Entertainment. They do a lot of commissioned short-form projects, but have been working on animation projects of their own creative. Craig was of particular inspiration to me because he just sort of started this company doing what he loved to do with a couple of his best buddies from school. His main advice was to work with people that you like and respect, because, this being such a collaborative business, or “collective art”, it’s so important to be friends with your co-workers. Craig also emphasized the importance of having a vision and a voice. It’s refreshing to see that holding his ground for the type of work that he wants to do has not hurt him but has instead steered the right sort of people to their company. “Stick to your vision and you’ll become known for it and you’ll be rewarded when the right opportunity comes around.”
And then Ernesto Foronda, Jenn’s roommate from Grad School, came to talk to us about being a Screener for Sundance and about being an Indie Filmmaker. We saw the movie that he co-directed, Sunset Stories, at the Out Festival two Saturdays ago. Seeing the movie really gave me faith that independent filmmaking doesn’t have to be completely stressful – it can be fun and fulfilling and, perhaps most importantly, it can totally be done! If you want recognition, you just have to get out there and make your visions come to life. I mean, I don’t come from a background familiar with transgenders and gay punk bands like they do, but I could really connect with their visual imagery – I like pretty lights, and they had a lot of those. I’m also personally a sucker for a shallow depth of field. I only had a few problems with bumps in the story, but what I took away was that you can just go out and do it!
On Sunday the 8th, WE WENT TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!! Super fun. I love theme parks. Although Universal is lacking in thrill rides, the characters make up for it. We went right when the park opened so we could all take the Back Lot Tour as a group right away and then disperse from there.
We weren’t ready…
P.S. THE BAD HAIRCUT.
Jimmy being adorable on our tram’s TV screens.
The flood from Big Fat Liar!
The Bates Motel from Psycho
Pam’s wedding dress & a bridesmaid dress from The Office!!!!
My hubby, J. Fal, hosted the tour and I did snap a pic with him before heading off for a day of fun at the park.
Oh you know, just me and my hubby.
Once we headed down the three escalators, we were where the three real rides in the park were. We had the right idea in taking the Single Riders Line for the Transformers 3D ride because at 9 AM there was a 45-minute wait. It was awesome – totally believable 3D – but not 45 minutes awesome. We ended up riding The Mummy – the ONLY roller coaster in the park – about five times that day. We had Veteran Amusement Parker Danny with us, so the ante was upped for striking a good-enough pose for the camera. The first time, I looked terrified in the picture. I love rides, but I’m a screamer. The whole time, every time I ride. Every time after that, we were either disapproving or Girl Power-ing or, if you’re Danny, putting your shirt up over your face. We got soaked on the Jurassic Park ride and waited forever for The Simpsons Ride, which didn’t exactly pay off – just another simulator. The Terminator 3D and Shrek 3D things weren’t that awesome either. The Special FX Show was pretty sweet, but I do wish that I could have seen the Animal Actors show – I always love them! Of course, my absolute FAVORITE part of the whole day becoming…A TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE. THANK YOU FACE PAINT. THANK YOU FOR JUDGING ME, EVERYONE ELSE IN THE PARK. YOU WISH YOU WERE EIGHT YEARS OLD LIKE ME.
I was so happy.
I’m Mikey. Dream come true.
Our group tickets actually got us in one other day during the week for FREE, so of course we went back the following Thursday after a huge-ass dinner at Buca di Beppo at Universal CityWalk.
Santa Anita Raceway
On Tuesday the 10th, Ashley invited me to go have breakfast with her mom’s friend at the Santa Anita Raceway. It’s the off season, but the horses were out for their morning exercise. The lady we had breakfast with gave us a tour of the whole place, and I was transported directly back to the thirties. The whole style of this HUGE place was art deco and so extravagant. Now, there’s only a difference of five dollars ($15 and $20) between General Club Seating and the fancy Club area (forget the name). But there’s all of this beautiful carved wood paneling, forest green carpets, gold palm tree decorations, and bold wallpaper patterns. Just gorgeous. I so appreciated the tour and I can’t wait til I’m rich and can get drunk there and fall asleep on the couches in the Ladies’ Room before the race even starts.
Cash & Bet
Beautiful mountains in the background.
They have the names of winning horses etched around the rim of the fountain. Seabiscuit was the only one I knew.
Sullivan & Sons
There were only four of us who went to the taping of Sullivan & Son, produced by Vince Vaughan. I actually really enjoyed this sitcom and we were there for the taping of the finale, which was pretty cool. The audience warmer-upper was MUCH better than the guy we had last time, although still pushed the envelope on one too many things. Luckily for him, the couple that had been together for 7 years but still weren’t engaged that he tried to have married on the spot by Pastor Larry from the audience took the gag in stride and the guy proposed to her to “keep travelling with me”, to which she said yes. (Oh yeah, and they were from New Zealand, cool mo’ fo’s…)
The humor of the show is a little strange – a mixture of weed/beer/bar humor and then like, a LOT of Korean humor. And it’s actually a pretty good mix. I don’t think they’ll get picked up for more than two seasons, but they’ve made it this far.
Oh yeah, and the special guest star in the finale was Kerri Kenney. What’s that you say? You don’t know who she is? Uh, she only played Deputy Trudy Wiegel on Reno 911!. I. Love. Her. She made the show for me.
Even though the taping took SEVEN HOURS, we at least rewarded with a $25 Applebee’s Gift Card as a sort of peace offering from the Hype Guy for making Danny choose between Angelique, Ashley, and me for a date. That really must just be the worst job ever, making people laugh uncomfortably for seven hours. Sheesh.
Two Thursdays ago, we checked out the Paley Center, which is ultimately a library/archive for a TON of shows and movies. However, they also advertise their museum, which we went to go see. And…it’s less than impressive. They had some cool stuff – a lot of stuff from Friends – but I guess, after going on a bunch of studio tours, it was eh. I guess it didn’t help that a ton of people had stayed up the night before writing pages of their script and were super tired.
Old lunchboxes from TV Shows & Movies
These Bugs…es are from a fashion event – each one was dressed by a different designer.
Original Wile E. Coyote cel!!
Original Scooby-Doo cel!!
They were my fav from Animaniacs!
Pinky & The Brain!
One of my favorite things in the museum – a fan letter to Tweety.
Original Wonder Woman costume
True Blood couch
REAL Daisy Dukes!
Michelle Tanner’s costume from Full House!
Wile, just chillin’.
We also had some connects at Participant Media, so they gave us a little tour of their building and gave us some advice about career paths. I wasn’t taking notes, so I didn’t come away with anything concrete, but what I gathered from the two execs who talked to us is that, everyone seems to lust after the Studio System. When you are disillusioned, you tend to fall back into a more stable, relaxed job that may be exactly what you always wanted to do, yet you never knew that job existed. No single person forges their path the exact same way, and it’s never over.
Here Bar: Meet Vodka Paige
Now, on Friday night – FRIDAY THE 13TH MIND YOU, we went out to a gay bar, called Here Bar, for Rebekah’s birthday in Hollywood.
Aaaaaaaaand this is where we meet my friend, Vodka Paige.
Funny, this is also how I remember the night.
You know where this is going.
Now, Vodka Paige thinks it’s a good idea to pre-game so she doesn’t have to pay for drinks when she goes out that night. Vodka Paige thought it would be a superb time to polish off that damned half-bottle of awful, cherry-flavored Skyy left over from the 4th of July. (It was on sale, okay? I thought if I mixed it with Coke, it would taste like Cherry Coke, alright? IT DIDN’T.)
Vodka Paige did, in fact, finish that Skyy in less than an hour before we took a cab to officially start the party.
Hydrated Paige remembers getting ready and then certain things about the night, like having my pepper spray taken by the Bouncer upon entry and Vodka Paige making the Bouncer pinky-promise that he would not let me forget to get it before I left. Hydrated Paige then remembers seeing some people that she knows and sort of dancing a little bit…and then getting her pepper spray back from her good friend, the Bouncer, who remembered to give it back before she could even ask. Vodka Paige then gave Boyfriend Bouncer a hug and remembers the ride home. Dehydrated Paige then woke up the next morning, not exactly remembering how she got in bed, but with a ton of random bruises on her arms, a sore neck and hips, and really parched lips.
Stay away from alcohol, kids.
Hydrated Paige’s roommates have since filled her in on Vodka Paige’s antics from that night. Apparently, Vodka Paige demonstrated (multiple times) the difference between the male and female Dougie, unrequested. She also decided that she was gonna dance her little heart out, not even sure of who was behind her and not really caring. Turns out, Vodka Paige started out dancing with someone she knew and then suddenly, booty-dancing so hard on some random dude who kept calling her “Atlanta”. She had a few more drinks at the bar that she certainly didn’t buy (score) and she definitely made friends with a ton of people that Hydrated Paige wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. Oh yeah, and Hydrated Paige finally figured out why Vodka Paige was so wet at the end of the night – the Truck Stop Dancers (read: strippers) – did a Coyote Ugly performance of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” right at closing time.
So, needless to say, Hydrated Paige is a little more than very much embarrassed by all of this, but hey – I had fun…or so I heard.
The next day, I counted on about three glasses of water, eggs, and toast to help me out. And then, we were off to an Independent Film Financing and Distribution Seminar. I was learning a lot, but had to take a mini-break to become a little better-acquainted with my best friends, The Bathroom Floor and Porcelain Pail. After that, I could direct my whole attention to really hearing what they had to say.
The financing advice mainly had to do with the projection and selling of your passion for the project and not so much overloading the execs with details and probability of success because making promises you can’t keep can never lead to anything good. But, you have to trust that it’ll all work out if you have a good project because people who finance movies genuinely like movies. The people on the panel (Palak Patel, Braxton Pope, and Alan Bailey) also supported kickstarters, not only for the money, but for building an engaged audience from very early stages who will start the hype for you on social media sites because of the hipster mentality of “liking it before it was cool”. On the distribution side of things, they really sang the praises of “independent television content” – another name for stuff that gets a lot of play online – Hulu, Netflix, and any other sort of streaming. They (Shaun Hill, Chris Charalambous, and Keith Knee) also talked about the Pros & Cons of distributing to Wal-Mart and Target who work on commission. This can ultimately screw over the film companies because the price to keep the items on the shelf compared with the items actually sold could come out in the retailers’ favor. The last bit of advice that stuck out for me was their push to do your research and sell a genre.
After the entirely-too-long seminar (three hours of people talking is 2 ½ too long), we headed over to hang out at Peaches. We then headed out to check out Sunset Stories and then RUSHED over to UCB’s Sketch Cram. I still do not know how we made it to UCBTLA by midnight, but we did and I’m so glad! My cousin, Kyle started pitching sketch ideas with about seven other writers at 8 or 9 in the morning. The directors of the day made the writers write their two worst ideas, the actors showed up at noon, and by midnight, a SKETCH SHOW WAS BORN! Very funny stuff.
Super proud of Kyle in general. We caught another Maude Night/New Money performance last Wednesday and overall, the sets were much better! I correctly guessed Kyle’s sketch (again) and, I may be biased, but it was my fave.
Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Last Sunday, we went to another one of Rosie’s delicious brunches at the North Clubhouse to partake in AWESOME jalapeno-cheese and pizza bagels. Just the fuel we needed to HIKE TO THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN!!
Let me just say, sometimes I can trick myself into thinking I’m an athletically adept person but there was no kidding when I thought I was actually going to die as I climbed that first incline.
This isn’t a joke. I actually thought I was going to die.
No, like, for real.
I was wheezing so bad, I thought I was going to at least pass out.
YES, OKAY I GET IT. I SHOULD WORK OUT.
But, as evidenced by this sign that some angel made, I MADE IT.
The view from the top was awesome. Once we cooled down, I was able to enjoy the sights and realize how sunburned I’d become.
Leaving space for Melanie.
Super sunburn on my virgin skin that hides beneath my bracelets.
After a much-needed shower, we needed to re-fuel, obviously. So, we made it up to our bodies by getting a $13 sushi dinner. $13 you say? Way too expensive! WRONG. For $13 we got soup, a salad, tempura veggies, five big pieces of sushi, watercress, green beans, a huge bowl of rice, AND ICE CREAM. Oh, and we saw Johnny Knoxville there. So, that’s no big deal.
That night Eddie Mac also graced our presence and filled us in on all of his San Fran escapades that made me feel a little bit better about My Sloppy Night Out.
Have you seen Chelsea Lately?
Last Tuesday, we went to a taping of Chelsea Lately and just as snarky and seemingly disinterested as I would only expect from her. The taping itself was quick and painless and the hype guy was COMPLETELY BEARABLE, even – dare I say – likeable! I almost forgot that they had us wait outside in the sun for three hours! And we met Chuy! Such a cool experience – we got to talk with writers Jen Kirkman and Chris Franjola. They both have roots in stand up and pretty much all the writing they need to do every day is to write a monologue and round-table jokes for Chelsea. Sounds pretty fun the way they do it, actually. Just crack jokes around a table and see what makes Chelsea laugh? Definitely easier said than done.
And then! My favorite night out in LA! Although it was technically in Burbank, I HAD SO MUCH FUN!! We finally checked out the “Oldest Karaoke Bar”, Dimple’s, for Fraser’s TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY!!
We were met by two old dudes checking IDs at the front and were a little skeptical about the whole dynamic of this place but, upon seeing the giant video screen at the back of the place showing instant replays of the performances, we knew the was gonna be a good night. Even the question of, “Where are we gonna sit?” was immediately answered when some drunk, blonde chick yelled at me, “How old are you?”
“I’m 21! Cross my heart!”
“You look 12!”
“Thanks? It’s somebody’s 21st tonight, though! You guys should buy him a drink!”
So, in hops the dude trying to get laid by the drunk, blonde chick, “Here, come sit right here! ‘S’all on my tab! Whatever you want! All on my tab!”
“Put it all on there! Drinks on me! We’re celebrating her tonight! She was on the Young and the Restless. Do you guys recognize her?”
I’m not sure if this guy got his wish, but we sure got a TON of free drinks and shots. I’m still not even sure what’s in a Buttery Nipple, but it was twice as delicious because it was FREE, DAMMIT.
Okay, so the karaoke. We’ve been wanting to hit this place up so hard because they give you hats, jackets, wigs, scarves, and props galore to choose from! Not to mention they have FOUR mics, take and print pictures of your group for FREE, and they give you a FREE DVD of your performance!! And not only that, but for staying ‘til the end, we got a DVD of the. Whole. Night. Every. Single. Performance. It’s beautiful.
Oh yeah, and they gave our whole party free champagne for Fraser’s birthday.
Ash & I singing the “finale” with all of the other “Pussycats” – “So What” by P!nk!
The fun we had – singing “Wannabe”, “Kiss Me”, “So What”, etc. etc. etc. – was well worth being called “pussycats” and being inappropriately touched by the two old dudes who own the place. Thanks for the DVDs, guys!
Ah, The Dark Knight Rises. I truly wish I could gush like everybody else…but…and I saved this for later in the post on purpose…I FELL ASLEEP. I FELL ASLEEP, OKAY? I saw the first hour and it was great! Really! I just…it got really late. And I was super cold. And and and I was really sleep-deprived. I just…I’M SORRY. I’LL GO SEE IT AGAIN.
But, bringing it back up again! WE HAD AN AWPARTY: LA EDITION!!
It was so good seeing Amber, Stacia, Damien, Clark, and meeting Eddie! We just kept talking about how weird it was that we’ve all moved on from the thing that brought us back together and here we are, grown up and sippin’ on some brewskis, reminiscing about the olden golden days and discussing unemployment. Strange stuff, I tell ya. But so much fun!!! It’s always good to have a support system and even better to catch up with old friends, knowing that so many things have changed and yet we’re still able to connect and have a good time. Spent the night with Superstars, I tell ya, SUPERSTARS!
Everybody’s Gone Surfin’
Saturday brought a whole new adventure – Ash & Mel went SURFING!! I made sure that I was awake and ready to head out at 7 AM because I did not want to miss my gal pals rockin’ the waves. They looked so badass. They’re currently sore as fuh, but I did get some sweet pics so it was SO WORTH IT.
Ashley modeling her wet suit.
Probably my favorite picture of Melanie ever.
Ashley’s standing! I missed every other time!
Should have recorded this – too funny.
Teen Choice Awards
And then yesterday, we checked out the Teen Choice Awards!
Me & Angelique
I was all down for a night of screaming and looking glamorous, but we took one look at the bar when we stepped inside the ampitheatre and knew how we were gonna make it through.
How Melanie made it.
TCA Drinking Game: Drink every time you feel too old to be here and every time you don’t recognize a celebrity. Had I purchased enough liquid, I would have been shmammered in a matter of twenty minutes. There was a LOT of screaming, but it was super fun! A cool experience to see how those live events work. And, let’s be honest here, yes – the Biebs had a great performance, but NO DOUBT ROCKED THE SHIT OUT OF THAT STAGE. Holy cow. That was awesome.
The Fam’s coming this weekend! Here’s to knocking out the rest of my To-Do List!!