I took my first trip to Hollywood last week. I was by myself, on my way to San Diego, when I decided on a whim that I would just stop for the night in Hollywood & poke around a little. Traffic was awful at the time I was driving through & I couldn’t stand to deal with it for another 3 hours to SD. And since I am a person who gets through life on intuition, I went there intending to pick up on all the energies in Hollywood. I used airbnb instead of Marriott. I decided that when I am travelling alone, I will use airbnb forever because I love it so much, but particularly in Hollywood. The locals who are renting apartments are usually aspiring entertainers themselves, and because they need the extra income to make ends meet, they rent out their extra room. The room is usually nice & clean because they certainly need good reviews or no one will book them. They are very hospitable so if you are a frequent visitor to their area, they’d like you to come back & stay with them again. That is perfect for me because I get the opportunity to ask questions about their industry. They’ve seemed very happy to be “interviewed” (so to speak).
The first couple I stayed with was right on Hollywood Boulevard at the foot of Runyon Canyon. I arrived & he gave me the run down of the area, told me where I could eat. There was a pub a couple blocks over called The Pikey so I went there. There were no tables available so I sat myself down at the bar & ordered me a burger. At that place, I met Brian, the bartender. He asked me what brought me to Hollywood for this trip & I told him that I was just hanging out & getting to know the scene because my son wants to be an actor, so I felt like I wanted to at least learn my way around a little, get a feel for the culture. He then admitted he is an actor as well as a bartender. He asked about to boy & to see his ‘headshots’, which I had not even taken yet, so I showed him Kenzen’s Instagram & just what’s on it. He said he genuinely thought my kid had a great presence and the fact that he was talented archer, eskrimador & avid runner was helpful in roles for which those characteristics may be relevant. He said to make sure I put every single skill & ability on his resume. Then, another actor walked in. He sat at the bar next to me. I talked to him for a bit then Brian asked me if I knew who he was. Of course I didn’t. He then officially introduced me to Ross Partridge from Stranger Things. I had never seen the show, and in hindsight, I probably should’ve lied & said, “Oh I knew you looked familiar!” but of course I didn’t think about that on the spot. So, I shamefully said, “No I actually don’t watch much TV, I need to start!” Which felt like a stupid thing to say, but then he said, “Well they nixed me for season 2 so you don’t have to watch that show.” I felt better & said, “Well to hell with them then!” Then, I got to talking to the guy on the other side of me. He had forgotten what he was drinking so I reminded him, “You had whiskey” (which I remembered since because his accent was so strong I had been eavesdropping to see what his story was) and from there we just talked about stuff. He, too, asked me what I was doing there, so Brian told him “she’s here to check us out, her son wants to be an actor”. I then said, “ok you know my secret, what’s yours, what are you doing here?” Turns out he is a talent scout for Coachella, a music festival I’ve never been interested in. This time I was on point! I said, “Oh awesome how do you feel about the turnout this year?” I didn’t know squat about Coachella except what I saw come across on twitter. In 3 minutes I had his life story, where he was from, how many kids & what a day in his job is like. All without even asking for the info. Thankfully, due to my personality, I get that a lot, people just spill their guts to me & in this case I took advantage. So, he offered me some advice about entertainment overall, then I tried to get him to book Metallica for the next one. Hey, I had to try. He says Metallica must hate his festival as they’ve blown him off every time.
Brian then told me about a friend of his who was a successful actor, Jack Plotnick. Jack has decided to give back by guiding the next generation of aspiring actors through the industry in every which way he can think of. Jack wrote a book that you can get for free if you know the right avenues. I am now armed with it, & with any luck, in a few days I will be this big know it all. Or at least, I will be wielding the false confidence required to push me to the next step 🙂
I have sent Jack a facebook message thanking him for the eBook and introducing myself & the boy who will benefit from the knowledge obtained from the book. Perhaps he will respond back & be totally interested in my kid. But perhaps not. It would be just TOO easy for Hollywood to REALLY come and get us, so I figure we will never hear back from that nice fella. I had to look him up to see who he is, apparently he’s kind of a big deal!
On my way back from San Diego, I stopped again in Hollywood & used airBnB & stayed with another young-ish couple pursuing a career in acting. Funny side story: When I showed up at their house, they hadn’t gotten home from work yet, so I went into Runyon Canyon park to hike a little. While I was in there, they locked the gates! I couldn’t get out, I had to leap the fence! My 5’6″, 160 pound, nearly 40 year old self had to leap a 10 foot fence. Don’t get me wrong, I am flattered & proud as all get out that I could jump the fence. I ain’t as good as I once was, but as good once as I ever was (thanks for that line, Toby). There was a batch of us there who got locked in. The hosts I was staying with, who rushed home to let me in, texted me that they were there & I could come up any time. I had to text back, “Uh yeah, I am locked in the park at the moment… I will be out asap”. So the guy came to the fence & said, “Which of you is Teralyn?” I said, “Um that’d be me, you must be Shaun, nice to meet you, from behind bars.” We chuckled & I realized that no park ranger was going to pick up the phone & come let us out. Some others considered actually calling 911, and I said, “Nah, I will get us all out of here.” So, I leaped over, making sure no one was filming in case I fell on my face as I demonstrated, and then started coaching others over. Well, there was one girl who was afraid of heights. She got to the top & stayed there awhile. I even tried to use chocolate to get her down… because that sure would have gotten me down… anyway, eventually we got her out, too. She was so embarrassed, poor thing, her boyfriend was there watching her panic & refuse to rescue herself.
So, Shaun & Leela were my hosts that night & they gave me additional info that was helpful. They introduced me to this app (Postmates) where you could order food from so many places & they’d just drive it over to you. I was impressed. I chose a taco place & ate dinner, I was starving after hiking Runyon (which I fell in LOVE with, by the way, I love that park).
So, that is how I decided that I could do this for my boy. I could help him pursue his dream because it isn’t at all outside my comfort zone. Next blog, I will tell you what I found to be the ultimate starter kit for a Hollywood mom & her boy. I had to figure out how to find out where the jobs were, who was looking for extras & support roles, which acting schools were best value & which just looked good on a resume.