Ellie Innocenti Rocks

Fresh to LA!

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Fresh squeezed interview with Ellie Innocenti - Front woman and creator of the band Deluka (with Kris Kovacs)—

She’s talented, smart, gorgeous and has a cute accent. How can you resist?

Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Birmingham, England.

What brought you to LA?

My band (Deluka) spent the last four years in NYC and really we all felt a change of scenery would do us good.  We packed up our stuff and with our loved ones in tow moved to the opposite coast, looking for a better quality of life for the whole band.  Nicer places to live for less rent and picturesque views is a no brainer really.

 What were your perceptions of LA before you got here?

Our perceptions of LA before we moved here were from little snapshots of visits we’d done with the band. We’d done some recording out here and had been struck by the laid-back easy going vibe, the weather, the feeling of well being the sunlight can give you. We’d also played a handful of shows, one of which was at The Sunset Strip Music Festival with Motley Crüe, which kind of felt like we were in a time warp but was mind blowing, and something I don’t think any of us thought we’d ever do!  We had also filmed a music video in a strip club here, so I feel like we’d seen the extremes of what LA has to offer and were not perturbed.

What were the most overt differences from where you grew up?

LA and Birmingham England are polar opposites.  The weather here is insane, the light, the way it makes you feel. 

Birmingham as much as it will always be home is unfortunately almost always under grey clouds, and that makes you behave differently.  You can’t enjoy the outside world as much, which forces people to retreat, to stay inside, be it cozy little pubs, friends places or just home.  This in itself has a certain charm to it, and I guess can bring people together in a different way…It can also make you a bit tougher and more resilient.

California naturally has this happy go lucky attitude because everyday you look at the blue sky, the palm trees the mountains and you appreciate your surroundings, it gives you a sense of freedom and optimism, even if that’s like a false sense!  It can make you feel fortuitous even without wealth and success and I’m ok with that - ha! 

 What makes you a LA Woman?

I guess I’m an LA woman by default because I live here! I’m by no means the tanned Californian beach bunny, but I love that it has so much to offer.  I don’t feel like I fit into any particular stereotype but there is such a huge rock n roll legacy here, and I certainly feel at home playing shows and being in a band here.  I love the variety of venues, the landscapes and all it’s quirks.

What are your hopes for your new life here?

Hopes for my new life in LA are basically to get the band to a place where individually and as a group we have a great base to call home, a great work environment and happy and healthy personal lives.

What are your favorite stomping grounds in LA so far?

My favorite stomping grounds so far are: Harvard and Stone for the live bands, The Thirsty Crow for that cozy speakeasy vibe and amazing happy hour cocktails. We had a nice evening at The Griffin and a few fun nights at Three Of Clubs.  Which I actually prefer to our previous experiences of LA which included private parties at the Chateau, being frog-marched into Paul and Andre’s and dark, back rooms at The Standard.

How did you get into your line of work?

My Parents bought me a tiny classical Guitar for my 12th Birthday and I became obsessed with learning how to play it.  I was painfully shy and it really gave me a way of building my confidence and then becoming a quiet show-off as my skills developed!  I started writing songs and did my first show age 14 in Birmingham and didn’t really stop playing thereafter.  

I met Kris (guitarist) when I was 16.  We had a great chemistry and as he was honing his production skills, he started to test them out using my melodies and lyrics and this became our method of songwriting, which we’ve been developing this over the last ten years or more.  We eventually got a record deal in America and didn’t look back.  We’re not afraid of big cross pond/cross country moves in this band!

Best date (Reece has taken you on) in LA? (Reece Runnells is Ellie’s fiance)

The beauty of LA is that you drive for a couple of hours either side and you are somewhere wildly different. My favorite date so far was driving out to Joshua Tree National Park. The dusty roads, the epic rock formations and incredible other worldly feel which we followed by BBQ and beer at Pappy and Harriets, made for a pretty perfect day.

Favorite local designers, musicians, artists?

I don’t feel that qualified to sum up my favorite local Designers/Artists/Musicians just yet, I’m still on that voyage of discovery which is the beauty of being somewhere new.  

Our bassist Robbie used to be a tour manager in Europe and drove some of those Eagles of Death Metal guys around, and we’ve hooked up with them again since being here which is always entertaining, plus I’ve always loved what Josh Homme works on, whether it be with Queens or Unkle.  I’ll have to get back to you on this! Give me a few more months and I’ll have it all down.

If one woman (in history) could embody all that is LA, who would it be for you?

I think for me there are a few woman that come to mind that embody all that is LA, mostly musicians surprise surprise!  Someone like Joan Jett, for that classic old school rock n roll, girl with a guitar strapped to her back, holding her own in what was very much a man’s scene.  I think she moved here as a teenager and The Runaways will always make me think of LA. 

Also someone like Gwen Stefani, she seems to ooze LA style, still badass in her forties, juggling motherhood, marriage and No Doubt whilst looking unfathomably so well put together as she does it. Fair-fucking-play!

/// Rock on, Ellie! xx

This is Lisa G. French. She rocks.

We became friends on Twitter and have been living parallel lives…

What is your ethnic background? (You have such a cool look). 

i am half korean/half irish

Where are you originally from?   

born in suitland, maryland (andrews AFB) lived in DC as a wee baby, moved to pascagoula mississippi when i was about 2, moved to texas at 5. grew up in texas (dallas suburbs) since i was 5 up to the age of 23. moved to chicago for school (school of the art institute of chicago) and left at age 31 to move to LA.

What brought you to LA?

the dream. 

i wanted to work in film/tv and i did for a couple of years. then the writer’s strike happened. i still work in entertainment now, but in marketing instead of production.

What were the most overt differences from where you grew up? 

i went back to dallas for thanksgiving and was amazed at how many churches there are…everywhere! in chicago, there are bars everywhere. in LA there are palm trees everywhere. in dallas? churches.

What makes you a LA Woman? 

nothing makes me happier than the windows down, sunroof open, speeding along the highway towards the beach with kick ass music blasting on the stereo.

What are your favorite stomping grounds in LA? 

the beach, venice beach wines is one of my favorite places ever, live music all over town, malo in silverlake

Most rewarding thing about working in PR? 

well i do mostly social media strategy and online PR these days, the BEST is working on shows i LOVE. seriously, if you told me when i was a kid i would watch tv/movies for a living i would be like, RIGHT.

How did you get into your line of work?   

creatively! i was waiting tables at a mom and pop joint and the recession was hitting them hard. i created a social media/PR plan and helped them get a little more traction online. they’re still open to this day, so i imagine it helped!

Any hints about your new super secret ladies’ PR project we can look forward to? 

well it was going to be a music blog, until we realized it would take way more work/time than either of us could spare. i still might do it on my own since i love music so much…we’ll see.

Best date in LA? 

brunch with bottomless mimosas, then a movie, then a nap.

Worst date in LA?

i haven’t really dated much in LA (i just got out of an almost 5 year relationship, *sniffle*) but i created an okcupid profile last night and from the looks of it i will not be dating for a very very long time.

Favorite local designers, musicians, artists? 

blood is the new black is essential for cool threads, divine fits, the growlers, ariel pink for local tunes, and philip lumbang’s bears make me smile.

If one woman (in history) could embody all that is LA, who would it be for you? 

gotta say marilyn monroe, she is pure mf’n hollywood glam.

The Price is Right

This also appears on LASnark.com.

How lucky am I? I get to talk with the women of Fringe Fest.

Here I’ve got for you Tiffany Anne Price aka Cat Lady.

What makes you a LA woman?

I’m into all of the things I think scream LA … yoga, spin, trying to eat healthy, acting, animals, & driving a cool car. It’s a Camaro SS & I love it. It helps that LA grew on me and now I can fully appreciate all that it is. There’s so much to try. Surfing, knitting, food trucks, cupcakes, dog parks, brunch, sushi. It’s all stuff I never did or had in AZ.

When did you first discover you were a cat lady?

I’ve been a cat lady my whole life practically! I remember walking home from school in 1st grade scouting bushes for cats to take home because if I “found” a cat, my mom would more likely let me keep it. You can bet I was that kid always begging to take every animal home.

I finally was able to bring a kitten home in 5th grade when a girl in my class had a cat that had kittens. I marched down to her house in my overalls, picked one out and put it in my bib pocket and ran all the way home! Kayla! My mom pretty much stopped it at Kayla and our dog Max.

Upon moving out on my own, I was restricted to getting any animals of my own due to lame landlord rules. So once my husband and I purchased our first home, the cats starting finding me. All rescues. I even found a mama cat and she had kittens, the hardest thing ever was letting the kittens go to new homes. I wanted to keep all of them!

A woman needs a man like a cat needs a _______

bath! He he is that mean? No cat really needs a bath, they can bathe themselves!

When did you move to LA?

Summer 2004 gosh how time flies.

First impressions?

So many cars, too much traffic, not knowing anyone, smog, oh boy the smog. The first 2 years in LA were the hardest. It was a major adjustment. For some reason every time I saw a Home Depot commercial I got homesick, I still don’t get why, and every holiday I missed my family and friends. They were always eating food. A rarity when you are on your own in the beginning.

Differences from Phoenix besides the whole ocean thing?

Well, after adjusting to LA, I totally like it now and can appreciate the differences, one of which is I think there seems to always be something new to try or see. There’s so much culture, food, and entertainment. I still haven’t explored everything. I think there’s a huge animal community here that I love too. I don’t remember Phoenix having dog bakeries & specialty boutiques for animals. And the shopping especially down Ventura Blvd is my favorite. So unique and cute!

What’s the “nagging flaw” you have that you mention on your website?

My nagging flaw is jealousy. I am getting more control over it, and acknowledge it more rather than letting it ruin great moments. It started as sibling rivalry, then branched out into being possessive over friends, and then that girlfriend jealousy.

Looking back I could be kind of a spaz about it. Now I still get jealous of things, but at least I can step back and say….Why do I feel that way and what can I do to change it? But I still need to practice that! ARGH!

Seems you have the country mouse vs. city mouse struggle too. Tell me more about this fantasy farm you’re going to have.

For reals. I love the city! I like the convenience of everything. Going to the store anytime, restaurants, shopping, nightlife. But then I really enjoy being at home with my animals, and oh yeah, my husband. I want lush rolling hills with tall trees and animals of every kind. I have a dog, cats, & bunnies right now.

But, I want ducks, chickens, maybe a goat. Definitely otters for my small lake and turtles, a finger monkey….have you seen those? So cute! A lamb would be a must and a mini piggy! Horses for sure. I want to ride a horse again.

Can I have a baby tiger maybe? I want one of those DIY shows to come redo a big farmhouse in country chic style. I’m not sure what a mudroom is but they look adorable. I want that in my awesome farmhouse with a very colorful kitchen and super cute appliances. Pinterest is my new fave addiction. I just acquired an abandoned rake so I could make a Pinterest craft. It’s perfect for the farmhouse!

What is your preferred hood in LA and how come?

TOLUCA LAKE! In all caps cuz I’m shouting with excitement. I love Toluca Lake. It has unique cottage houses and ranch houses. They have land on some properties, perfect for a farm in the city I’m thinking. Mind explosion happening. It also has a great sense of community and cute restaurants. Like Sweetsalt. WTF…talk about country chic cuteness. That place is my fave. Just a few doors down is my favorite pub with the best mac & cheese ever, Timmy Nolans.

And my favorite part is you can walk to all of it! The best. Everytime I go to Toluca Lake I get tingles. They do it up for Halloween and Christmas big time. Can I live there already? I’m sure Garry Marshall would love that. I used to vlog to him every week on “Conversations with Garry Marshall” because it’s my mission to be the next Laverne & Shirley. I call him G-man. But he doesn’t know that. It’s cool though.

Best and worst auditions in LA?

Best audition was for Mark Teschner. It was for a pretty big director of comedy in the room with other execs and the room was rolling at every thing I did. I’ve never had such an engaging audience in an audition. I got asked to wait and read for another role too. But Mark is truly one of the nicest.

Worst audition….hmmmm but oddly the best too…simply for overcoming fears. I had to wear a bikini in an audition. Talk about holy shit moments. Thankfully I had just gotten back from Hawaii so I was tan, waxed, and not feeling terribly terrible about my body. But having to take off your cover up among other super model looking girls is pretty mortifying. But I did it and that makes it a winner. Plus I booked it! Go figure…I book the one I almost wanted to skip and didn’t get the one that was the best. Isn’t that just the way?

Best and worst dates in LA?

Best date- Going to Disneyland and having a romantic dinner in the Blue Bayou in the Pirates ride. I love Disney! You can’t do that in Phoenix!

Worst date? not having one? hahahaha If my husband wants to take me out, it’s most likely gonna be good. :)

Which one woman embodies LA to you and why?

For some reason Jennifer Aniston popped into my head. She’s so L.A. because she’s tan, has an amazing body, good hair, does yoga, likes Mexican food or so I’ve heard. Jen & I aren’t friends…yet.

So I guess being tan, healthy, having awesome hair and doing yoga are L.A. to me. Even though Pilates seems to be every woman’s reply to my question…”How did you get arms like that? and abs and legs?” Always Pilates.

And the other woman would be Marilyn Monroe. She’s the epitome of Hollywood for me.

Where will you be taking “Cat Lady” after Fringe Fest?

More Fringe Festivals. I’ve got my eye on Edinburgh for next year. And I’d love to take it up the West Coast, hit Portland, Seattle, & Northern Cali.

I’m also working on doing the college circuit and getting me that HBO or Comedy Central Special. I’m thinking about turning it into a screenplay too. Do it Nia Vardalos style…I need the Rita Wilson of cat ladies to pop into the show. Ha ha. But seriously, is she a cat lady?

Anyone know?

You can follow Tiffany here and her pins here.

Next interview is going to be from inside Tiffany’s Camaro after her screenplay becomes a movie, k?

Lyons’ Roar

This interview also appears on LASnark.com

Kiersten Lyons’ one-woman play CRUSHED appears at the Underground Theater in Hollywood throughout June.


I found out that Kiersten Lyons also grew up as a girl with bowl cuts in Maryland. What’re the chances?

Besides being on Justified and Grey’s Anatomy, here’s a bit about what she’s been up to since then.

What makes you a LA woman?

The fact that I plan on hiring someone else to raise my future children. No, just kidding I used to be a nanny- I’m gonna kick ass raising my kids.

Probably the fact that I can pronounce LaCienega AND have no use for Hollywood and Highland outdoor mall, yet continually find myself bringing people there…

Who put you up to having a bowl cut as a kid?

My mother- it was all my mother. My little sisters and I all had bowl cuts, thus we all had traumatic early childhoods filled with other mothers mistaking us for boys.

Who turned you onto Full House?

I can’t remember a time without Full House. I’m sure its like electricity for earlier generations. Full House will forever be the single most influential piece of television in my life. When DJ had the eating disorder for 22 minutes not including commercial breaks- I cried so hard. I still cry at it.

Your fave shows growing up?

My parents were really instrumental in showing their five kids great comedy. I remember watching reruns of I Love Lucy, The Carol Burnett Show, and The Dick Van Dyke Show in our family room. I had (and still have) a HUGE crush on Dick Van Dyke. Then Family Ties, The Cosby Show, and Growing Pains in real time.

I was a weird kid who believed I brought a studio audience everywhere I went. I would wait for laugh lines and when I had my first kiss, I was sure there’d be bunch of “ooooooohs!”

Which of course caused me great pain when Randy Taylor had his first kiss. By my tweens and teens ABC was a staple- TGIF and Home Improvement were all I lived for. And when Randy Taylor (aka Jonathon Taylor Thomas) kissed the girl who would later star in a Lifetime movie about gymnastics and eating disorders I lost it. I have NEVER cried that hard.

Fave shows and films now?

I’m about to pee my pants with anticipation for season 3 of Downton Abbey. I will watch the same episode of 30 Rock roughly 14 times in a row, and I have a severe crush on NBC’s Best Friends Forever. I tweet at the creators and stars all the time- I’m hoping they’ll come to my show. I’m equally hoping their show finds a home on USA or some other cable network. It’s seriously one of the greatest female comedies ever!

When did you move to LA?

In the beginning of 2002.

First impressions? How was it switching coasts?

I remember the first time I saw the giant posters against the Warner Bros Lot. I was driving into Burbank (actually my mom was driving) and I just looked up. It was the Friends cast and I just starting tearing up cause I couldn’t believe I was here.

Okay fellow Marylander, what makes you crabby?

This one’s hard- but I would say people who are rude to waiters and LA comics that make fun of homeless people. If I hear one more joke about how they offered a homeless person change and the homeless person yelled at them…

What is your preferred hood in LA and how come?

I was gonna lie and say something cool like, “Loz Feliz and this dive bar where everyone wears tank tops and bowties and every drink comes with a temporary tattoo of a bicycle.”

But honestly I love downtown Culver. I lived around there for a year and I really loved Ford’s restaurant, Big Foot Lounge and Bank of America. I always parked next to Bank of America and so that’s my landmark! Also have you been to Sweet Butter Kitchen in Sherman Oaks- I don’t care how dorky I sound saying something in the valley- its amazing!

How did you get into your chosen profession?

In first grade we did a play called, “The White Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings.” I was cast as Mrs. Puddleduck. I was pissed and have spent the rest of my life trying to prove to Mrs. Atkins that I should have been the white rabbit.

Best and worst auditions in LA?

Best- The Closer. I had to push the appointment til the next day because a girl tried to put highlights in my hair and it looked like a carrot pooped on my head.

I guess the sides had changed a bit. So I went into the audition and did the part and just stared at Bruce Newberg for his next line. After about 30 seconds he said, “it’s your line” and I was still in character and said, “No, its yours” He was like, “what? I thought your starring was a choice. Lemme get you the new sides.” When I went to the producers I ended up seeing a girl who’d had her own CW show and thinking, “not gonna get this” so I didn’t care. I ended up booking it.

Worst- It was for a CBS drama… I had one line, “No” I was supposed to be getting attacked. Somehow I ended up making a fist, shaking it in the air and yelling “Noooooooo!” with a British accent. Mortifying…

Best and worst dates in LA?

I’ll start with the worst: The day of the date he had me call him at “the club” which turned out to be the Beverly Hills Country Club and he was in the “Smoking Room.” When I met him for a drink that night he was already a little buzzed. He told me that’d he’d gotten us a table for dinner.

When the hostess sat us he said, “that was so awkward” and then proceeded to tell me he’d helped her get an audition, she’d gone to the audition with no underwear, the casting director had called him to tell him she had a very nice lady bits and that he should sleep with her, so he did.

He then ordered a bottle of wine after having 3 double vodkas on the rocks and told me he couldn’t wait for me to meet his mom and teach me how to play tennis and golf.

He then followed me to Formosa where a group of my friends were, and my best friend Chris had to practically hump me like it was a middle school dance to get this guy to leave. THEN the guy called and texted for days!

BUT BEST? My first date was with my now husband. It was amazing… I told him I liked him and when I like a guy I can’t eat around them- literally; have no appetite, but I could do soup- he made sure to find a place with good soups.

Then we went for a drive and I had to pee so bad and we couldn’t find a bathroom for forever and finally I went in one of those sketch ones behind a Taco Bell. As I was leaving he took a picture and we still have this blurry picture of me leaving a taco bell outside bathroom. It may be gross to some, but to me its magical.

Which one woman embodies LA to you and why?

Melissa McCarthy all the way. Her and her husband met in Groundlings which is where my husband and I met. I remember a sketch she did at a Groundlings show where she was trying to be a stripper- it was one of the funniest physical comedy pieces I’ve ever seen.

She has kids, lives and works in LA and is so unbelievably talented. I met her very briefly one time- she was so incredibly gracious and we quickly chatted about marriage and funny women. She wouldn’t know me from Adam if I walked up to her- but I really treasure that brief chat.

What are roles do you have coming up or what are your dream roles?

My show, CRUSHED is opening June 15th at The Underground Theater with a Preview on June 11. crushedplay.com

I’ve devoted so much this this show- writing, editing, directing, acting- that after this I’m not sure. I’ve fallen in love with writing so I’d think I’d like to do more of that.

A dream role? Lennon’s little sister on Best Friends Forever. And I desperately want to be in a Sesame Street sketch with Abby Cadabby. I don’t care what you say, that girl is awesome!

Keep an eye on Kiersten to see if she ends up saying any of this stuff.

And other bowl cut sporting children of Maryland in LA, please identify yourselves.

Wow- this is some of the greatest insight I’ve heard to LA- from “The Anonymous Production Assistant” who has been blogging since Spring 2008.
 Where are you from?
Anonymous is anonymous. I’m from everywhere and nowhere! But in all seriousness, what matters is that I’m not from LA. Anyone who’s not disillusioned to LA will find it different than anywhere else.
How long have you been in LA?
A while, and not long enough.
What was your major at college?
I went to Big Expensive Private Film School, like many of this generation of film participants.
What prompted your packing your things and “heading west”?
Anyone will tell you that LA is where the industry is. That’s a true statement. Despite all the outsourcing, the business still lies here. If you’re to make your contacts as a producer, writer, or editor, anyone creative basically, your chances definitely increase when you are in town to have in-person meetings with people, which make a much greater impact than emails.
 What were your first impressions?
LA is super weird, but it’s also magical. To not find it hideously soulless and corporate, you really need to have a sense of humor and an eye for the things beyond the surface.
I stress the sense of humor part. If you can’t laugh at some plastic surgery-addicted bimbo on the arm of a hustler old enough to be her father, rather than think of the hubris of humanity, then, well, LA’s going to get to you.
You realize though the ridiculousness of day to day operations, as I talk about on the TAPA blog, that movies in the end are made by real people with human hands. A lot of love goes into each and every frame. You’ll find some of your greatest friends in this business and it’s impossible to deny that.
How did you get your first assistant job?
A lot of people email into the TAPA blog wondering this exact question and I discuss it at length. While there are a lot of advertised open positions for assistants, the job usually goes to a friend of a friend, someone personally recommended to the boss.
That’s what happened for me and to most other people I know. I’ve even gotten jobs by talking to random people at bars and parties. I tell you, it works! You never know who’s having a drink beside you.
Do you enjoy working on tv shows or movies better?
TV shows are like a regular job. They last a lot longer and the hours of the day stay pretty consistent. The work is consistent, everything is consistent. Some people actively search out TV for that exact reason (reality tv exempt).
Work on movies is for the hardy and adventurous. You’re constantly looking for the next gig, sometimes it lasts a few days and sometimes a few months. You can get flown all over the world if you have the right contacts. But the hours are unbearable, the stress is unbelievable, and it’s really hard to maintain any sort of personal life.
I’m still jostling between both. I love it when I get on a TV show because I know I’m good for a little while, but I make my best friends and have my most vivid experiences on features. I don’t know, it’s a “grass is greener” situation sometimes.
I’ve been an assistant too- and I remember when our show was cancelled, all the assistants dove for the office supplies- stocking car trunks with reams of paper. Tell everyone how much time has to be devoted to assisting versus the amount of personal time you get per week- and how much money you have left to eat with after a 60/80 hour week.
I know its unsatisfactory to say, but the amount of money you have left depends of the job. Sometimes what matters isn’t really your pay, since there’s a pretty standard rate accepted in the business, but whether you get paid at all!
If you work at a studio, you’re guaranteed a paycheck. Thank god! If you work independent… well, make sure with production when you get paid because some productions only pay deferred or will get you a check weeks, even months after the gig.
That’s the most frustrating thing about working indie, is waiting for a check that you can only cross your fingers won’t bounce. Either way, independent or studio, you won’t have a lot at the end of the day.
Average for a production assistant is $125/day. Not a lot. But you end up saving a lot when all your meals are paid for…but you might be working six days a week. I was on a studio project once that had people working overtime every day six days a week, so it can happen on any project on any budget. About taking supplies at the end of the show, I think anyone would do that, who doesn’t like free stuff?
What will make assisting worth it to you?
It’s the experiences and the friends you make. I joke that great friends are made through great trauma, and some shoots really are traumatic!
You really share something with those people afterwards. Also, the experiences make for some of the greatest cocktail conversation; while most people talk about what tie someone was wearing on casual friday, your friday was propelling SUV’s over a parking lot for some FX B-roll, or taping a live show in Paris for an ad campaign, or watching an Oscar nominated actress perform a monologue in an emotional scene.
Most of the time it’s not that exciting, but when it is, it’s quite memorable. You really have to crave these moments to stay invigorated, because the work is so hard.
Any anonymous on-set horror stories to share?
The benefit of being TAPA is telling these stories on the blog but… getting kicked out of a location is the worst no matter what shoot it’s on. A big production can bribe their way out, but I’ve been on a number of shoots where the crew just ends up on the sidewalk like an estranged boyfriend, equipment piled up and people sitting around not knowing what to do, the homeowner just yelling their head off at a defeated producer and the director holding back tears in the corner… the actors locked up in their own spaces no longer censoring their opinions as to how terrible this shoot is and what pay they sacrificed to be here… it’s so sad, you don’t even know.
And as a crew member, you just sit there, shuffling your feet, just hoping to get paid at the end of all this shit. When a shoot becomes a sinking ship, it’s just terrible.
Do you vote on The Brown List?
No. I’m not that cool.
If LA were say a significant other- describe the relationship/affair you have with this town.
Like the evil mistress. It’s the best sex ever, but she’s so manipulating you get brainwashed. And whenever you leave her she’s still in your head saying, “You can’t run from me, you know you love me, I’ll always be there!” And you’re like “Go away! I just want to have a normal life, driving off cliffs can be exhausting!”
Being female, has working for men or women been healthier?
To be honest, being a female working for a female can be really really difficult. This sounds horribly anti-feminist, but there’s some sort of taciturn competition between women in Hollywood, which is totally uncool!
Some powerful women can be horrifically mean. They see young start-ups as a threat. Some female producers can not have female assistants because they don’t get along with them. It’s really hard to win, as a woman.
You work for a guy and he doesn’t take you seriously, you work for a girl and she sees you as competition. I wish I could say that it was an even playing field, but there’s a reason you see so few women in Hollywood. I do have the controversial opinion that women in Hollywood are cruel to other women; we have to change that or we’ll never gain momentum.
You hear the stories about women sleeping their way to the top Hollywood, on the behind the camera side. You read the Hollywood Reporter and see in print ‘I used to want to be an actress, then I magically became a writer/producer’ type of quotes. Do you ever wonder if this is the standard?  I’ve even heard it for female execs and male assistants too…
It’s not standard. In getting a simple job yes, sometimes the pretty one gets it first, but they get weeded out as the requirement for true talent and effort rises. It is very possible now to be powerful without the sex, but you definitely have to be mean. You have to be very mean.
Women in particular cannot be execs without being twice as cruel as their male counterparts. It’s as if in order to be high up there, they have to relinquish all sexuality entirely, make themselves completely asexual, so that men don’t see them that way and only see the businesswoman.
Maybe I’m being too harsh or controversial, but thats been my experience. You have to be so strong that people are too afraid of blackmailing you. Same goes for men too.
Passivity is seen as a damning weakness and will be preyed on. You want to speak strongly, have conviction, and have a lawyer at all times. Also, if the big men won’t let you play the game, you play it your own way. Some people will never see you equally until you prove yourself first, the classic catch-22, so you have to go out there and make your own company a success, say screw you to those that didn’t believe in you.
What will it take for you to feel like you’ve conquered this hill?
For me, it sounds corny but I just want to keep learning. I know that money and jobs will never come easy, but as long as I’m working in places where I can learn from my superiors and have different experiences and a positive work environment, I’ll be happy (until the day I make my own films, that is). Surprisingly, that’s a lot to ask for, a boss that’s smarter than you and a happy place to work.
Where else would you live if it weren’t LA?
Probably out of the country. Because national health care is awesome. 
Find TAPA blogging here.

Wow- this is some of the greatest insight I’ve heard to LA- from “The Anonymous Production Assistant” who has been blogging since Spring 2008.

Where are you from?

Anonymous is anonymous. I’m from everywhere and nowhere! But in all seriousness, what matters is that I’m not from LA. Anyone who’s not disillusioned to LA will find it different than anywhere else.

How long have you been in LA?

A while, and not long enough.

What was your major at college?

I went to Big Expensive Private Film School, like many of this generation of film participants.

What prompted your packing your things and “heading west”?

Anyone will tell you that LA is where the industry is. That’s a true statement. Despite all the outsourcing, the business still lies here. If you’re to make your contacts as a producer, writer, or editor, anyone creative basically, your chances definitely increase when you are in town to have in-person meetings with people, which make a much greater impact than emails.

 What were your first impressions?

LA is super weird, but it’s also magical. To not find it hideously soulless and corporate, you really need to have a sense of humor and an eye for the things beyond the surface.

I stress the sense of humor part. If you can’t laugh at some plastic surgery-addicted bimbo on the arm of a hustler old enough to be her father, rather than think of the hubris of humanity, then, well, LA’s going to get to you.

You realize though the ridiculousness of day to day operations, as I talk about on the TAPA blog, that movies in the end are made by real people with human hands. A lot of love goes into each and every frame. You’ll find some of your greatest friends in this business and it’s impossible to deny that.

How did you get your first assistant job?

A lot of people email into the TAPA blog wondering this exact question and I discuss it at length. While there are a lot of advertised open positions for assistants, the job usually goes to a friend of a friend, someone personally recommended to the boss.

That’s what happened for me and to most other people I know. I’ve even gotten jobs by talking to random people at bars and parties. I tell you, it works! You never know who’s having a drink beside you.

Do you enjoy working on tv shows or movies better?

TV shows are like a regular job. They last a lot longer and the hours of the day stay pretty consistent. The work is consistent, everything is consistent. Some people actively search out TV for that exact reason (reality tv exempt).

Work on movies is for the hardy and adventurous. You’re constantly looking for the next gig, sometimes it lasts a few days and sometimes a few months. You can get flown all over the world if you have the right contacts. But the hours are unbearable, the stress is unbelievable, and it’s really hard to maintain any sort of personal life.

I’m still jostling between both. I love it when I get on a TV show because I know I’m good for a little while, but I make my best friends and have my most vivid experiences on features. I don’t know, it’s a “grass is greener” situation sometimes.

I’ve been an assistant too- and I remember when our show was cancelled, all the assistants dove for the office supplies- stocking car trunks with reams of paper. Tell everyone how much time has to be devoted to assisting versus the amount of personal time you get per week- and how much money you have left to eat with after a 60/80 hour week.

I know its unsatisfactory to say, but the amount of money you have left depends of the job. Sometimes what matters isn’t really your pay, since there’s a pretty standard rate accepted in the business, but whether you get paid at all!

If you work at a studio, you’re guaranteed a paycheck. Thank god! If you work independent… well, make sure with production when you get paid because some productions only pay deferred or will get you a check weeks, even months after the gig.

That’s the most frustrating thing about working indie, is waiting for a check that you can only cross your fingers won’t bounce. Either way, independent or studio, you won’t have a lot at the end of the day.

Average for a production assistant is $125/day. Not a lot. But you end up saving a lot when all your meals are paid for…but you might be working six days a week. I was on a studio project once that had people working overtime every day six days a week, so it can happen on any project on any budget. About taking supplies at the end of the show, I think anyone would do that, who doesn’t like free stuff?

What will make assisting worth it to you?

It’s the experiences and the friends you make. I joke that great friends are made through great trauma, and some shoots really are traumatic!

You really share something with those people afterwards. Also, the experiences make for some of the greatest cocktail conversation; while most people talk about what tie someone was wearing on casual friday, your friday was propelling SUV’s over a parking lot for some FX B-roll, or taping a live show in Paris for an ad campaign, or watching an Oscar nominated actress perform a monologue in an emotional scene.

Most of the time it’s not that exciting, but when it is, it’s quite memorable. You really have to crave these moments to stay invigorated, because the work is so hard.

Any anonymous on-set horror stories to share?

The benefit of being TAPA is telling these stories on the blog but… getting kicked out of a location is the worst no matter what shoot it’s on. A big production can bribe their way out, but I’ve been on a number of shoots where the crew just ends up on the sidewalk like an estranged boyfriend, equipment piled up and people sitting around not knowing what to do, the homeowner just yelling their head off at a defeated producer and the director holding back tears in the corner… the actors locked up in their own spaces no longer censoring their opinions as to how terrible this shoot is and what pay they sacrificed to be here… it’s so sad, you don’t even know.

And as a crew member, you just sit there, shuffling your feet, just hoping to get paid at the end of all this shit. When a shoot becomes a sinking ship, it’s just terrible.

Do you vote on The Brown List?

No. I’m not that cool.

If LA were say a significant other- describe the relationship/affair you have with this town.

Like the evil mistress. It’s the best sex ever, but she’s so manipulating you get brainwashed. And whenever you leave her she’s still in your head saying, “You can’t run from me, you know you love me, I’ll always be there!” And you’re like “Go away! I just want to have a normal life, driving off cliffs can be exhausting!”

Being female, has working for men or women been healthier?

To be honest, being a female working for a female can be really really difficult. This sounds horribly anti-feminist, but there’s some sort of taciturn competition between women in Hollywood, which is totally uncool!

Some powerful women can be horrifically mean. They see young start-ups as a threat. Some female producers can not have female assistants because they don’t get along with them. It’s really hard to win, as a woman.

You work for a guy and he doesn’t take you seriously, you work for a girl and she sees you as competition. I wish I could say that it was an even playing field, but there’s a reason you see so few women in Hollywood. I do have the controversial opinion that women in Hollywood are cruel to other women; we have to change that or we’ll never gain momentum.

You hear the stories about women sleeping their way to the top Hollywood, on the behind the camera side. You read the Hollywood Reporter and see in print ‘I used to want to be an actress, then I magically became a writer/producer’ type of quotes. Do you ever wonder if this is the standard?  I’ve even heard it for female execs and male assistants too…

It’s not standard. In getting a simple job yes, sometimes the pretty one gets it first, but they get weeded out as the requirement for true talent and effort rises. It is very possible now to be powerful without the sex, but you definitely have to be mean. You have to be very mean.

Women in particular cannot be execs without being twice as cruel as their male counterparts. It’s as if in order to be high up there, they have to relinquish all sexuality entirely, make themselves completely asexual, so that men don’t see them that way and only see the businesswoman.

Maybe I’m being too harsh or controversial, but thats been my experience. You have to be so strong that people are too afraid of blackmailing you. Same goes for men too.

Passivity is seen as a damning weakness and will be preyed on. You want to speak strongly, have conviction, and have a lawyer at all times. Also, if the big men won’t let you play the game, you play it your own way. Some people will never see you equally until you prove yourself first, the classic catch-22, so you have to go out there and make your own company a success, say screw you to those that didn’t believe in you.

What will it take for you to feel like you’ve conquered this hill?

For me, it sounds corny but I just want to keep learning. I know that money and jobs will never come easy, but as long as I’m working in places where I can learn from my superiors and have different experiences and a positive work environment, I’ll be happy (until the day I make my own films, that is). Surprisingly, that’s a lot to ask for, a boss that’s smarter than you and a happy place to work.

Where else would you live if it weren’t LA?

Probably out of the country. Because national health care is awesome. 

Find TAPA blogging here.

Rockin’ Robyn

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Hot Mama in the Hizzy

What’s the latest craziness going on at Robynger International?

This week is relatively calm. The Death Set are not in town! I just added Gosteffects to my management roster. Off to a great start with his bootleg remix of Imogen Heap’s “Just For Now” hit #1 on Hype Machine popular chart & #1 Twitter Chart, as well has his cover of “House of God” which hit #1 on Hype Machine’s Twitter Chart. 2012 is off to a great start!

When I met you I didn’t think you were a LA native. What makes you a LA Woman?

Your intuitions were correct. I’m actually a Canadian or “frostback” as my dear Canadian friend calls us. Although, I do have my US citizenship now. I guess that makes me a traitor.

You wrangle a lot of all male musicians. What’s your secret? The ones I’ve known are always trying to hook up. It’s so difficult to get them out of the club and back onto the tour bus.

Patience and remaining the least intoxicated person in the “group”.

What are the stats on women in the music business on the management side?

I don’t know a lot of female managers. I can’t speak to hard core statistics. I do find people often automatically assume I’m an assistant or day manager, rather than the head of my own management company. I get it from men and woman alike. I can only deduce that’s because it is rare to find a female manager doing it on her own.

What’re your best sources for A&R now-a-days?

Word of mouth is always the best.

I remember when we made buttons. What slogan would you put on a button now that sums up LA to you?

That slogan was “you will die someday”. Which is actually pretty positive. Make each day count. Sum up LA - Here Comes The Sun.

What LA female musician sums up the city in your opinion?

That would have to be Yasmine Kittles of Tearist. Yasmine moved to LA several years ago to make music. Today she’s fully embedded in the LA Arts and Music scene, has a bunch of fans and is a big supporter of the music scene. She’s a bad ass lady!

What’s the latest evolution in female musicians? How have we gone from ones in all lace body suits in the 80s to the ones we have now?

In general terms - it’s gone from Goddess to Diva. The former graceful with inner beauty, the latter bitchy and contrived.

I’ve known you to live in three parts of town. What’s been your favorite?

Hands down the Hollywood Dell. The area just above Franklin and Vine. Two seconds away from crazies on Hollywood Blvd. It feels slightly secluded with nature at your doorstep.

Best LA date?

First official date with my bf - we both ordered a kale salad that wasn’t on the menu. I knew it was the beginning of something special.

Worst LA date?

The guy who kept insisting we have sex in the club bathroom. Then accused me of having sex with someone else in the bathroom!! I cut the date short. then as I was dropping him off, pointing to his “johnson” before getting out of the car, in one last attempt to get a bj.

Your most awesome LA moment ever?

Hard to pick one. The spontaneous new year’s day party a few years back, the first HARD fest NYE when my night took a very lovely turn, my little kitty cat FUR wandering into my backyard and subsequently my life. Lots of awesome moments and people in LA. This is definitely my home.

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R.M. makes the RPM’s spin.

Lazerchampion, not taserchampion, k?

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What can I say? Emily is cool as they come.

Tell us about the origins of Lazerchampion.  Does this mean champion
of being lazy or champion of some sort of laser tag?

Lazerchampion is a nickname I was given while working at a post house
Dirty Robber, we ended up hiring another Emily onto the project and
keeping the “other” Emily aka: Wildcat, the editor straight from me
was getting complicated. So I became Lazerchampion and she became
Wildcat, the names stuck for both of us.


When did you get to LA and why’d you come here? and when did you feel
like you had “arrived” here?

I came to LA 5 years ago I had been working in advertising/post in NYC
for many years and really wanted a change of scene and discover myself
in a new city. Los Angeles is a difficult city at first. I feel like I
finally am at home here, it took a lot to happen personally and
professionally in order to feel that way.


Is being bi-coastal confusing?

For me, no it is not. I love so much about Los Angeles, I think it is
an underrated city and judged unfairly often by east coasters. NYC
always has a place in my heart and is where I grew up, it will always
be home.


Also being a New Yorker- are there things you think you will just
never understand about LA?

Yes, I think this obsession with fast food is so strange. I grew up
with hippie parents and we NEVER really ate fast food so I never crave
it, sure I will crave a burger but I am never thinking wow I can’t
wait to go to Carl’s Jr., no offense, barf.


You’re hanging onto your 917 area code. I let mine go and got a 310.
Think you’ll ever be ready?

Probably never, but if I bought a house I would get a local land-line number. 

When did it dawn upon you that you were going to be a designer?

I have always been artistically inclined, I have been drawing, paint
and crafting since I was a child. Being a designer/art director was a
natural progression for me when searching out how to apply myself into
a career.


How has LA influenced the aesthetic tastes in your work?

I think car culture affects us all, there is this disconnect from
humanity. In such a large city as NYC people are always speaking of
the “energy” of the city of course there is energy when you have a lot
of people crammed into a tiny space. Here is Los Angeles there is
space there is so much quiet personal time.


Who are some of your favorite women designers?

Oh sheesh, I am going artists and designers very general, Tatiana
Atrocha, Tara McPherson, Seonna Hong, Stella McCartney, Camille Chu
and many other fabulous woman.


Have there been any LA based designers who you think are just the shit
right now?

The shit? Hmm No I cannot say that there is…Besides me. Ahem.


What’s the funnest project you’ve been part of?

A director made me edit a “famous toy that shall not be named” footage
he shot into a faux porno with terrible graphics, looking back that
was pretty funny.


You have a bunch of books as your Twitter background. Do you think
Fahrenheit 451 is going to happen?  Reading anything good?

I am reading something awesome right now Falling For Me, its hysterical.
Fahrenheit 451, woah it’s getting heavy.


What part of town do you claim as your own?

Los Feliz/Silverlake is my jam.


If you could sum up LA in one woman- who would be your choice and why?

Holy Moly, I have no idea. I do not think I could nor do I think I want to!


What makes you a LA Woman?

Not completely sure. I would say the fact that I drive a car, I enjoy
the outdoors enough to make myself go for a hike beautiful Griffith
Park and just that I enjoy what this city does offer.


Your best LA moment yet?

Hiking in Griffith Park is wonderful to me. None the less my best
moment I think would be when I was driving around and I realized I
knew where I was going, I new this town enough to find my way around.

E tweets here.

Wendy S Keeping Her Faith

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When you were growing up in Memphis, what were your impressions of Los Angeles?

My Mother and I left Memphis when I was 7 and I grew up in Georgia in the Buckhead/Atlanta area.  I visited Los Angeles a lot when I was growing up.  I knew Los Angeles as the place with the palm trees, Mickey Mouse and the Beach.

What do people in your home town think of you living all the way out here?

People in my hometown think I’m too far away from home and that I’m missing out…

What part of town do you like best and why?

I really love Topanga Canyon and the community.  When my first daughter was a baby I used to drive around in there and just enjoy the silence and the beauty of the Canyon.

How did you get started with commercial acting?

I was at a BBQ with my family and a Casting Director asked me if we’d be interested in auditioning for a non-union Target commercial, we did, we booked it and I found an agent shortly thereafter and have been working ever since, through God’s Grace.

What’s been the funnest job you’ve been on?

The funniest job that I’ve ever been on is for a computer and software manufacturing company and the director was notorius for having a short temper, me being super GREEN…forgot that I was miked and was talking under my breath.  He and the sound department got a good laugh…way to break the ice.

Do you define yourself as a LA woman?

Sure, I feel like a LA woman in the sense that I’m a traditionalist and a free spirit… I enjoy the diversity of L.A. and the opportunity to be in a place where so many people come to make their dreams come true and the people that support the process.  Sometimes I don’t realize how much I’m influenced by L.A. culture until I go back to Atlanta or Memphis.   

How is it raising two daughters in LA? 

It has been GREAT raising two daughters in L.A! This city has great parks and a lot of free events for families to participate in and meet other families.  Since so many people here are transients, and everyone is looking to find their own ”rock” in this town I’ve never felt out place or not welcome.  I do feel that my Daughter’s have a different self image as opposed if they had grown up in the South and they’ve  done well with their commercial career as well. I don’t know if they could’ve done that anyplace else.

Best LA moment ever?

My best L.A. moment ever was in ’98, and I was production coordinating for a kid’s television show and during a taping my co-workers asked me to go check on something in the audience. Well, when I go out there I see some of my high school teachers and a few girls from my graduating class and they were visiting the set with their Upward Bound Program.  It was kind of my “aha moment” and I knew I was in the right place and on the right track.  Talk about God sending you signs… woohoo!


Elise.a.betta Queen of The Desert

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Always enamored by this gal.  See why~

You have a great knack for alliteration – foxes and furs, poppies and pearls. Are you writing any other things?

Well thank you. Currently I am writing a dark monologue for a short film entitled Nite Virgo. The film follows two Virgos (not virgins) lost in their thoughts, far from reality and in an occult dream land.

Tell me more about your tribal beliefs and what draws you to arugula and electricity.

As for tribal beliefs, honestly not true, I prefer to refrain from political discussions, and at the time I edited my profile tribal seemed the furthest from what the masses would accept. Arugula, well I love Tapas, and arugula seems to be the garnish on every dish, and so delicious. Electricity—it’s in the air, I meant more in the spiritual sense, high frequency lightness. Positive vibes.

What are the best treasures you’ve found in the desert?

The desert has some of the best thrift stores. If you wander far enough there’s always mounds of waste in the deserted areas. Once I found a stream of teddy bears along a dirt road. I would drive along and there another would be. I believe altogether there were about 10 abandoned bears. I mainly collect bones and rocks, recently found a donkey jaw bone and the femur of a coyote. Quartz crystal and petrified wood as well.

You have one of the best instincts I’ve seen when it comes to photography and styling. What are your key influences?

Honestly this is difficult to say, I like so many different looks. I dress in a different decade nearly every week. I tend to post only one style on my blog though, and I would like to expand that. I do not read fashion magazines, and I hardly keep up with other bloggers. I have not purchased clothing from a retail store for almost a year (apart from some Levis I recently bought, and a bridesmaid dress for a wedding).

Mostly I go with my instinct, sometimes I will walk through the popular retailers, or browse through Nastygal.com or Lookbooks.nu and then go thrifting to find looks I liked.

For photography I love out of focus, diffused lighting, I prefer to shoot either in the desert or the forest. Currently I am inspired by Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, after reading Just Kids.

It’s great you and your gal friends work on projects together. What’s your next collaboration going to be?

After I finish editing Nite Virgo, I will be starting production on a music video for my boyfriends band Psychedelic Milk. And for photography, I would like to do a forest shoot with occult influences, dark and demure.

You’re excellent at finding magic and conveying it in images. Corny inquiry- but what’re your tips for women to do that in their every day existences?

Magic….hmmm this is something that is internal. Perhaps read Be Here Now.

Who would you name as your ultimate LA Woman (from anytime in history)?

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. In reality, I hardly pay attention to famous people. I honestly am not decided on any one woman. All the women that come to mind were from either SF or NY.

 Any LA match-ups that you emulate?

As for emulating a specific couple, well no one in LA, but our ultimate couple match is when Camille Bidault-Waddington  and Jarvis Cocker were together. She’s a stylist and he’s a musician.

What sets you apart from traditional concepts of the LA Woman?

I am actually not sure I am different from any traditional LA woman. Likely, I am distinctly modeled after the traditional LA woman. It is in my blood for now, but I am headed for SF or NY after I graduate college, so perhaps I will differ then.

What’s the most amazing LA moment you’ve had?

LA moment hmm. Eating tapas at the SLS Hotel, as pretentious as it is. Actually, I wrote an ethnography on Playboys in LA, and there is one night that I wrote of that would sum up this question. Perhaps another day.oOO I am inspired I may blog about it.

One night I remember entering a night club, and upon entry Madonna’s “Hollywood" came on, kinda perfect. And I love that little coffee shop up on Franklin that has a forest inside it.

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Elisabeth tweets here.

The Doc Is In

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Need your popular culture diagnosed? Got a PhD for you. She’s responsible for the books True Blood & Philosophy and Twilight & Philosophy, among others.

You = New York to Australia to LA – wow. Where are the craziest (in a good way) women?

I grew up in Boston so I’m biased but I’d have to say Sydney has the most amazing women—athletic, intellectual, creative, free-spirited, adventurous, fun, laid-back…it’s all good times Down Under. Sydney reminded me of Cali quite a bit, but the people in Sydney had natural beauty—not as fake- inside or out.

Tell me about your middle grade novel series.  Are you encoding any fun messages in them?

The novels are about maritime adventures set in the 19th century; the female characters are all independent, smart and strong.  

When did you develop an interest in vampire pop culture?

Vampires in pop culture have been an interest since I could turn the knobs on the small black and white television my parents had in the 70’s; I had a lot of time alone, and remember learning how to turn the television on. I might have been two-ish. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula was on. I related to the social judgement and subsequent isolation ”monsters” endured from “normal” humans.

What’s on your slate of book developments on topics relating to women’s studies?

I wrote a book about four years ago on women with cancer; my point, in part, was to refute the image of the absent mother so popular in films like Sleepless in Seattle, and of course, Disney…Bambi, need I say more??

As a survivor myself, I had felt the negative impact from the social perception of women with cancer- particularly mothers, and I wanted to prove that women were more than just a funeral scene and deserved better than to be replaced by a blonde-Meg-Ryan-type. 

Of the ten or so women in the book, half are no longer physically here. Recently, the husband of an interviewee who died in 2009 contacted me, asking to see the chapter on his wife. He said he was in a good place and ready to read the chapter.

I put the project away about three years ago, when I lost my job, too overwhelmed by what had happened and how it happened to deal with the push necessary to get the book published.

Days before I was fired, this same interviewee died. She wasn’t the first, or last. And I didn’t fully understand why I had put the project away until I started to re-read the chapters at the request of the loved one, who’s raising a daughter alone and trying to navigate the dating world with a broken heart…even after three years.

One quote stood out. I’d asked her, as she pushed her way through her third diagnosis of ovarian cancer, now metastasized all over her liver and lungs, if she wanted to keep going with the interviews. She told me that it was more important than ever, because it would help someone else dealing with the disease—that person could learn something valuable from her experience…and by experience, she meant death. 

I may revisit the project in 2012; it is important for women’s voices to be heard, especially those women whose voices have been silenced.

It’s why I write…because one day, my voice, too, will be silenced. 

Who for you (in history) is the ultimate Angeleno woman?

Even though it may be cliche, Angelina Jolie is the ultimate LA woman; she grew up in LA, went to high school there, and started contributing to the business that made LA what it is today at a very young age.

She’s too skinny, drinks too much coffee, and smokes too many cigarettes- but she defies convention, goes with her gut, and shows tremendous compassion, not to mention incredible talent.

How has living in LA changed you? / What makes you a LA Woman?

I’m actually not a fan of LA; my first experience at LAX is to blame. But I love the Pacific coastline and the sunshine. Not sure it’s changed me much.

I’m back living in NY right now, working as a visiting lecturer at a small liberal arts college. I don’t think of myself as an “LA Woman”. I’m a bit harder to define than that.

Do young women entering adulthood in LA need a bucket of cold water over their heads or do you think they’re on the right track to being assets to our sex/gender?

The hard part for younger women living in LA has to be the dichotomy between the high materialism and the exaggerated focus on physicality with “real” life- could mess with anybody’s head. Even mine! I almost tattooed a phoenix on my ass…and botoxed my brow. Luckily, I came to my collective senses. But I was like 37… how is a 16-year old supposed to have the fortitude to avoid those temptations?

Every woman is an asset to our gender…at least, every woman has the potential to be. That’s the beauty of the female brain: we evolve.

LA is like the world’s pop culture machine. Do you think we’re putting out realistic images of how we really are in Los Angeles?

Interesting question. The film, Valentine’s Day comes to mind. I thought it wasn’t too off from “real” LA life- you know, where your neighbor is like a 70-year old woman who had a brief stint in some major Hollywood hits from the 60’s, and the guy who back-ends your car on the expressway is some mega athlete or star.

I also think of The Muse…fun film, particularly because LA is just like that: kind of fantastical, where anything seems possible. In general though, no, the simulacra’s its own best evidence. The desert of the real is definitely not located in LA, or the films that portray it.

What are the best pop culture out-puts for women now-a-days? Positive fictional female role models?

Pop culture outlets for the gals? Well, they’re cracking the comedy circuit, a bit. Chelsea Handler, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Whitney! (not that I like her show at all…it misses the mark, but it’s a good start)

There’s always ups and downs though. We never really make much headway. Though the Hurt Locker was a nice first. Anything is always possible in the movies…I’d say that’s the garden of pop culture Eden for all my female peeps.

Bite into the apples, girls!

What’s been your best LA moment so far?

The ocean. Always a good moment.

Doc H tweets here.