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Portraits of Hollywood

You matter. Your story matters. You don’t have to be a billionaire or pop star for your story to matter. We think it’s important to ask our neighbors and friends and people throughout the community to share their stories because if no one asks, far too many stories would go untold. The coffee shop around the corner and the artist next door have stories we can learn from, grow because of and be inspired by and we are so proud to be able to help make sure these stories are told each week. Below you’ll find inspiring stories from Hollywood and the surrounding areas.

Gavin Harris

I was trying to figure out my next steps in life that’s when I first started modeling and writing my book. I didn’t think what I was doing first was possible because this was something I have never done. So last year, I work on my craft with modeling and acting to build the confidence I needed. Then I got my first job being extra in a movie that driven me more. Read more>>

Ashley Briscoe

I got my start in early 2015, photographing fetish models, pinup girls, and doing family portraits like maternity shoots and engagement shoots. In 2018, I set an intention to go in different directions with my photography, get my name out there, and get published in print magazines. I have since done that. I now primary photograph up and coming actors and models in the Los Angeles and San Diego area. Read more>>

Rachel Mullins

I started modeling when I was 12, which turned into acting at 15. By the time I hit 19, I was living and working in Los Angeles full time as opposed to going back and forth from Detroit. While on a shoot in Hawaii, I got a call from a friend who was directing a pilot. Immediately flew back to LA and was promptly bitten by the producer bug. Read more>>

Marsella Reyes

I’m originally from Dallas, TX. I had a good life; from a steady, good-paying job, my best friends, and my family… There was no reason to think otherwise. But over time, I started to resent Dallas because I just kept getting in trouble, the kind that involved the law and alcohol. I was also growing to be very complacent and finally, I was just over it. Read more>>

Rory Ogden

For me, the decision to start acting came around age 10 when I saw the film Transformers. I really wanted to be in the movies. I began bugging my Mom about how I could do it. She spoke to a friend in the industry who said I should take classes. She also said when most kids discover how much work there is they hate it. Read more>>

Natachae Cato

I’ve always been very creative and crafty. I’ve enjoyed many hobbies and activities such as drawing, Dancing, poetry, and photography. I was never a professional doing those things but I did enjoy them. I was never a huge girly girl in my teenage years, I didn’t really like dresses, skirts or wearing make up. I thought it was too much. Read more>>

Antonio R. Coronado

Our idea of a restaurant started for my family since we were in Mexico. We are from a small state in the center of the country, my family has always been in the food industry and considering how the economy and social conditions in Mexico have changed over the years, the idea of moving to a place with more opportunities seemed a good choice. Read more>>

Danielle Nichole Morgan

I’ve always naturally been a creative and curious person. As a toddler, I was crawling around in my mom’s closet rearranging her shoes by color. Growing up, I explored fine art, architecture, interior design, and music to do something creative in my career. In high school, I stumbled upon the graphic design by a happy accident. Read more>>

Jennifer Birn

I’ve loved news and magazines since I was a pre-teen – so of course, I went to college to be a lawyer. Thankfully, fate intervened, and my sophomore year of college, when I was a waitress at a local music bar and The Daily Tribune called the bar looking for quotes from the Gin Blossoms, who regularly played there, I convinced the band to give me the quotes instead. Read more>>

Adriana Marizcurrena

Having a keen eye for beauty at a tender age, I was able to develop the Midas touch in the makeup industry – giving me a competitive edge. Being a first-generation half-Salvadorian half-Spanish powerhouse and devout Christian, I learned to appreciate the adversity that came with her heritage and faith. I incorporated a quality of quantity work ethic that I learned from my Basque father and Salvadorian mother. Read more>>

Dante Velasquez

I think I can trace my journey as an artist back to one specific moment. I was maybe 6-years-old, sitting on my bedroom floor as my dad taught me how to fold an origami paper crane. We took some sheets of regular printer paper, cut them into squares, and after 20-something folds, we had created a piece of art. As cheesy as it sounds, it was then that I discovered the magic of creating something from nothing. Read more>>

Alexandra Cadiz

I knew I wanted to be an Architect and have my own business from the age of seven. This mostly stemmed from my dad. He’s an Architect who built his own firm designing large commercial projects in Asia and the Middle East and always encouraged me to create my own success. Because of his business, we moved a lot and lived all over the world, including Singapore, Seattle, Manila, Brisbane and Dubai. Read more>>

Fray Forde and Catherine Holly

We are Fray Forde & Catherine Dee Holly, the couple behind Coki Productions, named after our furry Pomeranian. We first met in South Carolina on the set of Five Point Mend, a sci-fi thriller co-directed by Catherine and starring Fray. We coincidentally moved to Atlanta at the same time, immediately fell in love (a year later), and dreamt about making projects together. Read more>>

Jeff “Dock” Dockweiler

My start as an acting coach was not planned. I was still somewhat new to the entertainment industry and learning about the writing and producing side while working for Stephen J Cannell’s production company when I was asked by an agent to coach a few actors for their auditions. Not only did they get callbacks, but they all booked the jobs. Read more>>

Monica Bhatnagar

I guess you could say my love for acting began in the 4th grade when I starred as Tom Sawyer in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I have always loved performing, but I am a first generation Indian-American woman – applying to theatre programs, or moving to Hollywood to act was not an option in my family. Read more>>

Ivan Leon

How I got started? Hmmm Let’s see. Life as a nine year old kid seemed to change the year of 1999. I discovered the tv network MTV. My world seemed to explode all of a sudden with music, fashion, videos and culture. 1999 was the year Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, N’ sync, Janet Jackson and many others were either being introduced to the world or in their prime. Read more>>

Marcos Sotelo

We are a band that celebrates the music of Argentina’s most popular rock group ever, Patricio Rey Y Sus Redonditos De Ricota. We started by chance just jamming at our soon to become drummer’s birthday party. People enjoyed our set so much that they asked us to keep playing. We enjoyed it as well, so we rehearsed more songs, eventually booking a proper gig and over 100 people showed up. Read more>>

Trent Bower

I’m a singer-songwriter/producer based in Los Angeles. My artist moniker is Bower, which is also my last name. I grew up in Miami and started playing music around ten years old. My father played drums and so that was my first instrument but eventually, I went on to learn guitar, bass, and piano as well. Read more>>

Anne Brashier

I was performing my version of The Little Mermaid for my parents in the Texas summer heat. Tap dancing in the grocery store. I was begging my grandma to give me her old typewriter. Making stories has been my passion for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I didn’t know what a director was, so I told everyone I dreamed of being an actor. Read more>>

Amanda Lloyd, Shae, Martin Rodriguez and Sarah Marcum Reyes

All four of us graduated from the University of Texas’ theatre program and moved out to LA shortly thereafter. We weren’t close yet but were brought together by a common desire (let’s be honest, desperation) to make something. We were trying to get our feet indoors around the industry, but as it turns out. Read more>>

Stephanie Ezekiel

I grew up in South Florida and always loved theatre and being in plays. I ended up choosing to go to University of Central Florida for a non-acting degree (BA in arts & social/behavioral sciences, minor in cognitive science) and then started acting in independent films. After one year, I decided to move to LA and finish my degree online to pursue acting! In my first year in LA. Read more>>

Erin Clark

I got my start as an artist at a very young age. I grew up surrounded and encouraged by the family who loved art, my grandmother, especially. She was an incredible, versatile artist- a painter, sculptor, a graphic designer during WW2, a weaver, seamstress and more! Its something I grew up with, and came to me naturally. Read more>>

Ithaca Yixian Deng

I am a writer producer formerly from China, and now working in Hollywood. From childhood on, I have been a storyteller. My mother divorced my father when I was little, and during the daytime of workdays, I was always alone at home. Through my childhood, I often made up and told stories to myself to feel less lonely. Read more>>

Jeanette Castro

My business technically started while I was in college at UCLA. I always made my own accessories and would have people ask me where I got whatever I was wearing that I made. Friends and family pushed me to sell my creations. They would tell me that I should open an Etsy and sell my creations. So, I did that. At the time it was just a way to make extra money. Read more>>

Ernie Burgos

I’ve always been really musically influenced. My dad used to take me to guitar lessons at a local rec center when I was in elementary or early middle school, joined the marching band in 6th grade playing alto sax and the snare drum with the drumline all the way through high school, started dancing around in my room in middle school then got into the Hip Hop choreography. Read more>>

Chrys Johnson

I got my start in the industry through landing a Product Development/Artist Relations job at LOUD Technologies (Ampeg /Alvarez/ Mackie) back in 2006. Other than getting to help Snoop Dogg with some Mackie gear and designing some Alvarez guitars for Ani DiFranco, Devin Townsend & Glen Hansard, my main project there was the Ampeg Heritage B-15 with Jess Oliver and George Metropoulos. Read more>>

Daria Mazur

It all started in a relatively small, industrial city in Poland called Katowice. I was born as the youngest child. My parents raised me in a very Polish way – they taught me how to be tough. I have never seen my Dad cry and I have never seen my Mom be dependent. My parents gave me the most significant gift – they taught me faith. Read more>>

Christina Marie Won Pat

In my head, I was this shy little kid who barely spoke. I was happiest when I was singing and dancing. Mom says I was singing at a ripe age of one-and-a-half. I’d sing my ABCs in the grocery store while sitting in the shopping cart as she walked through the aisles. My best childhood memories are watching Jumanji obsessively… And Sister Act, X-Men, and Cinderella. Read more>>

Tiffani Villafranca

I was born in La Palma Orange County and raised in San Diego, CA. My family was pretty traditional at the time where art was frowned upon as a career but was okay as a hobby. As a child, I was never exceedingly drawn to any subject; except for maybe English, where I was able to express a passion for braiding my hair or whatever I was into in Kindergarten. Read more>>

Cece Heath

I started a management company four years ago by the name of TMC Management. After speaking with an awesome entertainment attorney by the name of Ricky Anderson in Houston. In regards to services that I was providing for artists. He said did you know you operate as a label?. It might be a good idea if you considered starting one. You know you truly have what it takes. Fast forward. Read more>>

Sienna Eve

Sienna is the United States Air Force Veteran who has been published in countless magazines featuring her work as a photographer, model, and creative director. In 2011 Sienna pursued her Bachelors’s Degree in Photography at the University of Sacramento. She also joined the ROTC Program at Detachment 088, where she began her service to the USAF. Read more>>

Gahl Sasson

I was twenty-three when I returned from a journey to India and the Far East. It was time, I thought, to settle down and choose a career path. Reared in an ultra-academic family in Haifa, Israel, I felt pressure to further my education. But what should I study? I could not avoid answering the question, “Who am I?” I remember the day I finally made my decision. Read more>>

Elena Budagyan

I have been a Primary Care Physician Assistant for nine years, but I have always had a passion for Dermatology and Aesthetics. For the past several years, I would research all the products that help against anti-aging and correcting the face, including Dermal fillers, Neurotoxins, Lasers, PDO threads, Facials, skin care products, etc. As a Physician Assistant in Primary care. Read more>>

Emily Hook

Most children growing up dream of being a rockstar, ballerina, movie star, etc., and I was no different. Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to perform. I didn’t have a preference or care exactly what in or know how I was going to do it, I just knew in the back of my mind that my dream was performing. Oddly enough, I was a very shy and reserved child who you. Read more>>

Mark Schrenko

I was never sure about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I did have two rules: work would have to be fun, and I would have to be the boss. I grew up in a conservative seaside town in North Shore Massachusetts where being “successful” seemed limited to a handful of cookie-cutter professions, and I had no interest in medicine or law. Read more>>

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