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Portraits of Hollywood

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find inspiring interviews from in and around Hollywood.

Ariana Molkara

I fell in love with the performing arts from a very young age. I actually consider myself very lucky to have found my passion so early in life and I have my parents to thank for that. They encouraged and supported me as I explored pretty much EVERYTHING: tennis, ice skating, gymnastics, and golf… but acting and music was what just stuck, what felt right. I was a little entertainer right out of the womb so my family claims, but I officially started my journey in entertainment doing musical theater at six years old. Read more>>

Stephanie Kelley

My story started when I was five years old – in kindergarten in North Carolina – and was cast as the “acrobat” in our school play, “The Circus”. From then on, I knew I wanted to be an actor and haven’t stopped pursuing that career! I started acting in commercials when I was 15 and did my first film/tv role when I was 19. I joined SAG when I was 21 and Actors Equity Assoc. when I was 24. During college, I started and ran a nonprofit theatre and film production company and began to learn to love producing almost as much as acting. I took Yellow House, the nonprofit, to New York when I moved there after college and kept running it until 2014. In 2015, I moved to LA and continued to work as an actor and producer. Read more>>

Angelica Vallecillo Goncalve

My journey began back in 2019, I was desperate to search for a hobby. I was working with a naturopath and was asked to find my happiness within myself. I was listening to podcasts and was enjoying the conversations and people sharing their stories and day-to-day life. I felt like I have so much to say after listening to my favourite podcast and wanted to be like them in hosting a radio show or a podcast. I did some research, looked for some hosting websites and BAM! I started a podcast on February 14, 2019. All I wished for is “find my happiness”, being diagnosed with PCOS and being told I wouldn’t have children, all I wanted to do is try and “find my happiness”. Read more>>

Hendrix Yancey

When I was about five years old, a friend of my mom’s said to her, “You should really meet my sister, Holly, I think you’d really get along!” She sort of match-made my mom and Holly as friends and the minute Holly (who turned out to be a casting director in LA) met me she jokingly told my mom to “GET THAT CHILD INTO ACTING OR GIVE ME THAT CHILD.” So funny… my mom jokes that she should have just given her the child! So Holly put us in contact with a prestigious acting studio – Gray Studios LA – and I started classes via Zoom (because I live in Arkansas). After a few months, they asked me to be a part of a student showcase, so I did! Shanelle (the owner) told all of the performers (and their parents) that it was just great exposure and not to get too hopeful for an agent or manager to come out of it. Read more>>

Karen Kasaba

Guided Writing Tours is actually based on how I used to play as a kid. When we were 9 or 10, my friend Dana and I invented our version of a Disneyland attraction in her mom’s darkened garage. The younger kids in the neighborhood paid a nickel for me to pull them around in a wagon, narrating the story of a Haunted House, or Undersea Adventure, while Dana dressed up and hid in the dark, waiting to pop out and scare them. Read more>>

Kyanna Alexandra

So my journey to becoming a content creator/social media influencer is a bit of a journey. I started creating content with my ex-girlfriend in 2016 and took a break after the breakup to assess how I wanted to continue content creation. In that, I decided I would tell my story on coming out, how I navigated my family disowning me, my relationship failing, and my passage on dating women. Read more>>

Charlene Lanzel

I’ve been a visual artist all of my life… I started drawing and painting at age five and never stopped. I moved to New York City at age 20 and began working as a display artist. That led to mural painting, which I continued doing for many, many years. I was doing really well as a mural painter, but the emergence of digital technology eventually affected the business of muralists. I needed to try something new and different. This is when sand animation entered my life. I remembered this art form from my childhood and how much I loved it. Someone mentioned to me that sand animation was becoming desirable for events. I thought I’d give it a try and see if this was something I could do for a living. Read more>>

Nakia Richardson

I am an Entertainment Journalist, on-air host, podcaster, content creator and TV producer. Since I was a child, I had a love for entertaining and being in front of the camera and I knew I wanted to make that my career… I just did not know how to. From acting classes to going on auditions at a young age, to being in school plays, joining the news broadcasting teams and creating my own radio shows in school, I knew this was my journey and I knew this was going to be my path. Read more>>

Michael Dukakis

It all started with lots of darkness and mist as most fantasy movies begin. Those experiences taught me to fight from a very young age. And I’ve figured out along the way how to direct my energy toward creativity as well as how to be of help to society. I’ve found the strength to transform all the cruelty I’ve experienced into light, magic, and creative escapism. And hopefully, now that I’m in a good place with myself, I can help through my acting and screenwriting transform and inspire the lives of others. Read more>>

Meg DeLoatch

I’ve always been a writer. I still have copies of stories that I wrote in the second and third grades. Of course, back then, I was both author and illustrator. And the themes usually had to do with fairy princesses and supervillains. It wasn’t until I went to college at American University, and I had to start figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, that I considered becoming a professional writer. So when I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles with a dream of making it in Hollywood. Luckily, I had no idea just how hard it is to break in. Read more>>

Assaad Yacoub

I started my filmmaking journey in 2010 when I went to film school where I got my BFA. I later got my MFA in filmmaking and ended up selling my thesis feature film Cherry Pop to Netflix. After that, I got into directing music videos. I currently have directed 54 music videos in the last five years. Today I’m working on a few big commercial projects that will be out soon. When I started my career, I got a lot of opportunities right away because of my feature film so that helped me out a great deal. Read more>>

Elizabeth Tran

I was born and raised in northern Virginia in a city about 20 minutes outside of Washington, DC. Growing up, I was always extremely studious and focused on school. I thought I was either going to become a writer or a psychologist. It led me to eventually explore writing screenplays, as I loved delving into creating characters and crafting narratives based on things I was working through in my life — whether it be people around me or thoughts I had around different circumstances around me. This started my journey into working behind the camera and creating films. From there, I briefly attended school in Boston. Read more>>

Justin Vibes

When I was a kid, my first instrument was the piano. I would play by ear different melodies that I would hear coming from the TV. My Mom saw that I had some type of musical talent, which led her to have me try different musical instruments with different music teachers. The instrument that stuck with me was the vibraphone. Fast forward, I moved to LA and been able to write songs for some of the biggest artists in the industry, producing tracks and including the vibraphone whenever I can. I also toured the world playing the vibraphone and built a social media presence. Read more>>

Alex Qian

It’s been a roller coaster journey but my story started when I was laid off from my previous career at Goldman Sachs. I experienced a pretty big loss of identity and purpose that I think is common with people that follow the “safe route” and work in corporate America most of their lives. This led me to diving into my growing hobby of photography at the time, which coincided with the growing popularity of social media and posting on Instagram. Fast forward to today, it has become the sole reason why I was able to establish my personal brand and put my work out for the world to see! Read more>>

Mike Brown

I got my start in podcasting journey in 2017 because therapy was too expensive. Initially, this was a space for me to work through my challenges from sexuality to self-worth and everything in between. Healing and growing in real-time. During the pandemic was when the podcast started to really grow because people were looking for mental health resources for people of color and I noticed that the show was being shared a lot. Fast forward to today, this year I worked with Spotify on a 4-day residency that was turned into a documentary. Realizing that my passion project was becoming serious, I quit my job as an elementary school educator to pursue being a creative entrepreneur full-time. Read more>>

Hillary Cohen

Both Sam and myself have worked over ten years on film sets in LA watching the leftover food from catering being tossed at the end of each meal. Three years ago, in the middle of a global pandemic, we decided to do something about it. Together we created a 501c3 nonpropfit that carries liability insurance; fully releasing the production of any legal ownership or responsibility of the food excess. We simply ask for you to please stop throwing your “trash” away on set. Read more>>

Brejon Patrick

My story started at the beginning of 2021. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally drained from being stuck in the house for almost a year and wasn’t really prioritizing my health the way I knew I should. I was highly insecure about my body and saw it directly affect my confidence. I was so tired of feeling physically and mentally inadequate, so I looked in the mirror and asked myself what I was going to do about it. What was I willing to do to change my life and what was stopping me from finally committing to change? Read more>>

Ebony Rice

I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2020 with a small collection of lashes. I’ve always been obsessed with makeup and things beauty related. It started with my mom, she was always so well-kept. I would always watch her put her makeup on and mimic her because I just thought the transformation was so cool. Back in the day, they didn’t have all the makeup “trends” that we do now so I remember asking my best friend to teach me how to do my makeup step by step and my fascination grew from there. I just love being able to play and create in endless ways. Within the years I’ve expanded it to a cosmetics brand that will continue growing. Read more>>

Daniel Prophete

My story started 12 years ago after the massive earthquake in my home country Haiti. I was always into singing but never imagined myself as an artist until I came to the United States. I had the opportunity to watch my cousin perform throughout the summer of 2020. I saw a level of happiness that I never saw from anyone else and that’s when I decided to pursue music. The rest is history….Read more>>

Chris Wirsig

Well, music always played an important part in my life. I remember that early on, music and sound in general fascinated me, and I guess I somehow always wanted to produce these sounds myself. Growing up in Germany, we had a piano in my parent’s house (my grandmother and mother played it before me), and I had lessons early on. Later I changed to Saxophone, which felt more interesting at that time in my teens, especially while playing with a Saxophone Quartet and in a Big Band. But the piano (or rather keyboard) is still my main instrument on which I write, and recently get back to performing live again. Read more>>

Melanie Ulceus

Since I was a little girl, I was always invested in some form of entertainment. School plays, church drama, praise dance, and choir – my parents made sure I was heavily involved. At 13, I remember watching a ton of ANTM and ripping out pages of my older sister’s magazines (sorry Mia). I was hooked on the glamorized lifestyle and my fascination with modeling grew. Day in and day out, I put effort into visualizing myself walking down the runway or being on billboards and print ads. Read more>>

Yizhu Pan

I am a designer and storyteller with a multidisciplinary experience in product design, textile design, and film production design. My passion for stories helped me discover my way. In a theatrical production, I use visual language to transmit the world from the script to the audience. Nonetheless, I care about people in real life, and I yearn to tell the world their true stories. My eagerness has led me to a profession in interactive design, where I use brand-user relationships to enhance the user experience. Read more>>

Quavondo Nguyễn

I transitioned from graphic design to photography in 2008. I moved to LA in 2013 and have loved every moment. For the first time, I feel at home. I have a lot of things going on in my life as always. My commercial and celebrity work can be seen at quavondo.com, my headshots are located at headshotsbyq.com, and my creative outlet is now on YouTube at youtube.com/@hartofjax (launched Nov 5th.) I started on TikTok @hartofjax a few months ago and cultivated a good following, but I don’t like being censored by TikTok so I am switching over to YouTube. Read more>>

Alena Sazonova

I started my artistic career back in the days when I was modeling. I always had a passion for photography but back then, it seemed like something unapproachable and I felt like professional photographers were some kind of magicians. Hanging out with my camera and shooting here and there, my friends suddenly started to ask me to take some pictures of them. Before I knew it, their friends suddenly started to book me for photoshoots so it motivated me to dig deep into photography and to start studying it. Read more>>

Anthony Diaz

I was always fascinated with movies and visual media at a very young age. I was able to transport myself to another world, learn about a different culture, and even experience a different way of life all from the comfort of my couch. That’s what ultimately drew me towards a career in storytelling and filmmaking because It allowed me to take experiences of my life and shape them into a narrative that I can share with others. It was my way of communicating. So after acting in the school plays, using cheap 2MP cameras to film short films with my family and friends, my Father bought me my first low-budget tape recording camera for my 15th birthday, and ever since then, I have been creating my own films. Read more>>

Amy Board

I was never meant to be anything other than an actress. I was introduced to the theatre young, and my natural abilities were so apparent my grandmother famously told my mother, “You know, that kid has it.” My parents sat through countless performances and paid for dance lessons, show choir costumes, summer workshops, tap shoes, and one great Annie wig. My high school teachers turned a blind eye when I handed in assignments incomplete or lacking, and one English teacher graciously gave me a D just so I could graduate. I was destined for a life on the stage, and I did just that, successfully, for about nine years. And then, I went to a summer camp for kids with hemophilia. Read more>>

Rachel Mcclusky

It feels wild to look back on how this all began! I was in music for my entire life and I always imagined that’s where I would end up. In college, I decided to teach Zumba classes at my local gym, having no idea that I would fall in love with teaching fitness. I took the leap and started teaching full-time, I have taught SO many different modalities, which ultimately led to The Recharge Method. I had a meditation practice that I was passionate about sharing, and in 2019 I decided to blend this meditation and my love for fitness to create what is now The Recharge Method. Read more>>

Emily Rogath Steckler

In 2018, I co-founded the organization Bisous For Léo with Deborah Vauclare, my dear friend of nearly 30 years. Her son Léo was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening neurodegenerative disorder called Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD). Never heard of it? We hadn’t either. Out of the gate, that in itself was (and continues to be) a huge challenge. Getting people to stay focused long enough to learn about these children and why they are so important has proven to be half the battle. The other half? Identifying and funding a path forward to best medically support them.  Read more>>

Ben Caron

The idea for The Caravan began during the 2016 election when I watched how we as Americans began to speak about our fellow citizens with increasing anger, contempt and distrust. Families and friends with different political and cultural perspectives were starting to separate from one another or become increasingly combative online and in person. Having grown up in a small, rural Midwestern town, but living now in LA and traveling a lot internationally, I felt that I existed between many worlds, with a unique understanding of our growing divisions: urban & rural, liberal & conservative, monoculturalism & multiculturalism, nationalism & globalism. Read more>>

Christopher Sims

I came of age in the OC/LA skateboard scene of the late ’90s. I discovered photography in high school, where I spent every available hour in the darkroom. I graduated college with a simple AA degree and wrote and directed a semi-autobiographical no-budget feature about suburban youth living in Southern California. Then I soon began touring with my close friend’s bands in the Southern California hardcore scene, shooting constantly and creating music videos and documentaries out of the raw footage from the tours. Read more>>

Chris and Amanda Combs

Solvang Flavors has been in business for a little over four years. I assisted in opening the store in September of 2018. Once the pandemic started, my wife and I decided to take over Flavors from the previous owners. We have an extensive background in customer service and the food service industry. We came in this with sorta a nothing to lose attitude. At the time, dealing with covid restrictions, I don’t think any of us really knew what to expect. We opened the doors with a credit card and a lot of ambition. To date, we have grown and the future looks bright for Solvang Flavors. Read more>>

Lorensa

When I was eight years old, my father past away at the age of 32. My father was a hair stylist in Israel. He had a small business in our neighborhood. He was a workaholic, he always dreamt big and wanted his family to have a good life. Everybody always told me that we share the same smile and ambitions. Me as a child, my only outlet at that time was singing and dancing. I remember when I heard that my father passed away during my time of grief, that would be the first thing I run to. I see this girl in my head right now and I wanna hug her, and I am proud of her. These times has lead me to who I am today. Read more>>

Meghann Mason

Meghann Mason started out in the entertainment industry as a performer. Earning her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston, she began to learn the trade of Theatre and Film. While in school, Meghann made extra money dressing wigs, running shows as a wig attendant, and also managing the costume rentals department for the University. Once Meghann graduated from UH, her next move was to Los Angeles to attend The Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts. Read more>>

Kenna Flores

From a young age, I was highly passionate about the arts. I absolutely loved everything that allowed me to express my creativity whether it was dancing, singing, or theater. I had done small plays since I was in kindergarten; however, when I was in third grade, I was given the opportunity to reenact scenes from Hannah Montana: The Movie for my elementary school’s theater production. Specifically, I sang the songs “The Climb” and “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home”. As I performed this production, I was able to see the joy it brought my peers, friends, and family.  Read more>>

Michael Kushner

When I was younger, all I wanted to do was tell stories in a theatrical setting. In Kindergarten, before I even knew what a casting director was, I would cast my friends in Cinderella or Mary Poppins — it was innocent, just telling them I think they’d be a good Mary Poppins. By the time I was seven, Titanic had come out in theatres. My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Samuels was exhausted hearing me talk about it, so she sent me to the library to research a different shipwreck. Read more>>

Grace Pei

I started the Jinza couture bridal Los Angeles Boutique 10 years ago in 2002, in hopes of extending our couture bridal service from San Francisco to Southern California. It was such an amazing journey to get to know each of my clients personally and their families. I have heard so many great stories and learnt their family traditions, and heritage. We have created custom wedding dresses for thousands of clients. My most proud moments were we did two heirloom wedding dress, one is 69 years old (a grandma’s wedding dress), one is 29 years old (a mom’s wedding dress). It was such a great pleasure to be part of their life journey. Read more>>

Kat Uyenco

Born on the beautiful island of Cebu, Philippines, Kat’s family immigrated to California when she was only 8 years old. She grew up in San Jose, CA, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a makeup artist. In 2002, she landed an Executive Assistant job and started working on reality TV and stage shows. Eager to learn about the business and kick down the doors in the business, she juggled multiple positions. Whether it was working as an assistant, make-up artist, talent coordinator, or anything in between, she made sure to be a Jaqueline of all Trades. Read more>>

Madaline Jones

I’ve always felt very connected to something out there that I wasn’t raised with the vocabulary to identify. As a child, I strongly felt the energy and emotion of other people, and even trees and animals, for example. I had a profound connection with nature and the outside world to a degree that I remember feeling the consciousness of it all long before I had the words to articulate it. I would talk to the squirrels, the plants, the earth, the moon. Then, like so many of us, as I grew older the conditioning and limiting ideas of reality became stronger and I started to acclimate to the world around me. Read more>>

Sriram Thiruvengadam

Life sent me here to America to study film. In my journey of understanding life, I came across the question “Who am I?” It hit me, how was I supposed to understand life I didn’t know who was the one understanding life. What was the ONE thing that made me, ME? Identity was always changing and borrowed. My mind was always changing and borrowed, same with my emotions and the physical body. Who was I in this ocean that I called myself? My work and films aim to explore this questioning of subjective experience through a subjective medium like films. From this questioning numerous schools of philosophy such as Advaita Vedanta in India were born and served as the basis of Indian culture. Read more>>

Caden McGlasson

I’ve always wanted to be an actor since I was a little boy. I remember the first time it became my passion. When I was about six years old I was watching Hocus Pocus for the first time and when the witches came out I was absolutely flabbergasted! I turned to my mom and said “where are these witches?”! She laughed and explained that they were not real, just regular people dressing up in costumes and playing make believe. That absolutely BLEW my eight years old mind! I told her “that’s what I want to do when I grow up” and the rest is history. Fast forward to today and I’m still pursuing that passion I felt all those years ago, waiting to make that little eight years old proud. Read more>>

C.B. Mullen

I started working in entertainment at 13 for a public access station in Andover, MA. I tried camera, audio recording, stage managing, hosting and MCing for local telethons and stage productions. In 2009, I moved to LA where I picked up jobs as a PA, boom operator/recorder, stage manager, you name it, I’ve done it. In 2012, I was hired on staff at Riot Games, whereas a key PA, serving as camera utility, stagehand, graphics operator and eventually and most prolifically as stage manager and audience warm-up host for their live shows, including the first esports broadcasts to get exceed NBA finals numbers in total viewers. Read more>>

Mars Wright

I started screenprinting shirts back in college but once I graduated and moved to LA things really started. I was struggling to make enough money to afford rent and remembered how I used to sell shirts in college and decided to give it a go. It was super DIY at first with me hand screenprinting every item and selling them through DMs and venmo. From there I kept at it slowly releasing new shirts when I could with empowering messages of Trans Joy, Radical Vulnerability and an emphasis on suicide prevention. Read more>>

Jose Arce

Growing up with a speech impediment has discouraged me from pursuing my dreams, which has prohibited me from essential opportunities in my life, but being creative helped me express myself and build confidence in ways I could not do with speech. As a child, I would lock myself in my room, blast the radio, and dance all of my emotions away. Those experiences made me realize that I wanted to make others feel the joy I felt during those times. Growing up in the 90s, I was constantly told that pursuing a creative career would not bring me success because it was considered a hobby. Still, nothing gave my life more meaning than expressing myself through music; it helped me escape from reality during life’s toughest challenges. Read more>>

Sapra

I am grateful for the opportunity. So, before I jump to what I love to do and why let me introduce myself. Hey, I’m Sapra. I’m a South Asian actor straight out of India based in Los Angeles. I have been in Los Angeles for 12 years; I haven’t been back to my home country for the last 7 years. I have my health, a car, a rented apartment, and about 25 projects to my name. This is what I have earned in the last decade. I have put my youth on the line to pursue my dreams. I have a passion to perform, a desire to entertain.  Read more>>

Alana Ficalora

I was that kid in high school that knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I wanted to produce commercials (which I figured out after acting in commercials as a kid in Los Angeles, ultimately realizing I wanted to be behind the camera, not in front) and followed all the traditional steps to get there. I immediately dove headfirst into working in commercial production after graduating from Northwestern (go Wildcats!). I loved my journey in production – I started as an office PA & worked my way up to producing commercials, movie promos, PSAs, photo shoots & branded content.  Read more>>

Kate Grey

I was born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin and moved to California, alone, at 17 during the pandemic. Growing up, I was active in many choirs and musicals but never thought of myself as a songwriter or real musician. I would compose little songs on the piano and make up some lyrics, but that was about it. Dealing with alcohol abuse from family members growing up, I learned to be independent pretty quickly. Shortly after moving west, I felt this overwhelming calling to just try and make music. I grabbed my laptop and started making songs on GarageBand, knowing that this was something I needed to do in my life. Read more>>

Justin Watson

I am a conceptual artist based out of Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles. I am primarily connected to Los Angeles through Office Space, a gallery of radical humans. I am currently assisting the gallery through researching experimental curatorial projects and provide business acumen and consulting. I was recently assigned as an assistant director, but we are now currently reorganizing to counteract the limitations of such titles. Read more>>

Shivani Desai

It feels like every day, we wake up to news that is painful to read. That is why I believe that art is so crucial in reminding us of the beauty that also exists in this world. I feel so connected to my purpose when I bring people hope, and comfort, and a smile through my work. That is why I’m an actor. Originally from India, I’m currently living in Singapore and harbor ambitions of moving to LA real soon! Having grown up watching Bollywood cinema, my interest in the arts was sparked at a young age, but I only realized at 16 that I wanted to be an actor. The pushback for making an “impractical” career choice at a young age from family and friends was palpable, but I have nonetheless relentlessly pursued the path of making art for a living ever since. Read more>>

Lance Essihos

After losing my chance of becoming a professional hockey player, I found myself in the midst of an identity crisis. Directionless and scared, I spent many years searching for my purpose in the world, drawn to the nightlife industry fulfilling my craving for adventure and the hedonism that comes with a bad-boy lifestyle. Death and despair shortly followed and it was time to pour the pain I was feeling into something more purposeful. After decades of heartbreak, loss of loved ones, and numerous business failures, I have been able to uncover the behavioral patterns that arise in the hard times of my life. Read more>>

Pia Brannen

In the past few years, I’ve gotten braver about publicly exploring themes that were always fascinating to me but that I’d shy away from due to low confidence in my ability to execute and fear that bolder concepts wouldn’t “share” as well. The exploration of both social media as a tool and my creative identity in real life occurred simultaneously. I’d been experimenting with what I wanted to communicate online and how to develop authentically as an artist. Read more>>

Alex Loprieno

Alessandro Loprieno, a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Puglia, has also made his passion for filmmaking his job and mission, it has taken more than 15 years. After studying at the University of Bari – Languages, Literature and Arts – he continued his education at the Bocconi School of Management and recently completed the Y Combinator Startup School. He spent nine years in aviation working as a flight attendant at Ryanair, and today colors his entrepreneurial life with a passion for film, finance, travel, marketing, technology and innovation. Read more>>

Xiaoqi Zhou

I told my story many times before, it was not until this year where I truly feel I accumulated meaningful, unforgettable snapshots of my life over to share with the world, once again. I haven’t been able to visit my family back in China since the pandemic, and the best of what I had absorbed during these solitary days is what I have devoted to music, to audio. It’s quite natural for me to turn inwardly when the world shut down, and as it should I have turned completely to creating new music, shaping my sounds as a producer, singer-songwriter, mixer. I think in so much effort I put in and so much fun time spent with music, I was able to see myself clearer than before. Read more>>

Lee Ifakemi

Whew, where do I begin!? I always loved everything having to do with the occult since I was a kid. When I was a freshman in college, I joined a Buddhist meditation club that lead me to meditating on a consistent basis. It was such a healing practice that it sparked my curiosity to discover other healing modalities such as tarot, reiki, and sound healing. Eventually, these practices lead me to connect with my ancestors by becoming an omo awo within the Ifa tradition. As I was connecting to my own ancestors, it became very clear to me that I can help others connect to their own lineage as well. So I became certified in the Akashic records in 2019 and have been guiding clients to connect with their ancestors as well as offering spiritual advice on love, career, and purpose. Read more>>

Giulia Asquino

As a child, I didn’t talk much, and the way I was able to express myself and enter my world was through the body. So at the age of five, I started studying ballet and later also contemporary dance. It was the discipline that formed me, but during my journey I found another form of art that came close to my strings and that allowed me to speak without speaking, to sing. So I went to the conservatory, where I also studied singing. Growing up, however, I was always the actor of the situation, in every dinner with friends or on Sundays with the family, and at a certain point I realized that I had an interest in acting.  Read more>>

Pxncho

I started producing for artists in 2019. One of my first placements was with Nemy, we recorded a song called Mr. T in San Diego and that was able to get my name out there. I produced for more artists in San Diego like Rossi Rock, Sebby OG and John Givez and a lot of other artists coming up in the city. Eventually, I moved to LA and I’ve been DJing and producing in both cities since. Currently, I have a residency at Los Globos every Friday in Hollywood. We throw reggaeton/hip-hop parties and the energy gets wild. Read more>>

Josie Molasky

I’ve been passionate about music my entire life. At a young age, I was interested in singing, musical theater, piano, violin, and guitar. According to my family, I began writing my own songs at around five years old. These simple little songs and the support of my wonderful parents led me to take lyricism and music composition more seriously when I graduated college and set out in pursuit of my dream to become a musical artist. In 2019, I met my partner, Tommy Ghirardini, who is a producer, guitarist, and bassist. Our instant connection was unique and he inspired a new piece of my creative vision. Read more>>

Miss Orchid Mei

Like many of us, I saw a show and knew this is what I wanted to do. However, burlesque was still pretty underground at the time. Social media did not exist and classes weren’t readily available. Luckily, a friend of mine knew someone in one of the two troupes in town, so I hunted them down and asked to study under them. They gave me an audition instead. I showed up, got accepted, and performed with “hit the ground running” perseverance. Read more>>

Marie Delepiere

I grew up in a small village in the heart of Provence where the houses walls are as thick as a castle, where it smells deliciously of lavender, where you hear the sounds of cicadas, and devour crunchy almond biscuits bought from the colorful farmers market. On paper, it was a dream childhood. In reality, as a child, I was very shy and my childhood wasn’t easy for many reasons. My mother was not a good cook, but having given birth to four kids in four years, I can understand that it wasn’t her top priority to spend all her time in the kitchen. So, at the age of 12 years, I started to cook for the whole family and friends. I felt secure and protected in my domain, and I soon discovered that I had a gift, which had been lying dormant all this while. Read more>>

The Carla Project

In 2019, my mom passed away and I was left in charge of clearing out the family home she and my father lived in for five decades. That was the first turning point. Then covid hit and like so many people, I stopped working. I had a virtual marketing business that slowed to a halt and I was struggling with feeling lost and purposeless. After spending nearly a year at home and doing lots of boredom shopping, I decided that I wanted to live a more minimalist lifestyle, clean up my act, declutter and simplify my life! I started a blog and eventually started making videos on YouTube never imagining that it would end up becoming a new career. I’m a full-time content creator who does organizing and decluttering projects in my own home and for other people around the world and I LOVE IT! Read more>>

Denise Grant

I am originally the baker & cake decorator. I started my business with the intention to make my son’s first birthday cake. I successfully created a really beautiful cake and evolved into an entire cake decorating business. Over the years, I enjoyed doing the cakes but I really wanted to see how else I could use my creativity. I started of decorating and creating really elaborate cake tables for my desserts which brought me to where I am today. I am now a full-service Floral & Event decor/design company. We do it all. We do weddings, corporate events, celebrity events, birthdays, and baby showers. Anything you can think of, we will design and create that magic for you. Read more>>

Milica Krstic

As a psychologist and psychotherapist, Milica Krstic helps entrepreneurs locate and create a sense of peace and balance around and within themselves. She carries multiple certifications in psychology, psychotherapy, and self-development from Singidunum University, The University of Sheffield, Integrative Body-oriented psychotherapy center, and at the moment, she is a Ph.D. student at UCAM University in Spain. Based on proven methods deriving from her research and experience, Milica’s focus is now directed toward helping clients create healthier relationships with themselves. Read more>>

Kingsley Pascal

We came out to LA in 2014 after we graduated college and have pretty much been here ever since. We made our first short film together in 2017 and then started working on what would be our first feature a year later. No road is smooth and there were definitely struggles along the way. Sometimes things don’t turn out exactly how you hoped, but then that also becomes a learning experience to work harder to make things in your head be the same as what everybody else will see. Read more>>

Elizabeth McIrvin

I grew up in North Carolina and for some reason still really unknown to me, I was heavily compelled to create and express myself through filming. I also started to do stand-up in the limited spots available in the state to do it, filming my own sketches and short films but feeling like I needed to be around more like-minded people, I decided to come to Los Angeles. I’ve been here since 2017 with a focus on comedy and directing. I was heavily into the improv community for my first four years, meeting fellow artists, producing projects, and immersing myself in the search for my voice as an artist. Read more>>

Karthik Mohan

I come from Chennai, a South Indian coastal city known for its rich musical and cultural traditions. I have always been fascinated by percussion instruments right from a young age and also learnt to play the Tabla and Mridangam. This vastly helped me build a strong sense of pitch and rhythms. But I think it was my interest in storytelling that brought me towards cinema. I used to read a lot of books and stories based on history and mythology were my favourites. Read more>>

Francesco Antonio

After being encouraged by a high school drama teacher to pursue acting as a career, I applied and was accepted to an acting Conservatory in Toronto, Canada. When I graduated, I performed at an acting showcase for all of Toronto’s top talent agents. That is where I met my agent, Jana Abrams. Immediately upon signing with her, I began creating my own content and learning how to market myself as an actor online and in the industry. This allowed me to get in the rooms of some great projects including WAYNE which was named by LA Times as one of the Top Streaming Shows of 2019. Read more>>

Satya Vanii

I grew up with a Filipino mom and an Indian dad in a Middle Eastern upbringing. I live in Los Angeles and am proud to be a Californian. So figuring out my identity everywhere I go has been confusing. I am either seen as one of them or not at all. You see, everywhere I go everyone thinks I am one of them. And on the other hand, everywhere I go I am not enough of who I ethnically need to be and so on. Am I Asian enough, am I Indian enough? In Hollywood, I am mostly considered Mexican and sometimes get hired, part of the 1% of Asians that do get hired occasionally. I was also once told I looked Japanese, so I lost the part. Read more>>

Ilayda Cetinkaya

Having been raised by strict Turkish parents in Istanbul, the arts kept me sane. I played the violin for ten years, studied acting, danced, wrote stories, and painted. My friends were used to me sticking a camera into their faces as capturing our lives was an obsession of mine. Watching films religiously taught me a lot about life and it made me empathize with people from any culture and background, sometimes even with the villains. Read more>>

Cassandra Scerbo

I’ve been in the entertainment industry professionally since age 10. While entertainment is my passion, activism is my purpose. I got approached over a decade ago to be an Ambassador for Boo2Bullying and fell in love with everything the organization stands for. From there, I worked my way up to West Coast Executive Director and then was promoted to Vice President at age 25. Our organization has grown so much in the past decade offering programs overseas and producing new pilot programs such as C.A.P.E. Nation created for students K-3 as well as an animation we currently completed with DaniMation which premiered at Comic-Con San Diego. Read more>>

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