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Inspiring East LA Stories

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of East LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble-rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out East LA’s rising stars below.

Kira Cook

I grew up in Chicago and began acting there at six years old. I started in plays – I did a Steppenwolf play when I was in 2nd grade, spending my weekends and evenings after learning cursive at school hanging around with Laurie Metcalf (who played my mom) and my fellow castmates in the basement of the theater. I then moved into TV and commercials a little later. When I was 11, I booked the part of Hortensia in Danny DeVito’s Matilda and my mom, and I moved out to Los Angeles for a few months for filming. Read more>>

Jessica Redish

I’m an accomplished director, writer, and award-winning choreographer and I’ve lived in LA for a year after residing in NYC & Chicago, where I’m originally from. I attended Northwestern University and began choreographing my sophomore year of college and haven’t stopped since. I always danced, since I was 3, in my room, in class — I always needed to move, it’s when I feel most alive. I bring that necessity — the need and the drive to move — to my choreography. Read more>>

Alfredo

Before being fully verbal I was fascinated by printed images, especially line renderings of three-dimensional objects. I found them fascinating. I worshiped them. Somehow I got to believe that I too could re-create the three-dimensional magic found in print and, in my first efforts holding a pencil, I started trying my hand at attaining three-dimensionality. At that time, I didn’t have the words to convey verbally the significance of my effort; still, I wanted the world (my family) to applaud me for such accomplishment. Read more>>

Talia Shea Levin

I started out reading 12-page fantasy stories I wrote to my bored 5th grade English class and pretending I was a Skywalker descendent in my spare time. In 8th grade, I connected the dots and begged to assistant direct our school’s Spring musical. I had shown no previous interest in theater whatsoever (I thought it was just an excuse for the popular girls to wear lots of make-up), but for some reason, they gave me the job, and I was obsessed. Read more>>

Sherry Chan

Based in Los Angeles, CA, our CEO and co-founder, Vay, and I founded Shopary. We are value-conscious shoppers – the type of people who will research endlessly on multiple sites for the best pricing on a product. We would wait months, sometimes even up to a year, to scout out the best sales on a branded product we have been eyeing. We’re more than familiar with the markups of a product, including premium brand markup. So, we set out to create a platform for value-oriented shoppers like ourselves. Read more>>

Georgi Kay

With love for creating and looping electronic beats, bass, synths, and vocal chops – GEORGI KAY is a 25-year-old British-Australian artist based in LA who has received multiple awards for her original work, songwriting and collaborations over the years. She has won both an ARIA award, multiple APRA awards and received a Grammy nomination for her song “In My Mind” with Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell. Of which the latest 2018 remix by Dynoro has reached over 150 million streams, reached #1 on Spotify, Apple Music, and Shazam in over 12 markets along with sitting in the Spotify Top 50 in over 40 countries. Read more>>

Marcella Gomez

Oh Comadre Candles started as a form of therapy from my nursing job. As a nurse, you see sorrow, pain, illness, and death. Don’t get me wrong, nursing is an exceptional and rewarding career, but the illness goes with the job. I needed to stay mentally healthy… In order to balance my spirit, I made candles that celebrate life through a Latina eyes (mine).  The Oh Comadre Journey has had bumps on the road, but they are learning experiences. What is easy now was once difficult. Oh Comadre Candles are individually hand poured artisan candles. Each one is made with love in hopes that it brings a smile, evoke emotion, memory, or comfort. Read more>>

The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo

Even my earliest memories, growing up in The Netherlands, lean towards the surreal, the sublime, and the absurd, and contain the psycho-magical seeds of my current-day creative aspirations and explorations. One of my first memories I can recall is a dream in which I was being chased by a monster—a big old “Sully”-looking beast—across varying terrains, through woodlands and mountains, across the planes, hopping trains, until he finally had me cornered in a dead-end alley. Read more>>

Lauren Ruth Ward

I started writing music when I was a teenager. Playing guitar and singing and writing was strictly a cathartic hobby for me. Some doors opened up when I started posting videos on YouTube. Those connections more or less led me to realize I needed to explore “being a musician.” After a couple trips to California, I quit my job of 6 years doing hair and moved my life to LA in January of 2015. Just me and my guitar and sometimes a drummer, I played about a show a week from April ’15 to November when I formed a band and released my first pieces of music, a five song folk EP. Read more>>

Zoe Freedman

I have been working within the fashion industry for over a decade in Los Angeles. After working in the many different facets of the industry, I had a dream of one day starting my own company that was focused on high quality, made in LA unique products. I didn’t know at that time what exactly I wanted to design, but I knew that I loved to travel and had a deep passion for patterns & textiles from other countries. After traveling to Guatemala with my boyfriend, whose family is from Guatemala City, we discovered endless gorgeous handmade textiles, I knew immediately that I wanted to use these fabrics and create something beautiful and functional! Read more>>

Bobby Tetsch

I’m originally from a small town of less than 10,000 people called Smithfield, VA. I moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago. I have a 4-year-old son and a newborn daughter. I enjoy spending time with my family and participating in outdoor sports when not building my business. I founded Pacific Energy Network in 2017. Before founding Pacific Energy Network, I Founded and Co-Founded several other companies in the finance and energy sectors. Read more>>

Grace Cheng

As the founder and CEO of Mylk Labs, I started my health journey in 2016 when I began modeling after I graduated high school. I decided to adopt a healthier, balanced way of living and it was through this journey that I discovered the powerful effect foods can have on our bodies. From trying fad diets to “health” foods that never delivered what was promised, I eventually learned the truth behind good health—whole foods with real ingredients. Read more>>

Cherish Alexander

I was born in Dallas, Texas. I’ve always loved to sing; my mother still says I started singing before I started talking. I learned to play piano and wrote my first song when I was seven years old. My mom and I moved to Hollywood shortly after and I was quickly thrust into many aspects of the entertainment business including performing in a kid’s cabaret. It was a very formative time and a perfect place to bloom. I started playing guitar around 14 and discovered the Beatles. WOW!! When I was 18, I was signed to RCA records & Warner Chappell Music Publishing. Read more>>

Camilo Estrada

I started singing when I was nine in my church’s children’s choir. A music teacher at the time noticed I had potential and recommended I join the Pasadena Boy’s Choir to continue singing at a more professional level. I ended up auditioning for them and then singing with them for a couple of years until I graduated middle school. From there, I continued studying music at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where I ended up falling in love with classical singing and performing. During my senior year, I decided I wanted to perform professionally, so I ended up studying Vocal Performance at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Read more>>

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