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Inspiring Stories from Hollywood

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 Hollywood’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 Hollywood’s rising stars below.

Nuttavut “Buddy” Chanprasit

Growing up, I’ve always had a passion for music. Wanting to gain more understanding of music, I decided to attend workshops, seminars, and a music engineering program in order to gain knowledge on all aspects of music. This eventually led me to become a music producer. After many years of experience, I decided that I would like to expand my knowledge about the entertainment industry. I started shooting music videos, editing and producing live events (i.e. concerts, tv shows, reality tv, and etc.) Today, I now travel all over the world, working as a freelance photographer and videographer. Read more>>

Willie Diggs

I began mentoring in the New York/New Jersey area for weddings as a photographer as well as doing headshots and portraits for entertainers and people who needed corporate photos. I traveled across the country taking photos in every state eventually landing in Hollywood, California. I continued to shoot with several photography studios for weddings. I eventually started my own company to do photos for weddings, headshots for entertainers, corporate events, parties, athletes, products, and much more. Read more>>

Maria Vartanian

I graduated with a Fine Arts Degree where I majored in painting. Never really wanted to pursue a career as a freelance painter as the role felt too solitary for my quirky personality. So I put the two together and pursued a career in the beauty industry. I enrolled in an extensive beauty (esthetics) course for a year then followed that with another year of Makeup course at CJMD Makeup Design and then got formally trained with the best in the business. The initial challenges were the early mornings followed by very long days in studio or on location, by the end of it you have no energy for anything so that can play some havoc on your personal life. Read more>>

Carlos Leon

I was born in Havana, Cuba, in the summer of 1983. My family left the island, ruled by an oppressive regime and emigrated to the United States. From a very young age I had an interest for cameras, electronic media and the arts. As a teen, I self-taught myself to design websites and edit videos. at 19, I packed my bags, took out a loan and without a vehicle or any acquaintances in the area moved across the country to attend Full Sail University; one of the top multimedia trade schools located in Orlando, Florida. Read more>>

Natalie Andres

I’ve always been drawn to art and design, as well as advertising. Both my grandmothers made their livings as artists, and my dad is a photographer, so going into a creative field made sense. I ended up double majoring in English and advertising in college, but I wasn’t really sure what exactly I wanted to do with those degrees. When I moved to Los Angeles, I realized that graphic and web design were my true passions. I also realized that I hated working a 9-5 job. I immediately started taking on freelance clients, while working various full time jobs. In 2010, I quit my regular job and started my own company. And the rest is history. Read more>>

Briana Hurley

I always knew that I wanted to become a makeup artist. Before YouTube tutorials I would sit in my room with Kevyn Aucoin’s iconic “Making Faces” book and practice his how-to’s. About six years ago, I began my career in makeup, and completed the masters program at the Make Up For Ever Academy NYC at the top of my class. After finishing the intensive training about three years ago, I moved out to Los Angeles. I am originally from California and saw Los Angeles as a place of great opportunity for furthering my career as a makeup artist. Read more>>

Paul Abbaszadeh

I developed my love for cinema and storytelling at an early age. As terribly cliché as it may sound, I drew my inspiration from repeat viewings of the Star Wars & Indiana Jones trilogies. I remember weekly visits to my Grandma’s house where my cousin’s and I would watch those movies on what seemed like a permanent loop. We wore those old VHS tapes down to the point where analog noise overtook parts of the video. I still remember the first time I was introduced to those movies; it was from that moment that I knew what I wanted to do was make movies. Read more>>

Stephen Logan

After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1997 I started as a Building Manager with Spieker Properties in Orange, CA. After several months learning the property management side of the office business I assisted with multiple construction and re-positioning projects in Orange County. I eventually moved to Manhattan Beach and oversaw the expansion of our West LA office in Santa Monica. Eventually Spieker was bought out by Equity Office Properties where I managed and oversaw all of the construction activities for LA County and approximately 9 million square feet. Read more>>

Jason Montgomery

I would say that my career in the entertainment industry started very much like Quentin Tarantino’s did as a video store clerk at the age of 15. It’s funny I look back on those days and realize now how they formed my foundation for the love of film making and appreciation of the art. I grew up in a small town in upstate NY called Little Falls, population of approximately 7000. Residents would come in everyday and ask about the newest releases and what was “good.” Man, I miss the days of walking around a video store looking at box art, but what I learned from those days was how to break down a movie and how to truly appreciate what makes a good one. Read more>>

Danya and John Griffiths

We are Beauty and Motion, a husband and wife team who have taken wedding videography to the next level. We bring cinematic images together in a unique and creative way, which captures the intimacy, excitement, energy and emotion of our clients’ wedding day. Our personalized short films cater to the individuality of each couple, showcasing their true story like no other form of traditional wedding videography. Read more>>

Alice Cherng

I was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Arcadia at the age of 8 with my parents and brother. My dad was the CEO of his multi-million dollar, international logistic business, and my mom did accounting for his business. At around 13-years-old, my dad lost his business and had to declare bankruptcy, leaving our family with no savings. A combination of years of stress and the blow of losing his empire, my dad became severely ill and could not work. As such, my mom started looking for work to support our family. Read more>>

Lara Howenstine

I was exposed to design at an early age. I grew up in a home abundant with artifacts of inspiring art and design, by names such as Charles and Ray Eames, Mies van der Rohe, Helen Frankenthaler and Mondrian. Being surrounded by these creations cultivated my appreciation for beauty, function and craftsmanship and made me want to craft my own compelling designs. In 2008, I moved to Los Angeles to forge a path in design. I enrolled in the interior design program at UCLA Extension, receiving a post-bachelor’s certificate in interior design. As a next step, I obtained a Master of Interior Architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona. Read more>>

Kelly Pedroza

My mother set me up for life. When I was younger she made me pick a sport or instrument to stick with until I was 18 years old. I chose the piano, and even though middle and high school came and I begged and pleaded to quit, she made me stick with my decision and excel at my musical art. Her dream was for me to become a classical pianist. I, on the other hand, wanted to become a marine biologist! Most of my friends, not unlike myself, were well-rounded with great grades. But my mother’s plans to make me stick out worked. In addition to performing in numerous recitals, my mother made me participate in state-wide assessments. I also used my musical talent to create an original volunteer program that was designed to teach classical piano lessons to underprivileged students. Read more>>

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