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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.

Scott Felix

The recovery of an artist is a beautiful and terrifying experience. Questions of whether or not I was a phony or let alone good enough constantly came up and still do. Life will always have challenges, but instead of looking at them as obstacles, see them as opportunities. That’s what they truly are. Read more>>

Huimin Zhang

I love blurred pictures, such as my self-portrait. Therefore, I integrate them into the subjects that I interested in. During the OPT after graduation, I was mainly devoted to creating my own fine-art works. After that, I won some awards and had some opportunities to exhibit my works in the gallery. The latest exhibit was on Photo LA. Read more>>

Courtney Manitius

Five years ago, I hit a turning point in my life. A “quarter-life” crisis if you will. I was living in Baltimore, single, and working as an in-house designer from 9 – 5 at a company where I couldn’t grow. I wanted to change. I had always dreamed about living in California. Read more>>

Delia Hickman

After working for many years in the finance/banking industry I “quit my day job” to spend more time with my kids and pursue something that I was passionate about. I’ve always loved fashion ever since I was a little girl. My dream had always been to move to NY and study fashion design, but my parents wanted me to stay close to home and study business. Read more>>

Renata Vontobel

I grew up in a musical family in Porto Alegre, Brazil, having my uncle as an inspiration to pursue my dream of being a singer, he is a drummer, guitarist, and producer, so he helped me a lot to create my own original music. As a result, I started my career at a young age, launching my first EP at the age of 13. Read more>>

Brittany S. Hall

When I decided to make it an actual space I changed the name to Actors Play LA. I sat with the idea of bringing it to life for a long time. Then I had coffee with a friend one day that turned into me being pushed to get the ball moving and actually making it come to life. Read more>>

Dave Neal

Comedy is about telling the truth, and with the podcast, we’re able to connect with folks in such an unfiltered forum, that audiences get to hear real stories from real people, and a good number of our listeners also come out to the live standup shows as well. Read more>>

Kim Vu

I started dedicating hours to teaching myself anything and everything I could about lettering and typography. I watched online tutorials, read books, attended calligraphy and sign painting workshops – I even did a solo road trip to a workshop in Arizona. Read more>>

Mandie Cheung

Through the years I did a lot of community theater and commercial work and joined SAG in 1998. When I was 23, I made the move to Los Angeles to pursue it all. It took me a little while to find my footing, but eventually, I found Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop and took classes there and also studied improv at the Groundlings theater. Read more>>

Susie Coelho

Susie Coelho is greatly admired as a successful entrepreneur and for being a true visionary and trendsetter. Susie’s multi-media lifestyle company, Susie Coelho Enterprises has had a wealth of variety in their portfolio, with television, publishing, licensing, and partnerships with other world-class brands. Read more>>

Juan Luqui

As a teenager, I had all sorts of groups; rock, progressive metal, jazz, blues, funk – both covers and original music I wrote. Playing and writing were my only interests in life, and so after high school, I decided to audition for Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). Luckily I got a full scholarship to study film scoring, and just like that, I was gone. Read more>>

Bobby Holland

I’m one of the lucky ones that has known what I wanted to do with my life since I was five years old, For my fifth birthday, all I wanted was a Casio Muppet Babies keyboard, I woke up, saw it next to my bed, and have wanted to make music every second of every day since then. Read more>>

Gerardo Garcia Jr. and Isabelle Engman

“We’ve definitely bumped into different types of challenges along the way, all from learning about and getting contracts right to how to navigate in this position we are in, running a composting business. Having practiced our creative skills, our craft, for so many years, we had to take a crash course in the other parts you can say! Read more>>

Pascale Lefkowitz

My whole life I was involved in acting and theatre and dance. I was very fortunate to have parents, who are both “creatives,” support both my sister and me with whatever art related hobby we wished to have. At 18, I decided I wanted to travel the world and learn who I was. Read more>>

Aakash Raj

I slowly worked my way up on becoming a cinematographer and completed five features and some commercials before I moved to LA, which has got me various awards Including the Dada Sahib Phalke best cinematography award. I moved to LA to complete my masters in cinematography from the American Film Institute. Read more>>

Federico Coderoni

In pursuit of new horizons, in August 2016, immediately after graduating, I moved to Berlin to work as a composer, music producer, and freelance sound engineer. I am now contacted to produce music, add orchestras to third parties recordings and to compose soundtracks from all over the world. Read more>>

El Prez

With the assistance of fellow LA rapper Quiz and talent manager Moneisha Hobbs, we secured the Virgil Bar in Hollywood and set about creating PayDay LA, aka the #BestRapShowinLA. One year in, I’ve succeeded in that and have my eyes set on loftier goals for the PayDay brand and LA Hip Hop in 2019 and beyond. Read more>>

Pascal Guyon

I started developing other passions for the finance industry and for computer science. I studied as hard as I did for music (and I still do)! This leads me to work with private equity firms, technology companies such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and blockchain music projects. At this point, I’m specifically interested in research and combining fields to develop creative solutions. Read more>>

Dave Mackay

Every worthwhile creative step I’ve taken was one that was just slightly out of reach – one that I didn’t feel quite ready for. Making things is a weird game – you can often find yourself feeling very stuck, even though the universe is nudging you along and things are actually working out fine. Read more>>

James Ferrero

We developed out of the growing trend of “Shakespeare in a bar” shows. Every version of those shows are slightly different, but more often than not the shows were picked and cast ahead of time. We thought, “Why not leave the show to be decided by a literal spin of wheel that night? Read more>>

Miskar Chomse

When I heard the laughter and delight coming from the teacher and students, I knew I’d found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Nothing beats an audience’s energy when they’re reacting to what you’re doing up on stage – it’s electric. Read more>>

Bobbie Becerra

My family struggled in a lot of ways when I was growing up, including many years of living in abuse. Though I was well into my adulthood before I was able to create a safe life, I started working on my own healing when I was in my teens. I read articles, talked to people about social attitudes, and reconsidered my own way of thinking through personal therapy. Read more>>

Natalie Holloway

We were in a yoga class in Indonesia when we realized that we could challenge ourselves if we had added resistance. We then thought of wrist/ankle weights, which of course already existed. What we realized is that we could modernize the wrist/ankle weight to bring them back in style. Read more>>

Amiraa Vee

Amiraa transitioned from the corporate freelance world to a full-time model/stylist once she realized she wanted to be her own boss. She began her celebrity styling involvement by assisting her friend, Cardi B’s stylist. After doing that for a few months, she realized that styling a career she would pursue. Read more>>

Harry Katz

My life has become divided very clearly into the moments I spend making this music, and the time in-between those moments. We’re so excited to be doing the Monday Night Residency at The Satellite May 2019 in Silver Lake. I’m booking and working with some of my favorite people in LA. Read more>>

Chance Calloway

What I’ve found, though, is that when you’re on the right path, the brush seems to clear out of the way, and when the stumbling blocks appear, it’s often to slow you down. I stepped into a brand new industry without a lot of technical knowledge, political vocabulary, or bank. Read more>>

Tan Onwimon

Filmmaking not only taught me the craft, but it also taught me to stand up on what I believe in. My passion that was suppressed deep down started to explode. I reunited with my love for film music and started writing a film score for my classmates’ film. And it just enlarged to a musical, a documentary, and a feature film. Read more>>

Aastha Verma

One Picture speaks a thousand words was a thought that was always lingering in my head full of one big dream – to be a successful photographer. Ansel Adams changed for me what he changed for most people – ‘Perspective.’ Very soon every blink of an eye seemed to look like a story in itself. Read more>>

Dipanshu Sharma

I came to the United States having a one-way ticket and very limited money not knowing a single soul in this part of the world. I knew I wanted to be an actor, and there was no falling back, so I went to Lee Strasberg theatre and film institute and enrolled my self. Read more>>

Dan Madonia

I am a Los Angeles-based standup comedian, actor and writer(Son Of a Standup Comedian and an Adult Entertainer) Raised in upstate New York, I moved to Hollywood at a young age and have been performing to extremely diverse audiences at a wide array of venues and festivals around the world. Read more>>

Frances Kroon

Cinematography came to me through language. Being South African and growing up between South Africa; England; and Honduras, I was exposed to a lot of different languages and cultures. I wanted to be able to communicate without the limitations of not being fluent in all the languages in the world. Read more>>

Jessica Michelle Singleton

I’ve been funny since I was a kid. Although, for a long time, other people described it as “weird.” My dad had always embraced and encouraged me, but after he left, I was pretty neglected. I think I tucked a lot of it in and would just keep my thoughts to myself. Read more>>

Natalie Kalamdaryan

Getting people to believe in you as much as you believe in yourself can be difficult. But nothing worth having in life comes easy, and at the end of the day, I know what I want, and I’m just taking it step by step until I get there. The thing about the entertainment industry is that everyone has their own path and journey. Read more>>

Samantha Hale

I pursued acting for years until one day a friend of mine invited me to the Laugh Factory to go see “The Women of Chelsea Lately.” It was Natasha Leggero, Sarah Colonna, Jen Kirkman and all of the awesome women who were regulars on that show. I remember watching them and being so impressed. They had opinions. They were empowered. Read more>>

Jon Zucker

I thought that accepting the fact that you’re not okay meant acknowledging defeat. When you force yourself to ignore the warning signs, you don’t go to therapy. You don’t practice self-care. And you certainly don’t take medication that could change your life. Once I let myself not be okay, I finally started doing those things, and it’s made my life infinitely better. Read more>>

Hannah Pilkes

I’ve been acting since I was a kid. I grew up in New York City and would stand on the stoop of my apartment building dressed up as characters like “Miss Tootyfruit,” a struggling street performer, for passers-by. Anything to make my older sister laugh. Read more>>

Anousha Hutton

My style didn’t become so brightly colored until I moved to Los Angeles, before then I was much more into Black and white and medium format print work, then everything became color saturated when I moved to LA. I would always develop stories and characters from my dreams or psychic visions. Read more>>

Brenden Leigh

As a singer, my tone is clear and rounded. I have YEARS of classical/non-classical training under my belt and use it in R&B as one would use an instrument. As a songwriter, I harness my innate ability as a story-teller to paint vivid scenes. I want the listener to feel like they were either going through the experience with me or listening to me sit in front of them and share. Read more>>

Jordyn

I spent this year doing headlining shows all over Philly and finally was able to move back out to LA in January 2019. The trip had similar romance to it, I still was broke with nowhere solid to stay and I again took that beautiful cross country train ride back to the city of Angels. Out for blood. Here I am today, producing events. Read more>>

Noor Wahba

At CBS, I learned the importance of cold-calling and really working hard to connect with businesses and sell your station. I am very fortunate to have worked for such great companies: iHeart, CBS, Emmis, and now Meruelo Media. I can’t imagine being where I am at now, without all the experience and mentorship I had across the board. Read more>>

Lacie Armstrong

I transferred to Cal State LA to pursue a career in the Entertainment Industry. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Television-Film-Media opt. Broadcast Journalism in May 2018. I have had the pleasure of working on music videos, commercials, tv-shows and more. Read more>>

Rachael Gavrielli

I quickly fell in love with The Phantom of the opera. I was 12 when my mother took me to see the show at The Victoria Palace Theatre, London, I grew up in England and had no idea that ten years later, I would end up in California. Read more>>

Carol Camp

There’s this analogy that I really like. If you want to do something, if you want to get somewhere, but there’s a wall between you and that place, instead of making all these plans on how to get to the other side, just throw your backpack over the wall. Then you’ll have no option other than to just do whatever it takes. Read more>>

Ferris Wehbe

Jeff & Larry were born and raised there, and Ferris has called it home for more than 35 years. The moment you speak to them, you realize their commitment to Hollywood is personal, and their words are backed up by decades of civic involvement that’s helped transform and revitalize large parts of the community and city. Read more>>

Mariana Bandhold

I knew I was going to end up in LA and so I fought for it. Got good grades in high school, applied for the school of my dreams, got accepted, moved to LA at 18, and I have been here ever since. I graduated with a BFA degree in Performing Arts in Feb 2019. Read more>>

Toi Holliday

Partnering with marketing writers, I authored a few book titles dedicated to guiding buyers and sellers through the real estate processes. Followed by the start of building my international network of real estate partnerships launched in Dubai, UAE. Read more>>

Bernadette Pauley

I love waking up the next morning to follow up with the clients and the comedians. I go where I’m wanted now, I work where I’m appreciated, and I work hard. As for real estate, I have gorgeous three bed/two bath coming up in Beverlywood, so give me a call. Read more>>

Angela Kazanchyan

My passion for calligraphy was then ignited, and I began practicing incessantly with a pointed pen and nib. I am mostly self-taught, but I’ve taken and continue to take calligraphy workshops to enhance and develop my style further. I have dated and kept most of my practices, as my writing style or “hand” is always evolving. I am curious to see what it looks like in another five years. Read more>>

Lauren Clark

I assisted every stylist in the salon and soaked up all the knowledge I could. I moved back to LA and started my hair journey. Fast forward eight years later, I work with the Wall Group as well as a couple of other agencies. I work in a salon as well as freelance. I feel very lucky to work in a creative industry. I love what I do. Read more>>

Keri Kelsey

It’s interesting to sort of look back on my path. I haven’t done that in a while. I think I’ve always been on the same general path. My mother is a singer and my stepfather, a conductor. I took piano, violin, voice, dance and acting lessons. My earliest memories of singing and acting were in church productions. Read more>>

Kamogelo Mokoena

My love for filmmaking was sparked when, during my third year of tertiary education, I was appointed to direct a play for a reputable Ladies Residence on campus. I knew then that I was never going to turn back. This was my first time not just being the performer but rather directing and producing a performance. Read more>>

Susanna Spies

Like most people, I came to LA to pursue acting. And like most people, have had many jobs to keep afloat. One of my jobs when I first got to LA was teaching English and Drama back in 2002. It was an exciting change from temping, delivering juice, and all the other fill n the gap jobs. Read more>>

Trevor Dering

Music to me has always been the most important thing in life. Since I was young, all I can remember is doing the best I could to make noise out of something silent. When I wasn’t getting kicked out of classrooms for singing out-loud, I was doing my best to keep my thoughts occupied. Read more>>

Sierra Puett

Although I am so grateful for the experience and what I learned I am capable of, it was soul-crushing to my creative senses, and I know I do not respond well to redundancy and monotony that residency shows have. I am freshly back in LA and have a much better grasp and fuel for the kinds of gigs I want to engage in. Read more>>

Stephen Keshi Jr

Stephen Keshi Jr is a passionate dancer and budding choreographer. He extended his passion for dance by training with choreographers and dancers of different technical backgrounds all over the Bay Area. He received his Bachelor in Dance and Choreography from San Francisco State University. He’s continuing his training in Los Angeles, Ca. Read more>>

Danny Cole

I fell in love with magic when I was ten years old after watching Siegfried & Roy perform in Las Vegas. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and I desperately wanted to know how they were able to do their ticks. Not long after that, I discovered a magic shop about 15 minutes away from my house, and I begged my parents to take me. Read more>>

Samudranil Chatterjee

I think I seriously started thinking of film, and especially cinematography, as I was stepping into my undergraduate degree. I had done film courses in high school, and found myself interested in the image making process and thus, decided to attend Griffith Film School in Brisbane, which is where I’m from. Read more>>

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