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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.

Bowei Yue

It was a memorable morning to receive the interview invitation when I was in a break at my home in China after a tiny surgery. That morning, I was doing an interview through Skype for a film lab founded by Film Independent, which started at 6:30 am Beijing time and 2:30 pm in LA. Read more>>

Michele Ann Einert

I am a mother of four daughters and was a stay-at-home mom. At 43 years old, I decided to pursue my dream of being an actor. I began with a headshot and submitted myself online for modeling and film background work. I was determined and persistent. I booked gigs. I took it to the point where I realized if I wanted something more. Read more>>

Amalie Lorentzen

I moved to LA when I was 19 years old. I’ve known for a very long time I wanted to work in the film industry. Of course, I have my dreams, as everyone else does, about which specific roles I’d like to pursue, but I’ve always said I’d just be happy to get to help make film and tv. Read more>>

Ahram Arya

I had a deep reverence for nature itself, but at the same time, I was certain that some things are unknowable. I’m a pretty imaginative guy, but not nearly enough to see what was ahead. The funny thing is, when I look back at my own timeline, I see the way I went about everything in my life was incredibly spiritual. Read more>>

David Artavia

I always knew I was a writer, but my career didn’t lead to journalism until a bit later. Funny enough, I know many journalists with identical beginnings who had started as lawyers, civil rights attorneys, activists, even comic writers, but ultimately something switches — an “a-ha” moment. Read more>>

Mark Starks

Does anyone remember the Initial Teaching Alphabet? It achieved a certain degree of popularity in the 1960s. I like to think it helped me to become an early reader. I was big into comics. Batman was my hero-of-choice, followed by Superman and other DC characters. I was soon introduced to such (Marvel)ous concepts as”mutants. Read more>>

Duran Jones

I started rapping when I was 12 years old. My brother would freestyle all the time, so I use to emulate him. I could never get the hang of “off the top” freestyling, but I began writing. The more I wrote, the more music became therapy for me. I always wanted to pursue it as a career, but it never seemed like a real option. Read more>>

Ambassador Keith Kirkwood

I grew up in a very small town outside of Boston, about 15 minutes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The town is so small we don’t even have street signals only stop signs. The Kennedys are from the same area and were a huge part of my growing up environment. My grandmother always read me the books and watched documentaries of President Kennedy. Read more>>

Megan “Gold” Michalski

When I was still living in Arizona with my parents going to college and then beauty school, I realized I wanted to pursue my fashion career. It’s something I always knew deep down but was told I needed a real job to fall back on so I wanted to get a degree for my parents. Read more>>

Erica Hood

I was born and raised in Dallas – Fort Worth. I started dancing at the age of three and loved it so much that I never stopped! Competitions became the highlight of my week, and my team surrounded me with the sisters I never had. When I turned sixteen, I began teaching classes at my local studio. Read more>>

Ms.Toi

I started out as a hip hop dancer but I was a very good writer and was waiting for the best opportunity to get noticed. I rap on instrumentals like jacking for beats Bonnie and Clyde by ice cube since he was a dope artist and writer I wanted to meet him. My first manager was Brooke Payne Ronnie Devoe’s Uncle from New Edition. Read more>>

Bhargav Choudhury

I’m from the north-east of India. I started playing the guitar at the age of 14 years. Initially, playing the guitar was a hobby that I enjoyed and shared with my friends. Right after my high school, I moved to the southern part of India to pursue my bachelor’s degree in engineering. Read more>>

Rebecca Snavely

I’m the co-founder and executive director of Action Kivu. We’re a small nonprofit based here in L.A. with the sole purpose of raising funds and awareness for Congolese-led projects that are rooted in education and equality in Eastern Congo. A decade ago, my co-founder Cate Haight. Read more>>

Max Woods

My interest in film started when I very young. When I was a kid in Northern California, I joined a community theater. I acted in a few plays, both classics and originals, before finding my way behind the scenes. Doing the lights, building the sets, I helped where ever I could. Read more>>

Aaron Rowe

Growing up, I fell in love with film especially the Horror genre, it’s amazing how it can bring you into a new world and the way it makes you feel. I always dreamed of being a filmmaker and doing what I’m passionate about. Life was always a bit hectic up until high school which is where I took my first film class. Read more>>

Ank-Tyree Freely

I am from Newark, NJ and I have always loved spreading the light in any room I step foot in. For me, that has always been entertaining which turned into performing. At a very young age, I decided there was nothing else I loved more than just performing. Yes, I know that is such a broad word as being a “performer” can mean so much. Read more>>

Carla Rosso

I was raised in the Sunshine State in the city of Miami, where I found my passion for makeup at an early age. I often made creative messes at my mother’s vanity as a child. Later, in my teen years my creativity grew, along with my makeup skills. I worked in the Fashion industry in Miami. Read more>>

Linn Holmstedt

I started singing around the age of four when I started singing in my first choir back in Sweden. I actually did my first tv performance or maybe I should say tv appearance with this choir, I believe that was around the age of 4 or 5. I kept singing in choirs and started a very choir-oriented music school at the age of nine. Read more>>

Joshua “Sicology” McClinton

I started out making short films and taking photos in the Bay Area in middle school throughout high school with my friends. Even though we were making them for fun, I knew that in my soul this is what I wanted to explore and master as a career. Read more>>

Claire Reneé

I’m a singer/songwriter, dancer, and fitness professional. I’d say I have a unique background compared to most people in music. I started dancing at the age of four and sang mostly in the church till about 14. I am classically trained and have learned many other dance styles along the way. Read more>>

Ryan Davis

I kind of fell into training, charities, and wanting to help animals. I grew up in a family that always liked to help others (and are obsessed with animals), and into fitness. My mom was a “ring girl” (the kind you see in UFC) for basketball games in Las Vegas, and my dad was bench press champion out of all the high schools in Pheonix. Read more>>

Christina Cessna

I grew up in Kansas City, my mom and dad have a salon in Kansas but also there was always a salon in our basement where I would always pretend to be a hairstylist. I moved to LA at 18 and studied to be in the hair industry. I assisted some of the most talented hairstylists and to this day, I still educate myself with the newest trends and hair colors. Read more>>

Jonah Nimoy

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I come from a family of whacky, passionate creatives, so my exposure to music and art began at a very young age… and seldom has life been boring since. I began playing drums at the age of seven after relentlessly watching a VHS tape of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Read more>>

Karl Flores

I have practiced different facets of dance for 11 years and found my way into the fitness industry by trying to discover new ways to improve stage presence and performance ability. From there, I worked in multiple physical therapy clinics to discover the rehabilitation side of performance. Read more>>

Qinmeizi Le

I turned down an Assistant Director’s job for a feature film in China and came to LA three years ago to pursue my filmmaking dream from scratch with no regrets. It was really hard in the first year, all of my filmmaking knowledge that I learned from China are shattered into pieces. Read more>>

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