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East LA’s Hidden Gems

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of East LA’s gems below.

Hannah Criswell

Photography is a pretty recent development—I’ve been doing it for about two years. I started while working as a model during college. I was curious about being on the other side of the camera and started shooting portraits on my own. I’d set up shoots, cast and style people, and connect with makeup artists. I left photography behind to pursue my master’s degree in classical flute performance at Yale. Read more>>

Jake Mitchell

When I was nine years old, I would spend hours with my LEGO’s and family camera creating stop motion animations, allowing my imagination and moving images to bring my toys to life. From there, a natural progression began of creating films in different forms, from physical stop motion and stick figure drawings to action short films and comedy skits. Read more>>

Robert Roldan

I am currently a choreographer/producer working in Los Angeles in television. I started my journey in Los Angeles in 2009 as a dancer. I started dancing when I was 12 years old in Thousand Oaks, CA. I never wanted to dance when I was a kid but my mom took me to an all guys hip hop class and once I walked out of the class, I said I have to do this forever. Read more>>

Aaron Williams

I was actually born in Oklahoma because my dad had a full-ride scholarship to play football out there. I also have a twin sister, not many people know about that because I feel like our relationship is so normal. The idea that we were born at the same time doesn’t really cross my mind. We have no recollection of the midwest because our family moved back to Southern California. Read more>>

Tom Banks

I lucky in that I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a kid. Around my freshman year of high school, I told my mom I wanted to work in the film industry, so she helped me put together a resume and mail it out to all ten or so local production companies we found in the white pages. Luckily for me, one of them responded and a week later, my dad dropped me off on my first film set. Read more>>

Savannah Guzman

I dabbled in drawing animals, cartoon and fan art as early as three years old both mainly from watching too t.v and as an escape from my trouble upbringings. I was debating to be either a veterinary, wildlife behaviorist or wildlife conservationist because my love and interest of animals or become an artist/animator. But thought better to pursue what I greatly enjoy: Illustration. Read more>>

Johnny Salas, Eddie Hernandez, James Carrillo, Leo Hyder & Jason Salas

Weaponized was formed in August of 2018 and played there first live show at Yuris Records in Southgate on October of 2018 with a nine songs setlist. The band members at that time included Leo Hyder (drums), James Carrillo (guitar), Johnny Salas (vocals), Jason Salas (bass), and Jon “Fro” Torres (guitar). In February of 2019, due to creative differences Fro left Weaponized and soon after that Jason was moved from bass to guitar and Eddie “Iron” Hernandez was added to the line up on bass. Read more>>

Ryan Radusinovic

I’ve been performing stand up comedy since 2008, but my journey into comedy started long before. I began performing comedy for audiences as an actor and improv player in 2004, with the help of Orange Coast College, I began producing my own comedy sketches, plays, and performances. During my stay at Cal State Fullerton, I was a member of the improv club and also received improv training at the Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. Read more>>

Danyel Thompson

It was a bright sunny day in the middle of summer…Just messing with you ha! My start can be best described as a spider to a web: the tangled three-dimensional artistry of its eight legged arthropod host. So my elements and layers that construct my web can be contributed to the landing point of where I stand in this moment of time. Read more>>

A. Elaine Carlisle

I’ve been through everything from having seizures due to head injuries, surviving domestic violence, escaping a hostage situation, & other circumstances which would have been certain death if I had not made a quick escape. After coming across country to live & work in Hollywood as a movie scriptwriter everything was still pretty hard on me. Read more>>

Brittany Harris

I moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to study apparel management at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. This is where I got my first introduction to graphic design. Once I graduated, I started creating logos for friends and family to make some extra cash while working as a wardrobe stylist. At the time, I felt like I wanted to use my knowledge and skills to impact people on a deeper level, so I began to teach art at after school programs across L.A. Read more>>

Diego Ayala and Victor Padilla

We both met in middle school but started the band during our years in college. We used to be a four member band but it is only just two of us. We formed in February of 2017 with the simple goal of just jamming out with our friends. As things started to get serious we wrote a set of songs and began looking for opportunities to perform. Victor actually put together our first show in West Covina and had bands Tidal, the Wave, Tied Minds and Lisakira join the stage with us. Read more>>

1 Comment

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    September 17, 2019 at 03:19

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