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Hollywood’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 Hollywood’s gems below.

Aman Bassi

I started in the film and music industry in 2014. I came to LA from Vancouver, BC Canada and it just felt great here. I started of my career in LA working small film jobs which lead me to opportunities. Today I am a director, executive producer and singer/rapper and also a writer. I have received very positive feedback on my music worldwide. Also, I have received so much love from the community in LA and Vancouver. Read more>>

Kayla Yvette

I got into modeling about a year ago. I booked a couples photoshoot for my boyfriend and I. After the photoshoot, the photographer said that I was really photogenic and he would love for me to do more photoshoots with him to build his portfolio. I agreed, and every photoshoot after that led to more opportunities in modeling for me. Read more>>

Arnold Antony

I came to LA on September 2018 to attend the audio engineering course at Musicians Institute, Hollywood. My passion started first for music probably from my background in keyboard classes in my childhood. I was in love with movie scores and orchestral music and eventually trying to learn the likes of it on my casio keyboard. Back then, I thought my inclination was music or composition but it didn’t turn out the way I expected. Read more>>

Alina Averianova

I am a story lover. Have always been one. The only difference is that most people read the stories, or listen to them, or watch them – while I, doing everything mentioned above, am also creating stories. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Screenwriting back in Moscow at the oldest film school in the world, All-Russian State University of Cinematography then moved on to Master’s degree in Filmmaking at New York Film Academy. Read more>>

Dominique Denny

I’ve always had a love and passion for acting since I was itty bitty. I have off and on tried to pursue acting for the past few years. After doing classes and not knowing the next steps, I would give up and focus on the “reality” of my life. I went to school to study Early Childhood Education and took on a lead teacher job to teach two years old. Although it was such an awarding job, I felt like I wasn’t totally doing what made me happy. Read more>>

Michael Masarof

I am a filmmaker from New York, where I went to NYU Graduate film school. From there, I came to Los Angeles in the winter of 2010 and moved into a Venice Beach hotel for a temporary stay. Once I was there, I started walking around the city and thinking more about the role it plays in the life of a newbie to the city. I have a twin sister in real life and I always thought our bond was super unique and would make a really good story. Read more>>

Salvador Pérez García

I grew up thinking that I wanted to be a film director, but I always really enjoyed editing from an early age, putting together home movies I did with friends and family as best I could and with the few resources I had at hand. I eventually did an undergraduate film program in Mexico, and during that time I edited a short documentary that I also directed called “La Huerta”. That experience was amazing because it revealed to me the true power of editing to craft a story in a very deep way. Read more>>

Brandon Gale

I’ve always been bad at telling my own story. It all just feels like part of the journey for me, but then others are fascinated by the smallest details. I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, making me one of those odd filmmakers in Los Angeles who’s actually from here. Oddly enough as a kid, I never wanted to be part of Hollywood. They say if you love hotdogs, never see how they’re made. Well, I grew up in the hot dog factory. Read more>>

Edurne Fernandez

I was born and raised in Mexico City. For my undergrad, I studied Textile Design at University Iberoamericana because I always had a special attraction to design. But where I really started to be more involved with design was when I started dancing and teaching groups specialized on dance competitions. My team and I choreographed and designed makeup, costumes. Read more>>

Brian Yeun

James and I started The Bun Truck in 2011. We’ve known each other since middle school growing up in Michigan. I was living in Los Angeles working a finance position while James was working at Morimoto in New York. After three years of running the truck, we opened The Bun Shop, a brick and mortar restaurant in Koreatown which has been open since 2014. We just celebrated our six years anniversary. Read more>>

Andre Taylor

It’s started with $200 and a one-way ticket to LA being a Chicago native …I left everything I knew behind and had to focus on me didn’t know what I was going to get myself into just knew I had to do something different. One of my good friends introduced me to production he said “man look I know you can do this work easy “ I never really believed in it until I saw it for myself. Read more>>

Alisha Marks

I have been acting since I was three years old. The bug bit me hard! The first play I did was The Sound of Music. I remember how much I truly loved the feeling of being on the stage for the very first time. It has never left me. My amazing Grandma gave me my love for performance and art. She was an amazing Dancer, she had a dance studio when I was little, she was an amazing Photographer. Read more>>

Shakira Javonni

First, I learned garment construction and fashion design in high school and continued into college which led me to snatching a job at a utility job for four years which as you can image was not my calling. But from graduating and so on I started out making gowns for birthdays, weddings and for prom and I was doing that for about eight years I enjoyed that for a little while until I took on the job of being a denim tailor where I fell in love with denim. Read more>>

Sophia Gascoigne

I’m from Nuneaton in England and my journey to America started when I was just two years old when my mum took me to my aunties dance school. I soon fell in love with the art and competed in many competitions winning many awards. At the age of 8, I auditioned for the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain and trained with them for two years. Read more>>

James Deane

I am a professional dancer from the Land Down Under (Australia) and was raised in the small, beach town of Byron Bay. My love for dance began when I was four years old. I used to watch a popular Australian children’s TV show called The Wiggles. I loved dancing around to their music and would play it on my Walkman with cassette tapes. Seeing how much I loved to dance, my mum decided to take me to some dance classes. Read more>>

Crystal Victoria

I’m a certified life coach, tv personality, motivational speaker, licensed minister, host of #CrowningSZN, lead wardrobe stylist of Greenville fashion week, writer for insouth Magazine, brand ambassador, and youth director. Honestly, my career was birthed out of heartbreak. I got to a point in life some years ago where I started putting someone before myself and God. Read more>>

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