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Inspiring Stories from Pasadena

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 the LA’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 Pasadena’s rising stars below.

Ginny Luke

I’m a small town Iowa girl with big town dreams who decided at age six (and announced to my family) that someday I would be a recording artist and actress in LA. That’s a pretty big announcement for a 6-year-old, especially one growing up next to a cornfield performing in community theater at the Grand Opera House and playing violin recitals in tutus. My whole life was a quest of how to get to LA. I started classical violin, piano, and ballet when I was three in Germany; my dad was in the army – and we moved to Dubuque, Iowa when I was four. Read more>>

Bianca Appice

Since I can remember, I wanted to be a film and TV makeup artist. My father is a musician – Carmine Appice – and I remember seeing this photo of a zombie in our house when I was growing up in a frame. He told me that it was him, and I didn’t really understand how that could be him. It didn’t look like him, obviously, it was a zombie. How was it him?! He then told me that he had his face “molded” and they made it on top of his face, and he wore it, like a mask. It’s probably hard to explain this to an 8-year-old. Read more>>

Nellie Le

When I was growing up, my dad had a subscription to National Geographic magazine which is where my love for animals started. For most of my early childhood, I actually wanted to be a veterinarian when I grow up. I also watched a lot of mid-century Disney animated shorts, which has had a major influence on my work today. I loved drawing and making things with my hands, but I never thought I was any good at it or that it could ever be a career. In school, I excelled at math and science which led me to initially major in mechanical engineering. Read more>>

Cheryl Meyer

Seven years ago, I woke up one morning and everything in my body hurt. My muscles and my joints were in extreme pain. It didn’t go away. I went to my doctor four different times and had tests run. She finally called me and told me there was nothing wrong with me, that I should seek therapy, and that she was going to prescribe steroids for the pain. I refused the pills and knew something was causing the pain, so I turned my jewelry business over to my staff and started researching. Read more>>

Bea Goodwin

I have been an opera stage director and a writer for a few years now, but never the two met. I started seeing patterns of female characters being completely subordinate to men- their only redeeming arias about being lesser or needing more, only to die for love. Why was I staging all of that when I didn’t believe in it? I wanted to write new stories for the stage while still maintaining opera’s beautiful structure and sounds, but only creating the female as the victor. Read more>>

Gina Starbuck

My whole life changed when I became a mom. I mean, this is true for EVERY mom, to varying degrees. But for me, it completely changed the trajectory of my soul’s calling. I’ve always been a teacher by nature and have found immense joy in being a catalyst for positive change in anyone’s life. It has been clear since I could remember that I’m meant to inspire people. That hasn’t changed. What has changed though is the HOW? Read more>>

Chloe Weaver

My journey to becoming a cinematographer started in high school, where I picked up a love of photography. I would carry my mom’s Nikon film camera around and take black and white photographs of my classmates and family. I learned that I was fond of portrait photography and symmetrical compositions. I gravitated to my family’s video camera during that same timeframe and shot short films in my neighborhood staring my friends. That was the era of MTV’s Jackass and The Tom Green Show – I had access to a camera that looked just as good and felt empowered to make things myself and edit them together in iMovie. Read more>>

Kiara Machado

I was born in Lynwood, CA and lived in Los Angeles for a few years before moving to Glendora. Being Central American and living in a predominantly white city it was hard to find community and representation. Although it was difficult, it helped me to solidify and defend my identity. Painting and drawing has always been a part of my life. I always knew I wanted to go into the arts but never knew exactly what area I wanted to delve into. Read more>>

Jeremy Crooks

I started working on music professionally back in 2009. Went through some early success being on a few television shows and performing in theaters and music venues all around California. But just like any journey, there’s been peaks and valleys. I at one point had an entire team of people working with me on an album, from marketing to live shows, but I went through some tough business and personal losses back in 2014, and eventually was left to do most of my work alone. Read more>>

Manuel Del Valle

I am a Mexican film director and producer, living in Pasadena, CA. My main focus is directing narrative short films for the film festival circuit. I am mostly known from my surreal short film “Piel” (2016), heartbreaking “Celeste” (2018), and dramatic thriller “Bloodhound Disciple” which is about to come out into the international film festival circuit this year. I have always been afflicted with the idea of having “my story¨. It is hard to find a complete arched story when you are in your early twenties (21). Read more>>

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