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Inspiring Stories from the OC

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 area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express

Devin Dugan

I started my improv journey in November 1996 with ComedySportz Green Bay (WI), which later became ComedyCity. In October 2000, I moved to Los Angeles and worked with many other improv troupes, both performing and coaching. Just some of them were: National Comedy Theater, LA Connection, The Second City Hollywood, and Idiot Central. Read more>>

Jennifer Tarzia and Fernando Rodriguez

Psychology became my calling, and right after grad school, I had the opportunity to participate in intervention work with a primary mental health population. I began to view interventions differently and this developed the want to change not only myself but the industry itself and the subsequent methodologies behind how we do what we do. Read more>>

Brian

Some of us are family, some of us met through school and some of us met online. We formed in the summer of 2015 and have been going strong since. We’ve been fortunate enough to play weekly at places like the Gypsy Den and 4th Street Market for The Coollab Project, both located in Downtown Santa Ana. Read more>>

Courtney Ballard

Self Love Society is a sisterhood for women to feel seen, known, and heard. Because we don’t need a diet, a man or career to fix what’s in pain internally.. we need to be understood, accepted and valued. After ten years of striving, running and aching, I now get to take my pain and serve others, and its been the most beautiful process. Read more>>

Dominic Briones

I enjoyed talking with the artistic directors, the casting directors, and especially the photographers! Long story short, I slowly befriended the photographers and editors on set and picked up an interest in their art. Together, the photographers and I would help each other out and toss around ideas that would make the shoots run smoother and more efficient. Read more>>

Jess Kirkman

Having graduated with a Communications Design degree from Syracuse University, I have always been using graphic design to make a living and keep my creative energy flowing. Even with a career as a Creative Director, I was still longing for a true, creative outlet that let me use art and my hand skills on a daily basis. Read more>>

Jenny Ho

Being a complete pragmatist, I proceeded to list out the hundred reasons why he was crazy: we’re not business people, we don’t have a lot of money, we have a baby, I have a full-time job, we have a baby! Basically, my way of saying, “We’re comfortable so why shake things up?” Read more>>

Shani Chen

As a married women, it dawned on me one day that living harmoniously with a partner requires the same discipline and tenacity as the training of a nun. This new arena was just as difficult and was actually a perfect place to practice all those hard-won religious qualities. With a newfound passion, I dedicated myself to serving my marriage with the same love and ferocity I poured into nun-hood. Read more>>

Kenny Galbraith

I want to use my life as a message and testimony to others. The darkness that we face is actually the greatest gift we could receive. It carves out space for us to hold so much joy and beauty. It gives way to immense amounts of growth and emotional/spiritual maturity. Read more>>

David Lopez

I knew I was a writer when nothing made me happier in Kindergarten than making personalized birthday cards for my loved ones. As best as I could, I would write my feelings and express what people meant to me. Even though my spelling and grammar was never perfect, I still touched people with my words–and that meant the world to my five-year-old little heart. Read more>>

Christina Harmon

It’s been fairly organic in its growth which helped me feel like I was in the right path. I think the struggle was when I thought maybe working in a team/group might be helpful. I learned that my approach was genuinely a little different and keeping serving my audience I hold so dear is just best on my own so that they get my particular service and authenticity. Read more>>

Demarcus Cunningham

Mental illness is something that is serious, especially amongst athletes. I want to shine a positive light in my community and inspire them to dream again! We often find ourselves searching for things that already exist inside of us. I want people to know that they are not alone and that they are stronger than they think. Read more>>

Belinda Ampofo

Minnesota is cold and I’ve always felt like the culture there wasn’t where I belonged. I always dreamed of moving back to New York or Los Angeles to become a working actress. After graduating with my bachelors, I moved to California within four months to attend graduate school. I graduated with my masters in business and I really wanted to put my degree to use. Read more>>

Viki Shakespeare

What really spoke to my spirit was a book on Wiccan beliefs. Since 15, I never stopped researching. Wicca is just one form of metaphysical practice and as I grew in my knowledge, I realized that all religion and spiritual practices have one piece of the puzzle..and I feel that finding truth in all and being open to what feels right to YOU…is how you ground and how you ascend. Read more>>

Conor Grebel

I worked as a toy developer for a large Japanese toy company. It was miserable. I can go into the details later but this became the single most important catalyst and transformation event in my life. I came home to America beaten and broken; all I had left was that kernel of a dream I held onto since I was a kid. I wanted to be an artist, a musician, and I wanted to be free. Read more>>

Joe Twist

Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, ET, Back to the Future and Alien are just a few movies considered classics of the 80s, and their orchestra soundtracks have inspired generations of musicians, including a kid all the way from Australia’s Gold Coast. Transfixed by the kaleidoscope of orchestral sounds I heard on TV and VHS, these movies began a life-long musical obsession. Read more>>

Lee Godden

Advantage Improv co-founders Lee Godden and Bob Doll first met on stage in 2010 during a Southern California charity event featuring two well-known improvisational comedy troupes. Chatting backstage during a break, Lee and Bob discovered they shared similar backgrounds. In addition to a passion for improvisation, they both had successful careers as business leaders (Lee in high technology sales management, and Bob in publishing finance management) and years of experience as organizational trainers and conference speakers. Read more>>

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