Episode 25: Living The L.A. Cliche!

I bet you, if you were to blindfold me, drop me off on a random cross street anywhere in the city of Los Angeles, I would know my way back home. I can tell you what’s North, South, East and West, I drink smoothies with chia seeds, I’m vegan on the weekdays but eat In & Out on the weekends, I lose my cool when I have to wait five minutes at the dispensary, (Why am I waiting for my weed?) I know where you can get the best Korean BBQ at 2am.

I don’t work a 9-5, rain is catastrophic, the first sip of a Pink Lady Apple Kombucha after Soul Cycle is everything, I teach at a high end Yoga Studio, a Khardashian showing up to practice is totally normal, I have yogi friends that can literally name drop famous Monks… (Your friends can’t do that), I don’t go to The Valley, I haven’t been to an After Hours yet but I get the invites and that my friends makes me an L.A. Cliche!

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total Hollywoodian… I still eat Gluten, I’m not kissing dogs in the mouth, I do however, finally feel at home. It’s been three years. No one can tell me I didn’t pave my way and haven’t paid my dues. Told all my homies to move out here now they’re living their best lives too. A raise at my Yoga job, a new position at a trendy Sports Therapy studio DTLA, promoted to teach more classes, creating music and content that is memorable and narrative changing. I knew making this move wouldn’t be easy but I knew it was right.

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Take a moment right now… Yup…right now. Just stop. Think about how traumatizing it would be for YOU to prematurely quit your job, move 3000 miles away from everything and everyone you’ve ever known to do something that has little to no chance of being a success. Like, all I had was faith and one spec script.

Watching my friends get married and have babies via Instagram sucks, my mom telling me to move back home makes me frown, Not being with the person I love is annoying.

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All the “How to make it in L.A. blogs” and these thoughts, this mirage of I need to be this comedy writer or else the world will explode mentality gave me a much needed smack in my face. I had a picture of what my life in L.A. would be like and it’s no where near what I imagined. It’s actually better. It keeps getting better, with every Yoga class I teach, every new creative I meet, every taco I eat, with every new strain grown, I am here for it all.

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I finally have an answer to what success is. The question that has been aching and haunting my brain for over a decade. Success isn’t about the money, or Childish Gambino noticing me, success is uncovering the essence to my soul. Success is seeking the HARD, hard stuff and still crushing it. This Summer feels like a jolt of great energy, no enemies, work is fulfilling, I already have next month’s rent! It feels good to feel nervous and excited about all the things to come, even though I have no fuckin’ idea what’s coming.

Success is uncovering the essence to your soul.

Stay Tuned.

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Episode 24: Reefer Madness!

Whether you know me personally or know me through reading this blog, I’m most likely the biggest Pothead you know! I’ve been a proud member of the cannabis community since I smelled it through the vents of my college roommates bedroom. It was then I knew this magic plant, an act of God mixed with science and nature was going to significantly change my life forever and it did. I love Marijuana. Not just for its healing properties, for its mental properties or for the way it brings people together, I love weed because it forces me to be at ease, it allows me to open my inner most pathways to a higher self. Weed is cool. Without it life is great, with it life is better.

So there’s a National Marijuana Day aka 420. Why wouldn’t there be? It makes more sense than National Cheese day or National Lima Bean Day which is also disrespectfully on the same day as 420…(Who the fuck eats Lima Beans?)

The last five years I’ve celebrated 420… It’s been a blast. I always take a day off work, there’s seemingly always an abundance of greenery in my presence. I’m surrounded by friends and edibles. 420 Day is a joyous occasion...I never experienced a bad one. Until…

April 20th, 2019…“It was a day that will live in infamy”. Not only did I miss one of my favorite rappers concert, the 4/20 party that was suppose to be this epic weed turn up turned out to be one of those, I’m an Instagram influencer, watch me not dance parties. Seriously, the DJ played Juvenile “Back that Ass up” No one danced! The bouncer was a complete douche. He said I had too much weed, made me roll all of it up before entering the party. In the midst of trying to roll FIVE GRAMS of weed, I dropped a big ass nug that is lost forever on the L.A. streets, or in the hands of a L.A hobo.. What does this mean, am I getting too old for this, do I have bad 4/20 karma for all the times I ash my blunt on people’s living room floors?

How could a day that’s usually perfect turn into Reefer Madness? Luckily I ended the night with friends, vegan snacks and amazing hosts. Even still the night ended before 10:00pm. I was tired, high and disappointed.

As I reflect back on this year’s 4/20 my realization is…

Putting all my energy into making this one day ultra special instead of making all my days ultra special speaks volumes. I bet if I put half the effort into comedy writing as I did trying to make 4/20 a spectacular day ya’ll would be sayin’ who is Issa Rae?

My 3 year anniversary in L.A. is in a couple weeks. I actually made it three years in L.A, with my head still on my head. Yes, I went through some shit, a lot of shit, a whole lotta shit.. I’m still here, no babies, no diseases, no bad attitude, mad confidence, single, a hot yoga body, I’m making music, writing and evolving into the Sailor Moon Christina I always knew I would become. Performing stand-up comedy this week, so wish me luck. I’m scared af… But there’s no better feeling than telling jokes on stage. I mean better feelings exist for sure but I’m unwillingly celibate. So stand up will have to due for now!

Stay Tuned.

Episode 20- A Hippie’s Holidaze

Its Holiday season! Bring out the hoodies, shorts and jean jackets, I might have to dare I say wear socks with my shoes now. The holidays in L.A., pretty non-existent to say the least. The rain replaces snow, its 65+ degrees, Its way too hot for one of those Ugly Sweater parties.

Yet,  holiday season brings me joy. Like, Thanksgiving what a fucked up holiday to celebrate but having three plates of food with no care in the world. Sorry Indians! (not sorry) This year I celebrated what most transplanted, stranded, Los Angeles residents celebrate. “Friendsgiving” Well in our case “Danksgiving” (Yes it’s exactly what you think it is) with my closest homies.  I thought my friendships were deteriorating after we didn’t get the dream house I wanted. At the end of the night… I love these Negros, regardless if we agree or not, these people I met almost a decade ago are still here, supporting and uplifting my crazy dreams. Plus as cool as it would’ve been to live with my Frat brothers. They fart a lot more often than the average male. Sports, there’s just so much sport watching…I can’t deal…But dammit I would be trifalin’ af if I wasn’t grateful. They let me stay with them these last couple months. I wear wigs, I get a period, I’m going through a break up and these guys were so nice and tolerant of all that.  Why do they like me?

So let’s revisit that last blog post. Was that Emo or what? I went pretty dark. I was saying stuff like…

I feel so stuck,  everything is falling a part. My friendships, my relationship. The thought of writing something creative makes me cringe now. How do I get back?”

It was pinned up inside me and I had to type it out. I won’t apologize for my vulnerability either.

I’ve been internally kicking and screaming because I’m trying to find some sort of break or easy way out of what ultimately are Karmic reactions to a continuous cycle I’ve subjected myself to. Basically. I’m tired of feeling bad for myself, making up excuses, It’s time to embark on this L.A. journey I was eagerly ready for when I first moved here. With opportunities and blessings literally smacking me in the face, I must keep pushing forward.

A new job, moving in to an amazing home with my closest friend, teaching more Yoga classes, embarking on my first 200 hour Teacher Training, starting my Podcast back up and recording music, I’m diving in to all my side passions until I can get rid of this *whispers* writers block.. I still feel like something is missing.  Why do I always think I need more? How am I not content yet? Then it hit me. Why I feel this emptiness within me. I must deal with this, I must face the truth that I might not ever meet Childish Gambino, let alone watch him  perform live ever again. I know I missed an amazing last concert.  I know now what it feels like to live life with regret.

Still, though. I’m in a much better place than the last couple months. This New Year will be interesting. I’m ready for it all.

 

Stay Tuned and Happy Holidays!

 

 

Episode 15. I Live in L.A.

I feel good. like… beautiful, creative, bold, indestructible good. I decided to take a break from my normal routine and it really has me feelin’ myself.  Yes, I’m still writing. Contrary to the very little appearances on stage I miss doing stand-up. The pressure though, it can get to you.

Even if life is going great when you aren’t doing what you love it’s like you’re not living the right life. Does that make sense? Anyways, I’ve been way too hard on myself to be this super successful comedian right now that I forgot I’m still young af, I have no kids, I’m not married. I can literally do whatever the hell I want. Except eat a baby.

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I read my last blog post and I’m like,

“Yoooo Christina from six weeks ago chill out”

Everything is fine, nothing is my fault. I have done nothing wrong. I  want something better for myself and I believe if you lead with your heart you’ll find that better.  Deciding to take a break to evolve my mind, body and soul has set me free from all the  anxiety, fears and noises in my head telling me I’ll never be good enough. 

So, after living here 18 months, I think I’m beginning to understand what it takes to survive here. It’s actually pretty simple all you have to do is…

Stay open and that goes for moving to any new city, create in real life how you see yourself in your dreams. Talk to people of all races, genders, be polite and actually listen to people. Remember the names of every person you connect with. Stay focused but have the time of your life because all these new experiences are gearing you up for  what’s meant for you.

Keep a solid circle of friends who are willing to do anything to see you win. I can’t believe I have that.

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It’s also pretty dope to have a partner out here who is more excited about your dreams than you, someone who kisses your butt cheeks every morning. Let’s just say I can’t believe I have that either. Woot!

Land a job that supports your dreams as well as keeps you sustained. I know, sounds impossible right? It’s not.

Listen to every album Childish Gambino ever  made. (Except the first two.)

Do something completely left field, I’m a certified  Yoga Barre instructor.  Let me tell you, it changed me. Yes, I have a six pack now.

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This trippy journey I’m on has me feelin like that moment right after Alladin asked Jasmine  “Do you trust me?”

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Butterflies are literally swarming in my stomach every morning because I’m so excited for what’s to come. What new adventure I’m about to endure. As I prepare to start teaching yoga classes and the release of my Weed Musical series, I can’t help but look back on the shitty times out here and just be grateful for everything I’ve built thus far. I haven’t even grasped the fact that I’m only getting started.

Stay Tuned oh and Namaste.

 

 

 

Episode 14: Hippie Hopes.

Written live from her cozy, danked out bedroom for the World Wide Web. Welcome ladies and gentleman to  That Hippie is Lit! 

Happy New Year, most importantly Happy Black History Month!

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Don’t forget to be relentless, proud and  apologetically Black this month. It’s important. The Europeans gave us 28 days (sometimes 29) to act up and act up we shall do. At least I know I am. I spent the last long af month, frustrated, anxious and low-key depressed trying to figure out what’s next. I almost lost sight of why I’m living  in L.A. I mean, this is the city I’ve been dreaming of for years how dare I be in constant questioning and confusion.

I’m tired. Tired of making excuses for myself, tired of being tired and lazy, tired of not going hard enough while I sit back and watch my comedy peers on Instagram, climb their way to success. Sidebar, it’s also super strange living in a world where majority of my friends are starting families and I’m just starting my life.

Let’s be honest, I had no focus last year. Hustling PA jobs, working two jobs for the man, co-hosting a podcast, blogging, shooting a pilot, making music. I was everywhere but nowhere at the same time. Yes, in my head I’m Sailor Moon and yes sometimes I exude that energy but even Sailor Moon took time  to make a game plan. She loved saving people, saving the Sailor Scouts, saving Tuxedo Mask. It was her moon given gift to share love and create hope for everyone. My gift is my ability to create art. My ability to speak and have this odd, unique voice that no one has but me. I have something to say with the expectancy that it will bring hope to others. Don’t tell anyone this but as an only child I feel like I’m meant to be alone. When I write stories and share it with others I feel a sense of togetherness and understanding. I guess that means this is what I’m meant to do.

Giving up is not an option, neither is being comfortable with mediocrity.

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So listen, I’m going to take this stand-up comedy thing seriously this year. I know, I know I keep saying it but for real,  I spoke to some L.A. comedy legends over the Christmas break. I met them at this Wig-mas party. (A Party where everyone has to wear wigs) Anyway, they inspired me. These middle-aged white men told me the realist shit when it comes to this comedy game. I soaked it all up and I’m ready to relinquish it to this city.

I don’t know if it’s because I dated all those stand-up comedians in the past, or the rush I get when I’m on stage  while people laugh at my jokes but I’m gonna give it a real shot. Like perform three nights a week shot, like, instead of spending $5 on milkshakes I’ll spend it on open mic’s type shot. Like, gotta take the bus home from the comedy club because the Uber cost too much shot. Because, yes I came out here for comedy writing but out here I can be anyone and do anything I ever thought was impossible. My mind was so closed, thinking it’s comedy writing or death!

I, That Hippie is Lit can be who I want to be, especially while I’m on stage. Plus, I’m way funnier than the comedians I dated in the past and they aren’t doing too bad for themselves.

 

Image result for stand up comic gifSo, come see me on stage one night…Don’t worry, I’ll continue to write stories. I actually want to knockout a couple screenplays this year. Oh and I just got a hosting gig for an open mic at this vibey, vegan- friendly cafe. I’m curating as well so no pressure right?

I’m excited to be here again. The fact that its 85 degrees in February helps. I’m going in to my second year living in Los Angeles with  a couple bruises and a strained neck muscle (long story)

I’m also going into my second year with faith, hope and the desire to work for my dreams. No hold backs.

Stay Tuned.

 

 

 

 

Episode 13: 5 Jobs That Can Help You Survive In L.A.

Don’t tell the IRS but I’ve had six jobs since living in sunny Los Angeles. Yes, that’s right. Six jobs! These six jobs  barely help me live a sustainable lifestyle, but then again I have  an extraordinary  weed habit so I may have  mismanaged my money somewhere a long the way.

This is not about me. This is about the jobs in L.A. that are readily available if you decide to move out here with a one way ticket,  two suitcases,  $143,  prayer and the hope that you’ll meet Childish Gambino. I mean, with the hopes you don’t fail and embarrass your friends and family.. You’ll be annoyed you might have to eat tacos every day but you’ll be able to have a little pocket change at least enough for you to head to the beach, bring a taco.

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Photographer Assistant– (Or something like that)  This random Photo-booth business owned by two tiny Mexican dudes had me  travel by bus, train and on foot to parts of Cali as far as Chatsworth, Downey,  and Palo Verdes. I  set up camera equipment and snapped pictures at weddings and Quinceanera’s. It was my first job in L.A. it didn’t pay but $60 a gig, I got fired after the second week for not having a car to travel to all those different parts of town. Couldn’t carry all that equipment on the Metro apparently.  I was able to make due for a couple weeks and I’ve seen more parts of Los Angeles then some people who have lived here their entire lives.

Hostess– At an “upscale” Steakhouse. Found this job off Craigslist; the lazy guide for the jobless. As soon as I was hired the manager told me we eat free. I was willing and more able than ever to make this job work. I showed up on time, I passed my probation period. I thought everything was gravy like the delicious gravy they made that went with those soft ass mashed potatoes. I was fired from the steakhouse after I told the manager to “calm down.” I sat a couple at a table he specifically told me not to.  He was being a tad bit dramatic about it.  The couple was having their  anniversary I wanted them to sit at nice table, plus they tipped me.  Anyway, he didn’t like that. So the very next day, through good old fashioned text message I Christina, hasn’t had gravy since.

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“I was two for two. My confidence was super low and I needed money quick.”

Scammer– You know those  calls you get in the middle of the day from somewhere in middle America telling you they can “relieve” your student loans.  I  was the paper pusher. The job was everything I’m against: cubical’s, lame holiday parties, quota’s. My boss ordered El Pollo Loco for us a lot. Like that was going to make up for the fact that we were underpaid, worked holidays and had to change the company name a few times to be ahead of the Feds.  This is the only job I would actually say you should totally avoid. It’s not worth it.

Image result for working retail gifRetail at The Grove: The Grove in Los Angeles is an outdoor mall for tourists and C-list celebrities. When you’re at home watching season finale’s of those annoying  singing contest shows nine times out of ten its filmed at The Grove. It’s ironic and humbling working at the same retail job I did when I was in college. I’m closer in age to the managers then the actual employees. I don’t like following people around with there clothes and I’m tired of arguing over a return policy at a store I don’t even shop at!

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TV & Entertainment: I worked my first Production Assistant position a week after I moved to L.A.  I don’t know if it was fate or me just begging for work through email but that one gig lead me to multiple PA positions, a script supervisor position for a couple BET Specials and a Office PA position for a feature film. It has been the most gratifying, feel good, learning experiences ever.  I seriously can not wait until I make a career out of this. When you have passion and drive for something, it’s inevitable, you’re gonna receive it…Right?

So there you have it, I’ve made  the appropriate sacrifices, I’ve been uncomfortable but I’ve stayed committed. I’m working my way to be as lit as possible. I will not stop. I don’t want to.  If you’re ready to move out here or even if you’re not. Why wouldn’t you just take the chance, just to see what can happen?

what new lifeline can you create for yourself? My motto in L.A. has been “smoke weed but make sure you get your shit done.”  I don’t know if that really correlates with anything I just wrote but you get me.

I’m currently working at my 6th job, which will soon be bringing a little surprise.

Stay tuned.

 

Episode 11: My Brother’s and Me.

Growing up, life for me was a crystal stair. I’m an only child,  who grew up in a middle class suburb. My life didn’t have tacks in it or splinters,  it had Disney World once a year and mad Christmas gifts; filled with Dream houses galore, the most swagged out barbie clothes and cars,  I had internet and cable in my room at 9 years old (Which probably wasn’t the best idea)  Yo, I was hooked up with everything and the best part was, I didn’t have to share it with anyone.

I’ve always been content with being by myself, taking care of everything on my own. Because, well…who else is gonna do it?

     That all went to shit after I pledged a Sorority during undergrad. Don’t get me wrong, Sorority life was incredible and super crunk af but my life went from never sharing, to seeing a sorority sister with one of my outfits on across the quad. I was prepared for it so   I never complained. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the plethora of tall, beautiful black men that were about to enter my life and change it forever.

     I met Duncan and Lo in the fall of 2010 at a party my Sorority sisters and I hosted. The party… Litty, obviously.  Shawty Lo songs were bumpin’ in the background as we played unorganized drinking games with Four Loko’s. Connections were made,  flirting was surfacing (thanks to the Four Loko’s)  and I’m pretty sure there was a grown man at the party walking like an Ape the entire night. Duncan nor Lo didn’t really stand out to me. Lo had no facial hair so I thought he was underage. Duncan was overweight, plus the clothes he was wearing that night made his weight even more noticeable. I can’t recall the exact moment I knew I wanted these men to be my Bff’s.

 

I do know for the last seven years they have completely, 100% had my back and they’ve certainly kept me humble.

Moving to a new city is hard. It’s even harder when you don’t know anyone in that new city and you’re frolicking around town pushing 30 trying to make new friends.  But of course, the Universe has a way of doing magical things. So,  in the Winter of 2017 when both Duncan and Lo moved to Los Angeles, I wasn’t surprised.

I knew it was divine…

Because, Duncan is the perfect gentleman, who always opens the door for me, we’ve made it an obligation to see every Kevin Hart show live together, I taught him how to roll a splif, he taught me how to be decent human being. He has this benevolent nature about him that wants you to be around him all the time. He’s an amazing friend.

 

Lo, on the other hand has strong beliefs and opinions, which causes us to bump heads a lot but I can’t deny, he’s a creative genius with a unique sense of humor. I believe in him, his ideas, his actions. He doesn’t allow me to get away with shit, sometimes that annoys me but I have to remember I’m not an only child anymore. These dudes are like, my brothers.

The dynamic of our relationship has changed though. We’re different. We’re adulting, grindin’ hard, we’re starting from the bottom out here. We have a  different  purpose now. We’re here to work, create and evolve. We’re in the midst of producing so many projects and cultivating so many connections it’s bound to make your head spin. I’m so fuckin’ happy I don’t have to do this by myself you have no idea…I’m even happier I get to create with my Bro’s. We might wanna kill each other every now again but we trust one another and that’s super vital for what we want to accomplish. They push me to be better than I believe I can. That’s the type of people you want to be surrounded by. I have the most legit creative crew in Los Angeles now… So trust and believe we’re going to be socially acceptable.

Stay Tuned…

 

*Duncan, Lo and I at Jerrod Carmichael’s screening of his new HBO Stand-up Special. 

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