Lyft, Loud & Yoga.

Another summer in Los Angeles. Lately, it’s been hot as the Devil’s butthole. I love it, however Some L.A. residents aren’t taking it so well. Can the heat control your sanity?Like, it wasn’t pleasing to my eyes to see a grown woman laying on the streets of Downtown L.A. butt ass naked, or the racist outburst from the 7-11 clerks yelling that  “All black people are the same” because a black dude stole a soda, let us not forget the pile of dog shit I accidentally stepped into barefoot…All this happened in a matter of one week by the way.  I’ve been living in Los Angeles for two years and still, I am surprised by my life happenings.

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After months of being financially disabled, missing my closest friends weddings and baby showers, dodging my landlord, I’m actually making strides back to the lit Christina…the one who always had big dreams with ambition and faith to make them happen. I quit my 9-5 over a year ago. It has its ups and Lord knows it has its downs. I had to take a step back and reflect on this new found free time. Within my reflection time I realized I’m an entitled, spoiled only child who lacks discipline and has no hustling mentality. When everything has been practically handed to you your entire life and then suddenly you’re out in the world alone to fend for yourself, you may experience a bunch of bullshit along the way.

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However, to say I haven’t done anything with my chosen freedom would be a lie. I signed up for Lyft a ridesharing app where I have to uncomfortably drive people around in the backseat of an overpriced rental car. I drive enough just to make my car payment most weeks. You can’t tell me there’s one Lyft driver who’s excited to drive for Lyft. I’m grateful to finally be able to get around the city without stepping on to the piss & shit aroma the metro bus offers but driving for Lyft sucks balls. It also doesn’t help that I don’t really know how to navigate the city and I’m a pretty average driver considerably.

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I didn’t move all the way to L.A. to chauffeur people around. I also didn’t move out here to become a teacher but within this free time I found a love and appreciation for Yoga; specifically Yoga Barre– a ballet, cardio, upbeat, lit af class that has transformed not only my body but my mind. I enrolled in Yoga Barre training with hopes to finally get some abs but in the end I’m now a certified instructor guiding others to find love for their bodies at three different Hot Yoga studios. It feels amazing, to just be able to express my personality and have fun with a group of diverse individuals. I’m falling in love with teaching and I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and practice.

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Now…As for Loud! The Musical (which you can find on youtube here’s the link:  Loud! The Musical

Loud, is my first visual content released to the world wide web. I wrote it, I produced it, I acted in it and I even directed a couple scenes. Yo, this shit is hard. I love it so much it frustrates me. When things aren’t perfect which really means when things don’t go my way I overthink, over criticize but undermine my abilities to make this happen.  I know what you’re thinking…“Keep believing in yourself, keep pushing” I get it and I am. Right now though, I need a mental break from this whole trying to break into the industry thing. I really just want to focus on me…and Yoga…and weed.

So stay tuned and Namaste.

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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 12: That Hippie is Almost 30!

Wow… I can’t believe that on this date 29 years ago I was forcefully coming out of my mother’s vagina. As I sit back and reflect on my life I have no choice but to be thankful. First obvious thing to be thankful for is I’m alive and that’s super cool…but It’s the knowledge I’ve attained, the degrees I’ve earned, the solid group of friends I’m among, the crazy but loyal family I have, the no diseases, no babies, I even have abs now...That in itself deserves appreciation. I’m living in the city of my dreams pursuing my dreams.

Yo, life is Lit!

 

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Now, I admit…I’ve been a little hard on myself this year. Moving to a new city, starting over from scratch is no easy lay.

Working two jobs and still not making ends meet is one thing but having two jobs in L.A. riding public transportation has got to be what a glimpse of hell feels like.

Image result for i'm broke  gifDon’t forget the extra pressure I put on myself so I can prove to everyone I can do this. Trust me, it’s a headache trying to please everyone for the likes.

This year I put my experiences working for TV studios, connecting with different people, auditioning for shows, performing stand-up all on the back burner why, because in my pot filled head I don’t have a series on television?  Mannnnn, F*** that.  I literally collected a group of thirteen strangers and finessed them into making my pilot episode for weed and food.

I’m Magic Af!

Image result for sailor moon gif   I just have to use my magic powers with no fear and no regrets. Like Sailor Moon in the third season.

I think it’s okay I’m hard on myself because it keeps my eye steady on the prize This comedy writer game ain’t for the weak. The politics, the ex-vine stars, the cliques. I have a lot more work to do. At almost 30 I’m ready to push hard for what I want. Only took three decades..

I must  stay fateful and trusting in myself and the big guy/girl up stairs that this journey though it may be filled with twists and turns; is my journey. Nobody else’s.

I’m glad God is giving me another chance at life so I continue pursuing this crazy dream.. Because other than  peace on Earth, Trump out of office, legalized marijuana I just want to write comedy and be really good at it. 

Today, I celebrate my life, my experiences and all that is to come. Today, a Hippie was born.

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Episode 10: A Little Hippie…A Lot of Lit!

Ooouuu, bring out the confetti, blunts and Henny..It’s been one year living in Los Angeles and I’m ready for more!

A lot has happened in the past year. Looking back on my experiences living in LaLa Land, I know now those three years it took to move here from New York, was me manifesting my future. Duh…I’m exactly where I need to be. I can feel it in my gut. Sometimes it scares the dog shit out of me. Other times I’m willing and readily excited for what’s happening and what’s to come. Yo, if you’ve been reading the last nine blog post and don’t believe one bit you can live your dreams, then everything I’ve written from my soul holds no value. Since I moved to L.A. I feel lighter, healthier, more confident and proud.

I created and completed a pilot script that’s going into production in the next few weeks, I’ve performed stand-up comedy in front of strangers who actually laughed at my jokes, I chopped it up with Jerrod Carmichael one night, the very same dude who unknowingly coerced me into moving out here, I’ve worked for well known directors, I’ve booked gigs   as a  Script Supervisor for BET. I’ve found the most eccentric group of creatives: comedians. musicians, chefs, muralist.. All of which I couldn’t have made it through the year without and all of whom I call my friends. It’s been magical out here. It feels like this was divine.

However, let us  have a moment of silence for the two jobs I was fired from, living with a dirty Instagram model, working three jobs at the Same. Damn. Time, failing my DMV written test so many times me and the DMV lost count, I’ve been discriminated against, felt lonely, homesick and still haven’t met Childish Gambino. Ya’ll listen to me when I tell you this though…

there’s power in having faith, there’s power in believing in yourself and you can do the impossible if you’re up to it.

I don’t know what my life would be like if I were still living in Brooklyn. Who knows, I mean I could’ve done stand up out there, I could have shot an entirely new pilot with my cast and crew who I already knew and trusted. I didn’t…Mainly because I was high af when I was watching that Jerrod Carmichael interview where he told his tale of packin’ his bags and flying west coast. Ultimately,  it was time for me to grow the fuck up and actually go hard for something I truly love and desire.

California is home now. My two year lease says it, my overpriced Gas bill says it and I finally feel it.

Don’t get it twisted, I haven’t even graced the surface of what I want to accomplish out here. I feel like I haven’t even started. One year down in Los Angeles, I made it with a couple scratches. Nothin’ to cry to mom about…(except those couple times I called my mom crying) I’m ready for the big challenges now. I want to go through it all and most importantly I want to put out content that’s going to make you smile, maybe even chuckle once or twice. So, stick with me. Keep sending me your positive vibes and I promise to create something  real, unforgettable and for the culture. Oh and I also promise to remain a little hippie but a lot of LIT!

*Thathippieislit will return in the Fall of 2017*

Stay Tuned.

 

Episode 6: 90 Days in Sunny LA!

In 90 days, I managed to land a tolerable job and secure a house.

Yes… you heard me… A house (Imagine Craig’s house from Friday without the drive-by’s.)  I’m here now. I’m officially and legally bonded to Los Angeles.

Never have I ever worked, slaved, prayed and sweat so much since I moved out here. I’ve spent weeks hating, comparing and complaining about LA.

“Too much sun here, where the rain at?

“Did I just get fired from my job through text message?”

“You don’t really expect me to eat pizza from here do you?”

” Did I just get fired from another job?”

” Wait, did that homeless man just slap the hell out of a random person?”

“Why don’t I have a Netflix Series yet?”

I’ve had thoughts of going back home. Many thoughts. How comforting it would be to just nestle up with my  mommy at her house, or just go back to Brooklyn working at the dysfunctional 9-5 I was desperately trying to run away from. I know New York and I know Durham, North Carolina. My experiences there have been easy and forgiving.

Then, I saw him. No… not Childish Gambino (still awaiting that glorious moment.) The stand-up comedian from Winston Salem, NC who moved to Los Angeles with a one-way ticket his sister brought him. He’s managed to gain his own HBO Stand-up special and score an NBC sitcom named after him. It was Jerrod Carmichael’s interview I watched the night he inspired me to buy my one-way ticket and there he was sitting 10 ft away from me in one of the most famous comedy clubs in the world.

I did nothing.  I said nothing. Why?  Mainly because I thought if I did say something it would kinda go like this…

“IT’S YOUR FAULT, MR. CARMICHAEL  IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT I’M OUT HERE STRUGGLING, I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!

I don’t think that would have been the best approach . So I ended up glancing  over at him every minute and a half and continued enjoying the Comedy Roast that was going on before me.

That night was awesome. So much comedic energy in that room.  From inconspicuous glances to  Jerrod Carmichael to accidentally bumping into Bill Bellamy.  That night in the Comedy Store was the first time I felt like I was in right place at the right time. I have nothing stopping me or holding me back now.

I’ve been scared shit-less since this new journey but…

“I’m still standing, I’m still strong” (Love that movie!)

Maybe, just maybe… Fear isn’t so bad after all. Fear has lead me to LA, fear has allowed me to experience things I never have before. This whole time I’ve been trying not to be scared when being scared is what’s been pushing me to go harder. If you love something, truly love something and  you don’t have knots in your stomach when you think about it then you aren’t passionate enough about it.  I’m slowly falling in love with Los Angeles but more so I’m falling in love with myself. Discovering new traits and abilities I never would have discovered if I didn’t come here. Yes, becoming a comedy writer is my dream but I’m more so intrigued with who I’m becoming as a woman, as a human being.

I was  sweeping my porch the other day,  I paused, looked around and realized I had a front yard. I didn’t have that four months ago.

As my birthday  approaches in four weeks,  I’ve picked up on a few life lessons I believe can save the world. I’ll get to that in my next blog, but for now if you are thinking about moving, about leaving home and doing something different, being somewhere different. Go. Do it. Young, old, with kids or without. Make a change for you. I promise you’ll have no regrets. The only regret you’ll ever have is not going for it. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll buy your one-way ticket back home ;-).

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My LA Pad, isn’t it adorbs?!

*Side Note: Gotta give credit to all the people who transferred funds into my account and the people who encouraged me. Forcing me to keep going. Also it wouldn’t even be remotely possible for me to go through all this without a few angels looking out for me. Thanks to the big guy or girl upstairs!

 

Stay Tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 5: Ms. Solo Dolo.

   Just when you thought you had it all figured out, life takes you on a Magical Mystery ride you can’t ignore.

          It was only six days ago the man who I believed I was destined to live with for a year in this eccentric city called Los Angeles, looked me in the eye and said,

“I want to live by myself.”

The words struck me like the out of tune chords he plays on his acoustic guitar. What do you mean you want to live by yourself?

We just found a place… it has a pool.. I just posted a blog about you!

“It’s not you its me” he said.

A line I use multiple times to get out of relationships but I didn’t know Karma would come back in this form.

My male roommate wanted to find his own way and go down his own path. Could I really be upset at that? I wanted to, but I didn’t have time.

My new main objective was finding a place to live in less than a week! 

It had only been seven weeks since my move to No Rain, LA and I experienced more curve balls than the three years I lived in Brooklyn.

With a lot of Craigslist filtering, searching, walking, sweating and praying, I finally landed a cozy residential spot with a nook and great natural light for writing. Its a blessing I found this apartment and it’s exactly where I need to be at the moment.

I admit, there was a brief, more like 12-15 hours where I didn’t think…Well, like I said in the previous blog, I’m the person who has to control everything. I want to know what’s going on, what’s next and how I’m getting there.  That’s never going to happen. I have to just trust that every setback, failure and low balance, is all temporary, all to make me a stronger, better, wiser human being.

I had an Epiphany, as I looked out my new rear window,  I didn’t just move to LA to be a comedy writer, or the tacos, weather and weed  I always joke about.  I moved here to start a life that I was afraid to live before. I moved here to prove to myself I can do things that seemed impossible to me before. California is where I want to evolve into who I’m meant to be. When I look up at the palm trees, or when I watch the sunset behind the mountains I feel that.

Some days are frustrating, most days I’m working so long and hard I forget the day of the week. I never however, forget why I live here.  I’ll never stop striving for the better me and I’ll never stop writing.

Now that I’m settled in my peaceful sublet, I wonder what new adventures are in store for me.  Conquering LA on my own won’t be easy, but I have no plans on giving up so I better enjoy the ride and all the twists and turns I will surely experience. Meanwhile,  I still haven’t seen Childish Gambino. I live in LA, he lives in LA I just don’t understand what’s happening at this point.

Stay tuned…

 

Episode 4: THE LENNY’s

Do you believe in Destiny?

I do. Only because I make many attempts to have complete control over my life and I always fail miserably. A higher source of power is undoubtedly calling the shots around here. Once you believe in it and walk through the path you were meant to be on, everything falls into place.

But first, let’s recap:

        *Los Angeles has been crazy. Seriously, I’ve been landing gigs that have taken me to parts of LA I don’t even think locals have experienced.

*Still no Childish Gambino sighting.

* Too much taco consumption will add to your weight.

*They charge extra for shopping/grocery bags.

*It really doesn’t rain in Southern California, the grass here looks gross.

*I will never ride the Metro Red Line past 10pm….Again.

I ended a relationship that wasn’t healthy, or fun anymore. Let’s keep it real.  If someone does not want you, seriously take that as they don’t want you and move the hell on. Moving to this city (and yea I know it’s only been 6 weeks) but I’ve had a few lessons and one of those lessons taught me to let go of people who had no interest in what I’m trying to do out here. It’s rough, it sucks  but if you not here to support me, if you don’t believe in me or my vision…I believe the lyrics from the 2000 smash hit Bye Bye Bye by the classic boy band Nsync said it best:

I loved you endlessly,
When you weren’t there for me.
So now it’s time to leave
And make it alone.

Don’t wanna be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me, but it ain’t no lie,
Baby, bye, bye, bye…

Now, let’s get to the story…

One of my prayers before moving to Los Angeles was to surround myself with individuals that have a passion and likeness for the arts. Because, sitting behind a desk for 40 hours a week and hanging out with a clique of teachers wasn’t really giving me the writing vibe I needed. Basically, I didn’t really have someone  who I could bounce ideas off of, or who wanted to write ten minutes of jokes , or shoot a scene for a web series.

In LA,  you’re either an Uber/Lyft driver, homeless or  you get paid for your art. (It is possible to be all three.)  I believe I mentioned in my previous blog,  LA is an  expensive  city especially on a freelance writer salary.  Cost of housing is ridiculous, having a roommate out here is the norm.

With hopes and the mere belief I would find someone I could share ideas with or create with, I was more  focused on moving  across the country into an apartment with a complete stranger.

Then, Destiny and all its power showed itself in the shape of a 6’3, slim man with semi blond locke’s and a peace chain around his neck.

Once I peeped the chain, heard him strum  my favorite Lauryn Hill song on his acoustic guitar, spotted his “Hakuna Matata” tattoo and watched him pearl the perfect blunt, I knew right there and then Destiny brought us together. A young black man with vision and ambition. These days, especially after recent events, its comforting to have that energy around me and it actually gives me hope for this Country.

I don’t have my girlfriends I can just hit up for drinks yet. I can’t just hop on the China Bus and head to DC or NC to see my friends or my mom.   I do however, live with this  man from the Carolina’s (Destiny)  who is kind, thoughtful and ready and willing to show the world his art. He’s young and vibrant and there’s good vibes flowing all up and through our Koreatown sublet.   Now, I’m not completely naive to the fact that yes, we are  attractive young black people who share the same interests. We drink wine together, we complain about our jobs to each other, we go to California Donuts in the middle of night and it’s awesome. We binge watch Seinfeld together and have writing sessions. We share ideas, he makes the best mashed potatoes and he loves my cheese filled burgers.

Despite the stigma I do believe a man and woman can live under the same roof and be strictly platonic.

     *Insert side eye emoji*

In a few weeks my roommate and I will be moving into our very own place. An entire year together to make some of our dreams come true, create content and get acquainted with the new taco trucks in our new neighborhood  I won’t let him quit and he keeps me positive, mix that in with a little Destiny and we might have something.

Stay Tuned.

Blog Post 4.2 roomie

Lenny and I on our ritual taco run.