My cousin Angela and I have always been really close. When we were younger we used to finish each-others sentences. In 2008 I decided to check out the Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood. My dad had a business conference there, as part of his software company. These trips are always fun, because after a few days of conference and dialogue they have an expensive party for the IT and other programmers. This fall the huge convention was going to rent out Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights.
I met Angela in DC and then we got on the plane. It was a three hour trip, and pretty smooth. We talked, I started a journal to keep record of my first trip to Los Angeles. Angela is two years older than I. So at the time she was twenty-one and I was nineteen. The first thing we did when we arrived was navigate to a taxi. The taxi driver sped us in and we got a view of the city. It was not as “glamorous” as Angela and I had imagined.
Our hotel was really nice and we were so high that we had the perfect view of the Hollywood sign from our window. After we got settled in, we were ready to explore the city. Our first stop was Hollywood Boulevard. We were really hoping to see some movie stars but didn’t get so lucky. The LA Film School is a tall building in Hollywood Boulevard, next to a bunch of cool places and a huge movie theater. I met with the academic advisor and talked about different aspects of the school. It sounded so fun. The tour was great. The soundstage was where Elvis used to record.
The next day for less than a dollar each we caught a bus to Santa Monica beach. It was about a forty-five minute bus ride. We were the brave ones who swam in the ocean, and it was freezing! I started getting sun-burn, but it was so fun. One of the funniest and most shocking places we went to was a place that I think was called Little Tokyo.
The place was a little sketchy, and just about every other store had hookas for sale. Then Angela had to ask someone who didn’t speak English for a tampon, because she started her period. Luckily, after some confusion, the woman gave her one and she headed back through the door to the bathroom. I started getting nervous because I had no idea where the bathroom was, and the place was just kind of dirty. I’m not used to the city, because I’m from a small town in West Virginia.
After Little Tokyo, we wandered to the Disney Concert Hall and found a tour guide. This tour guide, as Angela pointed out, ended up making up just about everything throughout the tour. It was kind of funny to me. Angela went to a music school, and so she knew that the woman was just exaggerating or completely making stuff up. The other thing was, I dont think she was an “official tour” because she never actually took us inside the concert hall. She took us around the entire outside, room by room and snapped at Angela for touching a piece of furniture. “There are cameras here, you know. This piece is 200 years old.” She said.
My dad was finished at the conference so all three of us went to see Spring Awakening, the next day I convinced my dad to come with us to Hollywood Boulevard and we saw The Secret Life of Bees in a humongous theater. We were all alone, and I don’t know why the theater was empty. But it was like our own personal theater, and the screen was huge. The movie was great. Angela and I also explored some malls, and laughed at the exercise room in the mall. How strange, we thought. Being the city was so crowded in one place, it made sense.
Navigation was fine. We had no trouble figuring out where we were going. All the people were friendly and busy. The highlight of the trip was the last night when we went to Halloween Horror Nights. We arrived and went down three elevators while Marilyn Manson music blasted in the background. The whole place was full of zombies with chainsaws and creepy characters. There was a dj and a fog machine, so the whole place was glowing green and pink. It was too real. We almost went in the maze, but the chainsaws really freaked us out. The idea of being stuck in a maze with someone chasing you with a chainsaw is a little unnerving. Plus, the guys would get right up close to you, chase you in circles, or tap you on the shoulder.
We rode rides and ate the free food, then we watched a really funny raunchy play about different movie characters–acting out of character. I had trouble following the play, but it was entertaining. Heading back home, although Hollywood hadn’t been as glamorous as Angela and I had expected–it was still a load of fun. Later, I got accepted to the LA film school. I would have gone, but I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I may go back sometime, though, and I still have a love for film and the arts.
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