WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO LA

Los Angeles, California is an oasis. From our beaches, to downtown, the snowy mountaintops, and everything in-between we pretty much have it made here. At least that’s how it seems to so many on the outside looking in. As a Los Angeles native I’ve become somewhat of a unicorn around these here parts. Every new person I meet has relocated here chasing the all to familiar dream: FAME. As an actor and writer I understand the desire and incredible pull that Los Angeles has. I mean we are home to Hollywood, Sony, Warner Brothers, and countless other studios. All of the best agents are here from WME to CCA and literally thousands of others.

Los Angeles is shiny, glittery and sparkles at night. The Hollywood sign sits on a mountainside you can see from pretty much every popular hiking trail. It’s elusive, inviting and has an incredible backstory that fills you with hope that maybe one day, no someday you will tell your own unbelievable backstory about how you, “made it.” Driving down the palm tree lined streets of Beverly Hills, Hollywood and the like, you often see the TMZ bus shuttling along tourists with their cell phones and cameras in hand. I swear you can literally see the stars in their eyes. They are so hopeful.

They don’t see the drug addicted and homeless lining downtowns Skid Row, no, they see all of the Instagram worthy pics from their favorite youtube sensation in real life, and think that polished exterior is what LA has to offer. The tour bus doesn’t show them the all of the homeless Angelenos that sleep on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and the other hopefuls who perform there day and night with a bucket out for tips. They also don’t see the overworked, underpaid, and mostly immigrant nannies who walk around Beverly Hills with little white kids in tow. That’s the thing about LA…its the most beautiful illusion you’ll ever experience. Continue reading

How My Co-Worker Single Shamed Me

single shamed

Apparently single-shaming is an epidemic, and I have become its latest victim. At work, while discussing random mundane things with a co-worker I am not really friends with. You know that co-worker that always has something to say and you just pretend type on your computer while they stand at your desk yammering, in hopes that they’ll go away…that co-worker. During the one-sided chat, the topic of money jumped into the conversation, which went a little something like this: 

Me: I usually work 2 jobs.
Co-Worker: Well yah, you’re SINGLE.
Me: That’s not why. My work ethic-
Her: My husband makes good money and I don’t have to worry about that.
I don’t have to worry about whether there is enough.

I guess being single equates to being a broke, lonely loser. Women are shamed for being single, while men are praised for it. I’m a lonely loser for being single, but a man my exact age, is a “player”. And the fact that I work, sometimes two jobs, and live on my own, pay all of my own bills, and am independent, means nothing because at thirty-six years old…I am single…and a loser, according to her. Continue reading

How Rejection Made Me A Badass

This week I received two rejections: one from Amazon Studios, and another from the popular blog site Hello Giggles, famously ran by Zoey Deschanel. As a writer/actor/blogger I face an insane amount of rejection. But in reality, we all face a large amount of rejection throughout our lives, and it’s how we respond to it that determines our destiny. As one of the few black kids in my elementary school growing up I was rejected by classmates constantly. The only time I was not rebuffed by them is when I was on stage as the lead in a play, or performing in the talent show.

As an actor/writer you’re constantly told you suck. Really…you’re told your audition was not up to par, you are not skinny enough, pretty enough, tall enough, black enough, white enough, funny enough, and so on. I know so many of you have faced the same things. You have been on what seems like hundreds of job interviews that never pan out. Your relationships seem to never go anywhere, you just can’t save enough, or your career goals seem incredibly far-fetched. So, how can facing constant rejection actually help you? Here’s how rejection made me a total badass. Continue reading

Have You Ever Been “Ghosted?”

 

1

Remember that time when you find out Santa Claus wasn’t real and, even though you may have already suspected it in your heart, you were still hurt? You just saw the world and everyone in it a little differently, right? Or, am I being super melodramatic? I remember it like it was yesterday…cue violin…my sister and I stayed up all night Christmas Eve, hoping we would spot him. I was so excited, that I kept peeking out of the bedroom window thinking I would see him. That’s when it happened. That’s when I spotted them. The horror of all horrors. I can still see them right now as I type. My parents were unloading our new bikes out of the trunk of their car! That was the day my life changed forever.

Okay, guys, yes, that was super over dramatic, but remember, I am an actor. The fact that we even had parents that could afford to buy us new bikes is beyond a blessing, but my point is, we tend to build people up in our minds, and then they do something, or an event takes place, that reminds us of exactly who they are…or are not. This recently happened to me over on Instagram. Now, I have only had one date from someone sliding into my DM’s, and that went horribly wrong, which I will blog about at another time. This time, I was the one doing the sliding.

It all started when I  tweeted about liking someone over on Instagram, and how I felt weird about sliding into his DM’s. Well, my twitter friend really helped to pump me up, and get me excited about all of the possibilities that sliding into his DM’s could bring. After some really great confidence building on her part, I thought, what the hell, let’s do this yo! So, I casually slid my fingers across my iPhone and tapped my Instagram icon. By this time I felt like a complete badass and had absolutely no qualms about what I was about to do. Continue reading

We Met at the Lenny Kravitz Concert

concert

Have you ever seen the film, ‘Sliding Doors’, starring Gwyneth Paltrow? Here’s a short summary of the plot: The film follows Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow), a young Englishwoman living in London who has just been fired from her public relations job. The plot splits into two parallel universes, based on the two paths her life could take depending on whether she catches a London Underground train or not. (imdb.com)

The film is amazing and of course so is Gwyneth Paltrow. There are all these little moments in our lives that happen everyday i.e. the street we take when we walk to the store, the daily drive home on the same freeway, choosing to go to Ralph’s market instead of Trader Joe’s, you get my drift. These are tiny blips on the radar of our lives, but these little decisions, can have huge consequences on our lives. And in the film we see this play out. So, why am I having an existential moment…yet again? Because, last night, at the Lenny Kravitz concert, I had a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment. Let me break it down real quick…

My sister and I have been on a summer concert tour of sorts. We’ve gone to music and food festivals all summer, and last night, we watched the amazingly sexy, and insanely talented Lenny rock out. My sister has never really been into Lenny, but I have since about the age of 13, but she quickly changed her tune when she had the “Lenny” experience last night!

When I was purchasing the tickets online, I kept going back on forth on where I wanted us to sit. I changed my mind so many times, kept looking at the seating chart, then finally decided on the seats I eventually bought. We arrived at the greek about fifteen minutes after his opening act began, bought a few drinks, and headed inside. No one was sitting in the two seats next to us, and we were feeling excited and kind of happy that we’d have leg room to move around. Continue reading

No, I Don’t Want to Hang Out With You

 No, I Don't Want to Hang out with you
Remember when you went on dates? No, better yet remember when you would spend an afternoon getting ready for your date that night? Hair done, nails done, new outfit, manicure and pedicure…and wait, sometimes even new shoes too?! What happened to that? Am I just old, or has dating really died? Everyone is just “hanging out” and I’m not hanging out or in with anyone. Everyone is hanging out without me and I’m okay with that. I don’t want to hang out with someone, I want to date someone, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset on the magical unicorn I have mentioned once or ten times, on this blog. So, men of the world, please for the love of all things holy, stop asking us to “hang out” with you!

“Hanging out” is not a first date. Hold on let me address something else as well: Netflix and pizza is not a first date. I will repeat myself: NETFLIX and PIZZA is NOT A FIRST DATE. I’ve been seeing this ignorant post on Instagram about how Netflix and pizza is not a cheap date because of the following fees: rent, electricity, playstation, etc. And, this stupid post, actually has a plethora of likes and laughing emojis on it. Not to mention it also states that women are bitches and there are many women who have “liked” this post. After I clutched my pearls, and gathered my composure, I considered the sheer idiocy behind this thought. Paying rent for your apartment/home whatever, is your choice, so is the fact that you bought a gaming station, and a monthly subscription to Netflix, which was not purchased with the idea of, “Man, I am going to get laid so hard for this” so can we stop with this dumb ass train of thought?

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let me revisit my issue with hanging out as a first date. When you like someone you clearly want to make an effort to spend time with them, and get to know them, right? Doing an activity together like hiking, lunch, biking, wine tasting, dinner, movie in the park…you get my drift, are just a few of the myriad of ways you can get to know someone. I hang out with people I know, like my dad, sister, and my short list of friends. I do not want to hang out with you on our first date…I want to get to know you on a much deeper level. Continue reading

He Cheated, Now What: Does the “Cheaters Gene” Really Exist?

cheaters

Cheating is super fun for some people. Like, “Thrill Seekers” who are literally turned on not so much by the act of cheating, but by the possibility of being caught while doing so. Cheating has gone on since the beginning of time whether it be on a test (which we all did in high school…damn algebra), or on our partners. Why do we cheat? Is there a true genetic predisposition to be a “cheater” or have we all just lost our sense of impulse control?

First, we have to look at why constitutes cheating on your partner. Here is where things can get tricky because we all have our own interpretations of what cheating actually is. For some its dancing with someone that is not their partner at a club, or watching porn. Other people feel texting someone that is not their partner is cheating. Those acts are not even physical, but can be considered cheating. Then, there are the physical acts of kissing, touching or having sex with someone who is not your partner.

Emotional cheating is perpetuated by women more than men. Why? That’s an easy answer…we are emotional. I don’t mean burn your clothes, set your house on fire, key your car emotional (those are extreme cases that have happened, and can we ever forget Angela Bassett’s character setting her cheating husbands clothes on fire in Waiting to Exhale? Nope). Women are hardwired to express their emotions freely and are nurturers by nature, so we need a partner who is there for us both physically and emotionally.

What is emotional cheating? Seeking emotional comfort from someone outside of your partner in an intimate way. It’s not hugging your co-worker when your dog dies, its calling, texting, and spending time with them that creates a sense of security, which leads to intimacy. For example: you and your partner have a fight, and instead of talking with your partner about how you feel, you turn to another man/woman. Now, discussing relationship issues with your bestie, and discussing these issues with your cute coworker are different. You are creating a security and intimacy with this person in a way that may upset your partner. Would your partner be okay with the conversations that take place between you two? Has your partner met this person? More importantly would you be comfortable with your partner interacting with someone that way you are?
Continue reading

5 Signs That You’ll Never Be His Girlfriend

5 signs-2

Dating sucks. Okay, that was a harsh opener. Dating is a mix of emotions; nervousness, excitement, joy and awkwardness. When you like someone, your brain produces endorphins which trigger an actual physical and emotional response in your body. This is what causes the “butterflies in your stomach” feeling every time you are near your crush, and it feels damn good.

Having someone in your life feels like you’ve eaten pizza, ice cream, chocolate, and the best red wine you can find all at once, and not gained a pound at all afterward. It’s a feeling of intimacy that we all deserve to experience, but since dating can be so complicated, how do we know if our “situation” is leading towards something more…a relationship. Here is my list-because you all know I am a complete genius on the subject-of five signs that he (or she) are never, ever, like ever, going to take things to the next level with you…ever:

1) He Only Texts You:Ugh…you guys, texting is the bane of my existence. Remember when a guy liked you and actually picked up the phone to call you? I remember a boy calling me in the sixth grade, this was circa 1990, and I was so excited that I literally screamed. Then, we had pagers and you would send someone a numerical page, okay let me explain for all you youngsters who have no idea what I am referring to because you’ve grown up in the cell phone only days: Pagers were dope. Pagers were so fly and we all had one-mine was purple-and came up with words you could create using numbers, and certain number combinations meant different things. If someone texted you the combo 143 it meant I love you. Guys called you because they had to! They couldn’t send a text.

In high school a guy had a crush on me and wrote me letters almost weekly for an entire school year. Now, you have no idea what a guys handwriting even looks like. If you had to pick him out of a line-up based on his handwriting alone…you’d be screwed. You’d be all, ‘I’m sorry detective I have no idea who this handwriting belongs to. Can you have him send me a text?’ Now, all we get are bathroom selfies with the toilet seat in the background.

If he sets up all your “dates” through text, has not picked up the phone once to call you, and every text session escalates quickly into sexting, then you my friend, are not going to be his girlfriend. Listen, I do not think you have to have hour long, daily phone conversations to establish a relationship, but I know that texting takes absolutely no effort. Picking up the phone, hearing someone’s voice and establishing an actual intimate connection does.
Continue reading

3 Lessons Learned from 2 Years of Celibacy

3 lESSONS LEARNED

I am currently passing year two of being celibate. Yes, okay, it’s been two years…you read that right. Here’s the thing, I did not deliberately choose to be celibate, the celibate life chose me! To be perfectly honest, I would love to meet someone amazing enough to break this non-self-imposed celibacy life. We have all made the mistake of equating sex with love right? Think about it, how many stories have we all listened to our girlfriends tell about that guy they went on a few dates with, had sex with, and who quickly and awkwardly moonwalks his way out of their life.

Sex is a huge factor in relationships and most times we end up having sex with people we are not in committed relationships with. I am not passing judgement whatsoever for those who do…I am explaining why I have taken that option off of the table for the past two years. For me, I want to take the time to get to know someone without the complications of sex clouding my judgement.

Often we have sex with a man in the very early stages of dating, whether it be the first or fifth date. Waiting is not about testing him to see how patient he will be. It’s about getting to know someone for who they truly are, and deciding if this is a person I want to be in an exclusive relationship with. Also, if they are deserving of having such an important piece of our body, heart and soul. Being celibate has taught me three important lessons about myself: Continue reading

5 Date Night Ideas for Under $100 in LA

5DATES

Dating is not cheap, and if you’re like me-and never get asked out on dates-I mean, if you’re like me, sometimes you have to date on a budget. I as you all know am an L.A. native born and raised, and after my friend asked me where her and her husband could celebrate their anniversary for $100, I came up with these five ideas that I thought I should share with you! Los Angeles is filled with really expensive restaurants, bars, cars, handbags, dogs, shoes and people, but not all of us can spend $200 per week on a date right? Wait, now I’m wondering if a guy has ever spent $200 on a date with me…ummm…Netflix is like $10 a month right? Let’s just move on. While there is nothing wrong with a Netflix date my friends, I do strongly suggest you hold off on the Netflix date for the first few weeks. Whether you’re an L.A. native, transport or just visiting, why not try these five suggestions for under $100?!

Date Spot #1) Perch LA: 448 South Hill St.

There are so many reasons to fall in love at this place! Both of the pictures in this post were taken by me at this establishment. Not only can you literally dine on the edge of one of downtown’s most amazing rooftops (located on the 15th floor of the Hill building), but they also have not one but two bars, with one being located on the first floor of the bar, and the other on the rooftop outside. There is also this mysterious and sexy entrance, yes I typed entrance, that you take just to get up there…one elevator takes you to another elevator that has an actual Silver Bird for the button to press that will guide your elevator to Perch. Very sexy! Did I also mention that they have a live jazz band, an insane Happy Hour (4-6pm), and hello the views are to die for!

At Perch you and you date will have a 360 degree view of downtown Los Angeles that is just as spectacular by sunset as it is in the morning (hello, brunch date). The menu is fantastic and I am partial to their Grilled Caesar Salad with Chicken. The chicken melts in your mouth and is cooked to tender perfection, and the salad is literally grilled, a half of romaine is grilled and topped with creamy goodness that is such a hearty portion, you could share it with your date.

I am a huge dessert aficionado and their White Chocolate Bread Pudding is drenched in a Bourbon glaze and served with fresh fruit. Do I really need to say more? The menu options are fancy (that’s an SAT word hahahah) but, like I said one portion can feed two, so it’s a win-win for your wallet and your romance meter will be at like, ten thousand percent. Just be prepared to get super romantic, kissy, loving and score huge points with your date! Thank me later.
Continue reading

Social Media Did Not Ruin Your Relationship, You Did

social-media

 Social media does not ruin relationships…people do. There are thousands of ways to meet, find, look up, connect, hookup and explore people online. Online dating is a billion dollar business. Twitter has spawned countless hookups, and relationships. Facebook will reunite you with your elementary school crush, high school boyfriend, his cousin, and your prom date all within a few clicks. All of these outlets can bring you the love of your life, or the embarrassment of your life…Catfish anyone? With the influx of social media, texting, Instagram and every other ‘Gram’ of some sort available, there was bound to be a backlash.

I have been reading comments from men and women about how social media ruined there relationship. Many of these comments have been directed at or made after someone has been caught cheating. Is it easier to have access to men and women that you would not normally meet while working at Target? Yes. Has social media made it easier for the “Average Joe” to communicate with the “Unattainable Girl”? Yes.

Is it easy to fall for someone based on their Instagram pics? Yes. Does your ex really actually go away if you’re able to Facebook stalk their every move? No. Here are just a few other questions for you: Does Twitter have a penis? No. Does Instagram have a vagina? No. Does Facebook call you and ask you to go out with it? No. Okay, just checking.

The last time I checked, making a conscious decision to actively pursue someone, whether it be through texting, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, is a decision a man or woman makes on their own. The shift in our culture to not respect the boundaries of marriage and relationships has definitely exacerbated by social media. How many of us have hit on somebody we see online? You know you have so don’t act like this is brand new. We see a celebrity, model, sports figure, or attractive guy/woman on our timeline and our hormones transform into a free for all of lustful comments, DM’s, or “like” clicks on all of their Instagram pics.

We see someone we like, want, want to sleep with, or are curious about and we have absolutely no filter in letting them know. Our phones and computer screens have become a safe place, a border if you will that not only grants us immediate access to anyone, but also does something to our psyche, and we are filled with an insane amount of confidence we’ve never had before. We post intimate pics of ourselves, we ask celebrities out on dates, we tell married men and women that we could love them better then their spouses, we post #mcm (Man Crush Monday) and #wcw (Women Crush Wednesday) pics with that tiny inkling of hope that our crush will like us back. Continue reading