Prelude to a Big Break

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Posts Tagged ‘runyon canyon

I have very high expectations for today.

Written by Stephen Amell

September 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

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Before we get started, I’d just like to say, that this is the greatest photo that’s ever been taken of .

Last Tuesday was like any other Tuesday for me.  Which is to say, lovely.  The morning was spent reading a script and prepping for an audition (this past) Friday.  Took Lou for a hike around midday…  It would take a command of language far beyond my reach to transcribe how beautiful early May in LA continues to be.  If that wasn’t enough, I heard this song for the first time.  So, very, good.

The afternoon revolved around a Blue Jay game and the first day of prep for two jobs coming up towards the end of May.  (Neat afternoon.)

Met four people for Mexican food around 8:30.  One of them is a “promoter”.  For the life of me, I cannot figure out what promoters do.  That being said, I have two friends – aside from my Mexican food companion – who make their livings as promoters.  Since they both seem like above average human beings, I’m going to take a leap of faith and assume that there is a tangible set of elements that go into a successful proprietor of promotion.

Anyways…  The promoter at our table suggested we go to .  I had been there a week prior for a video-game launch (I’ll get to those…) and it seemed like a good time.  If Trousdale sounds familiar, .

If you’re scoring at home the following elements are in play:

  • It’s a Tuesday.  You know who parties on a Tuesday?  Actors!  We don’t have real jobs.  It’s the weekend in perpetuity.
  • The life cycle for a “Hollywood Hot Spot” is anywhere between 36 hours and 8 weeks.  Then it goes to shit.  Trousdale has been hopping since early April.  Translation: It’s peaking.
  • I haven’t worn anything other than jeans, sneakers and t-shirts since I arrived in LA.  As an added bonus, I shaved my head and grew an awful beard.  Why?  Because I don’t care.  I mean that sincerely. Your opinion of me will only be shaped by the quality, or lack thereof, of our conversation.  This has proved to be ironic position insofar as it has the exact opposite effect on almost everybody.  They assume that my wardrobe (seriously…  I have one pair of jeans) is the only way that I actively define myself.  That false assumption makes people deduce that I’m some sort of maverick-y loner, or, better yet, a badass.  (Ha!)  People aren’t kidding when they say that LA – Hollywood, in particular – is a shallow, vain, heavily materialistic place.  It’s all those things in a state far more pronounced than even the most egregiously high expectation.  I find such transparency refreshing.  You get, what you get, and you see, what you see.  That’s a very roundabout way of saying that by shunning so many of the norms, everyone assumes I’m either very famous or exceptionally rich.  I am neither, but at Trousdale, wearing Nike’s, jeans and a t-shirt (that I hiked in for 3 straight days), I might as well be.
  • We’re arriving with a promoter.  That means we walk right past a line with 3 VIP alleys, paparazzi and at least four guys wearing Varsity Jackets with spikes on them.  (Newest trend, apparently.  I blame James Harden and poor parenting.)  I hate lines.  Not because I think I’m better than waiting, but because everybody acts like a cross between Spencer Pratt and the Mexican Twins from “Breaking Bad”. It’s the worst of people.  No thank you.
  • We’ve been invited to sit at the owners table.  I don’t know why.  I don’t care, either.
  • I am stone-cold sober.  Incidentally, that’s how I roll these days.  Sober people-watching at a Hollywood night club could ween a hardened drug user off of meth.  It’s the mecca of people watching.  (As an aside, to this aside, the people-watching in LA is unsurpassable.  The bleachers at Dodger Stadium, Venice Beach, Runyon Canyon on a Saturday, The Staples Center for Lakers games, Hollywood Boulevard and every single pool party where you might see someone drink red wine in the shallow end before 1:00 pm.)

  • I drove my Smart Car.  Just a quick note on the Smart Car.  It is not a hybrid.  It is not particularly good on gas (for a compact).  It doesn’t drive particularly well because of the narrow wheel base.  The stereo doesn’t deliver Kid Cudi to my eardrums exactly like I’d like.  Does anyone waiting in line know that, or do they think that I’m researching a role for an upcoming feature about Silicon Valley Automobile manufacturers who make cars that run on old iPods?  (The latter.)

So…  Since this is a “teaching” website, I’d like to provide a handy guide for you, the reader.  I call it:

The Guide to figuring out if you’re at a Hollywood Party.

What is the ratio of people standing on furniture to sitting on furniture?

  • You need at least 85% of the patrons standing on the clubs furniture to deem your soiree an actual Hollywood party.  Why do people stand on furniture?  It’s an outwardly passive (inwardly overt) way for someone to assert that they think they’re better than you.  Please know, that I’m not kidding.

Are people smoking cigarettes?

  • Is smoking indoors in the state of California legal?  No.  Of course it isn’t.  Do celebrities and pseudo celebrities smoke wherever they want in some misguided attempt to emulate that thing they heard Sean Penn does every year at the Toronto International Film Festival?  You betcha.

How drunk are people?

  • 30 – 35% of your revellers need to “high-school gunned”, as my buddy Bolton would say.

Is the average distance from the bottom of a girls skirt, to her knee, longer than the distance between your elbow and the tip of your finger?

  • Yes?  Hollywood Party!

How many times per minute do you smell pot?

  • Anything below .7 times per minute and you’re at an impostor party.

What percentage of white guys at the party rap along a little too aggressively every time the DJ plays hip-hop?

  • Needs to be above 75% to qualify.

When you meet somebody new, do they name drop a famous friend immediately?
Are you paying for drinks?
Do people overreact every time they play “Drake”?
Does someone say “I want an iPhone but I, like, NEED BBM.”?
Do you see at least three outfits, on dudes, that leave you dumbfounded and maybe even a little itchy?

  • Those have to roll: Yes, No, Yes, Yes, Yes.

The Trousdale kept me enraptured for nearly 90 minutes, after which it was home to my pup and a bowl of ice cream.  In reality, I was tired.  To the eyes of many, I was taking off early because I had somewhere cooler to go.  Those Hollywood party people were right.  I did.

Written by Stephen Amell

May 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

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I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll begin at the beginning. On February 14th I sat on top of Runyon Canyon and wrote that I was Apparently, I was right. What a weekend.

Saturday: 6:00 AM — Driving rain woke me up. When it rains in California, it rains angry. My alarm was set for 6:00 AM because Lou was due for Air Canada Cargo shortly after 9:00 AM Eastern. If my Uncle and my Mom needed anything, it was my responsibility to be awake and alert. So I was.

10:00 AM — I sat around and read a script / watched “The Wire” (this is important) for 4 hours. Lou’s on his way and I have an audition at 12:30. That’s the thing about Pilot Season… You have auditions on Saturday.  My buddy Nate had an audition today (Sunday). Unbelievable.

10:30 AM — Target. Dog Bowl / Mat for dog bowl / Toy that he can’t destroy immediately / Treats / Swiffer Sweeper and pads / Towel rack (nothing to do with Lou) / New collar (that doesn’t fit) / Food / Food scooper.

11:20 AM — Over to Johnny Bennett’s to exchange the Smart Car with a Ford Escape. This is the first instance where a friend of mine stepped up – like a friend should – this weekend. The first of many.

12:30 PM — Somewhere in Studio City for an audition. A great audition. A killer audition. You can build momentum through Pilot Season. The actual auditions aren’t interconnected, but your craft is dependent on repetition and confidence. I dismantled that audition. This is factual.

1:30 PM — Italia Ricci. She’s Lou’s owner… just ask US Customs. And she gave up her afternoon to help me pick him up at LAX. Italia: I love you.

2:15 PM / 3:00 PM / 4:00 PM / 4:25 PM — WAITING.

4:40 PM — Louis. (Italia calls him “Hand Bag”.  Brilliant.)

5:30 PM — Lou and me hoofing it around Hollywood Blvd. You’re not going to believe this, but he was excited.

7:00 PM — Arrived at Capitol City (a spectacular sports bar) for the second half of a great college basketball game.

9:00 PM — Pre-party for the lovely Italia. She’s filming a show in Toronto as of next Saturday. Party, hearty.

12:00 AM (ish) — My thought process: “My buddy The Lou is at home chillin’. I should get out of here.

Sunday:

2:00 – 7:15 AM — Slept with a black guy.

7:30 AM — My head… MY HEAD… I couldn’t wait to take Lou to Runyon Canyon. Get him out… Get him running.

7:50 AM — Remember when I borrowed Johnny Bennett’s car? Well, now I’m out on my street and his car is nowhere to be seen. Seems it touched a red zone and got towed… To South Central.

8:10 AM — Johnny – miraculously, he’s awake – and I are zooming along with 101 towards South Central. Friends. Being there.

8:20 AM — South Central. Tow Yard. We decide the man guarding it is an Alien. Picture? Taken:

9:30 – 11:00 AM — 8 hours later he’s still a mess. Nothing makes me happier than a tired pup.

12:00 PM — Did you know that Canada and the US were playing for the Gold Medal in Hockey? It was on television and everything.

12:40 PM — Warren (my buddy and high school roommate), Italia, Davey, Vanessa and Chantal (by proxy) start cheering.

1:20 PM — Robbie Amell rounds out our booth. We’re exactly the same. Ask anyone.

2:40ish PM — 24 seconds left in the game — It was my understanding the bar was approximately 65% (US) – 35% (CAN). Not so. More like 94% – 6%. When the US scored with 24 seconds left to tie it, Capitol City erupted. We sat there with our hearts in our stomachs. We waited.

OVERTIME (I don’t know what time it was.) — This is tense / don’t get caught too deep / This shouldn’t be 4 on 4 / JUST SHOOT IT / I’d like a Budweiser and some Heroin / Crosby’s diggin’…

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There was a delayed reaction from our booth. As in: “Wait a minute… Is that puck in the net? It is?!?!?!” At which point, we yelled. We screamed. We held it six beats too long. We punctuated with hoarse calls across a deadly silent room. Sidney Crosby — our very best player — scored in overtime for the Gold Medal and one fucker of an exclamation point on the Winter Games. YellScreamYellHugYellPauseYELL.

Then you sit and relax. You tell the waiter to bring you something Canadian. They bring you Canadian Club and you kill it. The medals come out and you start making fun of yourself because you’re crying. Your cousin snaps a photo:

3:45 PM — Everybody leaves but me.

4:00 PM — A girl from Vancouver at the bar. She’s a lawyer with a Canada shirt on. Patron, more Canadian Club, Patron. An actor from “The Wire” rolls in and we become buddies. “Hey Man…  Last time I saw you they caught you with 20K in cash.”

4:30 PM — Quiet moment thought process: “Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner. The Golden Goal. The greatest moment in the history of Canadian sport. Paul Henderson should light a cigar somewhere and think about his 38 years of undisputed glory.”

5:30 PM — Again, Lou’s at home. Strolling down Hollywood Blvd. with the sun crashing over all the buildings that L. Ron Hubbard owns. My apartment, my Pup, an audition tomorrow morning.  t couldn’t be more beautiful outside.

I pass 3 Canadians surrounding Alex Trebek’s Star on Hollywood Blvd. They aren’t there by accident.

4,300 KM away from Toronto.  Home.  (Capital H.)

EDIT: Just because…

Written by Stephen Amell

February 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm

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Lou went up one side of Runyon Canyon and down the other. He found all four puddles that currently exist in Southern California. He will not move for the rest of the day.

Written by Stephen Amell

February 28, 2010 at 11:12 am

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