I remember the first thing my friends and I did when we arrived in LA was find a laundrette and whilst we were waiting for our clothes to stop spinning, a man casually asked if we would like to buy some drugs. I thought wow…I am in LA. We politely refused and continued the mundane task of watching our clothes dance, swirl and splash around.
Venice beach, from what I had heard was supposed to imitate the real Venice but when we got there I did not see any little alleys filled with water, no boats gliding along any rivers and no Italian restaurants.
What I did see was a number of tramps picking rubbish out of bins, an outdoor gym with a few men posing near the weight machines and a beach, which could have been great if the mist wasn’t surrounding us. Needless to say, we were all slightly disappointed by what we saw. The best thing about the place was a group of guys who put on a dance performance that entailed them jumping over a group of volunteers from the audience.
I am sure the place may look and feel very different if the sun had been shining because surely all the hype cannot be about nothing.
Hollywood and the Walk of Fame. It was much bigger than I had imagined, lining a number of streets. In New York I felt like you had to walk with your head up so that you could see all the architecture, whereas in Hollywood I found myself constantly walking with my head down, so as not to miss some famous persons name planted in a star shape on the floor. You could spot the locals because they flippantly wondered the streets without their eyes glued to the ground. It almost felt as though the locals were annoyed at the tourists for being excited about a ‘sidewalk’.
We saw the Chinese theatre which is famous for the concrete blocks that are set in front of the entrance, bearing nearly 200 signatures, foot and hand prints of famous people. Most of the stars have written short messages to a man named Sid and at the time I had no idea who Sid was. It turns out, after reading a little history about the place, that Sid Grauman was a showman who created the Chinese Theatre back in January 1926. I was very excited to be touching the concrete where famous people had previously placed there hands.
Warner Brothers was one of the highlights of my entire trip. I loved learning about everything that goes on behind the scenes and seeing parts of the set that had been used in Friends and other programmes that I had watched. It was definitely worth the $60 I paid to go on the VIP Tour.
Whilst I was there, The Big Bang Theory cast were rehearsing in one stage, and Pretty Little Liars were filming in another. I walked along the street that was used in Gilmore Girls and is currently used in Pretty Little Liars and Heart of Dixie. I also got to wonder around the school that is featured in Pretty Little Liars and saw all the girls bedrooms. It is crazy how small the spaces are in real life in comparison to how big they look on TV. I also got to sit on the sofa that was used in the filming of Friends!!
I think I had a permanent smile planted on my face as we went round and it definitely made me want to work behind the scenes on a show one day.