I was on my way to Los Angeles for the first time ever, and I was alone. I’d flown alone many times before, but never to a place where I didn’t know anyone. I’d never been further west than Chicago. I boarded my plane, headed to LAX, and felt pretty relaxed on the large flight. We even got a meal since the flight was so long.
But as we started to descend, when the captain said we would be arriving at LAX in 20 minutes, the truth hit me—I was flying into a city where I knew no one. No one would be there to pick me up, I’d be staying in the hotel alone.
Thankfully, my luggage was waiting for me and I caught a shuttle to my hotel, which was downtown. I remember riding on the shuttle with my mouth hanging open—I was in total awe of the sights, the actual city that I’d seen so much on TV and in movies, riding on the Pacific Coast Highway.
I arrived at my hotel, a beautiful Los Angeles landmark, checked in, and gawked at the view from the room. I could see the entire city. I called Josh, the person I was there to see in the first place, and he told me the plans for the night. I was to meet him in West Hollywood at the Knitting Factory to see a band he did PR for. The facts were settling in for him, too—”do you know where to go?” he asked.
“Umm, no, this is my first time here!”
He told me where to go and to meet him at 11. I left the hotel and went for a walk, grabbed some dinner before coming back to the hotel to get ready. I caught the metro, unsure of where to get off. I spotted a few young girls in a seat near me and told them where I needed to be.
“That’s our stop, too. We’ll show you.”
I wondered where they were going—they couldn’t have been older than 13, riding the Los Angeles metro late at night. I figured they were going to a friends’ house for a slumber party. We left the train, walked up some stairs, right onto Hollywood Blvd. I was stunned.
There were lights! Mann’s Chinese Theatre!
The girls spotted the knitting Factory and walked me inside—now THIS was cool. I saw evidence of old LA, the punk side of it in the big hair and white denim on the club-goers. Immediately, Josh found me and introduced me to his wife. I ordered myself a drink, and the music started.
Everyone I met was wheeling and dealing, handing out business cards, and finding my situation very unique—girl from Indiana moves to Louisiana, comes to California alone.
By the time the concert was over, I’d missed the last train downtown, so Josh grabbed me a taxi and I had rousing conversation with the taxi driver as he took me back to my hotel. Once I made it inside, I crashed—it was 4am in Baton Rouge.
The next day, I was supposed to meet Josh fairly early at his office, back in West Hollywood. Of course, I got mixed up on the metro and arrived late. His office was on Sunset Blvd, where they were taping an episode of MTV’s “Next.” Josh took me to Playboy radio, where one of his clients was set to do an interview—I remember the tattoo on her arm: Jack Nicholson peering through a broken bathroom door from his famous scene in The Shining.
While the offices at Playboy radio weren’t anything glamorous, i was jealous of their jobs. Hosting shows an hour-long, then leaving for the day, only coming in wearing velour track suits. After the radio show, we hopped into Josh’s BMW, and headed over to eat lunch at a burrito shop, where we talked some.
When I left Josh’s office, I wandered around West Hollywood for a bit. It was my last night in California and I wanted to make the most of the next day. My last day in Los Angeles, I got a call from Duvic’s wanting me to work that night. I told them I was in California, and they made a date for my first night.
I took the metro back to Hollywood and did the Celebrity Homes tour, walked the Academy walk, checked out the Hollywood stars on the sidewalk, and went to Virgin Records. Then, I had to catch my flight back to Louisiana.
I can’t imagine traveling to a place where I knew no one alone. That must have been frightening.
At first, I was nervous, but I am used to doing things alone. The only time it was a little embarrassing was on the Celebrity Homes tour when everyone else was sitting in pairs and they made us all shout out where we were from…