#OccupyLA: Eviction and the Detention of Tyson Heder

  I drove myself down to City Hall on Tuesday night to take part in what would probably be the most important political event in our city for a long time.  I live tweeted as much as I could – right up until my Android phone ran out of batteries.  For those of you who thought I may have been arrested or hurt – do not fret.  Yours truly stayed well out of the way of both protesters and the police, I didn’t even yell and scream.  I just wanted […]

Read More →

#OccupyLA: Who Speaks For Us?

We Don’t Need a Leader, But We Need Something When the General Assembly in Woodruff Park in Atlanta declined to allow John Lewis, famed civil rights activist and sitting U.S. Congressman to deliver a few words of encouragement, I believe this movement made a curious and possibly detrimental turn toward the irrelevant.  The reason for this is straightforward:  I do not believe you can assault our broken democracy and our broken economic system simultaneously.  By rejecting elected and aspiring representatives of the people from engaging in this movement and taking its message to city halls, state houses, and the impotent galleries of the U.S.  Congress, there is a chance we could doom this protest to the alternate fates of destructive riots or perpetual but inconsequential unrest. <much more below the fold>

Read More →

#OccupyLA: How 500 = 99%

It seems like fuzzy math, to see a tiny crowd of mostly white youngsters with a spattering of legitimate community organizers claiming to be 99% percent of the population.  Likewise is it hard to believe that a handful of redditors and youtube jockeys with their somewhat short-sighted stories about personal debt and unemployment could somehow embody the experience of almost the entire population of the richest country on Earth.  On a day when everyone was making suggestions to these protesters on what their demands should be (including of course, yours truly) there were just as many people speaking out against the ‘dangerous’ ‘class warfare’ of a handful of idiot hippies who want to make us like the Communists. It’s just as easy for opponents of this protest to dismiss its participants and their desires as it was for liberals to dismiss the Tea Party in its early days.  Back then, the Tea Party seemed like an over-hyped Fox News focus group, suddenly transformed from studio audience to vocal mob, chanting and waving signs about liberty and socialism and Sharia law.  But just as the Tea Party grew into a legitimate social movement with electoral power, this movement has the same potential, and it’s because its concerns do really do line up with the desires of 99% of people in this country.   (Much more below the fold)

Read More →

#OccupyLA: What It Is, What It Could Be

The Counter-Counter Revolution I took a trip to Los Angeles City Hall last night because I heard a rumor that there was the start of something big going on down there.  Since I have a full time job in business development (read: job creation) I couldn’t attend during the day.  I was, thankfully, able to drive my $750 automobile and park it in a garage for $15.00 and make my way to the ad hoc camp that serves as the epicenter of a new wave of the ongoing populist movement in America.  I expected to find a handful of stalwarts, sharing tamales and tugging on one-hitters, waiting for the next day of shallow media coverage to march and yell.  What I found instead was a diverse village of individuals, mostly young, self-organizing as a spontaneous protest spurned on by a feeling of hopelessness and invisibility. But where is it going, and how is it going to get there? (There is an epic rundown below the fold.)

Read More →

LACAC and LASA Launch SpaceFinderLA

I’ve written before about the ways that small LA theater companies face daunting financial hurdles that are being overcome by greater cooperation and asset sharing.  I’m very happy to spread the word about another such opportunity.  The first step of production is often to seek out a venue.  The calculus and footwork involved can be daunting, and with the huge number of venues in the city and the somehow also huge rents to pay (and competition for the 5% of venues that are actually worth the money) a show can […]

Read More →

ShopLab: A Huge Opportunity for Small LA Theater

[UPDATE: Apparently you can (and must!) vote for ShopLab everyday at the Pepsi Refresh Project. It’s super easy to sign in, especially if you’re already logged into Facebook.  Keep voting and we can win! DOOO EEEEET NNAAAOOOO!] If you have ever produced a low-to-mid-scale play for a nomadic company in Los Angeles, or in any city for that matter, you know how expensive and inconvenient a temporary a shop/storage place can be.  For companies without an existing space to store materials, build set pieces, or ways to move stuff around, these costs can drag down even a healthy budget.  The time spent securing these resources also weighs on a production, and when it’s time to strike the show, there’s that sinking feeling you get when you watch perfectly good lumber, flats, large props or whatever can’t be stuck in the producer’s living room, get thrown in the dumpster and lost forever. The Solution. (click and vote, more below the fold.)

Read More →

5 Best Burgers in Los Angeles

The claim of being “world famous” should really mean something in Los Angeles, but drive down any Los Angeles boulevard and you’ll see it abused indiscriminately. amirite? It’s hard to argue that any one burger could be world famous (besides the Big Mac, of course) but there are several that should be even more famous than they are.  and while everyone has a personal favorite that they swear by, the fact is that not all burgers are created equal.  It’s a point of pride for many Angelenos to know where to find the supreme cheeseburger.  It’s a food so commonplace in this city, and this country, that a truely stand-out offering can be like a revelation.  And now, my friends, you can have that revelation too.  Here is the definitive list of LA’s top 5 burgers.

Read More →

Feel Good Film Festival Starts Tomorrow

One of my favorite new summer traditions returns to Hollywood Blvd tomorrow night, and this year it looks like it’ll be better than ever. The 3rd Annual Feel Good Film Festival starts this Friday with their trademark yellow carpet opening night hosted by Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines.  I love specificity in art, and by cutting such a warm and fuzzy niche from the WithoutaBox universe, FGFF has hit a heart-warming motherlode.   Film festivals can be intimidating, they’re often a hodge podge of not only quality but also tone. […]

Read More →