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Beau

It’s a well-known fact, and even a hoary cliché (which is I guess itself a cliché) that New York City is a gathering place for creative people who want to express themselves in a larger, more fertile setting.  But there are places even within New York where that matriculation of talent is even more refined, places where Liberal Arts Majors from all over can find work.  Examples include Perelandra Natural Foods, Ozzie’s Coffee, and a little (now defunct) video store called Screen Memory.

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My PT

Going into a new school in a new city, state and way of life was not without its challenges, particularly for a 12 year old.  Luckily, and almost right off the bat, I acquired the services of a motivational coach.  Seeming to perceive my need, fellow student Shawn was obviously attracted to the pathos I projected.  I was meek and scared, afraid of being picked on or beat up by some bigger kid, maybe even some messed up gang member.  Shawn showed me right away that fears, like fairy tales, can sometimes come true.

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Why Can’t Guillermo Speak Spanish?

Even at a very young age I knew I wanted to be multilingual, or at least bilingual.  Having finally learned enough of my own language, by the 8th Grade I was able to take a foreign language class.  I chose Spanish, mostly because I had several friends I could practice with.  But I was already learning bits of different languages from kids around my school.  I asked around avidly because what I really wanted was to be able to curse fluently in any country in the world.

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What To Believe In The Land Of Make-Believe

     Hollywood has always attracted talented people trying to get into the business.  It has also always attracted the B.S.er, the poser, and the conman (I was gonna say wannabee, but for some reason that sounds too harsh).  There is no six degrees of separation for these guys, it’s either two degrees, or, if they can get away with it; one. Or none.  Early on if you live there and mingle with the locals you learn you have to be able to filter out the real from the “oh-please!”

   

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LeConte 101

As I sat in an empty classroom at Hollywood High reading the LA Times story of the death of John Wayne, I anticipated my own entry into Junior High a few weeks later.  I had no idea how different going to school in Hollywood could be.  I was tagging along with my sister Laura as she embarked on an accelerated curriculum that had her attending school in the summer.  To my 11-year-old mind there was literally no difference between the attendees of Hollywood High and that of any adult walking around free and not in school.

In my mind these guys had it made.  Though I stuck close to my sis and avoided other kids/adults on the school grounds, everything and everyone seemed normal.

 

Junior High Babylon

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SuperWalk

A smoggy day, in LA town.

At first I thought getting the signatures would be the hardest part. I was 14 years old, in a gang ridden Junior High School (it wasn’t called Middle School yet, and it wasn’t Bancroft) and at 14 I already knew I loathed the idea of work. I could see the Hollywood sign from the play yard (concrete) and always dreamed of being on that hill and away from everybody. It’s funny that I envisioned the air being cleaner up there: 1982, LA, look up smog levels back then in Google and you’ll see that farcity.

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