When Horace Greeley wrote "Go West, young man" in the 19th century, he was referring to America's Manifest Destiny and to the opportunities that awaited those brave souls who would seek their fortunes in places like California.
The original motivation for the concept was based on things like agriculture, soil and climate in the West, versus economic hardship in the cities of the East.
Over the years, the phrase has taken on a specific meaning for those seeking success in the film, music and television businesses. It is a mantra for those men and women who would pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in pursuit of just one audition with the right mogul.
Hollywood, North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and the surrounding area has long been the repository of these would-be stars, future celebrities, and daydream believers.
I have been recording video interviews with those who have already made it, and with those who are in various stages of the journey. In many ways these folks represent the heart and soul of our community.
Click on the attached video interview with future star Graham Rogers. Graham has been appearing in a State Farm commercial in which he asks the question: "Can I get a hot tub?" He also has a YouTube video on which he plays his original character Jeff Jaworski. Both the commercial and video seem to be going viral.
While we were filming the video, a friend of Graham's dropped by to add a few words. It was future star Christianna Carmine.
While thousands come to our town every year and thousands leave, it must be noted that some of the would-be stars whom we see hanging out at the coffee houses, bars, eateries, playhouses and studios ... actually make it.
And within that group are those talented few that will actually make us laugh and cry and think. Some will become well-known stars. Some will be great writers, designers, directors, composers, photographers, technicians and artists. They may even help the world become a better place.
Some will be humble and some will have big egos. But to those who make us feel good, or make us think, or make us want to do the right thing—thanks, I am glad you are here.
To those who came and went, to those who gave it a shot, but it didn't quite happen ... good for you. Thanks for following your dreams. I am glad you visited.
And to those who also gave it a shot, and discovered that it wasn't the right fit, but who stayed anyway ... well, yeah, this is the greatest place in the world. Thanks for staying.