Thursday, November 29, 2007

LA LA Land!

It takes a certain mindset and a heck of a lot of lust for life to enjoy Los Angeles. LA has everything to offer - when you want it, how you want it, how much of it you want. All you need is the desire and of course - like everywhere else in the world connections always help!

Its been 3 months of not a dull moment and the only thing slowing me down is a nasty cold to remind me that its been go go go! I've met about 60 new people (averaging a new face every other day) and have been invited to many many events (something that was an annual happening in London and even more so in Leeds)! Its paradise for the extrovert that I am and frankly I think I am thoroughly convinced I am still 26 although another birthday went by this last November...Halloween in America was a weekend of the usual festivities. I went as a belly dancer with my cousins to a party and the next day swapped costumes with my cousin Natalie and went as a pirate to a fabulous party in Hollywood. (You can see I am pictured with the President).

From magicians to musicians, models to mothers, photographers, painters, commercial brokers, bakers, the nouveau riche to the hippies LA is a place that accepts just about everyone and everything - of course it does help to look beautiful or at least trendy while you are going about your business. I experienced my first paparazzi blast as I was leaving Mirabelle Restaurant on sunset...just when I thought the Armenian press had found out I was in town I looked over and saw Britney entering the restaurant beside me...I've never seen anything like it - these people can easily kill for a photograph. Madness....

Since I have been here a young woman decided to walk down Hollywood Boulevard in nothing but stilettos in the middle of the day. I've seen enormously large women giggling at dinner tables being fed by their lovers, I've seen plastic surgery that redefines the texture of plastic, cars and houses that one could only imagine, traffic at 6am on the 405 freeway, food that is made for the Gods, and mostly such an abundance of Armenians that I am convinced we should rename the state of Calfornia - Armenia - and that't that.

This year I attended AFFMA (The Armenian Film Festival) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. It started with a wonderful opening open air party with lots of mingling. I met some wonderful people including a lovely Italian Armenian Daniel Kevork from Florence who was photographing the event. (See picture where i am wedged between two goatees - Daniel is the one on the right). The pictures are wonderful and since then I have gone with him to one of his jobs and saw the quality of his work. It was a beautiful day in Mount Olympus followed by some shots in Malibu (see photo of pier). He is a true talent in the type of photography he does (mainly product) and I have a feeling he is going to be the next best thing in LA although he is back and forth to Florence. To see some of his work do visit He also had the opportunity to take some photos of me - some of which I will post with this blog. AFFMA is a very well organised event that was done extremely professionally with a lot of high quality talent involved and high profile people. I think this event will get better each year especially with the young Armenian talent and passion that lies behind it - and the team of people who really made it happen.

So I also had the pleasure of participating in this years Armenia Fund Telethon where over 15 million was raised. Bravo to everyone who participated - from those in the background, the organisers, the kids answering phones, the stuffed cow in the foreground (nice touch), the performers, and of course best of all the donors - what a fantastic thing we achieved!

Thanksgiving day consisted of a table set for 40 with all of the scrumptious things possible. What a feast we had with about 40 cousins dancing and singing into the night. Harout Pamboukjian did his usual job of getting us out of our seats and two of our cousins (18 and 21) did a great job at bartending to the rest of the family. It was a bit worrying at how good they actually were at making the Margarita's and all the other scrupmtious drinks to get the family dancing. I must hire them at my next party.... :)

And finally...the Armenian Music Awards....I did not receive the award for Best Alternative Album but the whole experience was unforgettable in a way in which wetting your pants the first day of school is unforgettable. It was great fun to meet all the popular artists from Armenia like Andre, Sirusho, Arminka, Hay Tghek, Armenoids, to name a few...but the highlight of my evening was meeting my favourite trance artist/DJ C-Rouge who happened to stumble into our limo. After being "kept" in the limousine for an hour (this is after we traipsed around the parking lot looking for Purple Parking which was some sort of imaginary instruction to stupefy the artists), we walked the red carpet - or shall I say I toured the red carpet? Up and down, across, over, back, left right, down again, smiling, posing, chatting, oh yes - interviewing once even!! The sound was fabulous - given that everything was lipsynced in the evening. A nomination envelope disappeared with the presenters having to run backstage to look for it, one of the tracks cut out in the end while the performers were still singing - and best of all - we don't even know who the judges are!!! But overall - great effort - it was an amusing show to say the least and I felt right back at home in Yerevan. It was thrilling to see some of my old acquaintances like Kohar who was a presenter on Rubicon but has now moved on to a different tv station. She did a great job at presenting that evening and really added an element of class to the whole event.

And so - preparations for Christmas and then the Mosaic concert and other little bits and bobs in is good! Seems LA is a popular destination and already this past week I have seen my friend Andrea from NY that I haven't seen in 7 years and it was an excuse to go to Long Beach and have a nice meal followed by a nice dinner at the Spanish Kitchen in Hollywood last night where I met up with my friend Ron from Germany that I hadn't seen in 4 years. What could be better than all of this? Yorkshire moors? I think not.

It's 80 degrees farenheit as I type this and the sun is shining. Looking forward to what this great city has in store next! Peace and love from the sunshine state and God Bless as always.


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