Day One

Train tales

By: Connie Castilla

Hello Day 1 in L.A.

Today is our first day in sunny L.A. but for me, the trip started three days ago when I left New York by train—yes by train. I took the Amtrak to Chicago and then to L.A. Flying is nice but since this was my first time coming to the west coast, I thought that I should get a full travel experience and enjoy the extraordinary landscapes. My first stop was Chicago. I was impressed by their architecture since it combines modern and older buildings. It happened to be Beans Day — never heard of it before — so I celebrated posing at the huge Bean (Cloud Gate sculpture) in Millennium Park. 

My second train–Southwest Chief–took me across the most stunning views. We passed Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, among other states. I saw the majestic and red mountains of the west, the pink and purple sunsets, the happy and adventurous faces of my fellow travelers and the bright moon shining my way. I even saw some interesting animals like the Pronghorns- similar to antelopes. We stopped at Kansas City which has a really impressive hall, and I felt I was in the ballroom of some medieval palace. The weather started to get warmer as we stopped in Albuquerque. Overall, it was a very peaceful and relaxing time as I enjoyed sitting at the viewing car for hours and observing the enchanting scenery.

But finally after hours of taking pictures and videos of the magical west, the conductor announced: “Welcome to Los Angeles.” I had arrived, and my real adventure with all my Hofstra classmates was about to begin. L.A. has always been a dream. The Hollywood sign makes me feel that I am now the protagonist of my own movie where all my dreams can come true. I am really excited for all the talented and inspiring professionals we are going to meet in the following days. I look forward to learn from their experience and dream with my future in film.

Sweet L.A. dreams to everyone from your train traveler Connie 🙂

From Hollywood, it’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

By: Heather Konefsky

The first day in L.A. was so much more than I could have ever asked for. After waking up at 4:00 a.m., I did not think I would have the energy to do anything once we got off the plane. The day started out stressful with me thinking we might miss the flight. A few people had to get their bags searched, and we did not all get out of security until the same time our flight was set to begin boarding. Luckily boarding was slightly delayed and all was well. However, Christina and I were still stressed about our night. 

We got extremely lucky and got free tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel. We didn’t think we would make it in time, but everyone was so excited for us and was willing to take our luggage to our rooms for us. We rushed to get our ID pictures taken first and even skipped orientation to make it to the studio. When we got dropped off by our Uber, we were a little lost. We finally found the correct line, and shortly after received a purple wristband. Once we got that wristband, we were immediately so relieved that we were going to get in. We were some of the last people to get into the studio, but the show was well worth it. Seeing John Cena smash bad holiday gifts with a massive mallet was definitely an interesting way to begin this trip. 

The night didn’t end after the show. Filming ended around 6:30 p.m. so Christina and I wondered around the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We got to see the stars of many of our favorite people and compared our hand sizes to the cement imprints of others. I ended the night by meeting up with my cousin for dinner. I had never had Thai food, so he took me to one of his favorite spots. This trip has already been so amazing and I have only been in L.A. for about ten hours. I can’t wait to see where we go next. 

La La LAX

By: Joe Gilberto

Landing in Los Angeles was a dream come true.  After six hours in a decently cramped position, stretching my legs and walking into LAX felt like a spiritual awakening.  I looked outside to see a brighter and warmer world than the icy grounds of Massachusetts I had left behind: already things seemed flashier, more exciting.  As I walked through the airport to baggage claim, I stood with my back to the door, allowing for a gentle breeze to wash over me. It felt like the northeast in spring time; the sensation thawed my winter-worn heart.

I was relieved to see some familiar faces at baggage claim.  Before I knew it, my entire group had landed along with me in L.A. and we escorted ourselves out the door.  That first step into the Los Angeles air was rejuvenating. Glimpses of the Hollywood Hills and palm trees excited me as I was welcomed to Los Angeles.  We quickly got onto the bus and I caught up with my peers. We talked about our individual rushes to the airport, our flights, and how we all managed to keep busy for six hours.  It was good to see my classmates, and it was fun to be together again. From LAX, we went directly to a Californian staple, In-N-Out Burger, where I had some of the best fast food of my life.  We sat and talked over burgers and shakes about how we felt about finally being on the west coast.

Once we finished our Double Doubles and fries, we got back on the bus and headed to the Emerson L.A. campus.  On the way, we marveled at the sites, seeing major production companies we one day hoped to join. We were especially excited about the infamous Hollywood sign.  We arrived at E.L.A. and we were totally blown away by the campus. With a modern design, spacious rooms, and beautiful views we could not have asked for a better place to stay.  Now as I sit here writing this entry, I am excited to face the next ten days with optimism and ambition.

Airplanes and Spaceships

By: Joe Unda

My eyes shot open as my alarm blared out a loud, but catchy, island-type tune. 5:00 AM. Here we go.

I stepped outside, and noticed I could see the steam coming off of each of my breaths; something I wouldn’t be seeing for quite some time. Today is the day I’d leave for the trip of the lifetime, a trip to Los Angeles, a trip truly from coast to coast. 

The energy was already up as I boarded the shuttle bus to JFK Airport, and it only continued in that same direction. I’m not sure if it was because we were escaping the frigid New York weather, or if we were just excited for the trip. Regardless, spirits were high as we boarded our Jetblue flight. I never thought I would ever be thankful to have an inside seat on public transportation, but for this flight, I truly was. Beautiful views of mountains, lakes, rivers, and just about everything else one could hope to see on a flight, I saw. 

We soon landed in the midst of a beautiful California day. The sun was shining, and I was able to do something I hadn’t done in quite some time – wear a t-shirt, outdoors. What a feeling. 

The excitement began to build back up, and in a place with so much to do and see, where were we supposed to start? The answer is a simple one, In-N-Out Burger. Not only was this a necessary meal for everyone after a long flight, but it was quite a delicious one. 

Next, came by far my favorite part of the day, arriving at where we’ll be staying for the next 10 days. The design of Emerson’s building is unlike anything I have ever seen before. The only word I could think of that fit the look of this building, was a spaceship. It’s modern, sleek, and just plain beautiful. Even more amazing, the location truly feels like it’s in the middle of everything. You can turn your head one way to look at the Hollywood Sign, in the other direction are the skyscrapers of Downtown L.A., and just a few blocks down is Hollywood Boulevard. It feels as though we have everything at our fingertips. 

It has only really been half a day here in L.A., and this short time has been full of excitement, sights, and a delicious burger. If this is a taste of what the next nine days entail, then I am more than ready for the road ahead. 

Day two, here I come. 

Beach vibes

By: Kat Holm

One of the most refreshing feelings is to wake up to the sound of ocean waves. That was my morning! I’ve been staying in L.A. for about five days now and I’ve almost completely forgotten about the cold New York winter weather. The first couple of days I was able to decompress with my best friend Heather from high school. I stayed with her family and was able to return to a few of my favorite eateries from previous visits. Yesterday, I was able to meet up with Johanna Fogle, a recent Hofstra graduate who moved to L.A. this past September. We went up to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, which I didn’t realize would be over an hour drive from where I was staying in Redondo Beach! Everything in New York City is close together; it is a big adjustment getting used to L.A. being so spread out. During the day I got to catch up with Johanna and learn a little bit about how life has been for her living out in California. She told me which neighborhoods would be the safest and most affordable to live in if I decide to make the big move out here someday. She also gave me tips for producing film sets, which will benefit me greatly on the Hofstra senior film productions this spring.

To my surprise, my dad had a business trip in L.A. and was staying only 10 minutes away from me. The same day I went to Six Flags I met up with my dad and my cousin who live on Hermosa Beach. We went out for dinner right by the pier and got to watch the sunset over the beach as we ate the most amazing pretzel appetizer I’ve ever had. It seemed like all was right in the world until this morning I had to make a quick visit to an urgent care location. Unfortunately, I was struck with a fever the day before arriving to California and the plane flight had caused a minor ear infection. Luckily, I was able to get everything I needed from the doctor and met up with everyone else at the Emerson College dorms!

Now that I’ve had a few days to relax with friends, I’m ready to use the rest of this trip to prepare myself for my potential future on the west coast. One of my biggest fears about making the big move is that I will feel lonely being on the opposite coast from my friends and family. It was comforting to know that I have good friends like Heather and Johanna out here who I can always go to. L.A. I’m ready for you!

Someone in the crowd

By: Michael Valentino

We have finally arrived to L.A., and I could not be more stoked! We arrived at Hofstra this morning at 5:45 a.m. sharp, and all squished into a van and just like that, we were on our way.  The flight was quicker than I expected, and before I knew it, we had arrived to Los Angeles.

Right away, I learned that Miley Cyrus was a liar. After hopping off the plane at LAX, I turned to my right and did not see the Hollywood sign. But no worries, because shortly after, it finally came into view and it felt like we were here. I’ve dreamed of this moment for so long and to finally be here now is just an unbelievable feeling.  

Of course, we had to properly christen ourselves to the L.A. culture. So, obviously, the first thing we did was stop at In-N-Out.  It was one of the best fast-food burgers I have ever tasted, but I was sorry to say that the fries didn’t hold up to the hype. I took the opportunity to take a picture to let everyone back at home know that I finally made it to L.A.  

We are staying at Emerson College which I was hesitant about at first, but the campus is absolutely beautiful and located in a really great part of town. From the view of my window, I can see Technicolor, Viacom, Capitol Records, and Sunset Gower Studios. A few feet out of my door grants the most beautiful view of the Hollywood sign and a glimpse of the Paramount lot. This location is really perfect in capturing the essence of L.A. and has really gotten all of us ready for the experience!

I’m very excited to see what tomorrow brings. This trip is really going to be unbelievable.  

Jimmy Kimmel, We Made It

By: Christina Morgana

Day one was a success, but a stressful one at that. I began my day at 5 a.m. and left my house at 5:30 a.m. for JFK. We left New York around 9 a.m. and safely arrived in L.A. around 12 p.m. west coast time. Of course, everyone was starving at this point, since we only got bags of chips for a six-hour flight. That cheeseburger and fries definitely hit the spot after a long day of travels already. After that, we made our way to Emerson. 

Now, here comes the stressful part of the day for me! Heather and I got tickets for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and we had to arrive on Hollywood Boulevard by no later than 3:45 p.m. Luckily, we got to Emerson around 2:45, got our IDs promptly and called an Uber ASAP. When we arrived, the line spanned for what seemed like over 100 people. We worried if we would even get a seat for the show, despite our efforts to be there on time. Seconds later, a purple wristband was placed on our arms, signifying out entry into the show. It was a phenomenal show, starting with open remarks to “Don” who warmed up the crowd. Then, Jimmy was out, and the show began. The guests were John Cena and RuPaul. Cena discussed his film projects in the works currently and RuPaul promoted his new Netflix show to premiere next week. A special segment included bad holiday gifts, which as a result, got smashed with a wooden mallet by none other than John Cena. To wrap up the show, we saw a performance from Dermot Kennedy in the lobby. We finished our night by walking the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame seeing stars from Kermit the Frog to Michael J. Fox. I cannot wait for what the rest of this trip has in store for me!

The sun is setting on Sunset Boulevard

By: Caroline Lea

After an early morning flight from JFK that felt much longer than it actually was, we made it to LAX! After making a pit stop at In-N-Out Burger, we headed over to the Emerson College dorms. As we approached, my inner television nerd started getting excited because it turned out that we’re staying directly across the street from Sunset Gower Studios. This might not make sense to many, but the studio is home to many well-known shows and, specifically, many shows I grew up watching. To name a few, “The Amanda Show,” “That’s So Raven,” and “Deal or No Deal” were all filmed there as well as classics like “I Dream of Jeannie” and some of the Three Stooges works. Knowing that we’re sleeping so close to a lot that has housed so many iconic shows, as well as numerous shows that have shaped my view of television and led me to where I am right now, is probably the most inspiring way to start the week.

Once we settled into our adorable rooms, we immediately started planning how to spend our first night in L.A. Another student on the trip and I both previously interned with Bravo back in New York last year and are both huge fans of the show “Vanderpump Rules.” We immediately knew how we wanted to spend our night as Lisa Vanderpump, one of the show’s stars, owns server restaurants and bars in the area. While I was at Bravo, two other stars of the show happened to open their own bar with Lisa’s help. Being able to hear all about the opening of the bar while I was interning made it somewhere I had to visit if I ever made it to L.A. and well, here we are. After months of waiting, it’s finally time to check out TomTom!

And away we go!

By: Marissa Santorelli

At 5:45 a.m. on January 8, 2020, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. I began my day packed in a shuttle, with suitcases piled high, sitting next to the incredible young men and women I will be spending the next 10 days with. From airport traffic to unorganized security checkpoint at JFK Airport, our ​Hofstra in L.A. ​group made it just in time to board our 8:20 a.m. flight to Los Angeles, CA.

Now, I am not the biggest fan of flying on airplanes, and considering this is the longest flight I have ever experienced, I wasn’t too thrilled, to say the least. As soon as we took off, my adrenaline kicked in and I was more excited than ever before. It was hands down the most beautiful flight I have ever taken, as you can tell by the photo above. But, soon enough, we finally landed in L.A., and our adventure truly began.

From LAX, we took a shuttle to ​In-N-Out Burgera​ food establishment (famous for their burgers) I have always wanted to try. Since they are only on the West Coast, this was my first ever experience and it was ​amazing. ​From there, we took our shuttle to Emerson College, the university we will be staying at for the next 10 days. We got ID badges, sat through a mini orientation, and finally got to see our rooms. And let me tell you… they are amazing. I am in a suite-style room, where all five girls in the suite have their own room, a room for the bathroom, two sinks and a beautiful big mirror, and a separate room for a shower. And, not to mention, we have our own fridge/freezer and microwave! When we arrived at the room, each room was equipped with bedding, hangers and a personal heater. I was beyond shocked and impressed; they made the stay so warm and welcoming.

Finally, once we were all settled in, we went to the rooftop lounge and saw the most breathtaking sight. We saw the horizon and the city of L.A., at sunset. The weather was perfect, the sky was gorgeous, and nothing could have made it better. But then, I turned around to see the Hollywood sign in our direct view. It was incredible. After multiple photo-ops and screeches of excitement, a group of us traveled to Trader Joe’s and Walgreens to get the final items we needed to settle in. Along the way we saw the stars on sidewalk of Sunset Blvd. We saw at least 100 before we stopped walking!

Now, we are all settled back in our rooms and ready for the day ahead. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what this program has to offer and I’m having the time of my life already.

Only 70 degrees warmer

By: Kalle Neuman

Today, I flew from my home state of Minnesota to Los Angeles (for the first time ever), and the temperature isn’t the only big difference. It was about 10 degrees below zero when I woke up at home this morning, and in L.A., it’s around 60. It was kind of lonely flying by myself since everyone else was coming from New York, but as soon as I met up with everyone at LAX, I knew this was going to be a fun 10 days. We went straight from the airport to In-N-Out Burger, and the burger lived up to the hype, but the group consensus was that the fries did not. From there, we headed to Emerson College where we’ll be staying for the duration of the trip, and we were all shocked at how nice and big the suites are. We all joked (except maybe it’s not a joke) that we wanted to transfer here just for the dorm rooms. We’ve been on our own since this afternoon and we’re enjoying the time to ourselves. 
I think even without the warmer climate, I would still be feeling warm and cozy here in L.A. because I already love so much about this place. First off, the views from our dorm are incredible. It feels surreal to be able to look one direction and see the Hollywood sign perfectly, and then turning around to watch the sun set over the city. Pictures just don’t do this city justice. L.A. seems a lot less compact than New York City (from the limited amount of exploring I’ve done thus far), and certainly a lot bigger than Minneapolis or St. Paul. I can’t wait to see more of the city and everything it has to offer as this trip goes on.

California dreaming

By: Aliyah Dinkins

A day filled with singing songs that have even the slightest association to California, this experience has already been a dream come true. I have fantasized so much about this trip over the years, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic that it has come to fruition. As I sat and watched the sunset turn from orange to a pink-ish purple, I felt very much at peace. 

Today was filled with many firsts. Attributing no intentional disrespect to my homeland of New York, I couldn’t help but to affirm all of the rumors that people are extremely nice on the West Coast. Nothing has made me feel more welcome than being greeted with gigantic smiles and warm conversation. After leaving LAX (and singing “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus (not Hanna Montana), we made a pit stop at In-N-Out Burger. And might I add, even without onions, the #1 Combo meal included an exceptional burger. Here’s a tip: always get the spread! We later arrived at Emerson College to get settled in, which is conveniently located on Sunset Boulevard. I have a view of the Hollywood sign from the lobby and a view of the Viacom sign out of my room window. Life doesn’t get any better. As I am getting ready to get have dinner now, I am anxious to see what tomorrow will bring. I am more than positive that it will be filled with nothing short of personal growth, learning, and spectacle. Until we meet again…


Today, we went to L.A….

By: Jared Brown

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, L.A. here we are. Palm trees, In-N-Out, the Hollywood sign, and traffic. It is my second time here, and the L.A. stereotypes are still alive. After stressful last-minute packing and shopping, it is essential to look beyond these stereotypes. This place is not just home to a plethora of stereotypes; it is home to the extensive entertainment industry. I am the first of the Hofstra in L.A. students to do an Instagram takeover on the communication school account (@herbertschoolhu), and I have been on my toes all day documenting and taking pictures of our travel experience. Being tasked with this job opened up the wonders of L.A. even more to me. On our way to Emerson college, where we are staying, we passed Netflix, Viacom, the Staples Center, and various studios, which was very intriguing. The tease of passing these places made me even more excited to explore what L.A. has to offer. Already, I made new friends, and I am eager to learn more about the media industry from their academic and professional perspective because we all have different backgrounds. Our difference of perspective can initiate a great dialogue, which is critical to the learning process. Additionally, the hospitality at Emerson College is quite impressive. Yes, I was excited about the trip, but being here boosts my excitement even more. The travel experience to L.A. taught me immensely in itself. Now, I cannot wait to document, explore, and recognize what else this amazing place has to offer.

I think I’m ready, L.A.!

By: Julia Farella

Waking up this morning was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I have been preparing for months for the trip to Los Angeles and I still felt like I was unprepared. Having never ventured to California before, I was excited to see how different it was than my home back on the East Coast. After checking over everything in my suitcase a million times, I ventured to JFK airport with the rest of our group to begin our L.A. adventure. 

Once we touched down in L.A., the first thing we did was stop at In-N-Out Burger nearby the airport. After hearing so many things about In-N-Out burgers from people for years, I was excited to finally try it out. And I have to say, the burgers definitely live up to their expectations. A delicious burger after a long flight was an amazing way to start our trip to Los Angeles. I’m especially looking forward to trying out some of the popular restaurants throughout the week.  

On our first night in we decided to spend it preparing for our first meetings the next day. Doing research, preparing our outfits, and writing down any notes we needed. But we also spent a little bonding time together as a group. We all gathered together and decided to meet in one of the dorms and talk about what we’re excited about during the trip. Caroline and I then had the idea to visit Tom Tom, which is owned by Bravo reality stars Tom Schwartz, Tom Sandoval, and Lisa Vanderpump, after interning at Bravo Digital in New York. We have heard so many things about the restaurants owned by the Bravo stars and have been dying to try them since we ended our internship. So as a group, we all decided to head out to Tom Tom and get the experience of a night out in Los Angeles.  

Tomorrow, I’m really looking forward to beginning our networking with all of the professionals in L.A. Coming out here during my senior year is extremely important to me as I am looking to apply for full-time positions soon. Los Angeles has always been somewhere that I thought would be a great fit for me and my career goals. I’m hoping that by speaking with all of the amazing professionals during my time here in L.A., I will learn whether this city is the best place for my professional and personal growth post-graduation. 

It’s about the journey

By: Kathryn Harley

The time has finally come; we’ve touched down in L.A.! To be completely honest, I was definitely nervous to embark on this journey. Though I was a bit intimidated, the moment I stepped on the bus to the airport, my nerves disappeared. That’s because I have the honor of taking this trip with a great group of people. Though I’ve seen them around campus, or in classes, I’ve never really had the opportunity to get to know them individually, which I look forward to changing on this trip.

You really bond with people when you travel across the country with them. Really, there’s no better icebreaker than being sat next to someone for seven hours on a plane. Even better, there’s REALLY no better way to bond with them than getting In-N-Out Burger directly after said flight. There’s nothing that bonds humans together quite like fantastic burgers.

On a more serious note, each and every one of them amazes me with their drive, ambition, and passion for their work. I’ve seen them at school working tirelessly on their classwork and individual endeavors, and now I can’t wait to learn and grow alongside them here in L.A. Whether it be working on a show for Hofstra’s television network, writing for the school paper, or landing amazing internships, this is truly a great group of people.

I think it’s incredibly important to draw inspiration from those around you. Whether it be through interacting with them or through observance, you can learn from everyone around you. I always try to go into new experiences with an open mindset, ready to learn as much as I can. That’s why I’m incredibly excited to be surrounded by these people, and I can’t wait to spend the next 10 days with them. Get ready, L.A.!

Jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time

By: Emmeline Blaner

I never thought I would consider moving to Los Angeles, but after landing and feeling that first touch of 60-degree weather, I may already be convinced. Feeling the energy of the West Coast and the weather that I thrive in, I’m feeling extremely inspired to make the most out of this trip and consider opportunities here more seriously than ever.

We spent our first day stopping at In-N-Out for our first taste of California, and it was amazing to be able to sit outside, feeling the sun on our faces and surrounded by friends and peers. From there, we arrived at the beautiful L.A. campus for Emerson College, and enjoyed the sunset and views of the Hollywood sign.

Once we got to our rooms, a small group of us ventured out to walk down Sunset Boulevard to get some groceries and supplies for the week. It was nice to be with friends in a fresh setting other than Hofstra, and walking down the street at sunset felt like the set of a movie.

Even though this is my second time in California, it’s still astounding to me how different it feels to be on a different side of the country. I find myself thinking about how people who grew up here might think of the East Coast, and what perceptions they might have. Being here reminds me that every person has such a vastly different worldview, and it’s amazing that people come from all over the country, and the world, to make a name and build a life for themselves in L.A. Maybe someday, I’ll be one of those people, too.

My first day in sunny, beautiful L.A.

By: Jessica Zagacki

I cannot believe that after years of dreaming about coming to California, I am finally here in L.A.! Maybe it’s the lack of sleep from the night before or the jet-lag, but it still doesn’t quite feel real that I am here. Most importantly, I think this is due to a combination of these two things along with the fact that I am finally spending time in a place that I fantasized about visiting for years. That alone is enough for anyone to try to process. The journey here today was tiring but also incredible and memorable. The flight was so smooth and the views from the plane window were breathtaking, especially when we were passing over the mountains in Colorado and Arizona. After about six hours in the air, which included watching two movies, listening to music, and joking around with my peers, we touched the ground at LAX in sunny Los Angeles, California. 

Shortly after, we shared our first meal as a group at the famous In-N-Out Burger (and yes, I think it does live up to the hype — my double double burger was delicious). As I sat there, sinking my teeth into my burger, I think this was one of the first moments that the feeling of being in L.A. sank in for me. While we were sitting outside at In-N-Out at tables with red umbrellas, the sunlight was shining down on us and the palm trees were blowing in the breeze around us. I looked out into the parking lot flooded with cars that boasted California license plates, and suddenly it hit me. I am here. I am really, really here. A smile formed on my face and I was filled with a sense of peace and excitement.

Another moment when this reality hit me was during the scenic drive to Emerson’s L.A. campus — the place that we will all be calling home for over the next week. Conveniently located on Sunset Boulevard, this building is an architectural masterpiece. The iconic Hollywood sign is visible from Emerson along with the rich and vibrant orange sunset that paints the sky at dusk. After taking several silly and aesthetically pleasing pictures outside, as well as unpacking and settling into our rooms, it is now finally time to go out for dinner and explore. 

Tomorrow, we have our first day of meetings with industry professionals. I am extremely excited to meet everyone and to learn more about different career paths in the media. I am looking forward to networking and receiving advice from professionals who are passionate and dedicated to producing innovative and engaging content. Tomorrow will be the first of many of these exciting days.

Driving down the highway with a California breeze in my hair

By: Daniella Colletti

My first time in this beautiful city of Los Angeles is finally here. Since I already gushed about how I couldn’t wait to come here in my last post, I’ll just start by saying how today was already amazing, and it’s only day one.  

Yes, those early morning flights aren’t the most fun usually, but so much adrenaline filled my body today that I feel like I could stay awake forever.  After finally getting off the flight, we went straight to the nearest In-N-Out Burger for lunch. As a huge foodie, I couldn’t wait to try one of California’s most popular burger spots. I can wholeheartedly say it did not disappoint me! The burger didn’t even taste like it came from a fast food restaurant; it was juicy and tasty!

Ok, ok, enough with the food reviewing. After this, we settled into the beautiful Emerson College dorms, located right on Sunset Boulevard. We took a stroll down the boulevard to Trader Joe’s and Walgreens, but happened to take a detour down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where we even saw Michael Jackson’s star! We also passed the Hollywood Palladium, where the Jonas Brothers will be performing in just a couple of weeks. 

Tomorrow, I cannot wait to meet with industry professionals and learn more about my future career in the entertainment industry.  My own professional experience begins in only two weeks, so I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this opportunity in L.A. to learn from the pros themselves.  

Day One: Overcoming Fears

By: Paula Chirinos

The start of my trip to LA was filled with excitement, anticipation and fear (a lot of fear). I had not ridden on a plane in the past 19 years so my severe fear of heights and acceleration was in full gear as my classmates and I boarded our JetBlue flight at 8 in the morning. Luckily, one of my peers shared my nervous sentiments and helped me get through the initial turbulence and before I knew it, the plane lifted off from the ground and the rest of the trip went smoothly. Once we were in the air, nothing seemed to worry me and it was exciting to see the different landforms of the various states we passed along the way. 

Arriving at LAX made me realize how fortunate I am to be able to embark on this journey. Palm trees line up the streets, there are food trucks on every corner and when it comes to America’s best local cuisine, Los Angeles is definitely a top contender (sorry New York).

As expected I got to enjoy some amazing meals today, starting with a Double-Double Burger, fries and homemade lemonade from the infamous In-N-Out Burger restaurant chain. Later in the day, I decided I wanted to try some of the local hispanic cuisine, considering LA’s large latino population, and visited Trejo’s Cantina and got to devour some delicious tacos de carnitas. 

As I reflect on this journey so far in my cozy dorm room at Emerson College while the sun sets behind the mountains, I can’t help but think about what more this wonderful city can provide for me and my peers.    

Shining Bright on Sunset Boulevard

By: Penelope Lopez

The time everyone has been waiting for has finally come. We all arrived at LAX early this afternoon in hopes of building new professional relationships and accomplishing our dreams. Today we entered a new chapter in our lives, this chapter where we must take risks, chances, and steer away from our comfort zone. A chapter so unfamiliar yet, professionally and mentally needed to feed our next future goals. Today, I learned the value of taking two steps forward in an un-promised territory for your aspirations. Additionally, I learned that everything in life is resolved with balance. In other words, it’s okay to take twenty minutes to rest and self-care without feeling guilty because your body needs nurturing too. 

With that in mind, I plan to advocate for self-care on this journey just as much as I am pushing for my dreams. Not only will I remind myself to bring extra business cards and take copious notes, I will try to drink extra water, remember to eat in between meetings, and enjoy the moment. All in all, I am looking forward to overcoming any self-doubts I may have on this trip and simply be myself – which is transparent, authentic, and diligent.