After taking on New York City on my own, I knew that exploring LA would be a different experience altogether. In this part of America, you definitely need a car to get around, and my trip was much sweeter than any luxurious car ride because I got to spend quality time with my older sister! She’s been living in the US for about 7 years now, so you could just imagine how much catching up had to be done. In fact, the last time I was in this country was when I dropped her off in Vegas, back in 2007.
Being familiar with my field of work, Ate Karla thought it best that I experience a live set, and true enough, I was so excited to be part of the TV audience for a new CBS show, “I Can Do That.” Haven’t heard of it? That’s because it hasn’t aired yet, which makes it even more exciting to take part of! But it also means that the material is highly confidential, so cameras & cellphones aren’t allowed in the studio (as in other shows too). Though I won’t be able to talk about it in-depth, I will tell you that celebrities Joe Jonas, Nicole Scherzinger, Ciara, Cheryl Burke from Dancing with the Stars, comedian Jeff Dye & actor Alan Ritchson will be showing off new talents. At the second half of each episode, these six celebrities will watch 3 performances by experts in their craft (e.g. fire dancers). Then after being paired up, they will have to train for their respective new talents in a span of one week. The celebrity with the most points, as judged by the live audience, wins the season. Given the whole premise, you can imagine that this show is like a cross between America’s Got Talent, and Dancing with the Stars.
Watching how everything worked in a live TV audience was amazing. The crew had to move quickly in between takes to construct a set, and then dismantle it for the next act. The floor director told the audience when to stand up for applause, laugh, or get really excited, and though people wanted to leave to be able to eat after shooting the first half, my sister and I stayed for the entire 7 hour shoot. We were treated to surprise numbers by Snoop Dogg (who unsurprisingly looked pretty stoned), and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!
If you’re going to LA and wanna catch a live TV show, just log on to On Camera Audiences and you can get your tickets for free! I know some shows even pay their audiences to come, but the more popular ones either take at least a month to reserve or be on the waitlist. Just recently, my sister told me that she was able to score tickets to The Voice, so when that time comes, you just gotta drop everything and go! People even say that being able to watch Ellen live is like winning in the lotto.
The next day, we moved to our hotel in Redondo beach, which had a huge chunk of filming locations for one of my favorite TV shows, The OC. I used to be so hooked on this series back in highschool and would still watch re-runs from time to time. If only I could’ve really bumped into Summer, Seth, Ryan & Marissa 😆
And what better way to explore a beach city and feel like I’m really in the OC than by getting on a bike? It was my first time to experience one that didn’t have hand brakes, so you were forced to back pedal instead.
Fuelled up for more beach hopping the next day, by having lunch at Killer Shrimp in Marina del Rey after Good Friday services. I am a huge fan of shrimp and this cafe did not disappoint! I also noticed how most of the dishes I’ve been eating have avocado- their burrito, their sandwiches, and even yesterday’s sushi. Delicious!
Then, a short drive took us to the strangest, funkiest beach I have ever been to.
Venice Beach is filled with street performers, like this guy on the piano, or that guy playing random notes on his guitar, dressed in ragged layers of clothes on his rollerblades.
At almost every corner, you’d find the weed doctor. Meaning yes, the scent of weed wafts around the boardwalk 😆
And don’t forget, Muscle Beach: paradise to these American gym junkies!
Step right up to see two-headed turtles, two-headed pigs, a giant rat, or even the world’s smallest man… 😯
And before you leave, there’s plenty of merchandise to bring home to your folks. Alien heads? Trippy paintings? Voodoo dolls? You name a weird thing, they got it.
After amusing ourselves with this beach’s eccentricities, we headed off to catch the sunset at the Santa Monica pier
A great ending to our day was seeing this free-roaming seal by the pier!!