Stories From The Road Chapter Five...
I believe there are times in your life when you are faced with making really tough decisions on your next step in business and your personal life which can be both horrifying and completely thrilling! But I have learned if you make those decisions with the right intentions of going towards something positive not running away from a negative situation, it can and will become an amazing experience.
I had one of those decisions to make back in 2009 with the opportunity to move to LA for a job...It certainly wasn't a place I thought at the time that I wanted to pick up my wife and children and relocate our NY lives. I automatically thought about all the crazy people who I perceived moved to California to either hide from their ex's or the authorities! I happened to be neither (I think) but what I found was something much different than what I originally perceived. It wasn't necessarily about the crazy people who were hiding in those dirty campers, it was all those people that were doing everything they could to be SEEN! What stuck me was all the people who wear those oversized bug eye sun glasses inside! Somehow, I didn't get the memo?
Well in March 2009 right in the middle of a global recession, I moved into the 17th floor of the Disney Channel building overlooking Warner Brothers Studio and the backside of Hollywood Hills (Above Photo). I had front row seats to watch SOCAL burn during the fire season. I also moved into temp corporate housing at the Oakwood Apartments. These are the infamous apartments where many child actors and their delusional parents live while trying to break into the "Biz". The Oakwood Apartments are also famous amongst other things because Rick "Super Freak" James died from a drug overdose there. He was one of those celebrities that I actually thought died about 20 years earlier, who knew?
But my very first night moving into the Oakwood was certainly memorable and my welcome to LALA Land...I was in town only about one hour really late at night and checking into my new apartment when I decided to explore the complex and stumbled upon a deli right on property. Well I went in to look around and get a few things when I noticed this sharply dressed elderly gentlemen literally climbing the wine rack trying to reach a bottle on the top shelve. So trying to be a nice new neighbor, I went over to help grab the bottle for him. As I handed him the bottle as he finished climbing down the wine rack, I could not believe that it was Garrett "Baseball Ben Berry Berry Good To Me" Morris from the legendary Saturday Night Live years..Hilarious! Come to find out... he was still alive.
When he saw the look of "You've got to be kidding" on my face, we both started cracking up. I had to ask him how he was doing tonight he gave me a sly smirk, grabbed the wine and slowly nodded over to a 30 something year old young lady standing in the doorway and said without breaking character he says..."You already know my brother"! Well you can image this beauty...She was smoking, snapping her gum and overflowing from her way too tight dress. But the thing that struck me was that she of course was wearing SUN GLASSES at midnight....Welcome to LALA Land!
Rob Thompson is a 25+ year entrepreneur and executive in the sports and family entertainment industry and a global leader in grassroots youth sports programming and activation. I help NGB's, International Governing Bodies, Pro Teams, Leagues, Media Groups, Sports Commissions and Brands create grassroots activation and Edu-tainment properties, mass participation events and youth/fan development programs. CLICK HERE to learn about ways we can help or reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org 518/867.1117.
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