Tom Carroll - Journalist

Apartment - Highland Park, Los Angeles

Tom Carroll is a rare breed of artist who is forging his own unique path. Part journalist, part LA historian, part graphic artist, and part web series host, Tom is an enthusiastic chronicler of Los Angeles' gems — past and present. His cadence is a mix of thoughtful and playful as he speaks with his hands either neatly folded in front of him or waved sideways in the air. Tom is kind (but not boring) and intelligent (but not a know-it-all); he describes himself as a "scrappy guy". His Highland Park apartment is peaceful and organized, displaying treasures from his adventures with effortless precision. Two minutes on the streets of Highland Park, and we have already bumped into three of Tom Carroll's local friends... 

What brought you to LA?
Well, I was born in LA county, in Whittier. I'm a fifth generation Southern Californian, so I have been here for awhile. I've really never left the city. I lived in DC for a year, but I've pretty much stayed here. Everyone else just moved here. It kind of worked out.

How do you define yourself career wise?
That's a good question because it's hard to define that. Mostly, I say that I am a journalist because that's what I want to be. So, sort of self-actualizing, I say I am a journalist, which I mean, I've had stuff on NPR. I've done journalism. I don't want to say, "I'm a host. I'm a web-series host." I don't know. That just sounds like a world I don't necessarily want to live in. I don't have a good answer. It's hard.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
Yea, sure. It happens. I'm fine with it. I think a lot of people are adverse to the title. We as humans like to categorize other humans. No one sees them self as a true hipster.

What does being a millennial mean to you?
(Laughs) It means Pogs. It means Pokemon cards and playing Pokemon on a Gameboy. It means Myspace. It means going to Christian punk shows in Orange County. I don't know... I really feel like people in my generation (closer to 1985 when I was born) really straddle the line. I didn't get a cell phone until I was a senior in high school; I grew up, obviously, with a landline. I had AIM in junior high. I really feel lucky to have had my early childhood into my most of my high school career as this sort of unadulterated, technologically unmediated space. I think we kind of got the best of both worlds. And, we got to see a pre-9/11 and post-9/11 world, which is illuminating too.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I didn't for a long while. I didn't get a smartphone until six months ago. Granted I had a friend's old iPhone that I could use on Wifi, so I could do Instagram and stuff like that. But, for a long while, I felt, like, self-ostracized from most of my peers. 
I'm kind of judgy. I don't like it when people don't know how to get around a city and rely on GPS navigation or they look at their phone for every step of the way. I feel like more of my identity is defined by rejecting my generation's culture than it is taking part in it. Which is total bullshit because I have all social media, and I produce content for Youtube. I mean, it's all of these things that are very generation-defined. I don't want to sound overly critical or bitter. There's a lot of self-actualizing with the internet, which is cool and I appreciate very much, and people creating the world they want to live in, but every generation does that.  

What is your favorite thing about living in Highland Park?
I love the Gold Line. I love its relative density and also the fact that it's not super hustle-bustle. I've been in Highland Park/Eagle Rock since 2004, so it's changed dramatically - in good ways and bad. It's great. I love living here. 

What are your favorite spots in Highland Park?
I love La Cazuelas, El Salvadorian food. I love Via Mar on Fig, south of 52. Wednesdays is their fish taco special, $1.29 tacos. I really like being close to Deb's Park. Where else do I go? I go to Little Cave a lot. It's a fun little bar; they have a good happy hour. I'm kind of cheap, so I don't go out to eat that much… Highland Park is a good neighborhood for skateboarding. If you go and skate in downtown, you get kicked out of a lot of places. But, here, they don't care that much.

How do you get around the city?
Let's see. To break it down percentage wise… 90% of my trips are by bicycle. 8% are by metro/skateboard. 2% are by car.
Very rarely am I in my car. The other night I had to go out to Venice and wake up early the next day, so in that case, I drove. I have a car, and it definitely serves its purpose, but biking around the city is much more exciting. A lot of my knowledge of the city comes from biking and walking and skateboarding. 
Biking is really scary. My friend was killed in Pasadena on his bike. Los Angeles is not a friendly bike town, but if you can do it... it can really pay off. I know I may sound sanctimonious and preachy, but I would not want to live in Los Angeles if I drove everywhere. I can see why people hate this city because if you drive everywhere, you're stuck in traffic. I love traffic. Traffic is the best when you're biking because everyone is stopped. It's super safe; no one is going to pull in front of you. You just rip through everything. It's really fun and exhilarating. And, totally legal.

 
 

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
I think about that a lot. I'm looking at grad schools now, and a lot of them aren't in Los Angeles. I haven't left the city up until this point because I've never felt a good enough reason to leave. But, I also know, for me to really know LA, I need to live somewhere else, so I know what really makes it Los Angeles. I only lived in DC for a year, so I don't have a good outsider perspective. My parents are older, and they live 25 minutes away. I don't feel tied down, but I just like having them close by. LA just has so much great stuff happening all of the time, and I don't need to leave. Everyone just moves here, so it works out. I get to cheat a little bit. So for the foreseeable future, it just kind of works for me right now.

What have you been working on recently?
Recently, I have been working on a couple of grants. I'm trying to get funded for this thing about donuts: why at one point 90% of Mom and Pop donut shops in California were run by Cambodians. It's because on Cambodian refugee in 1975 started this whole framework. It's a really fascinating story. It started out as just an episode of Tom Explores LA, but I realized it has much bigger legs. So, I'm trying to get funding to do a full-length doc. And, I'm working on a couple of other Tom Explores LA episodes. One for LA State Historic Park because they are opening soon and then a couple of other random one-off ones. 

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
Ohh. Umm. God, I'm trying to think of something not contrived as an answer. (Laughs) My camera? That's a dumb answer. What else is in my closet? I have the complete series of The Wire. I've watched it, and it just sits there now. Is that my favorite thing in my closet? (Laughs) 

What’s a typical Sunday like for you?
I like Sundays a lot because it's the first day of my weekend. The way I have my schedule built out is: work my normal job Friday/Saturday, then Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday I try and pursue my freelance stuff, so I try to leave Sunday/Monday open just for fun. 
So… Sundays I'll sleep in. I don't really like sleeping in. I'll get up at 9am and make a lot of coffee and drink a lot of coffee and maybe catch up on The New Yorker or read a book, draw maybe. A lot of times, I'll just go and skate with my roommate, Alex. We'll go down to The Home Depot in Cypress Park. I try to be outside on Sundays and enjoy the weather and the day.

What’s your favorite film?
(Laughs) You can either give an answer that's like, "I know film. I know an obscure thing." Or, you can give an answer that's a guilty pleasure. I hate to say it, but if I had to watch one movie for the rest of my life, it would be The Big Lebowski. Most definitely. I watch a lot of movies, and I like most movies.

What is your favorite record?
Hmmm. I have to think about that. My music consumption is so choppy now. It's all just singles and Youtube videos. I guess… Daft Punk - Homework.

Who is your favorite artist?
Chris Burden.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Chris Burden

Where do you want to travel to?
Cambodia.

What inspires you?
Other people that create things. Other people that work hard. Good artwork, good movies, good music. Things that passionate people have created.

What is your astrological sign and how does astrology play a part in your life?
Sagittarius. I think my moon sign is… I just looked it up. (Sighs) I don't have my phone on me. It was kind of illuminating when I found out my moon sign. 
Sagittarii are kind of milk-toast, not like a Scorpio or something. I consider myself a relatively nice guy and a thoughtful good friend. I'm an only child; I think that affects me more than my star sign. 

What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?
ENFP

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Honesty. Confidence. People that are willing to say what they are thinking even if it's going to offend someone. I love people that are real with me. And, people who don't take themselves too seriously but still take pride in what they do; people who create things but aren't too self-serious about it.

What is your idea of happiness?
I am most happy when I am creating things that I am proud of. Artistic output is one way I define happiness. Also: just being present and outdoors with friends on a sunny day, a little drunk. That's happiness.

What’s your favorite color and flower?
Favorite color is sea foam. And, my favorite flower, I know this because-- the company I work for is, I'm not going to say it, but I work for a unique grocery store. I know my flowers now because of having to make flower signs at work, so this is a great question. I love Dahlias. Unpicked Dahlias.

Do you have a motto?
Uhh, yea. It is… (Laughs) What is it...? Maybe just: "Be here now."

Do you want to say anything else? If there's a box to fill out at the end that says "optional" do you say something?
Usually in those cases, I leave them blank or draw something in them, something that doesn't make sense. Like a smiley face, a Yin Yang sign, and a skateboard.

For further Tom Carroll discovery follow him on Instagram & Twitter.
Watch Tom Explores LA episodes here.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Seth Barnard - Illustrator

Apartment - Echo Park, Los Angeles

Seth Barnard is a shaggy-haired Laguna Beach native with a warm, approachable aura and an easy living vibe. His apartment sits on top of a vine-covered building on a quiet, winding street in Echo Park. With a modest solarium underway and a lavish cactus collection throughout, Seth's home feels like a bohemian Pinterest dream, but effortless. After going to school in New York and then working in Berkeley, he now calls Los Angeles home. We sipped some craft-Cali beer in the setting Sunday sun as Seth told us stories with a legitimate-surfer voice and contagious smile.

What brought you to LA?
Architecture and sun. My girlfriend, Lindsey, and I were living in Berkeley - I was working at an architecture firm, and Lindsey was going to grad school. And, basically, Berkeley wasn’t really our vibe... San Francisco was changing. And, a better job than my independent contractor slog opened up, so I took it. 

How do you define yourself career wise?
You know, I’ve been wanting to change that. I usually just say, “I do architecture.” Or, I say, “I’m an architect.” I feel weird calling myself an architect because I don’t have my license. But, that’s what I do: I do all the same things as an architect. I want to start calling myself something different because I don’t necessarily like architecture as much as I’d like to. I think I might start saying, “I do drawings.” Or, “I make art.” I don’t want to call myself an artist. If I say, “I’m an illustrator” that would encourage me to take that on more.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
Indirectly. I can't remember if I have ever been directly called a hipster. But, I know that’s what people think I am. And, I am. It’s whatever. I don’t care. I’ve come to terms with that’s just the way it is. Accepting your own stereotype can be therapeutic.

What does being a Millennial mean to you?
So, we are people who experienced the pre-digital age but are also participants in it? I didn’t realize I was one. That’s kind of funny because I was always really reluctant when the iPhone started to really come into US culture. I was super resistant to this thing that was a mainstay of society. I was in college, and all of my friends were getting iPhones, and I still had a phone that just made calls, a Nokia. I still had it, and I was stubbornly proud of my technophobia. I didn’t want to get emails all of the time, and I didn’t want to be connected to people all of the time. And then, I don’t remember what happened. Oh yea, I broke that phone, and my provider no longer had that phone. So, I made the transition. Eventually I got sucked in, and I’m in it. Yea. I’m in it.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I don’t know. (Laughs) It’s ironic but I feel connected to my generation through the iPhone and through an aversion to technology. iPhones are really weird, they bring us together but keep us apart. People meet other people through these stainless steel microchip vessels. I feel connected to my generation through music at some times in my life. At other times, I feel connected to those who share an affinity for the environment. I don’t think you can ever connect to the broad brushstroke of a generation- you just connect to factions of that generation. 

What is your favorite thing about living in Echo Park?
That I can walk everywhere. I come home from work and just take a stroll, be outside, go up to the park and down to the lake, get to know people and talk to people. Having local places and being able to build relationships with people on the street and stuff. In LA this is a special thing. 

What are your favorite spots in Echo Park?
I really like Fix, which is this restaurant up in the canyon. Cookbook, which is a market slash sort-of-a-deli. It’s all responsibly grown, delicious produce, and it makes you feel great. It’s also affordable. They have the best sandwiches, ever. They use this salt-encrusted, oil soaked bread that really seals the deal. They put flavors together that I would’ve have never thought of. Today I had a smoked trout sandwich with feta cheese and mint and arugula. Ohh man. And, The Cactus Store. I love going in there; it’s like a botanical museum. It’s really cool to see people focus on something so intensely.

How do you get around the city?
I drive or skateboard. I tried to bike to work a few times and almost died. 

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
I really like it. I’ve lived in New York City and the Bay Area and they seem so ordered in comparison to the sprawling collage that is LA. I would be more certain about this city  if it had better air quality, and less traffic… again, biking is too sketchy. Minus those things, it would definitely be a future contender.

What have you been working on recently?
My friend, Adam Mars, is writing a book. I don’t even know if I should be saying-- I’ll say it, whatever. He’s writing a book, Unreal for Real. It’s an autobiographical book of short stories, and the mood across all of the stories is very different but every story is funny because Adam is wittier on a woody allen level. So, he’s asked me to do some illustrations or an illustration for the cover. I’m reading it and re-reading it, and I’m doing some studies. That’s the current project.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
Probably my shoes. Because, they are reliable, comfortable, and stained.

What’s a typical Sunday like for you?
I go surfing or hiking and sort of just pick up the house or hang out with a friend and get food or shoot the shit.

What’s your favorite film?
I love a lot of movies, but I have to say Caddy Shack.

What is your favorite record?
(Sighs) Is your favorite record the one you play the most? I don’t know. If I think about music that I can listen to consistently… Cal Tjader’s East of the Sun, maybe. He’s a xylophone player from the 60’s. Lindsey’s parents introduced me to it; they always play him while they are getting dinner ready  instant mood booster!

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Oh man. It’s so hard. It would have to be someone who’s dead because you have no other chance to do it except this opportunity you’re providing me with. (Laughs) Probably Lemmy and Mona Lisa to balance it out.

Where do you want to travel to?
Machu Picchu.

What inspires you?
iPhones.
Tabloids.
Lindsey.
My friends.
Surfing.
Surrealism.
3D Space.
Symbols.
Tom Robbins.

What is your astrological sign, and how does astrology play a part in your life?
I’m a Taurus. It doesn’t play a part in my life, but I know supposedly Tauruses are bold and stubborn. And, I am stubborn. I assume I fit the stereotype, but that’s about it. It’s not very important to me. I don’t really think about it.

What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?
ENTP

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Honesty. Interest. Intelligence. Communication. Engagement. Conversation.

What is your idea of happiness?
Having people that you love in your life. Having romance. Having intimacy. Family. Friends. Being active. Being in nature. Not worrying about superficial things like money and shit like that. Obviously you’re never going to get rid of stress, but I think happiness comes from being able to remediate that as much as possible. (Laughs)

What’s your favorite color and flower?
Favorite color is either black or blue. My favorite flower… I would have to say a tulip. Definitely a tulip. A yellow tulip.

Who is your favorite artist?
Oh man. James Turrell, maybe. He’s the first artist that I looked at and thought, no other art can make you feel this way. His art makes you see the world (which is light) in a different way. 

Do you have a motto?
No mottos; there’s too many curveballs in life to have a phrase sum it up. Did I just make a motto?

For further Seth Barnard related discovery follow him @b_a_r_n  and visit his website.
Also, check out his illustrations for Sunnynook Drive's Very Small Things.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Ari Afsar - Singer/Actor

Apartment - Cahuenga Pass, Los Angeles

Ari is one of those larger-than-life humans whose luminous beauty and bubbly presence is undeniable. She is relaxed, animated, and quick to laugh. We chatted at her apartment in Cahuenga Pass days before she packed up to move east to begin rehearsals for Chicago's Hamilton, in which is she stars as Eliza. Her apartment is breezy and open, lofted over the 101 freeway looking over the city where dreams are made. And, Ari's dreams are just beginning to come true.

What brought you to LA?
School brought me to LA. I went to UCLA. One thing that is... I actually didn't get into UCLA originally. So, I actually appealed and got in through the appeal process and finally got to go to the dream school that I wanted to go to.

How do you define yourself career wise?
Singer, songwriter, actress-- actor. (We don't need to gender; we can gender neutralize that.)

Have you ever been called a hipster?
No. Maybe by some friends. I don't know. If somebody calls me hipster, I have a lot of confidence then. Do some people have negative feelings towards hipster? Oh, that's funny. Yeah well I disagree, I think it's a confidence booster.

What does being a Millennial mean to you?
Technically it's being, what is it, 1994 to 1982? That's what it means to me, being born in this age. Millennials get a lot of flap, we're... We stereotypically must be satisfied instantaneously, instant gratification, all that stuff, but I think one of the things that Millennials don't necessarily get enough credit for is that we truly are hard workers, and we have high expectations and goals for ourselves. We set high goals and we know how to work hard for them. We can complain probably a little bit too much and that's where we get our bad rep from. I think that we're hard workers.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
A big part of this generation is technology taking over. There are positives and negatives that I fall victim to. In that way, I feel connected. I feel connected in the sense that I have high expectations and dreams and goals for myself. I knew since I was seven years old that I wanted to be singing for the rest of my life.

What do you like about living in the Cahuenga Pass Area?
There's not much to it, it's a few apartments. I lived in West LA before, and it's exponentially better living on this side of town - closer to shows and Hollywood, closer to stores in Studio City. I love it here.

What are some of your favorite shops or places in Cahuenga Pass/Studio City?
I spend a lot of time in Studio City. I love Aroma. That's super overrated though. Not in a bad way, it's just a lot of people like it, so I don't feel original saying it. I'm not hipster enough to find a cool place. What else do I like in Studio City? Pop Physique is great in Studio City. I used to be a Pop Physique instructor, shout out! And, I'm obsessed with Mercado! It's a really bomb Mexican place. You feel super fancy going there.

 
 

How do you get around the city?
Well having a car is always my alone time. Warming up, catching up with friends, etc. But moving to NY then CHI forces me to sell my car, so I'm super pumped about public transportation. It's different but more often than not, so much faster.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
That's where I want to end up, for sure. The weather is just unbeatable

What have you been working on recently?
I am working on a couple projects. One of the biggest things being that I'm going to be playing Eliza in Hamilton in Chicago. Really, really excited! I am honored to be a part of such an amazing project that is providing opportunity for diverse individuals. There really hasn't been something so specific towards diversity, especially on Broadway. That's something to be a part of telling a story about our founding fathers in today's world, in the way that we speak and the way that we look. I am playing Hamilton's wife, Eliza. She really created an awesome legacy.
I'm also working on my EP, which has been a struggle, but I'm super excited with how it's been turning out. It's been two years working on it - finding my sound and message and voice and style. I finally feel like I've come to something. One success really can sometimes be a domino effect. The opportunities have really opened up a lot more. I finally see things that I didn't see before. I'm really excited.

What's your favorite thing in your closet?
My favorite thing in my closet... I go into phases. It's not something that I ever really wear, but I have my Miss America shoes. The designer took eight hours to stone each shoe. I just like looking in them in my closet. They are really pretty.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you? Or, rather, what did a typical Sunday look like for you?
About four months ago, I would have been teaching at Pop Physique in Studio City and then coming back and stuffing my face because I was starving, and I woke up too early that I forgot to eat breakfast. Then probably I would have a session; I'd be writing with somebody or creating on my own.

What's your favorite film?
I love sci-fi. I love The Matrix; I think it's mind blowing. I love that other sci-fi movie… (Thinks) Deception? Inception? Inception! Clearly, that's not my favorite of all favorites, but I just love that style. (Laughs) I love movies that make you think.

What's your favorite album?
Dude, that's hard. Album is a whole different thing than songs. This is cheesy, and it's not really an album that was a sung-through, thought-through album. I love Number One by The Beatles. It's their number ones, so it is a singles album. But, the reason I love it is because I grew up with my Dad listening to it all the time in the car. Every time we would be together in the car, we would always listen to it. My dad has no rhythm or no beat and all I can ever think of when I think of The Beatles is my Dad singing and clapping to a beat that doesn't make any sense.

Who's your favorite artist?
Celine Dion. I've been worshiping her since I was seven. She's a huge inspiration.

Where do you want to travel to?
I really want to go to Indonesia. I would love for that to be my honeymoon. No idea why. I've never been to India. My dad's never been to India. My dad's from Bangladesh, so I have to go to India with my dad, I really want that to happen.

What inspires you?
What inspires me? This feels like a really broad Miss America question. (Laughs) No, not in a bad way! But, shit, this is hard. What inspires me is... people. Their stories. I like to surround myself with people that inspire me.

If you had to invite somebody to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?
Dude, the first person that comes to mind even though I already used her as an example is Celine Dion. I'm clearly really obsessed with her. I admire her voice and technique and work ethic more than anyone in this entire world. She's the only person that makes me hysterically cry. I'm not a celebrity freak out person, but the two times that I've seen her, before I even am about to see her, I start bawling. I want to say someone that's more meaningful or impactful to the world, but that’s the truth.

 
 

What's your astrology sign and does astrology play a part in your life?
I'm a Libra. I think cusp Scorpio. I don't know; I'm not sure. Clearly, it doesn't play a big part of my life. (Laughs) It's a big part of my mom's life. The first time that I met my boyfriend, she had to know his astrology sign to see if we were compatible. I don't know what his sign is still!

What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?
ENTJ

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Loyalty, trustworthiness (that kind of goes hand-in-hand with loyalty), easy-going, and being positive. Loyalty is a huge one for me.

What is your idea of happiness?
This is a little pessimistic: I don't think happiness is ever truly obtained. One can be happy, but I think that you're always striving for more whether that be more kids, more love, more in your career, a bigger house, bigger tangible items. I think that's human nature to always want more, but at the same time I am sure that there are also individuals that are truly content with certain ways that they live. I don't know. I think there's a part of everybody that consistently wants more. Because of that, we can never be satisfied.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Favorite color in life is purple. Favorite color I currently like to wear is blush pink. Like a nude pink. Flower? A rose. It's kind of boring, but I'm not sure. Or, a carnation because they get the job done, but they're cheap.

Do you have a motto?
It is what it is, so fake it till you make it.

For further Ari Afsar related discovery follow her @ariannaafsar.
Check out her website and her music.
See her in Chicago’s Hamilton this fall.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Victor Mazzone - Performing Artist

Intelligentsia Coffee - Silver Lake, Los Angeles

Victor Mazzone is an infectious, enthusiastic presence. He has an unconventional debonair reserve that is slightly unnerving, but just a few moments in his company, you’ll discover an intoxicating charm of The South… and more. He is an expert opera singer and Hoverboard rider, but he’s no social-media veteran. Instead, he seems almost lost in the ever-changing digital daze. But, that’s part of his hard-to-place appeal. We strolled down Sunset Boulevard and stopped at Intelligentsia Coffee to take in the setting Silver Lake sun and chat about being a hipster-but-barely.

What brought you to LA?
My decision to come to LA was an unexpected one. I went to school to study Opera, mainly. And, somewhere along the way, I got sucked into the musical theatre program for better or for worse. It was looking like I was going to move to New York - that’s what everyone in my program was doing. But I got burnt out on musical theatre and wanted to branch into other artistic arenas, so I came to LA for a week to visit a friend who was living in Hollywood at the time. This was a week before I graduated from Northwestern, it was during June gloom. I had never been to Los Angeles, so I came to see if I could tolerate the city and what it felt like to be here. And, then, pretty much on a whim, I said, “Fuck it, I’ll just move to LA.” I didn’t have any prospects, didn’t have an agent, didn’t have anything lined up. My grandmother bought me a car to drive out here. I knew I wanted to be a performing artist. And, I knew that I didn’t want to focus on Opera or musical theatre, so I decided to pursue TV and film.

How do you define yourself career wise?
Now? (Laughs) Usually it’s a long-winded statement. I guess I should be able to answer that question more easily? The most succinct version is “performing artist”. Or, I could say, “Hi I’m Vic, I’m an actor.” I think the more accurate description is performing artist. Or else, it’s, “I’m an actor, a classical singer, I also produce…” It’s too much.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
Hmmm. Yes, but not by anyone who knows me well. I’m not offended by the moniker, but I also don’t identify with it. 

What does being a Millennial mean to you?
(Laughs) God, there are so many stereotypes about being a Millennial that… (Sighs) Well, I identify with some of them. What does it mean to me? I think we were brought up in an interesting time, before cell phones and the internet. We are sort of the last generation to witness the transition into the completely smart-phone, internet dependent age. So, we are in an interesting position. And, in some ways, I feel like I am a complete luddite. And, I want to shun being trapped in my phone all of the time because I catch myself being dependent on it. For the next generation, there’s no concept of the world without the modern luxury and convenience of being able to pull out a device and have everything at your fingertips.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I have this push and pull of often feeling like I masquerade or try to be a part of my generation more than I actually am. Innately, my temperament or spirit or whatever-you-want-to-call-it is in a way kind of old fashioned. (Laughs) Things like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - I participate on a very minimal level. And, not that that is a sign of me being connected to my generation or not because social media doesn’t necessarily define our generation, but I do find that sometimes I feel a sense of -- not a compulsion or like I’m missing out -- but sometimes I find myself trying to participate in those experiences and then I feel like I didn’t do it right or that I missed the point. (Laughs) When I see someone with a beautifully curated Instagram, I can acknowledge that there is substance and kind of an art behind it. I don’t have the interest or the patience to participate on that level, but I don’t think that it’s without merit.

What do you like about living in Silver Lake?
I have lived in Silver Lake for the past five years, and I like it how it’s situated between Elysian and Griffith Park. There are all kinds of great bars, restaurants, and over-priced clothing stores. And I live walking distance from a 99-cent store. They have everything.

What are your favorite spots in Silver Lake?
Cafecito Organico. Pazzo Gelato. Silver Lake Ramen, I have it weekly - always take-out.

How do you get around the city?
I have a car. I drive an automobile. It is an absolute piece of shit. I need to purchase a new one, but I don’t want to right now. 

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
Umm… There’s not really a city in the US that I could imagine living in full-time other than LA. As long as I’m working in film, I will have a place to come home to in LA. But, I like to move around. I like to travel.

What have you been working on recently?
I have been working on the first stage adaptation of Frozen. It’s being produced by Disney. I was involved from its inception in a workshop format last year, and all of the Disney suits loved it and said here’s all of the money and make a full-scale production. We started rehearsals in March, and we opened in late May. It’s been getting a lot of attention for it’s color blind casting, which the director aggressively fought for. Liesl Tommy, look her up. She’s a dream of a woman. I work three or four days a week; it’s very flexible. I play Kai, the Head of House. He’s the Carson of Downton Abbey if you will. I really couldn’t ask for a better day job that affords me the flexibility to pursue other work while still performing and being on stage with wonderful actors in front of 8,000 screaming children on a daily basis. I’m also producing a couple of shorts, and desperately trying to get through post on a feature. There’s no money left! 

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
My toucan suit. It’s a full, multi-colored bird suit complete with beak and wings. You’d be surprised how many occasions I’ve found to wear it. Or maybe you wouldn’t be. 

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
Wake up. Make the coffee. Drive to church in Beverly Hills. Every Sunday. 
I warm up. I sit in the choir loft. And, when they tell me to sing, I sing! They even pay me!
I get home about 12:30pm. I relax and do Sunday things. Maybe go to the park, maybe play some tennis. Have a Vinho Verde mimosa. Then I watch Game of Thrones with all of my friends. And, I have one friend who always makes a mean crumb cake, her grandmother’s recipe. She brings it every week.

What’s your favorite film?
Oh come on… (Laughs) My favorite film as a child was Hook. I still say today that it holds up in my top five. 

What’s your favorite record?
My absolute favorite record is one that I acquired about a year ago. It’s called Music for a Medieval Day. My other is Echoes from a 15th Century French Cathedral

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Oh God. It’s dinner… honestly, just to satisfy my curiosity, I’d have to invite Michael Jackson. There are just too many unanswered questions. I have a whole list. And, I assume if I invited him to dinner it would be from the grave. So, he would have already lived and died, and I would be able to talk to him with full knowledge of his life and death. And, I could share with him that I secretly visited his ranch and swam in his pool. No, I was not invited as a child. 

Where do you want to travel to?
I want to go to Iran.

What inspires you?
People. The people in my life and the people I haven’t met yet. The relationships that I have and cherish and want to nurture and support. I feel excited to get up and make things with my friends. That is my religion if you will. It’s to have meaningful relationships and connections with people on a daily basis. And to use theatre and art as a way to share that with others. 

What is your astrological sign and does astrology play a part in your life?
My astrological sign is Scorpio, moon in Libra, and also Libra rising. I enjoy astrology. I don’t think it plays a part in my life necessarily in terms of determining anything. I’ve been told I am a textbook Scorpio. I don’t think that I’m manipulative. It’s fun, pleasant conversation. Also a scapegoat for bad behavior.

What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?
ENFJ

What are your favorite qualities in a human being?
Loyalty. Being genuine. I don’t like facades and affectations that guard from the actual meat of the person. What else do I value? Playfulness. And a healthy dose of optimism rooted in reality. 

What is your idea of happiness?
Oh my. (Sighs) My idea of happiness… I think that it’s changed over the years, and the answer might be slightly different in five or ten years. The thing that won’t change is that I want to be surrounded by people that I love and trust and admire. And, I want to wake up everyday with something to look forward to in terms of the people in my life, the work I’m doing. And, I want to feel like it means something. If I can manage to maintain all of those things, I think I will be happy. Also, I want to be able to pay my rent.

 
 

What is your favorite color and flower?
My favorite color is a shade of blue, let’s say turquoise. Maybe cerulean? No let’s not get carried away. My favorite flower is probably the bougainvillea. 

Who is your favorite artist?
Honestly, the first thing that came to my mind was Tilda Swinton. Let’s just leave it at that.

Do you have a motto?
To the victor go the spoils. 

For further Victor Mazzone related discovery follow him @vmazz1914  and @victormazzone.
Read more about Frozen the musical at California Adventure here.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Camille Cotteverte - Director

The Americana - Glendale, CA
House - Glassell Park, Los Angeles

Camille Cotteverte is always prepared, always humble as could be, and always 30 minutes late (except to work: she’s early). She is the kind of human who’s not okay with just being okay — once a perfectionist, always a perfectionist. At times she seems shy but lean in a little closer, and she’s feisty and loquacious. Originally from Paris, Camille sees Los Angeles with fresh French eyes, and she has a tremendous bullshit radar. Camille took us to The Americana on a rainy day. We drank white wine while making fun of 14-year-olds wearing fake Yeezies.

What brought you to LA?
Change of scenery and opportunity. It was now or never when it happened. I was at the end of one job, and I just decided that I wanted to see if there was something, not necessarily better but different, somewhere else. In terms of finding my way, I don’t think I have found it yet, but I am still pretty much looking. I have been in LA for three years, and I moved here from France. In September it will be four years. (Gasps)

How do you define yourself? 
Well, right now, when people ask me what the ultimate goal is, I say, “I want to be a director.” And, I just want to work, so I basically take anything that is going to be on set or related to production. But, yeah, when people ask me what the end goal is, it’s directing.

Do you say, “I am a director”?
No. I say, “I want to be a director.” I never say, “I am…” I think it’s left over of the French… I mean, until I win an Oscar, nobody in France wants me to call myself a director. So yeah, you really have to take some steps and get critical acclaim before you can call yourself anything, I guess.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
I don’t think so. Maybe I don’t talk to people enough. Maybe they call me that behind my back. It’s one of those trendy way to identify a group and make fun of them. Like any kind of little cultural group, there are good things and bad things. I don’t think I would care that much if people called me something. I’d be like, “Okay, cool. Good. That’s great!”

What does being a Millennial mean to you?
I have trouble actually associating myself with my generation even though more and more I’m like, “Oh, I do that too.” I have a problem with the Millennials who are too entitled. Like, thinking that things are supposed to happen to them. I’m not sure what that term means or who it refers to. I guess I am one somehow. I don’t know.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
That’s one of the things that has been really hard for me: to really connect with my generation and feel like I am part of it. It’s a me problem rather than my generation’s problem. For the longest time I can think of, I haven’t been participating in the things from my age group. I feel disconnected to an extent. Part of me wishes I could have been more... wait, let me work on my English… Parts of me wish that I could have been more conformed to what other people my age were going through, but that just never really happened until recently.
It was exactly the same back in France. Most of my late teens and early twenties, I was always hanging out with people older than me, like 10 or 20 years older. My first roommate was 20 years older than me, and we would just hang out and have dinner, like people. Like, I’ve never been through the phase, drink myself silly.

What do you love about living in Glassell Park?
I love that I’m living up a hill, and I have an amazing view. The sunset is amazing up there. I like that it’s close to all of my friends. It’s a really cool little place. I recently moved from across the street from The Grove. It was really central, but it took so long to get to the other side of the city.

What are your favorite spots in Glassell Park or around there?
I really like Gingergrass. It’s like my favorite thing in the world. Wok Tossed Noodles with Beef is amazing. Silverlake Ramen but that’s not original; it’s on my way back from work. I haven’t explored all of the spots yet. Habitat, a coffee shop, is just down the hill from me, and it’s pretty cool.

How do you get around the city?
I drive! I have a little Prius, which has been a life-saver. I vowed to never drive in Paris again. I learned to drive there with the sole purpose to be able to drive here. The difference is that in Paris people drive very aggressively - there’s pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles. Here, people are stupid. (Laughs) It’s like, “Oh my God, it’s raining!” But, it’s not that complicated; you don’t even have to shift gears! I’m trying to work on my road rage because sometimes… I get a little upset with people being assholes.

What have you been working on recently?
I have this short film I would really like to make happen called The Martins. I have everything ready; I just really need a producer right now. I need to branch out with people, maybe apply to some grants. I am working on a feature script that’s called Chiaroscuro. I’m doing research for it and started writing. It’s a family drama from the 1950’s until now with three generations of women. And, I am working in production.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
For the foreseeable future, yeah. We will see if it’s a lifelong commitment. But, for now, I will stay here.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
My favorite thing in my closet right now… I think would be my new jacket. The pink one. I’ve had it a couple of weeks. It’s new-ish.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
It depends. There is no typical. If I don’t have anything to do, I am going to stay in bed really late because I am usually tired. Then I’ll watch something, a good movie that I haven't seen, and if the dogs are home they will be there cuddling with me. If I want to get myself out of the house, which I usually do, I go to a coffee shop and get some work done.

What’s your favorite film?
This is the hardest question ever. I really, really like Carol. I think it’s a perfect movie. I really like The Hours. I have my periods of this one and this one.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Sophie Calle.

Where do you want to travel to?
I want to go to Canada, the French part. Montreal. It looks so pretty.

What inspires you?
The works of others mostly. What other people do and put out in the world. People’s behaviors. What they do and why they do it.

What astrology sign are you? Does astrology play a part in your life?
Aries. It plays absolutely no part. It’s funny to think about. I remember in high school, we would have those free newspapers in the subway, and we would read them outloud and joke about it. But, I’m not mystical. That’s the last thing I would think about.

 
 

What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?
INFJ.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Kindness and honesty. It’s really cheesy, but it’s two things that you can’t overlook anymore. I encounter so many people who are just rude or who have no social manners. And, it really bugs me now to have to deal with those people. I don’t want to be talking to you if you do not have basic awareness of what is around you and what other people are doing or feeling. Kindness is often overlooked. How do you say…? You don’t celebrate someone for being kind, but I think we should. It can really make a difference.

What is your idea of happiness?
When I was studying acting, there was this class where I was supposed to print out pictures on what success and happiness feel like. And, it freaked me out so much, so I didn’t attend that class. I did have stuff ready, but I couldn’t share it. My idea of happiness: balance. Finding balance between all of the things. Not only being happy in work, but also being happy in your personal life. Finding time for both.

What’s your favorite color and flower?
When I was young, my favorite color was yellow. Like really. To the point that my grandma would point out yellow things, like yellow fields. It became a running joke; I hated it. Then I got dark and broody. I think I like a really dark shade of pink. Really nice, pretty, understated pink. My favorite flower? Sunflowers. I like sunflowers. I don’t think I really have a favorite flower, but that’s as close as it’s going to get. 

Who is your favorite artist?
Sophie Calle is my favorite artist in the conventional sense. I also really like Cate Blanchett because she’s really the whole thing. The consciousness of who she is and what she is doing, and the kind of impact she can have. That’s very rare to find someone so self-aware. I really like her choices so far. I wish I could give you the name of a favorite female director, but I’m blanking. (Laughs)

Do you have a motto?
I think Mark Twain said it… “They thought it was impossible, so they did it.” I really like that. [The quote is actually: "They did not know it was impossible so they did it.” But, SND likes the way Camille remembered it better.] 
There are two really cute dogs in front of us, and I wish I could just pet them. But, they are probably really wet.

For further Camille Cotteverte related discovery follow @caaaam
Check out her self-portraits series here at SunnynookDrive.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Lisa McNeely - Renaissance Woman

Studio & House - Highland Park, Los Angeles

Lisa McNeely is authentic, raw, yet dreamlike, like an Eggleston photograph. Her studio is an organized mess of found treasures, which she navigates with a dance in her step while puffing the end of a neighbor’s joint. She is a bold and confident force - the kind of person who you suspect has been through a few lifetimes though her youthful energy is undeniable. Lisa is a multi-media artist and performer whose life is whimsical and real.

What brought you to LA and how did you find your way?
Mostly my siblings because they are here, and I knew I would have a strong support system. Also, I needed a bigger stage. I had been in Northern California for almost a decade. It’s a great, little community, but there are not many jobs paying artists to do anything.

How do you define yourself career wise?
I’m a Renaissance Woman. That’s a big factor playing against me being in Los Angeles - everybody wants to brand themselves. That’s a big part of getting paid and getting hired for shit out here, if it's known that you do this one thing really, really well. And, I’m just not like that. I do a lot of things very well, and it’s super important to me to keep up every part of my craft - all facets of it. I am not just a dancer. I am not just an actor. I don’t want to be just a fabricator. I don’t want to be just a puppeteer. I want to be Lisa Mother Fucking McNeely that does all of those things on a regular basis. That’s the thing.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
Not that I'm aware of, but I wouldn’t take it too offensively because... I am pretty hip, but I do believe at the same time, it has a lot of negative connotations in this time, in our generation it is defined as someone who is doing something that is cool because it’s been established that it’s cool. 

What does being a millennial mean to you?
Being jaded and disenfranchised. Alienated and lied to. Millennials represent a prime example of the ‘existential dilemma’. We millennials encompass - or rather, were forced to confront all of that.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I feel mostly connected through technology and social media because we are the first wave of experimentation with it and sadly that's how most of us interact with each other. And therefore, I also feel disconnected from it because I love nature, being wild, and it’s really hard to live in a technological metropolis for me. I find it difficult. I don't want to look at my phone or computer all day. I am super lucky to have found the spot I live in; it's wild and full of nature. Not that - I don’t think that millennials are not into nature; we just may not have had that much exposure… this is hard because it is a generational thing, right? As a generation we are even represented through technology. Some have coined us as "The Oregon Trail Generation". We were the first ones to have computers in our schools and to play video games to help us learn. But, we also learned how to write in cursive and everything else for the most part was still analog. You still had to write. We weren’t allowed to use websites as references; you actually had to go look up a book. (Laughs) Do the whole bibliography thing. So, we are interesting that way. We still know what it’s like to do physical labor rather than receive total instant rewards of technological convenience. 

What do you love about living in Highland Park?
We are pretty much at that the base of Mount Washington right here. There’s a Self Realization Fellowship Center at the top of the mountain. Elysian Park is also really close. I have this beast, so it's nice that I’m able to walk him around without a leash. Nobody really cares except for people who fear for their little dogs. But, my beast Link is so much better off-leash and truly has no interest in other dogs, especially little yappy ones. They scare him. 

What are your favorite spots in Highland Park?
I don’t really go out much, due to limited funds. (Laughs) I do love Footsies, which I just recently learned is curated and ran by the same people who run Cha Chas, which is another place I really love. I like the aesthetic: beautiful, over-the-top, glamour women, drag queens, Mexican decor - darkly lit. Love that shit. 

 
 

How do you get around the city?
I have a car, but it is an ‘81 Honda Civic wagon. It has some issues. But, I do live right next to the Metro Station, so I take the Metro a lot. I love the train; it takes just about as long as it would take me in a car except I can read and do other things than drive, which is nice. Blessed be public transportation or else I don’t think I would ever read. I would like to ride a bike. I possess a bike, but I am also mildly terrified of riding my bike in this city. But, I know that would be a good mode of transportation for me. 

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
I am in LA, so yes I can see myself here in LA. For how long is a whole different question. There is much to do here, much to see, and I currently have time and patience to allow myself to grow in this place. I grow fond of it more everyday, and somedays I wonder what I’m doing here. 

What is your favorite thing in your closet?
My closet is full of all of these rad pieces that I never get to wear. Right now, I think my favorite is this Naval military fancy-suit-jacket. Though I don’t wear it very often because it could be viewed as offensive, and I just don’t feel like dealing with people most of the time. But, sometimes it’s good to wear it. 

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
Sunday, I work at The Natural History Museum or The La Brea Tar Pits either puppeteering or hosting a Sabertooth Cat Ice Age Encounter show or a Dinosaur Encounter show featuring a Triceratops and/or a Tyrannosaurus Rex. After that, I usually come home and play as much music as I possibly can. That’s the thing that is motivating me right now. I shoddily play bass and guitar. My skills are pretty rudimentary and that’s okay because it’s just another vessel or tool to help me tell stories. And, I love to sing. Singing, singing, singing all day, everywhere. I’m really lucky my father is a musician. He can play any instrument he wants; he just picks it up. I do not possess that skill. But, with enough time and practice, I can play any instrument well and accompany myself. 

What are you working on right now?
I am working on a project for WIFE (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely) Enter The Cave. I’ve built headdresses for them and am singing along with my two good friends, aka singing sisters, Blake Perlman and Danny Axley. Upcoming shows in August at Mack Sennett Studios.

What’s your favorite film?
I’m just going to say that for the day… Drop Dead Fred.

What’s your favorite album?
Again, for the day… Yellow Brick Road by the one-and-only Elton John.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Robin Williams. I’m really upset that he’s not around to meet or talk to. 

Where do you want to travel to?
Italy. But, I have no plans to go anytime soon, since I’m afraid I will never return!

What inspires you?
So many things. I like stories. Things that inspire a story or tell a story are the things that I find myself most compelled towards and also I find myself wanting to create.

What’s your astrology sign and does astrology play a part in your life?
Sure. Call me foo fooey if you will, I can sometimes be that way. I can be philosophical like that. Shit, that’s what I chose to study when I went to school. (Laughs) Like, if I’m going to sit through 4 years of academia, at least I am going to read stuff that interests me, which is the why and how. My sign is Virgo. The reason that I put some faith in astrology is because I believe that all planetary bodies definitely have some kind of gravitational pull. And, our bodies are mostly water, so it would be idiotic to think that they don’t have some kind of pull or sway over the way we function, be it daily or based on the day that you are born. (Laughs) But, yeah, I’m a Virgo. I’m very Virgo. I think my order in the birth canal has more influence over me than my sign, just having siblings is a big part of who you become, who I am becoming. For example the way one interacts with those sibling signs. And, I’m the middle child, to put things into perspective for you. 

What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?
ENFP

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Honesty and vulnerability. The best form of every human is one that is fully exposed. 

What is your idea of happiness?
An ecstatic state of no cares or worries - that beautiful moment when you’re not thinking about much.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Again, these are daily things. I would never ever have an all-time favorite of any of these things. Magenta. And, the passion flower. 

Who’s your favorite artist?
Death to these questions! Favorite artist? I’m going to say Michael Jackson.

Do you have a motto?
Laugh 'til you cry. Cry 'til you laugh. 

Is there anything else you want to say?
Sometimes life is scary. Sometimes life is hard. But, it’s ultimately about finding joy, and that joy in those things that will make us better human beings. Just be honest and feel it. No masks, no hiding - unless they are used creatively.

For further Lisa McNeely related discovery follow on Instagram @wisa_woo.
Check out WIFE.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Coleman Moore - Musician

Studio - Koreatown, Los Angeles

Coleman Moore is yyyounggg, a musical artist and producer. His Ktown studio is gently flooded by a neon purple heart, and he, himself, exudes an alluring, luminous glow. In love with opera at an incredibly young age, Coleman is now working in electronic music, and he surrounds himself with synths, cords, children’s musical instruments, and any object that makes noises he finds intriguing.
He drinks percolated coffee with half and half out of a Sonic Youth mug and speaks calmly with a purposeful cadence punctuated by self-overlaps.
Coleman has a blissful and warm energy - the kind of human who is quite inexplicable.

What brought you to LA?
I came to LA because I knew some people who I thought were doing things I wanted to do out here. It had always appealed to me as an expansive place of possibility, so I came out when I was about 25. I wanted to start a new life in a new city for the first time since I was 18. So, I came out to the land of opportunity. (Laughs)

How do you define yourself in a career way?
I write music. I can be a composer. I can be a producer. A songwriter. Even a recordist. Electronic music technician of sorts.
I say, “I write music.”

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Have you ever been called a hipster?
I’ve been associated with hipsters… in college, I’m pretty sure my crowd was called the hipsters. I think it’s petty. It’s kind of an attempt to differentiate yourself within the same socioeconomic class generally or to draw lines where you wish there were lines but there kind of aren’t between you and someone else. It’s a divisive term and doesn’t really apply to anything important.

What does being a millennial mean to you?
It means being mobile and agile. And having the privilege and drive to explore the frontiers of what it means to work. It is how one works, how one makes a living, and how one relates to technology. And, having a general fluency with all of that makes you a millennial.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I feel pretty exemplary, not of the stereotypes, but of the narrative of my generation. I’ve lived in major cities and worked in technology and am good with a computer and am an artist and have worked mostly remotely all of my life, freelance. So in terms of those social, whatever, boxes - I feel like I fit into well. But, I feel a little disconnected from my generation on how I relate to social media. I’m sure a lot of us feel that way. I’ve felt a little out of touch. I haven’t fully embraced or figured out how to operate, to stay connected and visible via the internet. It looks like other people have, but maybe they haven’t either.

What do you love about working in Ktown?
I’ve always liked that there’s a big confluence of aesthetics. You get kind of these small Korean micromalls; your Mexican markets; you get auto-repairs mixed with spas mixed with burrito places mixed with art and offices. There’s even a giant bank building that’s like a monolithic, crazy beautiful building right down the street. And, there’s lots of other high rises in the area. But, it’s not a Downtown. It’s still got the long, broad boulevards of LA. It can be crowded; it’s not a peaceful place. The energy is high, so if you’re an Angeleno who spends time in The Hills or more secluded areas, Ktown is a good place to get into the thick of it all and feel plugged in.

What are some of your favorite spots in Ktown?
I love Cactus #2. I just had a burrito there. You know, a lot of things have come and gone. There used to be this pizza place down the street that was super convenient for a quick fix. The Monte Carlo is a great bar unlike any other I’ve ever known. It’s decrepit. I love the Tom and Tom’s chain. But unfortunately the one nearby closed, so I don’t really go there anymore.

How do you get around the city?
I drive a car.

Do you see yourself staying in LA? 
Um, yea. Yes, I do.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
My closet? Probably my large blue sweater. It drapes over my body in a way that I like.

What is a typical Sunday like for you?
Usually wake up and make some coffee at the house, where I live with my girlfriend. Maybe do some things around the house then usually come to the studio. Sunday nights are perhaps my favorite times to make music… I like to work late then because it feels like the most peaceful time of the world in general, everything else in the world feels asleep. So, it’s an exciting time to create. 

What have you been working on recently?
I’ve been working on writing songs, using instrumentals I've made and think are exciting. I am developing them into 100% songs that match the excitement of the music.

What’s your favorite film?
Spring Breakers.

What’s your favorite record?
Astral Weeks by Van Morrison.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Who do I want to ask stuff? “Let’s have dinner, so-and-so…” Maybe Jerry Seinfeld? (Laughs)

Where do you want to travel to?
I’d like to go to Vancouver again and New Orleans. And, for the first time, I’d like to travel to maybe Brazil, Sao Paulo. Or, Montreal. Oh! Or, Berlin.

What inspires you?
Sound.
The feeling of different sounds grating against one another is exciting to me because there’s so much possibility for two or more textures to add together and create something new. Even two very simple waves at different frequencies, causing their special sensation, a function of their ratio, there’s such a mystery to that. That inspires me on an instantaneous level. And, you can zoom out and create patterns from those sounds as they enter and exit and bury each other and open up and bloom into one another.
I’m also so inspired by very basic, true emotions, run-of-the-mill, populist, this-is-life and we’re-getting-through-it heartstrings type of sentiments. Teenage yearning. Struggle and transcendence.

What is your astrology sign and how does it play a part in your life?
Gemini. It’s a subject of conversation. It’s intriguing. I’ve always thought it was worthwhile to identify archetypes and cut and paste pieces and plug them together. Astrology allows for more complicated stuff than just having one sun sign and that’s probably where any truth or usefulness lies -- being able to sum together different personality types and have your unique identity. But, I am not sure if it’s something to take for granted.

What is your Myer-Briggs Personality Type?
INFP.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Enthusiasm. Willingness to experiment and jump on board something and not knowing what it is. I guess that’s courage? A love for what could be. A sense of wonder.

What’s your idea of happiness?
Being able to explore creatively everyday. To work at creating something and then actually derive satisfaction from its existence when it’s done.

What’s your favorite color and flower?
My favorite color is blue. My favorite flower is a rose.

Who is your favorite artist?
Maybe Richard Wagner.

Do you have a motto?
I guess I don’t. I mean, if it makes you laugh, it’s probably good.

For further Coleman Moore related discovery check out his Soundcloud and visit his website.
And, follow him @yyyounggg and @whywhywhy.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Kailee McGee - Artist

Apartment/Studio - Atwater Village, Los Angeles
The Americana - Glendale, Los Angeles

Kailee McGee moves quietly and pours a generous, welcoming cup of tenderness to all who visit her space. Her conversation ricochets between jolly laughs out loud and animated descriptions of character minutiae. She is always affectionate, subtly sure of herself, and determined to discover a gem in everything she encounters. When we arrived at her studio, tucked past a veil of leaf and vine, we found it to be a homey wooden shed, at once austere and playful — much like Kailee herself.
Whether working in film or internet media, Kailee creates experiences that effortlessly participate in today’s paradigms of cultural production while serving a healthy does of side-eye to the motivations, authenticity, and implications of making content in our world. We ended the day with a brisk ride, sunroof down, to her home, on a peaceful street in Atwater, and then we grabbed hot dogs — on sticks! — at The Americana at Brand.

What brought you to LA?
I moved to LA from New York about two years ago, after being in New York on and off for about seven years. In the midst of those years, I also lived in Sydney, Florida, and California, but New York continued to suck me back. At a certain point, I realized I needed to move on, so I decided to head to Los Angeles.

How do you define yourself… career wise?
Now I just say “artist”. Actually, sometimes I still say “filmmaker”. But, I live my life as art, so the stuff that I do encompasses much more than just film. So… I am an artist.

Have you ever been called a Hipster?
Yes. Especially when I was living in Brooklyn, hanging out in Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. Just being in a place where there’s a lot of hip, young people, no matter what you are wearing, people are going to find a way to see you as “something” - like, anything can be "Norm Core" with the right perspective. I don’t mind the term [hipster]. I think it’s funny. 

What does being a Millennial mean to you?
For awhile, I didn’t think I was a Millennial. I used it as a demeaning term for slightly younger people. When I found out that I classify as a Millennial too, I embraced it as a derogatory but affectionate slang. I call things that I love in my life, “dumb” or “stupid”. I tell my cat all of the time, “you’re the dumbest thing I know.” And, that’s my way of saying, “I’m infatuated with you, and I love watching you exist.” I use Millennial that way too, I guess.
Like, some of the shit that annoys me about people my age disgusts me. You turn around at a restaurant and everyone has a phone glued to his nose. It’s a bizarre dream. There’s only so much revulsion you can take before you force yourself to see the beauty in the madness. What am I going to do in reaction? Get a landline? Being disconnected is so sexy. And, so cool. But, for a lot of the things I do in my life, I almost have to be connected. A lot of my art is created on and for devices.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
We’re all swimming in the same bowl of technology dependency - the ease of which things are documented as easily and readily. As a person who grew up before my cell phone had a camera, I was actually carrying a camera-camera around. Now, I feel excited that everyone (air quotes) has a camera in their pocket and have the tools and opportunity to document and collaborate, whether people see their pictures as art or not. I see it all as art. And, that is inspiring to me, how people use their devices.
I do feel disconnected with sort of, like, female-shit in my generation. Like, the festival girls, and the endless selfies, and the “literallys” of the world. In my art, I seek to find a way to participate in that and to document part of my life like that. It’s a kinda-conscious commentary on some of that shit that I find fucking annoying. I don’t normally do that-fucking-annoying-shit, but I want to do fucking-annoying-shit because fucking-annoying is relevant. And, my generation is fucking-annoying but in a cool way.

What do you love about living in Atwater Village?
I love that my street and neighborhood are super residential, yet a seven minute walk away is The Strip [Atwater’s main drag on Glendale]. There are coffee spots, bars, restaurants, bookstores, and yoga joints. I live by a nature-y part of the LA River. There’s a bridge that goes over the river and another one that straddles the 5 FWY. It’s good energy over there. 

What are your favorite spots in Atwater Village? 
Proof Bakery. Atwater Farmer’s Market. TeeGee’s. The Roost. Out of the Closet.

How do you get around the city?
I drive my car, and I love it. But, I miss being a sardine in the subway sometimes - the stimulation of digesting every kind of human daily.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
Yes. I also could see myself maybe living a little bit outside of LA, but I fucking love LA, dude. Maybe I’ll move to Mexico one day. I don’t know if that’s a dream or my near future...

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
My brother and I walk to Proof and grab coffee. Then we go to the Farmer’s Market, gotta get those fresh-ass eggs. That’s the ideal beginning of my Sunday, but there isn’t really a typical one. I might go to my studio and work. Last Sunday, I went to Apex Electronics and diddled around Burbank.

What have you been working on most recently?
I just finished a three month stint in New York writing and producing new media kids content for Toca Boca. And, I directed a few things for them too. Everyday I make internet and social media art. I have to creatively keep busy. Something.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
I just went through all of my belongings and gave away half of my stuff, so there are a lot less things in there now. How can I not say my Millennial Instinct one-of-a-kind, jean jacket?

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Andy Kaufman. That would be one fascinating dinner.

What’s your favorite film?
The Birdcage. It raised me.

What’s your favorite record?
Bloom by Beach House. But, I always skip the song, “Other People”.

Where do you want to travel to?
I want to go to Barcelona and Cuba. Japan seems to be the hot ticket right now, so I don’t want to say that. 

What inspires you?
Human beings.
How people present themselves on social media.
People's morning routines.
Twins.
The weather.

What is your idea of happiness?
This is a tough but important one. For me, it’s not really an idea. It’s more of an image or a moment or a feeling. Satisfaction in the big-stuff and the little-stuff at once. Finding the perfect balance between true productivity, life structure, and pure spontaneity.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
What I think makes a really solid person is someone who is honest, loyal, generous, passionate, hilarious, empathetic, and hard working. That is asking alot-alot though.

What’s your Myer-Briggs personality type?
ENFJ.

What is your astrology sign? What role does astrology play in your life?
I am a Virgo. It’s a fun way to categorize humans. For awhile, I thought astrology meant a lot. And, when I was dating people, I was like, “OMG. I cannot date him because he’s a-- whatever.” Last summer, I had a revelation that astrology is bogus. Now, I'm stuck in between... I’ve only ever been in love with Geminis or Cancers, so does that mean something?  I love the world where it’s true because that’s fucking sick.

Who is your favorite artist?
It’s romantic to say your favorite someone is long and dead. Playwright Sarah Kane is amazing even though her body of work is very small, but she killed herself quite young. I don’t know, suicide is a hard thing to not... I love the idea of my favorite artist being someone who is living in the universe in the present along with me. There’s something special with connecting with someone who is alive. In that vein, today, I’ll say: Sophie Calle.

What’s your favorite color and flower?
Toss up between red and yellow. I’ll say red. Favorite flower? Rose. I’m all about roses. I have this weird rose bush outside my front door, and it sporadically blooms like ten roses at once. I am infatuated with looking at them, smelling them, and taking pictures of them.

Do you have a motto?
“If it’s not a yes; it’s a no.” My mom always said that when she was shoe shopping. Now I apply it to my whole life. It makes things easy… easier.

For further Kailee related discovery check out her website and follow @kittypawsxoxo
Scope this cool thing, which Kailee didn't talk about.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

megan rose greene - filmmaker

Apartment - Atwater Village, Los Angeles
Rose Bowl Flea - Pasadena, Los Angeles

Megan Rose Greene has a classic movie star pout that quickly changes from severe to silly as she talks in enthusiastic bursts. She is immediately warm and chummy, but there is a darkness in her eyes that warns "don't fuck with me". Her Atwater Village apartment is a manicured yet folksy asylum from the plastic world which she dips into. She made us coffee and apologized for using tap water, then she took us on an adventure to Pasadena's Rose Bowl Flea Market. Megan Rose is working hard to preserve her weirdness and doing a damn good job.

What brought you to LA?
I have been in Los Angeles going on nine years. Going to school in Chicago, everyone graduated and went to LA or New York, and I was really sick of being cold. I was, like, “LA, let’s do this!” I could have gone to New York, but it wasn’t… I was getting interviews with agents, who were all assholes, so I was like, “Fuck New York.” So, I came to LA, for the entertainment industry. (Laughs)

How do you define yourself career-wise?
I’m loving the word “filmmaker” recently. It’s so all-inclusive. It kind of encompasses everything, whether I’m working freelance as a 1st AD, or I’m writing, or I’m directing. The only thing it’s not is my first love, which is acting. 

Do you ever introduce yourself as an actor?
Not anymore, no. It’s mortifying.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
You know what? I have never been called a hipster. But, I call myself a hipster. No one has ever pointed at me, and been like, “That is a hipster.” Absolutely, I identify as a hipster. Everyone of our generation with a concept of cool is a hipster. That’s what being socially aware looks like for our generation. And, I know that some other people have disdain for hipsters and the community of hipsters, but I don’t think the disdain is actually directed toward hipsters. I think it’s directed towards normal, grubby assholes who are, like, imitating hipster, which is such a hipster thing to say and collapses in on itself, but, um, yea. I believe in hipsterdom.

What does being a millennial mean to you?
I don’t know. It’s very confusing to me. I feel like millennial is, like, five years younger than me. I’m millennial cusp. Millennial gets tagged with self-absorption and a real, unhealthy interest in technology. But, I really support technology. I’m, like, waiting for the singularity. But, I don’t know about millennials. I don’t know. I’m not sure.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
Huh. I feel very connected. It’s hard not to feel connected when you are bombarded, like willfully so, like participate in the bombardment of everything everyone is doing. And, I know there’s a lot of disdain, again, for people who tell you what they had for breakfast. But, like, I was a kid who wrote everything down. I kept a quote book. I had anxiety if I was not able to remember things. And, so to hear that Brian Bickford from elementary school just got married, like, I would have never known that without the kind of connectivity that our generation has. And, I am super into that. It’s not information that I need to know, but I would rather know than wonder. I would rather have the onslaught of what idiot A, B, and C had for breakfast, but also know that Brian Bickford got married.

Do you care what Brian Bickford had for breakfast?
Of course not. But, I am not offended when anyone posts any of this mundane shit.

What do you love about living in Atwater?
Atwater is like Hufflepuff. It’s not trying to be too fancy, but it’s got really nice and well crafted establishments. And, it’s not concerned with its surrounding neighborhoods. Silverlake is always trying to do everybody up all of the time: “We’re fancier than Santa Monica.” Whatever, they are Slytherin.
But, what I love most about Atwater is that everyone is buddies. All the shop owners know each other. There’s the same corner that everyone is on. People have made it a part of their lives. Everyone is a regular in every establishment. It’s so loving. It’s still East LA; it’s not totally gentrified yet, so you get more voices than just 20-30’s white people like me. It’s a wholesome place with good taste.

What are some of your favorite spots?
Individual Medley. Treehaus. Jacknkife. Some of the best food in Los Angeles is in Atwater Village. I’m looking at you, Proof Bakery. What they make is unreal, like top game, like Farmshop, Huckleberry cannot hold a candle to this place. That’s my fav, fav spot. My boys at Kaldi are pretty right, too. They’re getting in the popup game.
Heartbeat House is great because you can dance your little ass off. A lot of people getting down and weird with Zumba without anyone showing off. There are 55-year-old ladies with knee problems who hobble into class and hobble through the class. And, it pollutes the whole street with Merengue music all of the time, which is righteous and hilarious.

How do you get around the city?
I drive. It’s fine. I just don’t go to Hollywood. I hate going to Hollywood. It’s just going to get worse. I just don’t drive at certain times, it’s fine.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
Absolutely. I could see maybe moving to New York or London at some point. And, you go to a place and you don’t know if you’re gonna get stuck there, but, I couldn’t imagine never coming home to LA.

What is your favorite thing in your closet?
Well, my short, immediate answer would be this hot pink ball gown that I bought for $8 at this Veteran’s Thrift Store. I have used that thing for so many shoots and Halloweens. It’s a treasure. And, it’s, like, a Quinceañera dress or something for a girl that was my size, so some six-foot-tall sixteen-year-old. (Laughs) It was $80, but I either took the tag off or rubbed out the zero. Anyway, it was suppose to be $80, but I just robbed those Veterans. I needed that dress. And I wasn’t going to give them $80 for it. Sorrrrrry.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
Brunch. Ideally some outside time, I’ve got a Huntington membership. Brunch is the most important one though. Going out or making it.

What have you been working on recently?
I am writing two different feature films, and they are both comedies. Well, actually one of them isn’t really a comedy. That’s fine. I also just acted in this crazy Virtual Reality Rom-Traum, what a sick genre name, right? It’s super raw, and I am naked butt ass most of the time, but it’s ugly naked, not sexy naked. I’d lose my mind if it were sexy naked, like a Bond Girl. And because it’s Virtual Reality, like, any person in the headset can just, like, look at my puss the whole time. It’s fine. There is, like, no theatrical content being done for VR right now, it’s totally trailblazing.

What’s your favorite film?
Difficult. Short, immediate answer. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

What is your favorite record?
LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening. Masterpiece.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Oh my God. Umm. Oh, shit. Vita SackVille-West would be pretty right. Or Louis C.K. but I would be asking him out to dinner more than inviting him.

Where do you want to travel to?
Oh, everywhere. There’s not a place I don’t want to go. I would like to pretend I have some roots somewhere and go see Ireland. And, right now, I want to go to Japan.

What inspires you?
Food. What inspires me? There’s that feeling of inspiration you get, and that’s food mostly or, like, a grand vista. But then, what I actually make things about is always men I’m interested in or stupid things that have happened to me.

What is your astrology sign and how does astrology play a part in your life?
I’m a Pisces, moon in Capricorn. Astrology plays a pretty big part in my life. I am a believer. I am an atheist but I believe in Astrology, go figure. And this is the best science I have ever heard - I am not pretending that astrology is a science - but, somebody was like, different grapes in different parts of the world that are grown at different times - vintners are so obsessed with that, why would you think that where and what time you were born wouldn’t affected you? You’re just water like the rest of the planet. It’s not like I follow it, but if someone says Mercury is in retrograde, I’ll be like, “Oh, that’s why all of these things are going wrong.” So, it’s for fun. Romance… all of the time. In fact, my ex, I asked him if he was a Taurus, because I was only looking for a Taurus, and he was a Taurus, and that was a disaster. So, I should probably listen a little more closely to the stars and find myself a good Scorpio with a good head on his shoulders, if one of those exists.

What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?
ENFJ.

What are your favorite qualities in a human being?
Open eyes. Somebody you can commune with. I have snobbish taste. There’s some quote I’m going to fuck up from Ira Glass about someone who is an artist - this isn’t even a quote just the general jist: you as an artist make shit, then you refine your taste, and then you look back at the shit you made, and you’re like, that’s horrible, but your taste is more refined now, so you just keep refining your taste, refining your taste, and your art gets better.
The people that I roll with have impossibly high taste, standards for themselves and each other and for the world. I like people who keep honing their taste. And, I like people who care about things. I like to see some fire, something more boiling than lukewarm.

What is your idea of happiness?
Making art and having enough money to not worry about making money. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it absolutely can.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Obligatorily my favorite color is green and flower is rose because my name is Megan Rose Greene. But, neither of those is true. Red is absolutely my favorite color. Favorite flower is the Monte Casino Aster.

Who is your favorite artist?
I mean, Streep. That bitch is a classy broad. There’s nothing you can do to touch that.

Do you have a motto?
A motto? No, not really? Ignorance is not bliss, live the examined life? I dunno, man. I get wary of sound bytes

For further Megan Rose related discovery dive into her social media and follow her @meganrosegreene
Read more about things Megan wanted to talk about but didn't talk about here.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Weston Westenborg - Problem Solver

Los Angeles Athletic Club - Downtown, Los Angeles

Weston Westenborg is a pretty sweet name. We met up at his second home, The Los Angeles Athletic Club in Downtown LA on an overcast Sunday afternoon. Weston works in tech and thinks a lot about the future, but his affection for the past and tradition is beyond endearing. He is also a representative on the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council, which is a pretty big deal to us here at SND. Weston’s enthusiasm for life and the things he loves is infectious.

What brought you to LA, and how did you find your way?
(Sighs) Well, I’m not really sure I’ve found my way. What brought me here was in 2009, my good friends were starting a company, and they wanted me to start it with them. It was called Farmscape. They are still around; they’re the largest urban farming company in California. I did that for four or five years, and it was great. So, yeah, that’s what brought me here.

How do you define yourself career wise?
I almost hate that question more than anything.I think it’s the most boring thing you can ask someone. I usually say, “I work at a tech company.” I think I need a better answer because people always wanna know what company I work for or more about that. I guess because tech is interesting right now or something.

What would you ask instead?
I guess it depends on the context of the situation. I’m more curious about where people live in LA or how they spend their time or what they do. Like, your work does define you in a bunch of ways, but at the same time… I spend most of my waking life thinking about work or talking about work because I am at work most of my life, so when I am not at there, I am happy to have to not engage in that anymore. So…

So, what is your company about exactly?
(Laughs) Joymode is a company based in Downtown LA. The general premise is that we want to enable people to have great experiences that they are not able to have because they are limited by the stuff that they own. What I mean by that is if you wanted to go camping next weekend, and you didn’t own any camping gear, you use our app, and we bring you a tent, camping stove, chairs, sleeping pads, and the whole shebang. Then you could go camping and come back with a small fraction of the cost that you would have paid to own that stuff. We pick it up when you’re done, and we clean everything. We have a bunch of other stuff like high-end kitchen equipment, power tools, and our backyard movie night package with a projector and chairs is our most popular. I’m the Head of operations.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
You know, I don’t think so. I think that I think of myself as a hipster, but then when people are talking about them with negative connotations they don’t, like, look over at me. It may because now I look like a more square, boring-preppy-dude-bro-tech-person or something. Someone called me a tech-bro the other day, and I was kind of offended. But, I used to be an urban farmer. Like… you know, moved into the not-the-nicest-neighborhood as it was gentrifying. Like… drink third wave coffee and craft beer and whiskey and all that shit. Like… listen to bands people have never heard of. Stopped liking those bands when they become popular…

What does being a millennial mean to you?
I remember before cell phones and internet, but not really. I remember the time that existed, but I never had to live my adult life before that existed. Technology has had a profound impact on how we think about the world. I think that exposure to technology, and all of these values that are in the cultural zeitgeist now--people wanting to live in cities, social cohesion, wanting to spend your career pursuing more than just money, etc.--are what define my generation.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I feel very connected to my generation, and I think that I am pretty stereotypical of my generation, in that I value all of the things I just mentioned, wanting to live in a city, wanting more out of work than money, etc. I guess I also love the internet, and technology, and think that our generation is going to have a powerful and positive impact on the world compared to where we are inheriting it.

What is your favorite thing about living in Atwater?
I think that Atwater is the best place to live in the world. It’s the place that I am happiest, and I love everything about it.

What are your favorite spots in Atwater?
Favorite places... Proof Bakery. Tacos Villa Corona. Individual Medley. Dune. Canele. Farmer’s Market. The LA River. There’s a bunch of great stuff up on Los Feliz too. Oh, and Alias Books!

How do you get around the city?
I have a car. I try to take the bus to work - I work Downtown. For awhile I had to drive a lot for my work, but that’s not really an issue anymore. I’ve been trying to take the bus to work every morning. It drops me super close to The Club [LAAC]. So, I’ll swim, sauna, shower and then walk to the office from here. Then usually bus home.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
I think so, yeah. Everyone has their flights of fancy: I want to go live in a foreign country for a year or something. But, like, I love it here. My family is here. A network of friends and career opportunities. I have finally - I haven’t figured it out by any means - but, if I could sort out how to buy a house here I would. That’s kind of you committing to a place for a real amount of time, so...

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
Umm… it’s weird. I don’t think there’s anything explicitly my favorite. There are a few things I love in my closet, like, I’ve got a couple of shirts that I really like. All of my wine is in my closet, and I don’t know if any particular bottle of wine is my favorite thing, but I do love drinking wine with my friends and family, so… that’s nice. 

What’s a typical Sunday like for you?
I wake up on Sunday morning, a little late, not super late, like 9am. And, I leave my house, and I walk down my street, Sunnynook Drive. Atwater is a beautiful, suburban neighborhood on the east side of LA.
There’s a ton of trees. Right now all of the jacarandas are blooming purple. It’s 73 degrees and sunny. There’s a little breeze, and you just stroll through this quaint neighborhood, and there’s this main strip where there’s all of these shops and my favorite coffee shop in the world. Then I cross the street and go to the best breakfast burrito place in the world (if they are open). And, everyone knows my name. I know all of their names. I have a relationship with them. You either sit on the curb or there are some tables, and you eat your burrito and you drink your coffee, then you go to the Farmer’s Market. It’s just super relaxing and pleasant in every way. And, that’s everything that I love about Atwater: it has a lot of amenities; it’s super walkable; it’s the kind of place you can have real relationships with people.

What’s your favorite film?
Beginners.

What is your favorite record?
A River Ain’t Too Much To Love by Smog.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
LBJ.

Where do you want to travel to?
There’s this trade-off I have to make every time I think about where I want to go, which is visiting friends or family, and maintaining my relationships through travel versus going to places that I am particularly excited to see. I went to six weddings last year, which ate up a lot of my vacation time and travel dollars. It was great, and I had a great time at all of them. I have two good friends who are going to be in Berlin this summer, so I will probably go there.

What inspires you?
I love solving problems. I love that everyday at my job is different, and there is no right answer, so you kind of have to invent the solution to everything. I am also inspired by really creative people trying to make it whole-heartedly.

What is your astrological sign and how does astrology play a part in your life?
I’m a Libra. The most prominent role it plays is my mom is a true believer and super into it - does like full chart readings and stuff. And, I think the whole thing is a bunch of baloney. But, it’s my mom, so I can’t be mean about it. It’s pretty hard for me as a skeptic, secular humanist, empirical thinker to take astrology particularly seriously. I will say that it is, like many things, a lens that you can view different situations, and I have seen that people get value out of it based on that.

What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?
ENTJ.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Empathy. I have a hard time with tolerating people who can’t put themselves in other people’s shoes. I love driven and ambitious people. Also, people who are on-board with creativity and don’t think about the practical side of things.

What is your idea of happiness?
My Sunday morning routine is deeply happy for me. I have a good friend who made a pact with her college friends that they would all move to Denver, Colorado by the time they were thirty. And, now they are all there. They are starting to get married; they have this amazing community. And, I pitched this to my kind of group of friends at the last wedding I was at, and everyone agreed it was nice, but no one seem to be willing to make a personal career sacrifice to make it happen. If we could all live in the same neighborhood and get married and have kids and do whatever we are going to do, and live in the same community that seems like the most amazing thing.

What’s your favorite color and flower?
I can send you a photo of not only my favorite type flower, but the specific one. I took a picture. My favorite color, I wouldn’t think of it as my favorite color, but some days I look down and I am wearing blue shoes, blue jeans, blue socks, and a blue shirt. So, I guess it’s blue.

Who is your favorite artist?
That’s a tough one. I guess, my sister, Kailee McGee? I don’t really like all of her art. Sometimes it’s really challenging for me, but I really love it all. She actually gave me something for Christmas that made me so angry I cried, then I made her cry, and then I finally understood it and love it. Even though it’s sometimes hard, I’m supportive of all of it and glad to be a part of it.

Do you have a motto?
I should figure out how to make this succinct or catchy but: you should always forgive everyone; always believe people are coming from a good place. Anytime someone cuts you off in traffic or whatever, you should just assume their mom died or something. If you live your life that way… because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives or anything. The world would be a lot happier if people forgave people and gave them the benefit of the doubt.

For further Weston related discovery dive into his social media and follow him @westonw
Read more about things Weston didn't talk about here.

If you would like to join the athletic club, please contact Weston directly here.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte
(Flower photos used with permission from Weston Westenborg.)

Rich Costales - Director/Editor

Apartment - Koreatown, Los Angeles

Rich (or Richie as his friends call him) is a candid, succinct, and levelheaded human. His apartment is distinct and minimal with 20 foot ceilings and a land-line phone; it’s clear this guy has some specific taste. His funky, family building sits on a seemingly quiet, residential street in Koreatown blocks away from BBQ joints and Ktown dive bars. He made us beautiful French Press coffee and then we drank bubbly orange wine on his balcony. Rich is striking knowledgeable, and curious - vivacious vibes all around.

What brought you to LA? 
A change of pace. I had been in New York for awhile, left and came back. I was ready for something different. Change is really great for me. So, I decided to make a really big change. It had to do a lot with family. My whole family is here. So... weather, family, people, and work.

How do you define yourself? Like, in a career way...
It depends on the context of who I’m meeting. If I’m meeting a fellow creative at a party, I would say, “I’m a filmmaker, and I’m editing trailers right now.” If it was just a quick thing, I would say, “trailer editor”. Depends on the context, but I consider myself personally a filmmaker; it’s just annoying to have to explain that.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
No. I think I’m too weird. I feel like it’s a non-thing. I wouldn’t be offended.

What does being a millennial mean to you?
Not very much. It’s just that anthropologists decide that. It’s not like you passed or failed the test.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I believe that a hallmark of my generation is the evolution into communicating with newer and more nuanced technologies. When someone texts you “k” that means essays based on the context. That nuance is something that the whole generation definitely shares, like, the language that we speak. My mom can text and send emojis and things, but there’s much less nuance. It’s just text and phone. But, it’s the amount of virtual nuance that we have to deal with - what app to say what thing. I think about it a lot, but I try to keep it focused. I don’t have Facebook. I use Instagram, email, and text. 

What do you love about living in Ktown?
It’s intensely culturally diverse, so it feels like a big place in a very small place. In the context of LA, in the context of Ktown, in the context of my block. There’s all kind of culture, and that brings with it food -- when was that? Friday night, I got home late at 11pm. I was sitting here rolling a blunt, and I felt the ground vibrate. Then I hear Mariachi music in the distance, and I’m like, “What’s going on?”. All the sudden, two trumpets and strings come in for this ten minute song. It was the apartment downstairs having a birthday party. So for ten minutes, I just laid my ear on the ground and listened. It sounded like a six person Mariachi band and 50 people. That’s one reason I love this neighborhood. It isn't just action and bars and shows, which is every other cool, white neighborhood.

What are your favorite spots in Ktown?
It’s typical, but I love The Line Hotel. It’s got coffee in the morning, brunch, Pot and Commissary at night. The whole hotel itself is really cool. There’s this weird-ass, dumb club in the back, but it’s fun and you can dance there. The crowd is really weird, and it’s a karaoke bar. I hate that it’s a speakeasy. The Line is a good Ktown starting spot. 
There’s also crazy-awesome Mexican grocery stores and Mexican bakeries everywhere in this neighborhood. 
I don’t have a favorite Korean BBQ spot - I haven’t found it yet. But, Soot Bull Jeep is charcoal and is a really gnarly dinner experience because you come out smelling like a campfire. It’s super raw bare bones, like, it’s not the best service; it’s not the best pickle selection; it’s just really good meat.

How do you get around the city?
I usually drive. Or ride my Vespa. Or, Lyft/Uber.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
For the foreseeable future, yes.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
This weekend is different, but it’s usually involving family at some point. And chores. Maybe getting brunch with my cousins. I have eight cousins, and I’m the oldest one. The youngest is nine years old. We all hang out a lot.

Tell me a little bit about your job.
I am an editor at Ignition Creative. We do a lot of trailers, but we also do a lot of production. Since I’ve been there, I’ve done everything Basically, I am a video content editor in all categories.

Is it a 9-5?
It’s a 10:05am to a 8:00pm. If I’m lucky. And midnight, if I’m not.

What have you been working on lately?
I did a really great Revenant TV spot that made it seem like an action/adventure movie. Iñárritu did not approve it, but it was a dope finish. We worked on that campaign for a long time.
I did an in-world trailer for a movie that doesn’t exist for Birdman, and I won a couple awards for that: a Clio and a Golden Trailer. I did a trailer for The Fifth Wave. I’m always working on new stuff. Right now I am working on this piece for The Dodgers with Kendrick Lamar that’s going to play before every game on the Jumbotron.
I am also a filmmaker. I have been directing kids content for Toca Boca’s new platform TocaTV. I really like directing, and I love working with kids.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
The giant, ranch-hand hat that my mom gave me. She gave one to everyone in the family. It’s huge. It’s too big. My grandpa does yard work in it because it covers his shoulders. I can’t see myself wearing it. Though on set, it would be perfect. It doesn’t matter if you look silly on set.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
That’s a tricky one. Dinner… tough choice. If I had to decide right now, it would be Kendrick Lamar. He’s an awesome poet who has a lot to say. Somehow in his music and art, he has this gift to be instantly, shockingly engaging. He just turns on and everyone stops and listens. That’s my choice right now because he’s in my life stream.

What’s your favorite film?
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Definitely.

What’s your favorite record?
I don't think I could choose a favorite record. Purple Rain OST though...

Where do you want to travel to?
Nowhere. I just want to sit here. Where do I have to go?

What inspires you?
Artistically - exploring and looking at the best art. And, the biggest heavy hitters. Whether it’s going to a museum or seeing old or new movies. Or, listening to an amazing new record that’s super well produced. That’s inspiring to me, and not necessarily breaking it down - just experiencing it for what it was created for.
Life-wise: my grandparents. They have been together for many years. They are both over 80. They are both inspiring to me as people. They are the classic American dream.

What’s your astrological sign? Does astrology play a part in your life?
Cancer. It doesn’t. Except that it’s a fun thing to talk about. Some signs can be generalized for sure, which is fun to speculate about. It doesn’t affect my daily life at all.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Confidence. Weirdness. Kindness.

What’s your Myer-Briggs Personality Type?
I'm constantly changing. Between ENFJ and INFJ.

What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness? Isn’t everyone’s definition of happiness changing on a second-to-second basis?
Yesterday, I was really happy because I got a chance to be at home for a minute. I had glass of wine on my balcony and caught the sunset. As stupid and typical as it was, it was just, like, nice weather. I am #blessed to have a cool place and situation. Et cetera.

Who is your favorite artist?
In so many fields, there are so many people. I don’t have a favorite right now. If I had to pick: Rick Rubin. He keeps inspiration from drying out. And, he’s also a guru who is super chilled out. I guess he’s an artist? Yea, he’s definitely an artist.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Red. I don’t know if I have a favorite flower. Snap dragons. They are an active flower because you can play with them and make them talk. It’s an interactive flower experience.

Do you have a motto?
It is what it is. That’s my favorite motto. As much as you change and shape, you still are what you are, you know? So, it encourages you to think earlier and earlier and plan more and more. It depends on how you look at it. Also, my mom used to say, “life isn’t fair”. That helped me learn that early on.

For further Rich related discovery dive deep into Google dot com and/or follow @richcostalesofficial
Read more about things Rich didn't talk about here.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte

Chris Bramante - Writer

Apartment - Hollywood, CA

Chris Bramante’s apartment, much like his charming personality, is uniquely, specifically him. He lives in Hollywood in a nostalgic building designed like a quaint motel with a petite pool in the middle. Surrounding himself with tchotchkes and posters of his favorite content, he is a man who knows what he likes for sure. Chris is full of stories, puns, ideas, and questions - an effervescent presence. 

What brought you to LA?
My first realization and understanding that movies were something that were made and written was from Animaniacs. That was probably the earliest desire of going to Hollywood and being in the movies. There are little notes I had written as a kid that said, “I’m going to Hollywood”. I was very obsessed with Animaniacs. They are probably the main reason I started showbiz.

And, how did you find your way here?
I found my way by escaping from New York City in 2010. It felt like an escape. I was working at ABC News as a newsfeed operator, and I quickly became dejected between my schedule of Good Morning America where I had to go to work at 3am and my World News Tonight schedule where I went in at noon. It was my first job out of NYU. I worked Charlie Gibson’s last show and Diane Sawyer’s first show on World News Tonight - that’s specific. I controlled 40 TV monitors, and there was war footage on at all times. The Haiti earthquake was a turning point for me - people, correspondents, were joking about it because they had been in news so long. And, it was very nauseating. So, I quit that job. I moved back into my parents’ house in New Hampshire, worked in my dad’s music warehouse and saved up enough money to move to Los Angeles.

How do you define yourself? Like, in a career way...
Writer. That’s the quick response. My friend, Annie, introduced me as a “creator/performer” which I like. But, writer is how I first identify. I don’t say “actor” even though I am an actor. I don’t say “actor” because that means something specific, and I’m not that.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
Yes. It’s not true, but I’ve been called it. I feel like it’s an offensive term, but it won’t be in the future. When people look back on the hipster era, it won’t be something bad. But, whenever it’s used now, it feels like a slur. Hipsters themselves do not identify as hipsters - sometimes they do, but it feels like people sling the word like it’s mud against people.

What does being a millennial mean to you?
Being part of the generation that walked into the recession but grew up on comfort and affluence of the 90’s to an extent - at least with the idea of the world being a safe place that if you worked hard you’d be able to succeed. People who experienced 9/11 as youths and then walked into a hopeless depression era type job market where they became very existential and obsessed with technology and representing and showcasing their existence, addicted to device and almost forever juvenile. It’s funny though. Like, if AIM [AOL Instant Messenger] was something you were suppose to stop doing when you were no longer a child, and then it developed into something even sillier, which is like - likes and hearts and emojis. Just, like, childish, babyish interaction. But, also, intelligence.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I feel connected for what I understand the generation is. Like, the Bernie Sanders type mentality - progressive attitudes towards social-- it’s unacceptable for someone of our generation to not accept someone for sexual orientation, race, or gender. It feels like older generations, even ones slightly older than us, don’t necessarily feel that way. For us, it’s not even a question. By the time we’re adults and there’s presidential candidates running, it’s not going to be, “what’s your stance on gay marriage?” - it’s not even going to be an issue. That’s my belief, at least. I also come from a liberal town in New Hampshire and have lived in New York City and Los Angeles and live amongst a group of artists.
Through the web and social, I feel like people are constantly hanging out with each other. Like, people can know what I’m doing. I can know what they are doing. We can all describe what we are doing. It’s kind of becoming a part of everyone. People are developing into a similar person in that way.
I feel like the people who got jobs right out of college, who are on their way to have a healthy retirement plan and buying a house - that’s not a typical millennial. A typical millennial is, like, awash in a sea of anxiety and depression, unsure of who they are existentially and having trouble with monogamous aspirations of a house. Anyway, that’s my understanding.

What do you love about living in Hollywood?
It’s very alive. All of the time. I don’t live in the heart of Hollywood; I live on the border of West Hollywood. It’s not like New York where everything is happening, and it’s a lot. Here, it feels safe and everyone is generally kind of relaxed, but there is a lot going on. Any night of the week you can find a show, you can find music, people frivolously adventuring.

What are your favorite spots in Hollywood?
Meltdown Comics. The Surly Goat (that might be West Hollywood). Amoeba. Toi Rockin’ Thai Food, that’s my favorite restaurant.

How do you get around the city?
My car, Falcor. I bought him in Manchester, NH. I’ve kind of designed my life, to the best of my ability, to not have to crawl through traffic super often. Being stuck in horrible traffic is one of the great tortures of the world. There are many forms of Hell in the city of LA. One of them is crawling like fucking tar down the 405 or the 101 or something awful. And, that’s not new to share that.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
Not forever. I hope by my mid-30’s that I have accomplished enough to leave and head back to the east coast, to New Hampshire. And, if I need a major metropolis to create out of, it would then be New York.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
Oh, jeez. Probably my Oily Vey t-shirt, which is play I did as a child in my hometown.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
There’s no real typical Sunday. I don’t have a normal week.

What have you been working on lately?
I am writing two scripts Korionitus, a New York squirrel adventure and Fool's Errand, a Medieval court jester romp. I’m also writing a musical, Thug Tunnel, with my musical improv troupe, Robot Teammate and the Accidental Party. We will perform that live in June at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. I perform weekly with Robot Teammate. I also have weekly podcast, Sunnydale Study Group, a Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan podcast. I’m also a co-creator of Hamiltunes LA, a Hamilton sing-a-long organization that has spread to three other cities and continues to spread into more.

What is Robot Teammate and the Accidental Party?
It is a musical improv troupe that I have been with for four years. We perform an original musical weekly based off a title that an audience member gives us. We have probably told over 300 musicals in our time together. It’s a wild, exciting chance for me to always perform with some of my most favorites creatives in the whole city. 

What’s your favorite film?
The Fellowship of the Ring

What’s your favorite record?
Pump Up the Valuum by NoFX. They are my favorite band, and I suspect will be forever.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Obama?

Where do you want to travel to?
England. I haven’t really gone to England. I’ve been in their airport… I love the English accent so much. I’d also like to go to Japan. I’d love to see many places in the world. But, England, Scotland, and Ireland feel like the next thing to do.

What inspires you?
My family. My friends. Song. Laughter. Random detail. Cosmic synchronicity - when that crops up, I appreciate that

What’s your astrological sign? Does astrology play a part in your life?
I’m a cusp Aries/Taurus. My birthday is April 20th. I grew up Taurus identifying. I don’t really know what the traits of Aries are… I display Taurus qualities, but I don’t reflect on astrology with regularity. I don’t disagree that astrology doesn’t have an effect on how people are, but I haven’t delved into deeply enough to belief it’s the correct cosmic categorization.

What is your Myer-Briggs Personality type?
ENFP.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Kindness. Enthusiasm. Passion. Being moldable and relaxable. People who appreciate what they have.

What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness? I know what happiness is. Happiness is a life condition that can only come from an internal contentment and appreciation that is not dependent on external circumstance.

Who is your favorite artist?
Mel Brooks.

What is your favorite color and flower?
I used to always say orange, but I don’t think that’s true anymore. It was just, like, you had to pick a favorite color as a kid, and I picked orange. Realistically, I’d say green. Favorite flower? Jasmine. Is that a flower? Like, a nice smelly one. Lilacs? Are those good?

Do you have a motto?
“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it,” Buffy Anne Summers, Vampire Slayer.

For further Chris Bramante related discovery follow @Amontiock and visit his website.
Ever in Los Feliz? Robot Teammate performs every Friday at 10pm at The Impro.
Read more about Robot Teammate on their website.
And, bust out your earbuds and head to iTunes to find Sunnydale Study Group’s weekly podcast.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte