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?
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?
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?
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