Welcome to Hollywood, What's Your Dream?
"Welcome to Hollywood, what's your dream?" NAME THAT MOVIE!
If you haven't already, it's Pretty Woman. One of the most iconic lines in the film and it's one that has always stuck with me.
Sometimes when I really sit down and think, it is hard to believe that I actually live in California (something I have wanted to do since I was little) and left New York City a few years ago. Since moving, obviously as you know I created The Gilded Bellini and branched off into a whole other dimension of my career which probably would have never happened if I hadn't moved. While New York shaped me into who I am now, being here helped me discover what I am truly passionate about and what I am meant to do.
I consider New York my first love and my greatest love. No exaggeration. But sometimes when you love something you just "have to let it go", sometimes forever or sometimes for a while because you know that deep down there is another door waiting to be opened if you just have the courage to turn the knob. Don't get me wrong, I do get homesick from time to time but taking a leap of faith was the definitely the right decision for me, now looking back on it 3 years ahead.
Now, fast forward to me a few weeks ago galavanting in the heart of Hollywood.
Hollywood Boulevard can be compared to Times Square when it comes to looking at the hustle and bustle and the crazy shenanigans that go on at all hours of the day in one place. When I am in either city, I usually stay far away from both of those places. But I recently decided to stop at The Hollywood Roosevelt, have a glass of champagne in my Ali & Jay pleated black gown, walk amongst the stars and just soak in the fact that I am here... in Hollywood.
It was so busy with tons of people on the street. Everyone in their own world, kind of like how I was in my own. Starry-eyed tourists and people in the biz attending a film screening at the hotel walked out and into my space. Lots going on, lots of stares and people not minding their own business, but it was a feeling that I absorbed. The high energy of the like-minded, determined people was completely surrounding me and was nothing short of inspiring.
The moment was one I will definitely remember. Los Angeles is a place that lots of people only dream about visiting - a city that people fantasize about building a glamorous career in.
There is nothing glamorous about trying to stay afloat in one of the most competitive cities (especially in the entertainment industry), but the experiences I have gone through to continue to grow my site and expand my career as a host can definitely be considered as such to someone who is outside of this industry. Or, if you're in it, they're just more of your typical "that's so LA" moments.
Anyway, aside from the reality of that sheer fact, I couldn't help but feel extremely lucky and grateful. Immersing myself in the world of Hollywood for the past 3 years without knowing a single soul in the business a few years ago, and now being able to work towards my career goals and grow my brand confidently in this city means everything to me.
I walked along the stars of people who have achieved so much success here (through the trials and tribulations of their careers) and just felt like I belonged, similar to how I felt walking through the streets of New York when I moved there at 18 years old. My heels were on, my dress swayed in the wind and followed every step I took towards the next star.
It's a different chapter in my life now, and there are certainly a lot more chapters to go through. But I know my work here in Los Angeles isn't done yet. I'll continue to grow here, and will attempt to do it in the most fabulous way I can. I mean, it's Hollywood!! Now, "Welcome to Hollywood, what's your dream?" is just that constant reminder that pops in my head every so often that keeps me going.
Photography by: Rebecca Gnasso